Strategic Lived Experience Engagement

On 31 August 2023, the Western Australian Government committed to establishing new governance arrangements for the mental health and alcohol and other drugs systems as part of a package of reforms associated with the Independent Review of WA Health System Governance (IGR).

Mental Health, Alcohol and other Drug Governance Structure supports the development and delivery of better outcomes for consumers, carers and the community through the integration of lived experience perspectives.

Within the Commission, the inclusion of Lived Experience expertise has been enabled through three key mechanisms within the new governance arrangements for the mental health, wellbeing, alcohol and other drug (AOD) system.

This includes:

  • Lived Experience Assistant Commissioner roles
  • Assistant Commissioner Aboriginal Affairs
  • Assistant Commissioner Alcohol and Other Drugs
  • Assistant Commissioner Lived Experience (Consumer)

Assistant Commissioner Lived Experience (Significant other) The Assistant Commissioners will be responsible for providing senior leadership, guidance and advice within their areas of expertise to the Commission. They will work with the Commission’s Senior and Executive leadership groups, government and non-government stakeholders and community to provide independent and expert advice to influence system-wide policy, programs and services reform.

To learn more about these roles   Assistant Commissioners (


  • Lived Experience Advisory Group (LEAG)

The LEAG is an advisory body, responsible for ensuring that the voices of consumers, family members and significant others and community members with lived and living experience of mental health, alcohol and other drug use, harms and service use are embedded in the relevant work being undertaken across the mental health and alcohol and other drug systems.

The LEAG is comprised of 12 diverse designated Lived Experience and emerging leader members. The LEAG will be co-chaired by the Assistant Commissioner, Lived Experience Consumer and the Assistant Commissioner, Lived Experience Alcohol and Other Drug.


  • Ministerial Advisory Panel (MAP)

The MAP is an expert advisory and consultative body that provides direct feedback to the Minister about mental health and alcohol and other drug system performance and reform progress. The MAP will be comprised of up to 15 diverse mental health and alcohol and other drugs community sector leaders, experts and Lived Experience Leaders. The MAP will be co-chaired by the Minister and a Lived Experience leader, or community sector leader Co-Chair, appointed by the Minister.

To learn more about these roles   Sector governance (

The Alcohol and Other Drugs Advisory Board (AODAB) provides advice to the Mental Health Commissioner about matters relevant to section 11 functions of the Alcohol and Other Drugs Act 1974. To ensure the advice provided is considerate of the diverse perspectives and experience in the sector AODAB members have expertise across areas impacted by alcohol and other drugs. More information about the work of the AOD AB can be found here.

Additionally, the Mental Health Commission has a number of strategic committees that include lived experience members:

If you are interested in being part of the Commission’s work we invite you to subscribe to Stakeholder Connect.

You can find more information about Stakeholder Connect here.

The National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum (NMHCCF) is the combined national voice for consumers and carers participating in the development of mental health policy and sector development in Australia. Through its membership, the NMHCCF gives mental health consumers and carers the opportunity to meet, form partnerships and be involved in the development and implementation of mental health reform. The Western Australian NMHCCF representatives are Ms Carli Sheers and Ms Hayley Solich.  More information about the work of the NMHCCF, including a list of representatives and how they can be contacted can be found here.

Mental Health Australia maintains a National Register of 60 trained mental health consumer and carer representatives from across Australia, who work at a national level to provide a strong consumer and carer voice in the mental health sector. Members of the National Register use their lived experience, knowledge of the mental health system and communication skills to advocate and promote the issues and concerns of mental health consumers and carers. There are a number of National Register members in Western Australia; their profiles can be found here. More information about the National Register and how to contact them can be found here. 

Formed in 2002, Lived Experience Australia was previously known as the Private Mental Health Consumer Carer Network (Australia) to promote the interests of members of the community requiring private mental health services. While their focus is on private sector mental health services, they provide national systemic advocacy for consumers, families and carers in all mental health settings. The WA Co-ordinator for the State Advisory Forum is Lorraine Powell.


Last updated 19 April 2024

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