Program for Dare to Dream 2 Day Forum

Welcome to the Dare to Dream 2 Day Forum

Day one of the forum will look at Hearing Voices Network NSW readiness to take advantage of the opportunities that will come for voice hearers through theNational Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Day 2 is a celebration of World Hearing Voices Day and we have been fortunate to have Amanda Waegeli, chairperson of the Australian Hearing Voices Establishment Project as the guest presenter for day 2. We will also be hearing from Fiona Orr to showcase the research we have been involved with to raise awareness of the Hearing Voices Approach at University of Technology with nursing students.

The program is available here 2016-dare-to-dream-program-and-info-v0-3-090916


Amanda’s Waegeli Biography

Amanda Waegeli was born in Geelong, Victoria. When she was in her teens, she commenced hearing voices, which coincided with an unsettled and traumatic sequence of life events.

Her life experiences taught her independence and self-sufficiency. Eventually, she moved to Western Australia, married and gave birth to seven children. Hervoices had stopped for many years but re-emerged after the traumatic birth of her seventh child when Amanda was 32 years of age.

What followed for Amanda was the stuff of nightmares; years interspersed with frequent lengthy hospital admissions, breakdowns in relationships, disability pension, seclusion, restraint, ECT treatments and anti-psychotic medications, all to the incessant disharmony of troublesome voices. That might well have been the end of her story, but that wasn’t to be.

Amanda Dared to Dream. In 2005, she was encouraged to attend a Hearing Voices Group, and learnt strategies which enabled her to forge a healthier relationship with her voices; she learnt to dance with them while recovering her life. She has gone on to facilitate hearing voices groups and gain employment within the mental health sector, despite still hearing voices.

She has been passionately involved at the cutting edge of the Hearing Voices Movement in Australia, is extremely well networked both in Australia and overseas and lists one of her proudest achievement as establishing the Hearing Voices Network of Western Australia.

She currently resides in the cold country of southern Queensland and is an ambassador with the QLD Hearing Voices Network. She conducts her own Peer Support, Training and Recovery Consultancy is the inaugural Chair of the Australian Hearing Voices Establishment Project Steering Committee and a recently appointed Board Director of the International Society for Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis (ISPS) Australia.

Fiona Orr, Lecturer, University Of Technology Sydney

Title: I now know how they feel’: A hearing voices simulation workshop to develop nursing students’ empathy for and confidence to talk with people who hear voices.


There is some evidence that nurses do not routinely discuss voice-hearing experiences with consumers (Coffey & Hewitt 2008). One way to address this limitation and prepare nurses for practice is through the use of a hearing voices simulation workshop (HVS), developed in collaboration with consumer consultants who have lived experience of voice-hearing (Orr et al 2013). The aim of this paper is to present the findings of a study using the above HVS workshop to increase nursing students’ empathy for, and confidence to discuss, consumers’ experiences of voice-hearing.

370 final year nursing students participated in the study. The HVS workshop included pre-simulation preparation, the 45-minute simulation of recorded sounds and voices on mp3 players and participation in every-day activities, and group processing of the experience. A survey including demographic questions, empathy and self-efficacy scales, and questions related to the HVS experience was completed by the students prior to (pre) and immediately after (post) the HVS workshop and six months later (follow-up).
Nursing students’ empathy and confidence to talk about voice-hearing experiences increased significantly after participation in the HVS workshop. This study highlights the utility of a consumer-led HVS workshop in the preparation of nursing students for empathic and confident practice


Email from Amanda Waegeli

I received an email from Amanda Waegeli this morning with an attached letter that gives an update with the work the Australian Hearing Voices Establishment Project Steering Committee has been doing.    
Douglas Holmes
Message in email 
Good morning all, 
I trust this email finds you warm and well?
I am writing to you as the Chairperson of the recently formed Steering Committee of the Australian Hearing Voices Establishment Project. (AHVEP)
Please find attached a letter with more information about what we as a steering committee have been doing and how moving forward you may be able to get involved and support us as an interested party in this exciting project.
Feel free to pass this email and attachment out through your Hearing Voices Networks and to let the AHVEP Steering Committee know about those you feel may also be interested parties. 
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you would like more information or to discuss these matters further. 
Kind Regards,

Amanda Waegeli
Steering Committee
Australian Hearing Voices Establishment Project 

Release of Co-Design report

The Co-Design Initiative is a voluntary project led by consumers and carers and auspiced by Civil Society Australia. It is a response to planned review and reforms for the mental health system, led by the creation of Primary Health Networks.

Our goal… is to ensure that consumers and carers are at the centre in mental health system design, development and delivery.

The Co-design Initiative organised two co-design events, one in Sydney and one in Melbourne. Referred to as ‘conferences’ and as ‘symposia’ these were actually interactive workshops that enabled a large number of people to share their knowledge, experience and ideas about co-design.

The core question considered at these events was: how can we make sure that consumers and carers are integral to and leading the reform of the mental health system in each PHN?

Two interactive workshops explored the questions:

Workshop 1: Common Ground – what are the essential elements of authentic codesign?

Workshop 2: Co-creation – what could a consumer and carer ‘hub’ look like in the context of a PHN? More than two hundred people participated in the events.

The written and verbal feedback from the events has formed the basis of the Co-design: Shared perspectives on authentic co-design report.

Codesign shared perspectives report


Hearing Voices approach training in Australia

ForwArded on behalf of Phillip Benjamin 

Happy new year to all!

Trevor Eyles has offered to come to Australia in February to run his widely respected training workshops on the Hearing Voices approach.

 Trevor is originally from the UK and trained as Mental Health nurse, but has been living in Aarhus, Denmark for the past 25 years. He has trained extensively in the use of the Maastricht Interview for Voice Hearers and in Voice Dialogue, as well as Open Dialogue, and seven years ago was appointed

Hearing Voices Consultant for the Aarhus district.

 In that role he has been running training programmes for clinicians and support workers in Aarhus, across Denmark and throughout Europe, as well as being a Board member of the Danish Hearing Voices Network and an invited

keynote speaker at a number of international conferences.

 He is now offering a series of workshops in Australia – with series confirmed for Brisbane and Melbourne in the last two weeks of February,  with possible additional workshops later in Sydney, regional NSW and Perth.

 There are one-day and three-day workshops offered. All are experiential – with participants registering in pairs – a voice hearer and a clinician or support worker, who will together be led through the stages of the approach in a safe, supervised setting where the process can be explored andlearned from  the inside’, which allows for genuine understanding of the voice hearing experience for both.

 The outcomes include an improved relationship with the voices for the voice hearer and the development of the skills needed to systematically take this approach into their work for the clinicians and support workers.

 The one-day workshops focus more on the leadership of hearing voices groups, and the three-day workshops on the use of this approach in individual work.

 Please find the current flyers attached, and visitM for more details and to register.

Best Wishes

Philip Benjamin

MHN BEd MMind&Soc

(+61) 0418 887 007