Melissa Sweet is a freelance health writer and journalist whose work appears in a wide range of publications. She has worked for the Sydney Morning Herald, The Bulletin and AAP. She is co-author, with Judy and Les Irwig, of Smart Health Choices, which provides some tools for assessing health information and advice
HOW ONE WOMAN'S PASSIONATE DRIVE TO REFORM THE MENTAL HEALTH SYSTEM ENDED IN TRAGEDY
On 14 October, 2002, Margaret Tobin, the director of South Australia's mental health services, was shot four times in an execution-style shooting in her Adelaide office building. Thought at first to be an act of random violence, police soon heard rumours that the murder was linked to Margaret's efforts to reform SA's moribund mental health system. Less than a month later, however, a deregistered psychiatrist who had worked under Tobin in Sydney in the early 1990s was charged with her murder.
Inside Madness is a compelling tale that pieces together the methodical planning in the lead-up to Tobin's murder, the tragic aftermath, and the occasionally bizarre court case that followed. It also provides disturbing insights into the forces of madness and the current state of mental health services in Australia. But above all, it is the story of the courage and determination of a dynamic woman, determined to better services for the mentally ill. Margaret Tobin's death is tragic, but her life should be celebrated.