VMIAC Workshop Series

This workshop series is designed to build the skills and knowledge of consumers who are taking roles designed to influence the development of the mental health system so that it is more responsive to the consumer voice.

If you are on the VMIAC Committee of Management, involved in the Register or taking part in the development of new (or redesign of existing) services you will find these workshops helpful.

Each workshop will be 2-3 hours depending on the topic. They will all be held online via Zoom to allow for people from rural locations to attend and also deal with social distancing. The Zoom login details will be shared via email closer to the time of the session.

There is a maximum of 30 people per session.

Health and wellbeing

With Simon Katterl and Hamilton Kennedy: Thurs 26th November 4-6pm. From the United Nations to the local mental health service mental health can be seen as a human rights issue. This workshop will introduce you to how human rights can inform a better mental health system after the Royal Commission. This informative workshop will have you thinking differently about the mental health system and what could be achieved if it was founded in the human rights of people with mental distress instead of services that.   

Presenters: Simon Katterl and Hamilton Kennedy

Simon is a consumer advocate and policy consultant, having worked at different human rights, regulation and advocacy agencies across Victoria. Until recently he was Chair of the Human Rights and Ethics sub-Committee, which oversees VMIAC’s key strategic advocacy policies.

Hamilton is a consumer academic at the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Psychiatric Nursing. They have worked in roles as a consultant and educator with the intention of supporting the rights of consumers and developing staff’s understandings of human rights.  

To register, click here.

VMIAC Policies and Positions

With Chris Maylea and Maggie Toko: Thurs 3 December 4-6pm. As the consumer peak body in Victoria, VMIAC has developed some critical policy positions which provide a foundation for our work. These include our vision, mission and principles, our priorities and The Declaration which is a vision for an ideal future for the system. In addition, we have paper prepared for a number of Commissions and our reports on seclusion and compulsory treatment. This workshop will introduce you to these positions so that you are able to place your representation into context.   

Presenters: Dr Chris Maylea and Maggie Toko

As the previous VMIAC Chair and CEO, Chris and Maggie are in an ideal position to talk on this topic. Chris is a lecturer and researcher at RMIT and together they have been influential in shaping the Policy Position at VMIAC over years. Maggie brings deep personal and professional experience in the community sector including four years as CEO of VMIAC. Chris has been the Deputy Chair and Chair of VMIAC and headed the Human Rights and Ethics Committee which has developed the Seclusion and Compulsory Treatment reports of the last two years.

To register, click here.

Gaining influence through Committee settings

With Deb Tsorbaris and Dr Tricia Szirom: Thursday 10th December 4-6:30pm. Deb is the CEO of the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare and has worked in the Deb has worked in health and community services for over 30 years.

Prior to joining the Centre, Deb was CEO of the Victorian Council to Homeless Persons. Deb has also held executive positions at Victoria’s Department of Human Services and has extensive knowledge of policy and practice. Deb has provided policy advice to government on a range of issues and has worked across disability, drugs and alcohol, youth services and employment programs.

Tricia has been involved in a wide range of committees in the women’s movement, mental health, social services from local community development through NGO peak organisations to government advisory bodies. Her consultancy was focused on governance and strategic directions and thinking, and major evaluations and research for government and the community sector.

To register, click here.

Reading the Balance Sheet

With Caron Byrne: Thursday 17th December 4-6:30pm. Perhaps the most important part of being on a committee of management is that of the responsibility for the financial health of the organisation.

  • Is this the best way to allocate these funds?
  • What happens when that project funding ends?
  • Will this funding have us achieve the best outcomes for consumers?
  • Is that project on target and budget?

These and many more questions may cross your mind and leave you pondering unless you do this workshop where it will all be explained. Based in the reality of everyday financial decisions you will come to understand the importance of budgeting, how to read a profit and loss statement and a balance sheet and make really sound decisions about money.

Presenter: Caron Byrne

Caron is a qualified chartered accountant with over 30 years’ experience working locally & abroad in all aspects of financial & management accounting, corporate reporting, compliance & governance. She has performed both paid & voluntary board roles with global corporates through to smaller private companies, across a broad range of sectors including consulting engineering & construction, entertainment & service sectors, manufacturing, education and Not-for-Profits.

To register, click here.

Co-design and Co-production

With VMIAC: Thurs 14th Jan 2-4pm. Co‑design and co-production are critical concepts in mental health services and programs because they ensure that consumers have a central voice in creation, implementation and evaluation of all levels of service delivery. The principles can be applied in individual service plans, new design, systems change and correcting power imbalances. These terms are frequently used however, often there is lack of understanding of what they mean and how to ensure they are applied correctly. This workshop will help you understand the concepts and the processes of co-design.

Presenter: TBA

To register, click here.

Representing the Consumer Voice

With Wanda Bennett: Thurs 14 Jan 4-6pm. This informal workshop will assist consumers who are involved in a range of settings where you are presenting on behalf of the consumer; including in co-design, planning services, presenting at meetings or on committees. It is a huge responsibility to speak on the issues that consumers are concerned about and this workshop will answer your questions in an creative and friendly manner.

Presenter: Wanda Bennett

With many years as a Consumer worker, Wanda has extensive experience in presenting the voice of consumers in a wide range of settings.

To register, click here.

Social change activism

With VMIAC: Thurs 21 Jan 4-6pm. One of the four key goals in the VMIAC strategic plan is about taking radical change. There are times when we chose to work inside the system and other times when we chose to work outside. In both cases we want to see change occur at a number of levels from what happens to us as individuals through to changes needed in the future system. There are new ways that young people are using and making a major difference and what can we learn from them? This workshop is an introduction to strategies for change and how this can be brought about.

Presenter: A panel will be brought together for this workshop.

To register, click here.

Building a Better Business Case – Taking Action on Evidence

With Brent Allan: Thursday 28th January. In any business, including not-for-profit organisations, resources are finite, and opportunities come at a cost. In pursuing our mission and meeting the needs of our constituents, organisations continually ask themselves several questions:

  • What projects should we pursue?
  • What products or services should we offer?
  • How do we best utilise resources?

The answers are not simple, and they need to be supported by research and evidence. To facilitate decision-making, research, facts, and data that support certain decisions are presented as a business case. 

Business cases are critical pieces of project documentation that outline a problem or an opportunity and provide options to solve it. The aim of a business case is to convince decision-makers that a particular course of action will result in the best outcome for our organisation.

This short online workshop will provide you with the understand of how to create and present a business case effectively. We will explore different types of business cases, provide you with an easy to understand template to follow as well as some handy hints on building a business case in a not-for-profit environment

Presenter: Brent Allen

Brent is the Consumer Research Development Officer with VMIAC and has a long career in the consumer health movement both with Australia and abroad. He has held senior advisor positions with the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine based in Sydney (Australia) as well as with the International Council of AIDS Service Organisations based in Toronto (Canada) and is the civil society representative to the International AIDS Society’s Global Industry Liaison Forum (Geneva). 

Brent has been working in the community response to HIV/AIDS for over 25 years across a number of countries and has qualifications in health education, business, community services management as well as public and social health experience with local, state and federal governments, and internationally with the UNDP, UNAIDS and the WHO.

To register, click here.

Public Speaking

With Tricia Szirom: 21 Jan 4-6pm. This is perhaps the most challenging and stressful situation for everyone. Thinking through what we want to say and how we will have the greatest impact can sometimes raise our stress levels beyond our ability to cope. There are some simple tips that we can learn and practice which are helpful in telling our stories and having our voices heard in meetings and on committees. This interactive workshop will introduce you to some of these tools and help identify how to have the most impact. Come expecting to try out a few different options for yourself.

Presenter: Dr Tricia Szirom

Like many people Tricia has struggled with speaking publicly and found ways to do it that lessen the stress. She has conducted workshops for a wide range of people on how to present at meetings, facilitate groups of all sizes and make public presentations designed to have your voice heard. Her work includes such techniques as NLP, World Café, Appreciative Inquiry and Powerful Presentations; she has worked with people from all walks of life. Her books include Greater Expectations and Far, far greater things – resources for facilitators of women/s groups.

To register, click here.