I have been working in the mental health field for the past 25 years from a consumer perspective. I like soul and funk music especially local contemporary funk and soul bands because it's fun to dance to. I like shopping for food at the Vic market (cheese is a major downfall for me). I possess lots of great books but seldom actually finish any although I mean to. I have become really interested in using dialogic work as a process for holding space for difficult conversations, or for conversations where there have historically been great power disparities. I find this work an absolute privilege to be part of.
I am a high school English teacher by profession and I also have a Masters in Social Health. For four years I worked as a consumer consultant at Northwest Area Mental Health Service and then for the past 20 years I have worked in academia as a consumer academic. My admissions to hospital were always involuntary and occurred annually over a 13 year period. This experience led me to be interested in human rights and alternatives to clinical approaches to distress.
My current role/work
I currently work as part of a team of consumer academics at the Centre for Mental Health Nursing at the University of Melbourne. My work has involved teaching mental health nurses from a consumer perspective, developing sector training, research and policy development. I promote consumer leadership and coproduction in the work that I do, whether education and training, or research.
I have undertaken introductory Narrative therapy training (intensive); Intentional Peer Support Training and have completed 3 years Open Dialogue training and I work with families/networks on a regular basis. I was a partner in the project that developed the Victorian consumer perspective supervision project and accompanying Framework so I am very familiar with its principles and practices.
My approach to supervision
I take varied approaches to supervision based on the preferences of those who choose to work with me. Some of the people I work with like highly structured sessions, such as working from the St Luke's supervision cards, while others like to 'see what's on top' on the day of meeting. All approaches are welcomed. I see supervision as a curated, reflective space from which you can explore work challenges with the aim of finding solutions, or being able to identify, or more deeply understanding those challenges. I adopt a systems view in my work which means that together, we can explore contexts, work environments and organisational structures and how they interact with your role. I adopt a strengths based approach.