Communities of Practice Advisory Group

Lived and Living Experience Workforce Development


The lived and living experience workforce (LLEW) is recognised within the mental health sector as a growing discipline. LLEW designated roles require lived and/or living experience of mental health challenges, emotional distress, trauma, mental ‘illness’ and/or psychosocial disability, depending on what language is used. Consumer consultants provide direct feedback to services using their lived and living experience as a mental health consumer and utilising consumer perspectives to assist in the reorientation and reform of mental health services to better meet the needs of mental health service users.

VMIAC is funded by the Mental Health and Wellbeing Division of the Department of Health to develop and deliver a Community of Practice (CoP) model for Consumer Consultants within Victorian Clinical Mental Health services.
The CoP aims to address challenges experienced by the LLEW, including isolation and lack of supports, by providing a space for connection, knowledge and resource sharing, reflective practice and building peer support networks. This project will be guided by an advisory group and later co-designed by a co-design action group, with the express aim of centring consumer perspectives and co-developing supports from the identified needs of consumer consultants.

What will the Advisory Group do?

Members of the advisory group will collaborate to inform the Terms of Reference of the Community of Practice and guiding principles for the Co-design Action Group. The Advisory Group is an opportunity to guide co-developed supports for consumer consultants in mental health services and maintain co-design principles in a project with predetermined limits. The Advisory Group will have the opportunity to participate in the evaluation of the co-designed Community of Practice Model in 2024, which can then be accessed by other LLEW sectors.

How much time is needed to take part?

The Advisory group will meet every two weeks, for 10 weeks, between April and June. Meetings will run for 1.5 hours on either Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, at a time determined by the majority of respondents. People attending outside substantive work hours will be reimbursed by the VMIAC Consumer Register.

Who will be involved?

Advisors will have lived/living experience of mental health and will share their insights relating to the support needs of consumer consultants from consumer perspectives, experience or knowledge of Community of Practice and co-design. The Advisory Group aims to be a diverse and inclusive space, including a variety of working and lived and living experiences, you don’t need to be a consumer consultant to apply. Voices that are historically silenced and perspectives that are typically marginalised will be privileged and to ensure the safety of the space, discrimination will not be tolerated. BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ queers and disabled folx to the front!

NB: You can apply to take part in both the Advisory Group and Co-design Group.

Are you interested?

Please use this link to submit your Expression of Interest. 

Applications close Sunday 16th of April 2023.

Any information disclosed in your Expression of Interest will be held private and confidential, only seen by the Co-ordinator and stored only for the duration of the Advisory Group, de-identified.

If you have any further questions or would like to submit an expression of interest, please email

Clare (she/they) is the CoP Co-ordinator and works Tuesday-Thursday and will reply as soon as possible within their working hours.

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