At the end of 2021, the CLEW Forum working group formed and began the complex planning process for the 2022 CLEW Forum, for the family/carer lived experience workforce. Supported by the CMHL Learning and Practice Development (LPD) team and the Family/Carer Workforce Development Coordinators, the working group developed up a comprehensive program to be delivered across two days via an online platform.
The theme was easily established, focussing on “the Big Cs”, see the image for our Big Cs, which were represented and highlighted throughout the two days. The CLEW Leadership group worked with the working group and the LPD to ensure the smooth facilitation and running of the forum, with over 80 registrations from across Victoria. The program included important workforce updates from the Department of Health and Tandem, a Compassion Training session with Debbie Ling, a creative writing workshop with Rowena Jonas, and a session from the Rising Together Research Project. The “Conversations of Courage” session, facilitated by a family/carer peer worker, spoke directly to the challenges of bringing ones lived experience to the workplace as expertise and discipline. This occurred along with spaces to have direct conversations with the CLEW Leadership about what issues are important to the workforce and how the CLEW can better support, represent and advocate for the family/carer LE discipline, and in turn be better supported as a workforce organization. Clever use of online workshopping platforms
(Mentimeter and Padlet) helped to foster engagement and connection in the online environment. The afternoon sessions of the final day were captured by Sketch group, a graphic art storytelling program to capture the themes and discussions of these final sessions. Wellbeing activities were built in throughout to bring connection, laughter, and movement to the online space, including guided travel tours, the acronym bingo, and flamenco dancing.
The CLEW forum is an annual event and we use our evaluation findings to help inform the next year’s forum. Some of the evaluation responses captured the value of the forum to the CLEW membership, such as:
- Variety of sessions; fantastic learning experience. The camaraderie of the group.
- It was a great event, sharing, networking, info, fun, and creativity
- I liked the balance of informative sessions and the fun sessions kept it interesting!
- Bringing together the serious stuff - like Department updates, with the realities of the role (convos of courage) and an opportunity for the fun stuff.
The CLEW forum working group worked to produce a CLEW forum highlights video which can be shared with CLEW membership and Organizations.
Family/Carer Workforce Development Coordinator