Friday 20 May Day two - Concurrent sessions 1.55-2.55 pm



This session will explore the intersection of mental illnes with family violence, alcohol and other drugs and trauma.


  1. Deb Tsorbaris - CEO, Centre for excellence in child and family welfare.
  2. Sam Biondo - CEO, Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association
  3. Carol Vale - Service Response and Development Leader, McAuley Community Services for Women
  4. Belinda Stevens - Director of Workforce Development, VACCHO


There was no formal powerpoint as part of this session.




Presentation one

Aligning consumer and carer peer workers in parallel work practice.

This presentation will provide the audience with an overview of how the principles of Shery Mead’s Intentional Peer Support and the CHIME model of recovery can be applied to carer peer work.  Focussing on a family member’s own recovery as a separate but perhaps parallel journey to their loved ones, can support the potential of hope and recovery for all. The audience will be invited to consider the parallel practice of carer and consumer peer work and reflect on strengths, challenges and ways forward in regards to this approach.


Cassy Nunan, Consultant Consumer Advocacy and Leadership, MI Fellowship

Cassy Nunan (BA Hons, Grad Dip Couns’) is MI Fellowship’s Consultant Consumer Advocacy and Leadership. Cassy is a trained counsellor who has 12 years experience working in community mental health.  She has performed multiple roles at MI Fellowship, and her contribution includes:  Research and development of the peer facilitated MI Recovery Program, facilitation of MI Recovery groups, development of peer workforce framework and peer specialist training, delivery of peer specialist trainings and peer hub establishment workshops, delivery of peer supervisor training. Cassy has presented on peer workforce development and peer education at multiple conferences and forums in Australia and internationally.  Lived experience informs and motivates Cassy’s work values. She is passionate about justice and inclusion for people experience mental health challenges, and their families. Cassy is currently finishing a cross-disciplinary PhD in English and Social Work.


Rachael Lovelock, Consultant Consumer Carer Leadership and Advocacy, MI Fellowship

Rachael Lovelock is MI Fellowship’s Consultant Carer Leadership and Advocacy and an experienced Family Support Practitioner who utilises her own lived experience of caring to lead, develop, implement and advocate for family inclusive practice, models of service and carer workforce development.  Drawing on her background in community development Rachael believes in building strong partnerships, working cohesively and co-designing programs that include lived experience.


Rachael is passionate about working with families and her approach is informed by a belief that those in caring roles experience their own unique journey which requires personalised and individual support in their own right.




Presentation two

The role of natural supports, space and place, and sense of belonging in recovery from mental illness.

Research suggests an interrelationship between natural supports, space and place, and sense of belonging in recovery from mental illness (Golden City Support Services, 2013; Sidebotham, 2014), and that these factors contribute to social inclusion and community participation. However, little is known about the role of these factors in recovery from the perspectives of people with mental illness. The MI Fellowship Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) Program based in Mornington Peninsula Victoria is a community-based recovery service aimed at increasing social inclusion and community participation.


This paper outlines qualitative research completed at the MI Fellowship PHaMs Program exploring the role of natural supports, space and place, and sense of belonging in recovery from mental illness; and investigating the influence of the PHaMs Program on experiences of natural supports, space and place, and sense of belonging. Four new PHaMs Program clients completed in-depth interviews incorporating photo elicitation methods across two time-points: on commencing the PHaMs Program and one month later. Data analysis drew on thematic analysis and narrative approaches.


Participants’ recovery was influenced by an interplay of natural supports, space and place, and sense of belonging, confirming previous research findings. Participants’ negative life experiences shaped their natural supports, use of space and place, and sense of belonging. A range of natural supports, including spaces and places, were identified by participants that contributed to sense of belonging and supported recovery.

The PHaMs Program positively contributed to the participants’ natural supports, use of space and place, and sense of belonging. The findings will inform the development of the MI Fellowship PHaMs Program, and potentially other programs outside the MI Fellowship, in promoting personal recovery, social inclusion and community participation to facilitate improved outcomes for clients.




Jade Houston - Honours Research Graduate, Monash University
Dr Primrose Lentin - Senior Lecturer, Department of Occupational Therapy, Monash University
Sean Hegarty - General Manager Operations, MI Fellowship Victoria
Emma Ladd - Regional Manager Quality and Service Management, MI Fellowship Victoria


- Part 1
- Part 2




Presentation one

Each innovation lab – through the eyes of co-design.

This is a collaborative presentation in partnership with clients & carers who were involved in the advising, planning, facilitation and participation in the EACH Innovation Lab, a Service Model Development event to co-design the new EACH Service Model through human centred design.


The week long Lab involved clients, carers and service recipients across the diverse services of EACH, who engaged with proposed Service Model Principles to test their viability and provide feedback on the ideal service experience. This event provided a safe space to welcome complaints, hear client experiences and explore the impact of collaboration in the pursuit of developing a customer promise.


This presentation will provide the client experience of the Lab through their eyes and the outcomes of this innovative and creative way to co-design the ideal service model principles. It includes the following key concepts:


  • Hope and recovery – Through the Innovation Lab, the way in which the Service Model has been designed has focused on a hopeful future for development of services. The importance of hopeful service delivery was a key theme that came out of the Lab sessions.
  • Innovation – Using human centred design, the Lab provided a new and creative way of working with clients and carers.
  • Co-Design – The Lab sessions were co-designed and facilitated by clients, carers and staff of EACH – Social and Community Health.
  • Peer-led – This presentation will be co-designed and co-presented by clients and carers of EACH.
  • Transformation – Through working together with staff, clients and carers, the Lab focused on how we can create a better future for people attending our service and offered insights into how our systems might transform to meet their needs.
  • Empowerment – Through co-designing and facilitating the Lab and this conference presentation, we can empower the community, our clients and carers to have a voice in the way that we work and the way that services are designed in the future.


Jenni Thompson, Manager, EACH Knox Social and Community Health Service

Jenni Thompson is the Manager of Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Counselling Programs (Federal) at EACH Knox Social and Community Health Service. Jenni is a Psychotherapist (Gestalt) who has worked in the Not for Profit sector for 30 years and the last 19 years in the AOD sector. Jenni has extensive experience in providing therapeutic counselling, training and program development in both out-patient counselling and as Program Director of a large residential drug rehabilitation program. Jenni has led the EACH ATOD team (Knox) in the implementation of a range of innovative therapeutic methods including Trauma Informed Care, Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention, Schema Therapy & Acceptance & Commitment Therapy for substance use concerns, the establishment of a smoking cessation clinic, Peer Support Program, Project HOPE and the inclusion of families and clients as collaborative partners in the treatment process and program development using co-design. Jenni works full time for EACH combining roles of Program Management and Service Model Development in the Strategy, Planning & Development Team.


- Part 1
- Part 2
- Part 3



Presentation two

 Work for wellness: creating innovative employment pathways for people with a mental illness.

Research tells us that people with a mental illness experience double the unemployment rate of those without a mental illness. This is despite a large proportion of people with a mental illness wanting to work and seeing it as important to their wellbeing.


Ostara Australia is Australia’s largest mental health specialist in the Disability Employment Services sector. Our extensive experience working with people with mental illness who are also long term unemployed has shown us that looking for work can be stressful and can exacerbate mental health issues – especially anxiety and low self-esteem, issues that a large proportion of our clients are already experiencing.


On the other hand, finding a job can be beneficial to a person’s mental health through opportunities to regain a routine, a more hopeful future, a better standard of living and social interaction.


Ostara Australia recognised that a program that provided tailored, intensive interventions through emotional and mental support, followed by vocational skills training, would give these participants the very best chance of finding a meaningful and sustainable job. 


We engaged a psychologist to help us develop a program that could provide participants with a toolkit of skills and strategies to increase their “job readiness” – that is, able to manage their anxiety and other mental health issues through addressing the various emotional triggers that can arise in the workplace.  


Our innovative “Work for Wellness” program aims to build confidence, resilience and work-related skills in people with significant mental health issues that may affect their ability to remain in work or to gain employment.  It is delivered as a six week course through practical workshops, while also offering support with individual challenges through counselling and mentoring.


The program combines Dialectical Behaviour Therapy and other recognised psychological principals with Eastern Meditative practices which allow participants to address their emotional barriers to employment and build on their sense of self confidence and self-esteem, while also building important job skills.


By building emotional and mental resilience, the Work for Wellness program helps provide participants with a feeling of hope and increased confidence in putting themselves forward for roles. In improving their sense of wellbeing while also preparing them for employment, it also sets them on the road to recovery from their illness. 


Work for Wellness has achieved a 28% placement rate and a 48% outcome at 26 weeks. For a program that works with some of the most disadvantaged job seekers, these figures help demonstrate the resilience and self-management skills that the program instils in its participants.


With the proposed NDIS model to focus on the consumer as having choice in which support options they spend their money on, having a program that specialises in assisting people with a mental illness to become job ready – and that has been shown to successfully place people into sustainable employment – will be key to attracting consumers and to the ongoing success of the program.


Faiza Yunus, Trainer, Ostara

Faiza Yunus is a Trainer at Ostara Australia delivering the “Work for Wellness” program both for men and women living with a mental illness. For the ten years before coming to Ostara Australia Faiza worked as a Performance Coach, Facilitator and an Entrepreneur coaching clients who were transitioning through different careers. For around eight years during this period she also ran her own consultancy business specialising in Corporate Training and Performance Coaching.  Prior to that she worked in the Higher Education sector for fifteen years both in Australia and New Zealand. Faiza specialises in training, motivating and coaching clients who have come through disadvantaged backgrounds to overcome their barriers and find suitable employment.


Marie Dowling


There was no formal powerpoint as part of this presentation.




Presentation one

Powerful women delivering powerful change:  how a women-centred network helps consumers replace despair with hope and gain collective strength.

The Women’s Mental Health Network Victoria is an innovative organisation that aims to embed a culture of safer gender-sensitive care into our mental health services, promoting a healing environment for women consumers. The Network has been a front-runner in co-design and co-production of projects involving consumers, carers and service providers from its establishment in1988.


Key to the success and collaborative nature of the network is the combination of consumers, carers and professionals (and combinations of these) working together to promote awareness of issues that impact on women’s mental health. Central to the network is the recognition of consumers’ lived experience and their expertise and ability to partner in their own recovery.


The process of collaboration is strongly demonstrated in the diverse make-up of our Committee of Management and direction of the organisation; and through to the specific projects we undertake.  A typical example is the development and delivery of the ‘Building Gender Sensitivity and Safe Practice’ training. The modules were developed in consultation with key stakeholders including service providers, clinicians, managers, consumers, carers, CALD groups and the LGBTI community.


Training modules were co-delivered to Victorian acute mental health inpatient units through collaboration with the Centre for Psychiatric Nursing. Women consumers co-delivered the modules, illustrating their experiences and providing ‘real life’ examples of the impact or lack of gender sensitivity and safety. 


Committee members and other Network members have been empowered through the Network’s activities, effective lobbying and rights work. The Network’s list of achievements is interlinked with the lives of women with mental illness. These include successful lobbying government in order to achieve policy change and funding toward increasing gender sensitivity and safety.


Over the last 3 years the Network has successfully trained women with lived experience to tell their own stories through delivery of a unique program. There is no better way to motivate services and staff than by consumers telling it like it is. Doing this, has a healing and uplifting effect on women who find the courage to put their pain into words for others.


Jude Stamp will discuss training and support offered to women through the ‘Women Speak Out’ and ‘Breaking the Silence’ programs. In these programs women are encouraged to tell their stories at conferences, training sessions, through media opportunities and to build their confidence to join boards and committees.


Julie Dempsey will talk about how the Network has been a powerful influence in her Recovery journey enabling both professional and personal growth.


Sabin Fernbacher will talk about her experience of working collaboratively with women with lived experience from a service provider and committee member point of view. 


Bringing together the passion, expertise, innovation, hope and determination of consumers, carers and workers makes for a powerful voice of change.


Julie Dempsey, Chair Committee of Management, Women’s Mental Health Network Victoria

Julie Dempsey has used psychiatric services since 1982, with many admissions to acute in-patient wards as an involuntary patient. Julie is very proactive in consumer rights and is a consumer consultant at Forensicare in the secure setting of Thomas Embling Hospital. Julie has been an active member of the Network since 2005, providing consumer perspectives in facilitating the Listening Events and delivering gender-sensitive training. She has a BA from Monash Uni which informs her public speaking on consumer issues at forums, conferences and workplaces as well as her publications in the mental health field.


Jude Stamp, Consumer and Facilitator, Women’s Mental Health Network Victoria

Jude Stamp is a consumer and a facilitator in gender sensitivity training for acute inpatient unit staff. She has completed a study investigating what makes women feel safe or unsafe when receiving care in inpatient units in Victoria. Jude has a degree in Human Services and spent ten years as a consumer consultant for Southern Health. She believes passionately in the right of consumers to play an active part in their own care and has a particular interest in promoting positive relationships between consumers and service providers.


Dr Sabin Fernbacher, Vice Chair Committee of Management, Women’s Mental Health Network Victoria

Sabin Fernbacher works at the Northern Area Mental Health Service in service development across Aboriginal and Women’s mental health and Families where a Parent has a Mental Illness. She is passionate about working collaboratively on systemic change to increase gender sensitivity and safety and cultural safety for Aboriginal people in mental health care. Sabin is the Vice Chair of the Committee of Management of the Network. She relishes the opportunity to co-work with women with lived experience, in particular the women on the COM.







Presentation one

Developing peer workers to drive a contemporary metnal health system.

The peer support workforce is made up of individuals who have a lived experience of mental health either as a person who has lived with a mental illness or as a carer of someone who has experienced mental ill health.


In a review of mental health workforce requirements by the National Mental Health Commission, a number of strategies have been identified as being effective and developing and supporting the role of peer support workers in mental health services.  One strategy outlined was, ‘to train peer workers with skills and tasks required by their roles including using their recovery story to benefit consumers, effective listening skills, creating positive relationships, goal identification and setting, responding to an emergency situation, documentation requirements, ethics and confidentiality, boundaries, self-care and resolving conflicts in the workplace (Ridoutt K, Pilbeam V and Perkins D 2014, Final report on workforce requirements in support of the 2014 National Review of Mental Health Programs and Services, National Mental Health Commission, p.41).


This presentation will outline how the Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work has been developed as a national qualification to meet the above goal.  It will describe:

  • The national qualification development process
  • Tailoring the qualification for a Victorian context, including the selection of electives that suit a local workforce
  • Design and development of the course using previous training experience, and advice from the broad-based steering committee
  • The partnership between Wodonga TAFE and VICSERV that facilitated the delivery of this course
  • Delivery modes and structure to meet the needs of local employers
  • Improving access to this qualification through subsidies, traineeships and formalised volunteering arrangements
  • Future plans


This presentation will describe how the design and delivery of this qualification works towards the strategy outlined in the Victorian 10-year mental health plan to ‘support mental health workers and peer support workers to provide high quality care’ (DHS 2015, Victoria’s 10-year mental health plan. Victorian Government, Melbourne).


Sue Harrison - Senior Training Consultant, VICSERV

Sue has been working with VICSERV since 2010. She has extensive experience in community mental health service delivery, across a range of adult and aged mental health programs. She also has expertise in training, program development and evaluation, and is passionate about the design and delivery of high quality training packages.


John Katsourakis - Education and Training Manager, VICSERV




Presentation two

Peer worker traineeship… innovation in the emerging community mental health sector.

There is an increasing movement in mental health care towards the employment of individuals with a lived experience of mental health recovery as Peer Support Workers. The peer model acknowledges that people who have similar experiences can better relate to others who may have experienced mental health challenges and can consequently offer more authentic empathy and validation to those people who are still recovering their mental health.


It is well acknowledged that peer-led intervention provides individuals and families with increased knowledge of the mental health recovery process, enhances individual feelings of empowerment and self-righting, and leads to an improved quality of life. Peer workers judiciously use their own experience of adversity and overcoming mental health challenges to support others who are currently struggling.


However with the roll out of the NDIS in the Barwon region it has had implications for the role of peer work to support individuals and family members. The current understanding of peer work within the NDIS, and the funding requirements under the scheme has limited the capacity for the growth or continuation of peer work in a community mental health setting. This limitation is effectively moving against the tide of change where mental health peer work is increasingly recognised and growing.


Unfortunately, in this new disability focused system, there are reduced incentives for community mental health organisations to develop, expand or enhance their lived experience workforce. To address some of the above limitations in the scheme, Pathways has recently piloted a new Peer Support model employing six individuals with a lived experience of mental health challenges in an official Traineeship in Mental Health Peer Work. This pilot project employs six people with a lived experience of mental health recovery, to be employed as Peer (Consumer) Support Workers.


The Traineeship provides formal mentoring and support in the workplace, and the peer workers complete a range of training and professional development options including the nationally accredited, Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work.


At the conclusion of the traineeship, Trainees will be supported to apply for ongoing work with Pathways or within the community sector. The Peer Worker Traineeship initiative is supported by a broadly representative steering committee of local community service organisations and State based peak body organisations. In addition, a thorough and independent evaluation has commenced.


Brooke Baxter, Executive Strategic Operations & Development, Pathways

Brooke Baxter is an Executive at Pathways in the role of Strategic Operations and Development. For the last three years, Brooke has had a lead role in supporting Pathways transition to the NDIS, responsible for creating and implementing change management strategies to ensure that Pathways was well positioned for the transition. This has included the development of business processes, systems and technology, and the redesign of programs. Brooke has extensive project management experience in the Mental Health, Education and Family Services sector. Brooke’s passion is to inspire and develop people to build their knowledge and skills, to develop new approaches, and different ways of thinking. Brooke has a Bachelor of Social Work and most recently completed her Masters of Human Service Management, completing a research study on the personal and professional impact on support workers involved in the NDIS in the Barwon region.


James McLure, Peer Support Worker, Pathways

James McLure is currently employed by Pathways Mental Health and Wellbeing Services in the role of Peer Support Worker in the Personal Helpers and Mentors (PHaMs) Employment Service. He has held this role for two and a half years and has mentored, supported and being a companion to over forty people recovering their mental health during this time. James also worked as a Project Officer Peer Support where he collaborated with a team within Pathways and externally to establish a framework for the peer project (six people training up to be peer support workers, funded by Give Where You Live). Furthermore, James has also taken on a mentoring role for the six peer trainees as they traverse the employment landscape. James has a lived experience of impaired mental health and recovery, has written a book on his experiences entitled ‘Eight Stones: My journey through schizophrenia and depression’ and is in the process of writing another book documenting his transformation to mental health and happiness. James has also played AFL football for Geelong, gained a doctorate in Clinical Pharmacology at Flinders University, and had a football career in the SANFL with Woodville West Torrens Football Club.






Presentation one

Stories of recovery: incorporating peer support into eating disorder treatment services.

Sharing stories of recovery from a mental illness can be a powerful way to promote hope, inspiration and optimism among groups of people currently receiving treatment.  For people experiencing an eating disorder such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa or Binge Eating Disorder, hearing first-hand accounts from people who have recovered provides a unique kind of peer support not commonly found in existing eating disorder treatment services across Victoria.


Eating Disorders Victoria has long been an advocate of peer support and the affiliation that comes from allowing people to simply ‘be’, outside of the constraints of traditional relationships that characterise one person as the patient and one as the professional (Mead, 2001). While tertiary treatment services for eating disorders have historically combined medical and allied health services, there has been an emphasis on the traditional expert/patient relationship and fewer opportunities for structured peer support. Medical and community models of care are now converging towards a complementary and holistic approach, and health service providers increasingly reflect a variety of available treatment options.


In 2015, EDV revised the ‘Stories of Recovery’ program, whereby trained and recovered speakers are supported to share aspects of their experience with groups of patients receiving hospital-based treatment for an eating disorder. The program provides valuable insight into different perspectives on recovery, allowing patients to hear about the practical aspects of the recovery process that were both positive and challenging for the speaker. In sharing these experiences, EDV aims to emphasise the individual nature of recovery and further destigmatise this mental illness. To date, the program has consistently received positive feedback emphasising the significance of being able to talk to someone who identifies as recovered, and being able to discuss practical strategies that assisted them during their recovery.


This presentation by Eating Disorders Victoria discusses the development of the Stories of Recovery program to date, including recent establishment of partnerships with key tertiary facilities and the incidental benefits afforded to speakers taking part. We will share the successes, challenges, obstacles, solutions and future opportunities identified so far, and touch on how other organisations might incorporate formal aspects of lived experience to work innovatively across treatment settings, enhance sector collaboration and provide greater choice to consumers.


Eating Disorders Victoria is a state-wide non-profit organisation that provides information, support, education and treatment services to people with eating disorders and related issues, as well as their families, schools and health professionals. The organisation’s values of Respect, Acceptance and Hope are upheld at all levels within the organisation, alongside the belief that recovery from an eating disorder is possible for everyone. Employing the voice of people with lived experience of an eating disorder is one way that EDV promotes hope and illustrates the possibility of recovery for people experiencing this increasingly prevalent mental illness.


Cathy Wyett - Client Services Manager, Eating Disorders Victoria





Presentation two

Reducing stigma and promoting hope through the lived experience of suicide.

This presentation will discuss how we can safely present the experiences of people who have attempted suicide via different mediums to help reduce stigma. In 2014, SANE Australia and the University of New England conducted qualitative research to examine the experiences of people who have attempted suicide to explore what helped or hindered them around the time of the suicide attempt. This resulted in a report called Lessons For Life. SANE has since produced a film that shows five participants talking about their experience of recovery after a suicide attempt. The video represents another way to promote the messages from the Lessons for Life report.


The Lessons for Life film is aimed at reducing the stigma associated with attempted suicide. It will be used to inform the general public and also health professionals. Misunderstanding, stigma, and judgmental attitudes can be a huge barrier to people seeking help and opening up about their suicidal feelings. Many people feel particularly concerned about the assumption that suicide is selfish or attention seeking.


Another important message that we wish to convey in the film is that people who attempt suicide can recover and those who have survived an attempt are often strong and resilient. There are a variety of factors that can aid people in their recovery including; access to professional supports, understanding from family and friends, and increased coping skills. People who have attempted suicide can teach us much about the areas we need to work in to prevent suicide.


It is hoped that both the Lessons for Life report and short film can be used to inform suicide prevention and intervention programs and give voice to an often disenfranchised group of people – those with lived experience of suicide.


This abstract is focused on how we can turn key messages learned through research into an easily accessible message aimed to reduce stigma, and promote hope and recovery. There has been little exploration of the lived experience of those who attempt suicide in Australia, creating a gap in the current literature.  Similarly, there are few opportunities for the wider public to hear messages direct from individuals with lived experience of suicide. The Lessons for Life video was published on YouTube and SANE held a short survey to examine the key message/s taken. Three key themes were identified: there is hope, there is help available and recovery is possible.


From an anonymous respondent:


‘I have been suicidal and felt isolated and misunderstood. Learning that I am not alone in these feelings was a huge step for me towards recovery. This is a very important and valuable tool for families and others who are seeking to support people living with suicidal idealization.’


By exposing people to the real life experiences of suicide attempt survivors this promotes a strong message of hope and recovery and with the use of technology we have been able to reach a wider audience and encourage people to seek help if they, or someone they know are suicidal.


Samara Gray - Project Manager, SANE

Samara Gray has worked as the Suicide Prevention Project Officer at SANE Australia since January 2013. Samara’s background is in psychology and she is currently completing a Masters of Professional Psychology. Her passions include suicide prevention, dual diagnosis and improving the lives of people with mental illness. Samara is an experienced mental health telephone advisor and as the SP project officer assisted Sarah Coker (SANE’s SP Project Manager) with the qualitative research and the development, dissemination and review of associated resources, such as Lessons for Life.






Presentation one

Goal setting challenges: working with ambivalence and conflicting expectations.

The theme Towards Recovery immediately evokes an image of moving forward in the direction of a preferred destination.  This picture sits comfortably with the aims of mental health services to assist consumers reach their goals.  However, goal setting is notoriously difficult and can be viewed as a double-edged sword.  On the one hand, it seems obvious that helping consumers set and achieve goals is absolutely in keeping with best practice and yet when it is forced it can also be the biggest barrier towards successful recovery for many people.  No one enjoys being coerced into anything they are not ready for, and in most cases we stubbornly resist any outside efforts to convince, cajole or force us into change, even when we know deep down it would be for our own betterment if we did.


Services are increasingly geared towards quick outcomes: we are urged to find out what the client wants and to make it happen quickly.  Unfortunately, change of any description not only produces gains but also loss.  For this reason we are all prone to degrees of ambivalence when we consider what we want to do with our lives.  I might hate my job and long to take the plunge and change career paths, but I’m also rather fond of the security my current position provides.  These two opposing views can make me dither endlessly.


A person centred approach alongside the use of Motivational Interviewing can be extremely helpful in assisting people to assess their options and move towards the change that is right for them at the time when they are ready.  This includes understanding the change process, which is essential to help workers navigate the difficulties people have when they consider their choices, and to make sure they do so in ways that will not create discord in the relationship (the biggest barrier to a genuinely respectful and collaborative working alliance).


This presentation will explain the concepts of both the Person Centred approach and Motivational Interviewing and discuss the inevitable but not necessarily insurmountable conflict these methods will create between what is right for the consumer and what is right for the organisation.  It will hopefully start a conversation about ways in which services can deliver programs that truly reflect the person centred approach, without paying it lip service.


Kaz Mitchell, Trainer, VICSERV

Kaz Mitchell is a fully qualified counsellor with 30 years’ experience supporting clients with their mental health and goal setting.   She provides individual and couples counselling, with a strong focus on supporting clients to focus on what is important in their lives and to feel motivated to make whatever changes they have in mind.  She also teaches in the Bachelor of Counselling course at the Australian College of Applied Psychology and is a trainer at VICSERV.





Presentation two

A holistic approach to outcome indicators of success within a non-government organisation.

WALSH Trust is a community organisation that since 1988 has offered a range of mental health support services in West Auckland. Beginning with a single house offering supported accommodation, WALSH Trust, through a number of contracts, now offers housing and recovery services, mobile community support, training, peer support and employment services.


The chorus for outcomes represented in meaningful and relevant measures has never been louder. Since 2003, applying US philosopher Ken Wilber’s integral framework, WALSH Trust has explored a broad and holistic approach to strategic planning and the identification, assessment and understanding of organisational outcomes.


At the same time there has been a quantum leap in the sophistication and content of our digital information systems – particularly due to the introduction of PRIMHD. In 2016 while we can regard ourselves as information rich; we know more about what we are doing than ever before. However we are now challenged to convert this information into knowledge and understanding that has meaning, is accessible, and is reflective of what is being achieved both across the organisation and in service delivery.  Shifting consideration of outcomes as a discrete project to become integrated into “business as usual” remains perhaps our greatest challenge.


This presentation will describe the framework and its introduction, the impact such an approach has had on organisational culture and work practices, and the tools and measures that have been utilised.  Also discussed will be some of the results (WHOQoL and LSP 16) and challenges in implementing and considering “outcomes”.


Rob Warriner, Chief Executive, WALSH Trust

Rob Warriner has worked in the community based NGOs (non-government organisations) since 1993. Since 2003 he has been employed as the CEO of WALSH Trust in Auckland, New Zealand.  Rob is a Board member of Platform (Platform is the national association of non-government mental health and addiction services) and Co-Chair of the Waitemata District Health Board Provider Executive Group.


- Part 1
- Part 2
- Part 3
- Part 4
- Part 5