VMIAC embraces, enables, empowers, & emboldens the lived experience community

VMIAC partners and collaborates on research with a range of research institutions, government, and organisations in the mental health sector.

We work with other lived experience peaks in Victoria and around Australia to advance lived experience leadership in setting research agendas and transforming research methods and approaches.


We seek to partner with researchers who embed lived experience leadership and engagement across all stages of research and evaluation.

VMIAC’s Lived Experience-led Research Strategy is based on consumer principles and ethics and our commitment to human rights, social change, and innovation.

  • We are committed to increasing the access of diverse people with varied lived experience to relevant, high quality, lived experience-led research evidence.
  • We aim to build lived experience research capacity and advance lived experience leadership in research


Victorian Collaborative Centre

VMIAC will play a key role in working with the newly established Victorian Collaborative Centre to embed lived experience leadership in genuinely collaborative mental health research.

Bouverie Centre, La Trobe University

The Bouverie Centre worked with the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMAIC) during 2022 to support its development of safe and effective organisational practices to enhance workforce efficacy and well-being. As part of this work, the Bouverie research team worked alongside VMIAC to conduct a scoping literature review to better understand the elements that contribute to developing a thriving consumer-run organisation. The need to understand these elements has grown since the Royal Commission into Victoria’s mental health system (2021) helped to foreground the value and importance of lived experience and led to an accelerated agenda for system reform in Victoria. The review, funded by the Victorian Department of Health, was completed early in 2023 and has been submitted for peer-reviewed publication.

Shared reading for wellbeing and social inclusion, La Trobe University

This project, funded by VMIAC in partnership with researchers at La Trobe University, aims to evaluate the capacity of Shared Reading groups to improve self-advocacy and social inclusion for people with lived experience of emotional distress, trauma, mental health challenges, and neurodiversity. One of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System (2021) was to support good mental health and wellbeing in Victorian communities, including testing and developing a range of initiatives that support community participation, inclusion, and connection.

Three shared reading groups are being run by La Trobe University staff in partnership with VMIAC from August 2023-February 2024 to assess the potential of this model to contribute to the wellbeing and capacity for self-advocacy of Victorians with mental health challenges, as part of a constellation of non-coercive community-based programs.

If you are a person with lived experience of mental health challenges and you are interested in joining one of the shared reading groups as part of this project, you can find more information here.

Social and Global Studies Centre, RMIT University

In 2021-2022 a project team from RMIT University’s Social and Global Studies Centre partnered with VMIAC to conduct the project Experiences of police apprehension for psychosocial disability: a co-designed investigation. This project was funded by the Commonwealth Government through the National Disability Research Partnership. VMIAC supported this project with strategic feedback, linking VMIAC members with relevant expertise to opportunities for involvement at different levels of the project via the consumer register and wider VMIAC network.

Traditionally, training and resources for responding to people in distress have been informed models which do not consider the needs of people that it impacts. The knowledge of people with lived experience continues to be dismissed and de-prioritised by service systems which are intended to serve them. This resource, ‘Police Apprehension as a Response to Mental Distress’ centres on the expertise of people who have experienced police apprehension as a response to their distress. Based on the findings from one of the first projects co-designed with survivors of police apprehension in a mental health crisis, this resource exists as a guide to inform future thinkers, decision makes, program designers and to influence in-service training currently in place.

To contact the VMIAC Research team

Interested in partnering with VMIAC in lived experience-led research?

Go to Research Support & Promotion to learn more or submit a request

Are you

  • a person with lived experience seeking support for a research proposal?
  • a researcher or organisation seeking partnership with a project or proposal?

We welcome discussion about consumer principles, engaging consumers in research, and VMIAC support, partnership, and endorsement.

Read more in VMIAC’s Lived Experience-Led Research Strategy

To contact the VMIAC Research team

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