Creating mutually beneficial partnerships in lived experience work

Lydia Trowse and Bec Edser, Emerging Minds, Australia, January 2024

Resource Summary

This resource is part of a case study on the Lived Experience Network: a co-designed group of lived experience system advisors established within the South Australian Government’s Department of Human Services (DHS) Early Intervention Research Directorate (EIRD). The Network aims to ensure the voices of children and families are included in the planning, monitoring and review of the Child and Family Support System.

We recommend exploring how and why the Lived Experience Network was formed before reading this resource.

Mutually beneficial, reciprocal partnerships have been proactively created to demonstrate meaningful recognition and respect for the contributions of the Lived Experience Network to the Department of Human Services.

In the following recording (5 minutes, 47 seconds), Network members share how they have been supported to develop and nurture their own confidence, skills, knowledge and networks. They also discuss the ongoing benefits they’ve seen in both their personal lives and professional pursuits.

Reflection activity

Take a moment to consider the following questions:

  • In what ways have members of the Lived Experience Network benefited both personally and professionally from their involvement? What was it that enabled that to happen?
  • What opportunities might your organisation be able to offer lived experience contributors you work with?

For more information on reciprocal partnerships, visit the ‘Developing skills’ section of our Child and Family Partnerships Toolkit.

Emerging Minds would like to acknowledge the following Lived Experience Network Alumni, consultants and coordinator who have so generously shared their insights and wisdom for this project:

Shelly, Mirja, Jasmine, Wei, Jamie, Lemy, Chloe, Dana, Mel and Yasmin.

We thank them for investing their time and energy into creating this case study for others to learn from. You can learn more about what the alumni are up to now.

For more examples of ways to incorporate lived experience wisdom into your practice, please check out our other child and family partnership case studies.

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