About us/Our Patron & Ambassadors

Our Patron & Ambassadors

Our Patron & Ambassadors

The Honourable John McKechnie QC

John is currently the Corruption and Crime Commissioner. After matriculating from Scotch College in 1967 John spent a year as a Rotary Exchange student in the USA. Completing a Bachelor of Laws degree in 1972 John was admitted to practice in 1974. John was appointed Queens Counsel in 1989 and Director of Public Prosecutions 1991 – 1999, ceasing on appointment as judge of the Supreme Court, a position he held for 16 years until April 2015 when he took up his present appointment. John has been a part time university teacher for nearly 30 years and is currently teaching at Murdoch University as well as being a co-author of Criminal Law in Queensland and Western Australia.   In the past John has been Chair of Telateen, Director of Samaritans, and a Board member of Holyoake, Richmond Fellowship, Trinity Residential College, and Chair of Council at Presbyterian Ladies College. John is married with five children and in his spare time can be found sailing. John has supported Samaritans for many years, from his time as Director, to helping celebrate the organisation’s 40th anniversary. His ongoing support of and commitment to the cause, understanding of the main issues and high profile in the community make him an excellent representative for the Samaritans.

Ricky Burges PSM

Ricky is the Chief Executive Officer of Western Australian Local Government Association. Prior to joining WALGA in February 2000, Ricky was the Director General of the Department for Culture & the Arts, Chief Executive Officer of Perth Zoo, and Director of Human Resources at the WA Tourism Commission. Ricky has a Masters in Leadership and Management from Curtin University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Development, a Certificate in Psychotherapy, and Diplomas in Coaching. Ricky sits on the ROADS Foundation, the Board of MercyCare, the Local Government Insurance Board, the State Emergency Management Committee, and various Local Government committees and Boards.  Ricky is a past President of the Australian Institute of Management and the Board of the Art Gallery of Western Australia.  She was the Western Australian Businesswoman of the Year in 1997 and was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2007.

The Samaritans wouldn’t be here without the generous support of individuals, the wider community and businesses. The donations we receive allows us to provide crucial 24/7 Anonymous Crisis Support to Australians dealing with feelings of depression, sadness, loneliness and despair.