Centre for Mental Health Learning VICTORIA

New Peer Inside team members! 

Introducing the new Consumer Workforce Development Coordinator and LEW project officers

David Barclay
Consumer Workforce Development Coodinator

Hi all, Dave Barclay here. I’m the Consumer Workforce Development Coordinator here at CMHL.

I began Lived Experience work in 2016 at the Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC) educating consumers on navigating the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) culminating in touring around the state and up the eastern coast, with what we affectionately referred to as an “info-musical” during the rollout phase.

I was a Consumer Consultant for four years at Inner West Area Mental Health Service, running consumer-led sessions for student nurses, providing feedback on co-design and co-production, advocating for change, but by far my fondest memories involved chairing the Consumer Advisory Group known as C:/Drive.

I have a background in the arts and education, both of which continue to be my preferred therapeutic outlets. I’m passionate about transparency, the recovery model, trauma informed care, supported decision making, dual diagnosis, de-stigmatising and normalising mental health matters, and will happily monologue at length on the power of diversity, storytelling and hope.

Organisation Readiness and Cert IV Mental Health Peer Work Student Placement Support 

This project is funded by Mental Health Reform Victoria and has two key components:
  • The development of an organisation readiness program that will create the necessary organisational conditions in mental health services for the sustainable employment, career development, and purposeful use of the unique capabilities of lived experience workers.
  • The development of state-wide models of student supervision to support the placement needs of people enrolled in the Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work.

Hi I'm Sharon and I'm one of two Consumer Workforce Project Leads focusing on Organisational Readiness and Student Placement Support for Cert IV Mental Health Peer Work students. 

Previously I was the Sexual Safety Project Coordinator leading the re-write of a Chief Psychiatrist’s Guideline (VMHILN).  My other LEW positions were at VMIAC (Phoenix Project), St Vincent’s (Footbridge CCU) and Melbourne University (Core Study).  

I began with a Law Degree (Hons), with placements in Mental Health, Guardianship and Disability legal services and also completed a Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy.  I was also a Stand-Up for Mental Health (SFMH) Comedian.  Dedication to systemic improvements in mental health, through accountability, innovation and compassion, is integral to my identity.

Hello everyone.  I joined CMHL as Family/Carer Workforce Development Project Lead at the beginning of September. 
I have over 15 years- relationship focused- Human Resources, Employee Relations and education experience, across large national corporations and the public tertiary education sector; including Harrods (London), Target, the Coles Group and Victoria University. Each of these roles involved organisational change, job redesign, managing and delivering projects with codesign and coproduction principles. I have a Graduate Diploma in HR/ER, a Master’s in Business and am currently studying a Graduate Certificate in Career Development.

After going through the mental health system as a family/carer I became really passionate about wanting to work in mental health; and started doing some family/carer participation work with Orygen and Tandem.

I am delighted to be part of such a great project and to be working with the CMHL team.


Access to Consumer or Family/Carer Perspective Supervision 

This 6-month collaborative project will support access to discipline specific supervision for Consumer and Family/Carer Lived Experience Workers in mental heath. The project involves the launch of the online CMHL Lived Experience supervisor database, the development of processes and systems to support supervisees to select a Consumer or Family/Carer perspective supervisor, as well as payment of supervision sessions. This project will be delivered in partnership with VMIAC and Tandem.  
Hi everyone, I would like to give you a brief overview of my experience within the workforce. I have held consumer leadership roles for over 10 years in both community mental health and clinical services. I’m passionate about consumer developed/managed and run services, along with consumer leadership.  I’ve been instrumental in bringing consumer developed opportunities to Victoria including: Intentional Peer Support, PeerZone, and ECPR, along with facilitating hearing voices groups for over 5 years.  I have been involved in the consumer perspective supervision project from its beginning.  I have held positions in executive management, peer support, individual and systemic advocacy, policy analysis and advice.  My work experience also includes roles in the community sector for over 20 years spanning the homelessness and women specific sectors; working with women in prison as well as working with people who have multiple challenges accessing appropriate services.

Services can be difficult places for lived experience (LE) workers to work within.  I am committed to developing structures that provide support for the LE workforce in both clinical and non-clinical services.
Working from a human rights perspective I’m passionate about the intersectionality of madness, trauma, poverty, isolation and cultural diversity, sexual orientation, disabilities and chronic illnesses and the impact this can have on consumers' journey.

I am currently employed at CMHL in 2 projects.  These are the Lived experience Workforce Supervision project as well as the Organisational Readiness/Student Placement Support project.
Dave, Sharon, Sue and Deb are joining existing CMHL lived experience team members Lorna Downes (Family/Carer Workforce Development Coordinator) and Henrique Van Dumen (VMHILN Consumer Officer) 
For more information about these projects, or to contact any of the CMHL LEW team please email

Centre for Mental Health Learning

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