In 2021, the RCVMHS released its final report highlighting the substantial need for system reform. Central to the success of the reforms is system change led by lived experience (LE). As a result of the Royal Commission, we saw many projects emerge to respond to this need. One of the key priorities, as enshrined in the National Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Strategy, is the realisation of an authorised, supported and sustainable LE workforce (LEW). The CMHL LEW team are committed to supporting and working with Victoria’s lived experience workforce to achieve this goal. 

As a response to the growing need for LE workforce coordination, consultation and project work, CMHL expanded its LE workforce. The LEW team members at CMHL are:  


     David Barclay       


Photo of Lorna Downes
     Lorna Downes


       Deb Carlon


In 2021, the team welcomed two more staff members to the team. 


         Jacqui Hill

During the 2021-2022 financial year, the CMHL LE team have been focused on a number of areas of work including the following: workforce coordination, sector relationships, project work, workforce training, consultations, forums and internal lived experience workforce processes. 

Workforce Co-ordination

The lived experience workforce is expanding rapidly and requires responsive and robust support. We have delivered the following:  Consumer Workforce Reflective Circles, Courageous Conversations, support of the Carer Lived Experience Workforce (CLEW) group, the Victorian Mental Health Interprofessional Leadership Network, responded to individual requests for support, information and linkage with other services, support of the Carer Lived Experience Workforce group,  

Sector Relationships

We have built collaborative relationships with our partner organisations and other stakeholders including: VMIAC, Tandem, Centre for Mental Health Nursing, Mental Health Victoria, SHARC, Harm Reduction Victoria, CLEW, Area Mental Health Services. CMHL also has established the Live Learn Lead Collective (LLLC) to bring LEW perspectives to CMHL work and priorities. There is a section on the LLLC elsewhere in this report. We also use an online platform (Basecamp) to support networking, resource sharing and support of communities of practice 

Project Work

We have worked collaboratively with our various organisations across the mental health sector to both lead and partner on projects including the: Our Future Project, Organisational Readiness Co-design Action Team, Placement Support Co-design Action Team, Rising Together, Family/Carer Research Network,  

Workforce Training

We have collaboratively developed trainings including: Co-design training, Caring with training, Consumer Consultant training, Leadership training (VMHILN), and delivered he DH funded CLEW forum in March. 


We have contributed LE workforce perspectives as members of the Lived Experience Advisory Group, Lived Experience Workforce Advisory Group committees and provided a lived experience workforce voice to multiple DHHS project consultations including: review of the Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work, development of a State Wide Trauma Service, Lived and Living Experience Workforce Tertiary Scholarship Project, Capability Framework, Collaborative Centre 

Internal LE processes

We have developed a range of internal LE support structures including: LEW Operations, LEW Coordinator’s meeting, LEW LPD meeting and the LEW co-reflection space.  

We will continue to develop our internal process to support CMHL’s LE workforce including working with the Learning and Practice Development team at CMHL to increase LE involvement in the development and delivery of sector wide training and LEW specific training 

Future LLEW at CMHL 

CMHL is excited to be participating in the DH funded LLEWs development program 2022-24 to realise authorised, supported and sustainable LLEWs in public mental health and AOD services. 


Updated on 08/09/22 06:25 pm Share this page


David Barclay

Consumer Workforce Development Coordinator

Jacqui Hill

Family/Carer Workforce Development Coordinator

Lorna Downes

Lived and Living Experience Workforces Instructional Designer

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