Information for Lived Experience Advocates

Are you struggling to pay your bills and cover the essentials? Have you got ideas about how to make things better for your community?

Let’s face it, you’re the real expert when it comes to what it’s like to make ends meet in lutruwita/trouwunna (Tasmania).

TasCOSS is looking for community members to be part of a new Community Partnership Program.

The goal of the program is to create paid opportunities and training for Tasmanians living on low incomes to make their voices heard in services and decisions which affect them.

Who can become a Community Partner?

You can apply to become a Community Partner if you:

  • Have personal experience living on a low income (struggling financially to make ends meet).
  • Are passionate about issues affecting Tasmanian communities on low incomes.
  • Are keen to learn the skills required to be a Community Partner.
  • Can communicate with others in different ways.
  • Have time to engage.
  • Have access to email and phone (support for this can be given where required).
  • Live in Tasmania and are over 18 years old.
  • Speak English (does not have to be your first language).

What do Community Partners do?

Community Partners share their stories to create change. This change aims to make sure services or decisions which affect you and your community are really fit-for-purpose. This could happen in many ways, but some examples could include Community Partners working with organisations to:

  • Have input into the design or improvement services.
  • Identify issues faced you and your community.
  • Sit on boards, committee members, or interview panels.
  • Collaborate on projects.
  • Speak at events.
  • Talk to your community to understand issues more deeply and sharing what you find.

TasCOSS has developed a good practice guide to outline ways Community Voice Partners can prepare to engage, to ensure they can be heard and stay safe.

As a Community Partner, you will…

  • BE HEARD: Share your experiences with organisations to create change.
  • BE SUPPORTED: Through preparation, training, and mentoring.
  • BE PAID: For your time. You can find out more about payment rates here.
  • BE RECOGNISED: with a Certificate of Participation and reference letter.

Need help applying or have questions? Contact Lucy Mercer-Mapstone at TasCOSS on 0458 173 629 or by emailing lucy@tascoss.org.au.