Version 1 (2024-06-05) This document incorporates feedback from CoP members during the meeting on 27/03/24

Purpose and aims
  • Discuss, develop, and promote strategies to amplify the voices of diverse lived and living experience within mental health care workplaces and community-based settings.
  • Discuss and identify enablers and systemic barriers that diverse Lived and living experience (LLE) practitioners face when trying to contribute, generate and sustain change (e.g. enablers such as supportive management and whole-of-organisation approaches to embedding lived and living experience; and barriers such as tokenistic consultation).
  • Learn from diverse LLE practitioners’ stories of challenge and triumph when navigating workplaces and the mental health sector as part of the Royal Commission’s reform.
  • Share knowledge relating to fundamental aspects underpinning LLE work (e.g., self-care, values, co-reflection, using an intersectional lens, practicing cultural responsiveness).
Membership criteria

The LLE CoP is open to individuals who are part of the lived and living experience workforce in public
mental health and wellbeing services and other agencies where consumers, carers, and families may
seek out support for their mental health and wellbeing. The LLE CoP recognises that lived experience
is varied and that social and emotional wellbeing issues are understood and experienced differently
based on the various lenses people bring as LLE workers (e.g., their role within the sector and their
experience as consumers, carers, and community members interfacing with mental health and
wellbeing services).

The membership for this COP is intended to be diverse and welcomes people in all aspects of their
identity which includes: ethnicity, sexual and gender diversity, faith, spirituality, economic status,
power, neurodiversity and more elements that encompass life experience.

Lived experience and “diversity” often appear to be considered as two different and distinct
dimensions. The CoP understands that the intersecting point between these two dimensions should
be recognised as a pool of knowledge and experience. In the context of equity, the intersection
between lived experience and diversity also informs situations that diverse LLE practitioners face
when seeking to generate change and create a more inclusive system. VTMH is committed to
continue working with lived and living experience representatives to advocate for a more inclusive
mental health and wellbeing system.

Depending on relevance, guest speakers will be invited to present to the LLE CoP, recognising the
speakers as allies. These people may or may not have LE of mental health challenges.

Recruitment process
  • When recruiting members from relevant communities and networks the objectives of the group and a group description will be emailed.
Expectations of membership
  • This is an online CoP; all members are therefore expected to attend and participate in scheduled bi-monthly meetings via video conferencing (organised using Microsoft Teams).
  • All members are invited to share their experiences and learn from group members. Any documents or other resources that may be considered be useful to the group are welcome to be shared.
  • If people want to present a topic, notice of at least 1 month should be given.
  • Members who are not currently employed in Victoria’s public mental health services will be remunerated at a rate of $60 per hour.
Structure and how the CoP will operate
  • The LLE CoP will be convened by Victorian Transcultural Mental Health.
  • The LLE CoP will meet bi-monthly in the calendar year.
  • Each meeting will be 1 hour in duration.
  • There is a general agenda format used for each session.
  • There is flexibility, if desired, for the chairing of sessions to rotate between members. The chair is responsible for facilitating group discussions to ensure that communication is appropriate and respectful. The agenda and/or objectives will be developed in collaboration with the LLE CoP facilitators (VTMH Consumer Consultant and Carer Consultant), supported by other members of VTMH staff as needed.
  • Members are encouraged to bring topics or presentations to meetings and are welcome to facilitate discussions that are linked to the objectives of the session. Members who wish to present should first notify the LLE CoP facilitators prior to the meeting so that it can be included on the agenda.
  • The LLE CoP is responsive to the learning needs of members. Activities may also occur outside of the bi-monthly meetings, where such opportunities are appropriate and sought out by the group members.
  • Members will be kept informed of LLE CoP agendas, venues, and activities via email.
  • If feedback indicates a need, the TOR will be amended, varied, or modified by the LLE CoP facilitators and group members will be advised of the changes. This document will be reviewed yearly, on or prior to the date of issue.
LLE CoP guidelines
  • We recognise that topics of discussion may trigger both positive and negative emotions. Members are encouraged to utilise self-care practices and to seek out relevant support where required.
  • All CoP members are to ensure this space remains safe and inclusive for members to share their experience and insights.
  • In keeping with the membership criteria, the facilitators will have discretion when reviewing requests for membership.
  • If a member is unable to attend a meeting, they are urged to notify the LLE CoP facilitators by email. Those members who continually do not attend scheduled bi-monthly meetings will be contacted by facilitators to discuss their ongoing membership needs.
  • To ensure a relevant, safe and inclusive online discussion space; the facilitators will have the discretion to remove any content that is not related with the objectives of the CoP.
  • Email is used to share information such as upcoming meetings, news regarding special events, and for sharing documents related to discussions on particular topics. Members are expected to read these prior to the meetings.
  • In the event that there is a disagreement or misunderstanding among group members, LLE CoP members are encouraged to talk with a VTMH LLE facilitator (Naomi or Olivia) to resolve the situation. In the event that the situation cannot be resolved, the VTMH Manager will be invited to facilitate a discussion.
Version history
VersionDate issuedComments
22024-06-14This TOR was reviewed on 12-Jun-2024 by the VTMH LLE CoP
members. Recommendations were incorporated by the Consumer
Consultant on 14-Jun-2024.
12024-06-05This ToR was reviewed by the VTMH Manager and the Monitoring,
Evaluation, and Research Consultant on 25-Mar-2024. It was
subsequently reviewed during the LLE Cop and recommendations
were incorporated.
VTMH Manager and Consumer consultant made final editions on
5 th June 2024.
The TOR will next be reviewed in one year.
12024-05-06Feedback from LLE CoP meeting incorporated.