Brisbane South - April-June 2019

Introducing a Lived Experience Workforce Community of Practice (pilot project) for those who work or volunteer in community based organisations within the Brisbane South PHN region.


The aim of this pilot project is to build a foundation for a Lived Experience Workforce Community of Practice to grow and flourish in the Brisbane south region. This project is funded until 30 June 2019 to:

  • be co-designed with people with lived experience who are engaged with organisations either in a voluntary or paid capacity

  • encourage collaboration within the Brisbane south region

  • build capacity of emerging peer leaders wherever possible

  • complement other organisational support practices

  • develop a flexible framework to meet the needs of different areas within the region.

Project team

Brisbane South PHN have engaged Campfire Co-op and Red Thread Stories Inc to assist in developing the project and seek support from key partners.

Campfire Co-op and Red Thread Stories work in collaborative and creative ways to help groups work together well, and achieve shared goals. A core project team comprising of Jen Barrkman, Mel Geltch and Pam Burley will manage the project, with the support of a wider project team. Between them they have backgrounds working with and caring for people with a lived experience. Other team members will assist as needed. Brett Stevens, Program Officer from the Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs team will be the primary contact from Brisbane South PHN.

What we are asking of partners

  • Identify potential participants who work or volunteer in your or other community organisations in the Brisbane South PHN region who may benefit from a Community of Practice.

  • Share the invitation for our events between March and June 2019.  

  • Support the project by offering these participants time to attend these events if they wish to. Travel expenses need to be covered by the participant or their organisation.


The primary focus will be on inviting individuals who work or volunteer in community organisations in the Brisbane South PHN region who are largely unsupported or may not be in a lived experience identified work role. We acknowledge the expertise and knowledge of peer workers from mental health services and they will be very welcome to contribute and participate.


Please note that voluntary participation is important.

Next steps

Following the two-day co-design event, a Community of Practice has formed. The next 5 events, held before the end of June, will support participants to develop skills to sustain it in the longer term. Participants of the co-design process may or may not be involved in subsequent events.

In support of this project we would appreciate if you could please share this information through your networks. You are also very welcome to call Jen or Mel
if you have any questions:

Jen Barrkman

E: jen@barrkman.com

M: 0405 110 955

Mel Geltch  

E: mel@campfire.coop

M: 0400 412 498

Coming events

Event 4 - Designing projects together
Tuesday 4 June  9.30am-12.30pm 

Event 5 - Hosting a participatory meeting 

Wednesday 26 June  9.30am-1.30pm (with lunch)

Event 6 - Celebration & storytelling
Wednesday 26 June  12.30pm-4.30pm (with lunch)


Click on the event to register

Download the full invitation

Inline Campfire Co-op Logo - Colour.png

This project is funded by Brisbane South PHN with funding from the Australian Government through the PHN Program.