Former Labor backbencher Bec Cody has landed a new job as chief executive at the ACT Mental Health Community Coalition.
Ms Cody lost her seat at last year's election to fellow Labor candidate Marisa Paterson after one term in the Legislative Assembly.
She said she was devastated at the result because she felt like she had much more to achieve.
"But I think with adversity comes opportunity," she said.
After losing the election, Ms Cody worked as a manger at a retail store in Civic.
She said she had needed to take some time to figure out what her next move would be.
"I think it's a really big opportunity to help the community sector to find their voice and to be able to advocate better," Ms Cody said.
"I've always thought the government could be doing more even when I was a member of the government.
"I think it will be an advantage having me working with the board so closely... I understand the government and I understand how the Assembly works."
Ms Cody has had her own struggles with mental health and domestic violence, and has a son with autism.
"I know what it's like to have to access those community based services," she said.
She said she wanted to break down the stigma related to mental health and build awareness of the community-based services available in Canberra.
Before entering politics, Ms Cody worked as a hairdresser, salon owner and public servant.
Coalition board president Yvonne Luxford said Ms Cody impressed with her background and experience.
"We are excited where she will take the organisation in her role as CEO," she said.
"Bec Cody is well known for her role as a member of the ACT Legislative Assembly.
"What is less known about Bec is also her experience in mental health, aged care, justice and community safety both in parliamentary committees and as a public servant.
"Her personal experiences also play a role in her focus for supporting Canberrans in need, and for breaking down the stigma attached to mental ill health."
The coalition is the peak body for community-based mental health services in the ACT and was previously headed by Simon Viereck.
Ms Cody will begin her new role on Monday.