Consumer Workforce Reform

Introducing Sharon Williams as VMIAC’s Consumer Workforce Liaison (A.k.a. Workforce Reform Consumer Lead). 

Where this role has come from and what it is for: 

As part of Mental Health Workforce Reforms arising from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, the Victorian Department of Health has funded two lived experience workforce lead positions at Victoria’s consumer and carer peak bodies.

Workforce leads at VMIAC and Tandem will strengthen consumer and carer perspectives on mental health workforce policy, ensuring that reforms are guided by the experience and expertise of lived experience workers. They will also liaise with members of the lived experience workforces to coordinate reform activities in partnership with the Department of Health. 

Sharon will also be connecting with and offering opportunities to be involved in the workforce reforms to VMIAC’s Consumer Register and Members as well as liaising with her own Consumer and Consumer Lived/Living Experience Worker contacts.  Sharon has a background in mental health and disability legal placements, experience as a qualified Psychotherapist and experience in various Consumer Lived/Living Experience Roles, including Peer Work in a clinical and community setting.  She has previously worked closely with the Department of Health on reform projects including a framework to ensure mental health services are organisationally ready for thriving Lived/Living Experience Workforces. 

If you would like to know more, network with Sharon or get involved, please contact Sharon at

Actions for Lived/Living Experience Workforce Reform in the recently released Mental Health Workforce Strategy:

1.        LLEW discipline frameworks – what are LLEW ethics, principles and scope of practice?​

2.        Increase understanding of LLE Workforces (will employ LLEW Educators) and ensure conditions in which LLEWs can exercise best practice LLEW and LLEW models of care​

3.        Increase LLEW leadership roles and LLEW professional development​

4.        Sustainability of LLEW roles (establish and embed) including identifying optimal role types, number and distribution​

5.        an ongoing program of training and development for LLEWs will be commissioned and higher education needs will be identified​

6.        Equitable access to discipline specific supervision​

7.        12mth Peer Cadet Program – for ppl studying the Cert IV in MH Peer Work to work in a selection of community MH services​

8.        Understanding the experiences of LLEWs and organisational attitudes towards them​

9.        Strengthen networks and support communities of practice (e.g. Basecamp)​

10.    Attract people to LLEW and promote LLEW careers​

VMIAC’s Consumer Workforce Liaison is or will be involved in the above LLEW reform actions, including consultation with other consumers and consumer LLE workers.

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