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Who are We?

We hope to make a difference by sharing accessible research with the community. See our backgrounds and some testimonials below.

We all have significant lived experience which has influenced our lives and work.


Those of us identifying as Lived Experience Researchers collectively have over 35 years experience working in many Lived Experience roles, including peer support, education, training, and systemic advocacy positions across various sectors and settings. We are very connected with the wider Lived Experience community. Lived Experience is our discipline or main lens.

Those of us identifying as Researchers with lived experience have another discipline or lens we primarily work from but see our personal lived experience as an important component of who we are and the way we approach research

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Louise Byrne

Lived Experience Researcher

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Dr Louise Byrne is

is recognised internationally as a thought leader in the area of Lived Experience workforce development.

Louise has more than 30 journal publications on this topic and has been awarded several times for outstanding contributions to research and teaching, held expert/advisory roles with State and National Mental Health Commissions and led policy development at State and National levels, including the National Lived Experience (Peer) Workforce Development Guidelines.

Louise's Fulbright research based at Yale University in the United States has led to ongoing international collaborations and research. Earlier in her career Louise trained in Intentional Peer Support  and continues to be informed by these concepts and practices.

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Helena Roennfeldt

Lived Experience Researcher

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Helena is currently studying her PhD on lived experiences of mental health crisis and crisis care. Her previous studies include master’s degrees in Suicidology, Mental Health, Forensic Mental Health and Social Work. Her research spans diverse areas including the Lived Experience workforce, arts-based research, and the interface between physical and mental health. Helena has over 20 years’ experience working in the mental health sector and is also an eCPR facilitator and  personal medicine coach. .  

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Researcher with Lived Experience

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Dr Lena Wang is an academic and practitioner specialising in the area of organisational psychology. She applies her disciplinary lens to support organisations, leaders and policy makers to develop workforces and workplace cultures towards better understanding and genuine valuing of employee diversity and inclusion. She obtained her PhD in Work Psychology and her other research areas include individual differences, leadership, and employee behaviour and wellbeing. She has worked extensively with governments and industries, and recently contributed to the development of national and state-level guidelines for the development Lived Experience workforce.  

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Melissa Chapman

Researcher with Lived Experience

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Dr Melissa Chapman has PhD in Industrial and Organisational Psychology and works in the higher education sector. She currently uses her knowledge and skills across broad areas, such as: inclusion and diversity, mental health/wellbeing and the changing nature of work. Across both academic and industry roles Melissa has worked collaboratively with private, not-for-profit and government organisations, as well as a range of universities across Australia.

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"Powerhouse talk [at the 2020 MHS Conference] by @drlousiebryne on #lived experience engagement in research: why it matters, how to do it well. Coproduction, recognising our expertise and ways of understanding, the need for clinical researchers to give up power and be willing to sit with discomfort."

— Indigo Daya, Human Rights Advisor, and Policy and Communications Manager at VMAIC

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