The Our Future project was a partnership, commissioned by Mental Health Reform Victoria (MHRV) and led by the Self-Help Addiction Resource Centre (SHARC). The project was funded to conduct research and consultation to inform the development of recommendations for an introductory training package for the Lived and Living Experience Workforces (LLEWs) in the Mental Health and Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) sectors in Victoria. This work was commissioned in response to Recommendation 6 of the interim report of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System.

This project was delivered by the Our Future partnership: 

  • Athena Consumer Workforce Consulting (Athena)
  • Centre for Mental Health Learning (CMHL)
  • Centre for Mental Health Nursing (CentreMHN), University of Melbourne
  • Carer Lived Experience Workforce (CLEW)
  • Self Help Addiction Resource Centre (SHARC)(lead agency)
  • The Bouverie Centre, La Trobe University

This project was also supported by the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC), Tandem and the Satellite Foundation. From the outset, the partnership worked together to respond collectively to the request for quote which included created a vision for how the work would be conducted.


The project consisted of:

  • literature review conducted by The Bouverie Centre at La Trobe University, which identified and reviewed published literature on training for LLE workforces
  • desktop audit of known and currently publicly available training for the LLE workforce. This audit was conducted by The Centre for Mental Health Nursing at The University of Melbourne
  • survey of Lived/Living Experience Workforces co-developed by project partners
  • focus groups with LLE workforces, consumers and family/carers involved in participation activities
  • development of recommendations
  • comprehensive report

The CMHL Consumer Workforce Development Coordinator worked alongside Athena to provide consumer leadership and subject matter expertise and the Family/Carer Workforce Development Coordinators partnered with CLEW to provide family/carer leadership and subject matter expertise to each of the components of the project as well as facilitating the mental health consumer and mental health family/carer focus groups, analysis of survey and focus group data and culminating in detailed reports with training content outlines. Working collaboratively with a large number of individuals with expertise in different areas resulted in a comprehensive yet accessible report that was positively received by DH. Partners were experienced, highly motivated and passionate resulting in high engagement across the project team and a drive to deliver high-quality deliverables. 

The report was submitted to the DH and has made a significant contribution to the planning of future LLEW opportunities.

The report can be found here.

Updated on 01/03/22 09:39 am Share this page


Lorna Downes

Lived and Living Experience Workforces Instructional Designer

David Barclay

Consumer Workforce Development Coordinator

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