Join our Courageous Conversation #1: Unity in Diversity

Attend our Members’ event

Thursday, 24 November 2022
12:30pm to 2:30pm
In-person at Black Box Theatre, Science Gallery in Carlton
Simultaneously online, over Zoom

Panel discussion

A Q&A session with our four panellists will seek to chart a course for the future of the consumer movement in Victoria against a reforming and changing mental health landscape. Our panel will share their perspectives on the topic: What can VMIAC do to build greater diversity, inclusion and equity AND how can members support the efforts?

Our panellists are:

Tamara Lovett (She/her)
Victorian Aboriginal Health Service

Tamara is a Gunai and Gunditjmara woman who has lived in Melbourne her whole life. She has experienced mental health challenges since she was young. After her child was born, Tamara was facing homelessness due to a stressful living situation. She connected with Wadamba Wilam, a program that supports Aboriginal people who are experiencing homelessness and require support around their social and emotional wellbeing.

Tamara has since worked at Wadamba Wilam as a lived experience case manager, and as an Aboriginal Mental Health Outreach Worker within community health services. In the future, Tamara would like to see more services that are culturally safe, and more funding for Aboriginal‑specific workers in clinical settings.

Tamara is not comfortable using mainstream services, as she believes that workers don’t understand or respond to her cultural needs. She calls for more Aboriginal people working in both mainstream and Aboriginal mental health services.

Siobhan Doyle (She/her)
Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service

Siobhan is a Senior Lawyer at VALS working in the Civil and Human Rights Team. She has been at VALS since 2019, working in a variety of areas including coronial inquests, discrimination, tenancy, consumer law and prison matters. 

Manu Kailom (He/him)
QRASP / Many Coloured Sky

Manu is a Peer Support and Community Development Officer at the Queer Refugee and Asylum Seeker Peers (QRASP), working on a range of community development and capacity-building strategies that support the growing peer-led group, through Many Coloured Sky’s active support.

QRASP is a peer-led social support group that provides members with opportunities to gain social connection, emotional and practical support and puts those with lived experience at the forefront of advocacy, service development, and change. QRASP was developed through a partnership between Many Coloured Sky and Uniting Victoria and Tasmania.

Many Coloured Sky engages with services and organisations that work with asylum seekers, refugees and newly arrived communities and services for LGBTQI communities so that they can better understand, support and address the needs of queer asylum seekers and refugees in Australia.

Hamilton Kennedy (They/them)
Consumer Academic

Hamilton is a consumer academic at the University of Melbourne. Hamilton Kennedy is doing their PhD investigating ‘delusions’. Hamilton teaches at University of Melbourne and RMIT. Hamilton does research at University of Melbourne and La Trobe University.

Hamilton has also been a consumer peer support worker in a youth psychiatric hospital. This means they are employed on the basis of their experience of what’s commonly known as ‘mental illness’. Hamilton considers themselves crazy. This makes possible the work they do. Hamilton has practice experience in the mental health system as well as working in consultant positions.

Attendees will then be invited to further the conversation in engaging small-group discussion and share their hopes and ideas for the future of VMIAC with us. Don’t miss what promises to be a vital and fascinating Courageous Conversation, the first of many conversations among VMIAC members.

See you there!

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