Collaboration • Knowledge • Leadership

Collaboration • Knowledge • Leadership

Lived Experience Workforce Grants Program

The third round of grants is now closed. If you would like to receive updates about future grant opportunities, contact us.


On this page:

About the program

Mental Health Victoria's role

Grant value

Grant streams

Eligibility criteria

Assessment criteria

How to apply

Frequently Asked Questions


About the Lived Experience Workforce Grants Program

The Royal Commission recommended that the transformed Victorian mental health system should be designed, delivered and led by people with lived experience. To support this foundational part of the reform agenda, the Department of Health has provided funding for MHV (Mental Health Victoria) to allocate grants that can upskill current lived experience workers, across consumer and family/carer roles.

Supporting reform of Victoria’s mental health system is a process that intends to engage people with a lived experience at its core. Ensuring our lived experience workforce has opportunities to build their capability to take a leading role in this work, and/or support increased capacity to attend to this work is critical. Aligning with the Royal Commission’s vision, the grants are focused on investing in lived experience workers’ individual qualifications, leadership/professional development, and capability building activities. The grants are also available for organisations to build, grow and enhance lived experience workforce leadership, capability and capacity building.

These grants are only available to applicants in designated mental health lived experience roles employed at approved Victorian Government funded community-managed mental health services (please see list here).

Applicants will be contacted four to six weeks after the funding round closes to advise them of their application outcome. 

If you encounter any issues or require assistance with your application, please get in touch with our Grants Team,, and we will support you where we can.


Mental Health Victoria’s role

MHV has established and outlined the Lived Experience Workforce Grants Program over a period of 6 months. MHV will support the application process, administration and will make decisions about all grant applications.

MHV has drawn on the expertise of our Lived Experience Advisory Group (LEAG), chaired by Ingrid Ozols AM, to assist in designing and overseeing the program. Two LEAG members, one Department of Health employee and two MHV staff will sit on our expert assessment panel and will support the decision-making of the grants.

MHV will be the main point of contact for successful applicants and will evaluate and monitor the grants program until it is closed.


Grant value

There are two funding streams available:

  • Individual lived experience worker: Up to $5000 for individual recipients.
  • Organisation, group project or initiative: Grants between $5000.00 to $20,000 for multiple recipients.


Grant streams





Description and examples


Individual lived experience worker qualification, professional development or training:

Up to $5000 for individual recipients.


Funds to support lived experience workers (consumers and family/carers) to have access to leadership/professional development, capability or capacity building within an within an approved organisation.

Options for this stream and previously approved examples can be found here.

*Please note that Certificate IV in Mental Health Peer Work is on the free TAFE list, therefore out of scope for this funding.



Organisation, group project or initiative supporting lived experience workforce leadership, capability or capacity building:

Between $5000.00 to $20,000 for multiple recipients.



Funds to support organisations, group projects or initiatives to develop and strengthen lived experience workforce (consumers and family/carers) leadership, capability or capacity building within the organisation.

Options for this stream may similarly include options outlined in the individual lived experience worker stream.

Please note: Each lived experience worker can only apply for EITHER the individual OR the organisation stream. For example, if a lived experience worker submits a proposal, but their organisation also applies for a project that includes that worker, a decision must be made on which application the lived experience worker receives funding for.

A lived experience worker can apply for more than one training or qualification in either stream. However, this must be justified, and the final decision will be up to the assessment panel.


Eligibility criteria

Who can apply?

To be eligible, applicant/s must be in a designated lived experience worker role (including consumers and family/carers) currently employed at an approved Victorian government funded community mental health service.

Applicants must have been in a designated lived experience or similar role for at least 12 months.

In the organisations, group projects or initiatives stream, organisations can apply on behalf of their lived experience worker/s. All listed lived experience workers in the application must provide written consent in the proposal document.

Please note, multiple applications cannot be made including the same lived experience worker/s.

The approved list of organisations can be found here.

If you are an individual or applying on behalf of an applicant, please check that the required information for the applicant/s` is met below.

  • Aged 18 years or older.
  • Are an Australian Citizen or permanent resident of Australia.
  • Are currently living or working in Victoria.
  • Are employed by one of the approved organisations.
  • Are in a designated lived experience position.


Who can’t apply?

Organisations or lived experience workers who are not represented or employed by the approved list of organisations. Applicants in non-designated lived experience roles will not be approved.

If you received funding during the previous funding rounds you cannot apply again.


How will my application be assessed?

Your application will be assessed and scored against the program eligibility and assessment criteria detailed below.

Following these assessments, your application will be reviewed by an expert and executive assessment panel that includes representatives from MHV’s LEAG, Department of Health and other MHV staff. Once a decision has been made, we will advise you if you have been successful or not.


What could be considered for funding?

A broad range of qualifications, trainings and projects can be considered for funding as we acknowledge each lived experience worker will have unique upskilling needs and interests. The qualification, training or project must align with lived experience worker capabilities, roles and responsibilities.

We particularly welcome proposals aimed at leadership training, co-design/co-production training and project management as this aligns with the Royal Commission’s implementation of reforms. The proposal must align with the grants criteria and must meet eligibility requirements.

Examples of previously approved qualifications, trainings or projects can be found here.

Please check whether the price of the training/s you are applying for includes GST or not as this will need to be included in the total grant amount.

If the cost of the qualification, training or project exceeds the maximum available funds per the application, the applicant/organisation is responsible for securing the remaining amount and this will need to be described in the proposal. 

If you are not sure if your qualification, training or project is eligible, we strongly advise you to contact our Grants Team at


What is out of scope?

Qualifications, trainings or projects that are outside the scope of lived experience worker capabilities, roles and responsibilities will not be approved.

The Grants cannot be used to support FTE, salaries, travel, accommodation or external materials. The Grants will only cover the qualification, training or project cost. In-house training provided internally by your organisation or employer will not be approved.

Volunteer lived experience workers and those not employed at the community services are out of scope at this time.

Please note, if the qualification, training or project is better suited to another State or Federal funding stream it will not be successful for a Lived Experience Workforce Grant.


Assessment criteria

Applications for grant funding will be assessed against the eligibility and assessment criteria.

Grants will be awarded based on alignment to criteria questions and additional weighting will be given to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander applicants and applicants who live or work in regional Victoria.

  1. Lived Experience Worker Benefit – 30%
  2. Lived Experience Leadership – 30%
  3. Capability and Capacity Building – 30%
  4. Sustainability and Innovation – 10%

Please click here to read the detailed criteria.


How to apply

To apply, please click on the ‘Apply now’ link below and fill out the required form.

We require a proposal document, which can be a maximum of 800 words or 2 pages long. You may use this template for the proposal document.

Please note: The grants committee will not respond to applicants until the end of July, so please bear this in mind when selecting training options for your proposal. The qualification, training or project must begin by the end of October 2022 for this third round.

We also require an endorsement letter from your organisation and position description of the role/s of the applicant/s to ensure they are designated lived experience workers.

The proposal document, endorsement letter and position description/s can be uploaded to the form.

Please read all the information on this page and the Frequently Asked Questions page before applying.

If required, MHV may contact you to discuss your application further.

If you have accessibility requirements or would like to request more information, please contact as we are happy to assist where possible.


Frequently asked questions

The Frequently Asked Questions sheet will be updated on a regular basis. If the FAQ sheet does not answer your question, please get in contact with our grants team,