Lived Experience Advisory Group

The Lived Experience Advisory Group (LEAG) was established in June 2016 and has advisory members broadly representative of Launch Housing clients.

When possible Launch Housing selects members who are:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • Trans and Gender Diverse
  • Young people
  • Older people and, in particular, older women

Additionally, women who have experienced domestic or family violence form part of this group as well as individuals with mental health challenges and people with a disability.

The LEAG is predominantly an advocacy group. Its members also contribute to Launch Housing’s practices and services, and participate in media interviews and community engagement.

LEAG Members Launch Housing

(Image: Launch Housing’s Lived Experience Advisory Group. L to R Tomasi, Helen, Nova, Sim, Sharni, Marcus.)

Launch Housing implemented a Consumer Participation and Leadership Strategy in 2015 to incorporate voices of lived experience into our work.

These voices reflect and drive Launch Housing’s commitment to authentic consumer participation and emphasises consumer choice, access to opportunities and capability building.

Lived experiences of homelessness are central to informing Launch Housing’s services and are crucial to achieving our mission to end homelessness.

Since the LEAG commenced in 2016, its members have been instrumental in improving Launch Housing’s services.

LEAG Work and Achievements 2018-2019

Influencing Launch Housing

  • Participated in staff interviews, inductions, all staff meetings and business planning
  • Reviewed feedback and complaints system to ensure continuous service improvement
  • Reviewed and provided feedback on service delivery training documents
  • Involved in developing draft Launch Housing

Strategy 2020–24

  • Consulted on Crisis Accommodation Report
  • Provided input towards an updated Consumer Participation Strategy Changing perceptions
  • Authored articles for Parity Magazine and spoke at Council for Homeless Persons engagements
  • Participated in interviews with ABC Radio National, ABC Melbourne and the ABC’s 7.30, as well as The Guardian Australia

Systems change

  • Involved in research for the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System
  • Participated in Yarra City Council draft Homelessness Strategy
  • Participated in Southern Homeless Services Network (SHSN) Consumer Participation Working Group and Rooming House Summit

LEAG Work and Achievements 2017-2018

In 2017-18 the LEAG influenced practices and services at Launch Housing by:

  • Sitting on staff interview panels.
  • Assisting the Service Development team by lending expertise in the space of gender equity for the Diversity in Data project. This will inform the implementation of more nuanced data collection in Launch Housing’s client management database.
  • Sharing experience with the Pets in Crisis Working Group: LEAG member and Chair, Annie, explained the importance of crisis accommodation where pets are welcomed.

In 2017-18 the LEAG members shared their lived experiences through media and community engagement, including:

  • Four LEAG members were interviewed by the media at the official launch of the Australian Homelessness Monitor.
  • LEAG members supported the development of blog content and participated in other media and communications opportunities throughout the year.
  • LEAG members wrote four articles that were published in the Council to Homeless Persons (CHP) national homelessness journal, Parity.
  • Two LEAG members were involved in the co-design of Infoxchange’s Ask Izzy: Help at Hand project a mobile website that connects people who are in crisis with nearby services.

Launch Housing’s Lived Experience Advisory Group participate in event panels and speaking opportunities. If you have an opportunity that you’d like a LEAG member to attend, please contact Sharon McDonald, Lived Experience Service Development Worker.  [email protected].

Membership of the LEAG is offered via a formal Launch Housing recruitment process, as vacancies arise. Persons with lived experience of homelessness who are interested in joining the LEAG are invited to send an application addressing the Criteria for Participation, as outlined in the Position Description.