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dialogue : masterclass webinars 

lived experience leadership


Brook RED are delighted to bring you another series of lived experience leadership webinars kindly sponsored by Brisbane North PHN.  This event is peer driven, peer designed & peer delivered.

Each month we will be hosting a 90 minute webinar that will bring you Lived Experience Leaders presenting on a topic that they are passionate about and keen to share their knowledge with you.  
At the end of each presentation there will be some time to post questions and interact.

Registration for each webinar opens two weeks prior to the live event.  If you want to receive emails to notify you about this just click here

march masterclass : niki parry


title : the vital role of people who use drugs in the Australian AOD workforce

During this webinar Niki explores the Australian drug user movement, harm reduction, and the characteristics of the AOD peer workforce


Niki Parry is currently employed by QuIHN (the QLD Injectors Health Network) where she has worked for nearly 10 years. QuIHN is a harm reduction focused AOD service, supporting people who use drugs across QLD. Niki is also a director of QuIVAA- QLD’s drug user organisation- operated by and for people who use drugs. She is active in the national drug user movement, advocating for the health and human rights of people who use drugs, and was previously President of AIVL – the Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League – the Australian peak body representing the voice of people who use drugs. She is passionate about developing and supporting the AOD & harm reduction peer workforce, and promotes lived/living experience across the AOD sector.  


She has a Master of Health Management and is currently completing a Master of Addiction.

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april masterclass : hannah komatsu


title : crisis - frightful foe or beautiful bestie?

Hannah Komatsu has been wondering if we’ve all be giving Crisis a bit of a hard time!  Her own experience originally told the story of Crisis as a dangerous life destroying enemy that held no positive intention for her being.  But over time, Hannah started asking, what if that isn’t the full story? What if Crisis is actually more like that that blunt truth telling friend, that has the guts to tell us the bad news, and works to communicate and highlight the things that need attending to in our lives in order for us to be all who we can be? 

Hannah Whittaker-Komatsu celebrates life outside the box.  Her journey into Peer Support began at 22 as a Peer Educator at the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Since that time, Hannah has journeyed alongside people in a variety of roles.  Her thirst for understanding the human experience led her to training as a social worker, however she believes the most useful knowledge she has gained is that which is societally undervalued and most often completely unacknowledged; the purposeful and intentional processing of one’s own life Identifying what psychiatry called ‘disorders’ and ‘disease’ were in fact her beautiful attempts at survival has been pivotal to her healing journey.  Currently working in facilitation and programme development across a range of organisations, Hannah believes in the value of experiential learning and our right to claim our incredible resourcefulness that includes our experience of distress and difference.  In her spare time, Hannah developed Thriving Madly, a creative community of mutual support that creates spaces for connection and opportunity to craft wisdom together to weather the storms of life.  Hannah is so incredibly grateful for the support of her whānau, and in particular her two chihuahuas, Tomo and Mochi’s patience with her ongoing attempts to cuddle them.

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may masterclass : sonny-jane

title: lived experience counselling - private peer support practice

Join us for this webinar that will introduce folks to the concept of a private peer support practice as well as the role peer counselling can play when seeking professional support.

Sonny Jane will share their journey of choosing this particular path while drawing upon my own lived experience and experience in peer support and the lived experience workforce. 

learning outcomes:

  • Discover the value of peer counselling and peer support

  • Recognise the role of peer counselling in private practice

  • Learn from an honest discussion of the challenges and success involved in opening a private peer support practice model

  • Identify strategies and tools for peer support providers to utilise to provide peer counselling on their own.

Sonny Jane is a peer counsellor, educator and consultant where they bring all aspects of their lived experience and various identities to their approach and work. Sonny Jane is autistic, agender and disabled who has lived experience of neurodivergence, mental illness and trauma and is passionate about advocating against the stigma of mental health professionals living with a diagnosis.

As well as running their own private peer support practice, they have launched a peer-led drop in care space for young adults in Adelaide and regularly provides a lived experience perspective to organisations and government services with past projects including co-designing a peer support program and presenting in an anti-oppressive practice conference

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june masterclass : gareth edwards

title : putting the super-duper into lived experience supervision

Supervision in Lived Experience roles often has more questions than answers, such as:

  • Who gets to get supervision and what do I get?

  • Is it ok to get supervision from my team leader or manager?

  • How is supervision different from other stuff like mentoring and coaching?

  • And how is Lived Experience supervision different from other supervision?

  • (And what is ‘lived experience’ anyway and is it different to consumer/service user??)

This webinar will explore all of these and more to… maybe find some answers, or at least have a chance to understand the questions a little better.

you’ll come away with perspectives on:

  • What Lived Experience is and why it needs its own kind of supervision

  • How to understand the range of your work-support needs and get them met

  • An example of a Lived Experience supervision model and its application

We’ll also be road testing an idea for a regular ‘Lived Experience Gathering’ - a hosted online space and place to connect with others and chew the collective fat on the good, the bad and ugly of working in our sector when it’s both personal and professional.

bio Gareth is a Lived Experience leader who has been providing supervision, mentoring and coaching since 2006. He was born and raised in Manchester with Celtic ancestry in Scotland, Wales and Ireland, and moved to Aotearoa / New Zealand in 2002 ‘for a year’. He has worked both sides of the ditch, most recently developing a Lived Experience strategy for a PHN and supporting Lived Experience work at the Royal Commission in Victoria.

Gareth was a guest speaker at the last BC (Before Covid) dialogue conference in 2019 and shares his journey through music and stories, including his book The Procrastinator’s Guide To Killing Yourself.

Find out more at https://gareth-edwards.com.  

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