Fund Recommendation 29

In March of 2021, the Royal Commission into Mental Health released its final report which included Recommendation 29 – Rec 29 proposed establishing a non-governmental organisation led by individuals with personal experiences of mental health challenges and the mental health system. This agency was envisioned to be a cornerstone of the new system but is yet to be funded, despite the original target of being operational by the end of 2022.

Recommendation 29 underscores the importance of consumer-led innovation, and the need for consumer-led organisations and programs. It envisions a future where lived experience leaders play pivotal roles in driving systemic change and where services are developed in close collaboration with those with lived experiences.

This new organisation would be a welcoming space where ideas for improving mental health and wellbeing can flourish. It will champion the use of lived experiences and diverse perspectives to drive meaningful change in mental health services and substance abuse support networks. This initiative would be hub for innovation, celebration, and leadership—a guiding light towards a reimagined mental health landscape.

The delay in funding for Rec 29 poses a significant risk to mental health reform efforts. Without it, there is a danger of perpetuating the status quo or only making superficial changes. This delay not only undermines the Royal Commission’s vision but also erodes hope for meaningful progress in mental health support and recovery. It’s crucial that action is taken promptly to ensure that the voices and expertise of those with lived experiences are at the forefront of mental health reform.

You can show your support by signing our community letter here and sharing the campaign in your networks using the resources below.


We asked our communities why consumer leadership is important to them. This is what they told us:

Because we need trauma informed and a compassionate approach to leadership for living /lived experienced persons to be correctly supported and assisted moving forward.

Why is consumer leadership important to you?

People I care about are affected by mental health and disability barriers.

Why is consumer leadership important to you?

Because it is grass roots and stems from the people with the lived experience expertise. It keeps the decisions with the people most affected by them and allows for sustainable growth in the consumer field by setting up future leaders.

Why is consumer leadership important to you?

It is fundamental to what we do, and the future of care.

Why is consumer leadership important to you?

Because we need trauma informed and a compassionate approach to leadership for living /lived experienced persons to be correctly supported and assisted moving forward.

Why is consumer leadership important to you?

Because the medical-led model has not delivered.

Why is consumer leadership important to you?

We desperately need experienced mental health consumer voices to direct our mental health services.

Why is consumer leadership important to you?

I have loved giving opportunities to those young people with living experience just as much as I have loved supporting young people and families who have not achieved what they would have liked to… We are making an impact in our communities and in the workforce with our model of care and we want to see this evolve through partnership and collaboration. It is the foundation that is needed to enable living experience models to work. It needs support.

Why is consumer leadership important to you?

Nothing about us without us!

Why is consumer leadership important to you?

I am a Peer Worker, I would like to see a pathway for progression where I can work for a Consumer run organisation.

Why is consumer leadership important to you?

It is essential to providing good quality care as a nurse.

Why is consumer leadership important to you?

Nothing about us without us – plain and simple!

Why is consumer leadership important to you?

It’s about time that we tried something different.

Why is consumer leadership important to you?

Consumer leaders are disrupting and transforming the mental health system!

Why is consumer leadership important to you?

To support consumers and lived experience workers.

Why is consumer leadership important to you?

THIS MATTERS. WE MATTER.

Why is consumer leadership important to you?

Because it presents the opportunity for growth and career development as a discipline. Lived experience is the way of the future.

Why is consumer leadership important to you?

It’s important to have a consumer voice.

Why is consumer leadership important to you?

We want to support lived experience workers in becoming leaders.

Why is consumer leadership important to you?

I want the right people to have seats at the table – the right people being consumers.

Why is consumer leadership important to you?

I have mental health issues and find peer workers with lived experience the most helpful at supporting me.. their Lived-Experience gives them insight, compassion and it is easier to establish rapport as I trust them.

Why is consumer leadership important to you?

Former VMIAC Chair, Tricia Szirom, at the Lived Experience Leadership Forum
Executive Director Lived Experience at Mind Australia and VMIAC CoM member, Katie Larsen talks about why we need Our Agency
Senior Consumer Consultant, Lauren Naismith
Peer worker and art therapist, Janel Gibson.
VMIAC CEO, Craig Wallace talks about Rec 29 at the Lived Experience Leadership Forum

Let your community know

Let your community know that Rec 29 needs funding now: create a selfie with our printout to share in your social networks or share the images below in your social networks and use #fundouragency and @vmiac.

Instagram

LinkedIn - X - Facebook

Other Resources

Victorian MPs Letter-Rec-29

Letter to the Premier, Treasurer, and Mental Health Ministerr signed by 15 of Victoria's lead organisations in mental health and AOD and peak bodies

Media Release for the joint letter

Rec 29 / Our Agency Flyer

Recommendation 29 FAQs

Teams/Zoom Background

Selfie Printout

Approved by Craig Wallace - Level 3, 211 Chapel St, Prahran VIC 3121

Campaign Timeline

March

Emeritus Professor, Bernadette McSherry, highlights the importance of Rec 29 in her article in the Melbourne University Publication, Pursuit - you can find it here .

February 2024

As we approach the 3rd anniversary of the release of the final report from Royal Commission, VMIAC has written to all Victorian members of parliament to highlight to urgent need for the establishment of the Consumer Agency.

January 2024

The Victorian peak body for social services, VCOSS, released their submission for the Victorian budget. The submission highlights how it is essential that Lived Experience is firmly centred in the architecture of our mental health system and calls on the government to deliver funds to establish a not-for-profit, consumer-governed and driven Consumer Leadership Agency . See here for the section on the consumer agency and here for the full submission.

December 2023

Peak mental health body, Mental Health Victoria, has called for immediate establishment of the Consumer Leadership Agency in it's budget submission to the Victorian Government, citing community and sector concern about consumer-leadership being sidelined. See here for this section and here for MHV's full submission.

15 of Victoria’s Leading Mental Health and Advocacy organisations make a joint call for the Consumer Leadership Agency to be established as a matter of urgency – see the joint letter here. You can find the media release here.

November 2023

VMIAC met with the Minister for Mental Health, the Hon. Ingrid Stitt M, and discussed the urgent need for Our Agency to be established. The Minster emphasised the Government’s commitment to implementing the Royal Commission’s recommendations.

October 2023

The Victoria Collaborative Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing alerted the minister on how the absence of our agency is a matter of p[public concern. “an essential part of the architecture of a transformed mental health system”.
VMIAC and SHARC write to the secretary of the Department of Health about the importance of Our Agency.

September 2023

VMIAC and SHARC CEOs co-present at the Lived Experience Leadership Forum on Our Agency.
Ms Katherine Whetton (Deputy Secretary, Mental Health and Wellbeing at the Department of Health, Victoria) confirms the importance of the consumer leadership agency being established.

August 2023

VMIAC and SHARC launch the 'Our Agency' campaign at the Collab conference and TheMHS in Adelaide.

June 2023

The Recommendation 29 Campaign group, headed by consumer leaders, is formed.

May 2023

No funding for the agency is allocated in the state budget – SHARC and VMIAC are very disappointed.

June - December 2022

The Our Agency project commences - VMIAC and SHARC run state-wide consultations on the design of the consumer Leadership Agency. See more here.

March 2021

Final report from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System is released. The report contains 65 recommendations, including Recommendation 29 to establish a consumer leadership agency.

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