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Complex Mental Health and Disability News - May 2023
Karenza Louis-Smith, CEO

A message from our CEO

As this newsletter goes out, it’s IDAHOBIT Day: the International Day Against LGBTQIA+ Discrimination. As a proud member of this community myself, this is an important day of recognition and a reminder that although we’ve come a long way, there’s still stigma and discrimination, for LGBTQ+ people at work, in public, on social can happen anywhere and anytime.

This impacts the mental health and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ folk. No one deserves to be treated as less than, simply for living the lives they want to and being our authentic selves. Today is an important reminder that we must stand against stigma and discrimination every day.
We’ll be farewelling the amazing Jackie Ashmore, our Chief Operations Officer in mid-June. Jackie has made an incredible impact at ermha365, and we don’t want to say goodbye but she’s going to an incredible role with Justice Health, which sits within the Department of Justice and Community Safety.

Jackie will be running all of the health (not just mental health) programs across Victoria’s prison system. This is a great career opportunity for Jackie in a setting where I am sure she will make the same kind of impact that she did here at ermha365. We are now recruiting for the position; see more info in this newsletter.

Mental Health and Community Services

Applications for Mental Health Victoria’s Lived Experience Peer Cadet Program are OPEN!

Keen to use your lived experience in mental health to help others? Applications are open for the Peer Cadet program at ermha365.
The Lived Experience Peer Cadet Program offers an opportunity for people with lived/living experience to enter paid employment while undertaking Certificate IV Mental Health Peer Work within a participating community mental health organisation - and ermha365 is one of these places!

Applications CLOSE on 26 May 2023.

These opportunities will suit people with little to no experience and/or qualifications in this sector. 

For more information, visit

To apply directly, visit

Please note: the first stage of the recruitment process is to apply directly to Mental Health Victoria. You can do this via either of the links above.

HIVE Geelong program closure

Hive - Purpose, Inclusion, Connection
It is with a great deal of disappointment and sadness that we let you all know that HIVE at Geelong will no longer receive funding and the service will close.

We only recently received this news from the Department of Health. The reason given was its need to review funding arrangements throughout Victoria and re-prioritise funding areas.

Participants, approximately 90, were told this news on 27 April and our team is working with all affected by the closure to make sure that they are linked in with appropriate supports and services.

This news is incredibly disappointing to the many people at ermha365 who have invested a lot of time and energy into the structure and operations of the program and who have been integral to its ongoing peer support model. 

The last day of HIVE at Geelong is on 19 May.

Supporting our Rainbow Communities

Go Rainbow Against Discrimination
Today we recognise IDAHOBIT Day (17 May) - the International Day Against LGBTQIA+ Discrimination. The awesome organisation Minus18 champions IDAHOBIT in Australia, with every dollar raised improving the lives of LGBTQIA+ youth.

LGBTQIA+ people in Australia still today experience disproportionate rates of bullying, harassment and discrimination. Right now we’re seeing drag performers in Australia the targets of hate campaigns, with at least nine queer events, mostly drag and rainbow storytimes, cancelled in the past six months in Melbourne due to security threats from far-right fringe groups.

For our work in mental health and disability services, training and education around diversity and inclusion to understand and support LGBTIQA+ community is vital.

ermha365 has podcast resources (15 episodes) available that can be used as part of any Training Delivery/Assessment or Workplace Coaching.

One these is the Showing Support for Rainbow Communities episode which covers practical tips for support workers about the high-risk issues facing our LGBTIQA+ folk, lateral discrimination, factors to consider when supporting someone with trauma, and what to do when you don’t get it right.


Opportunities available

Community of staff

Chief Operations Officer

ermha365 is seeking an inspiring and visionary leader to join our Executive team as the Chief Operations Officer.

This is the perfect role for an experienced individual to oversee the design, service delivery, quality, risk management, and program outcomes for ermha365’s Mental Health, Disability, Forensic and Community service programs.

Based in Melbourne and offering a hybrid model of working from home and the office, this role will oversee programs in Victoria and the Northern Territory.

Lead our Darwin team

ermha365 has an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic and experienced individual to join our team in Darwin as the Senior Manager, Mental Health, Forensic & Wellbeing Services.

This role will oversee well established programs as well as focus on growth within the region. If you have a passion for seeing people achieve their potential combined with a drive and determination to lead teams, this is a role not to be missed.

Applications for these roles close this Sunday, 21 May 2023.

To discuss either of these roles contact David Marshall on 0436 000 797 or email

For all current opportunities please visit ermha365’s Careers page.


Talking Mental Health & Disability podcast

Get Real: Talking Mental Health and Disability
Get Real: Talking Mental Health and Disability presents frank and fearless conversations about mental health and disability, including people with lived experience, frontline workers in the industry, as well as policy-makers and advocates.

You can listen, rate and review GET REAL on your preferred podcast listening platform including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, and  Stitcher.
Marcelle Mogg, CEO MHV
In conversation with Marcelle Mogg, CEO Mental Health Victoria

Mental Health Victoria CEO Marcelle Mogg joined GET REAL podcast to talk about the work of MHV, the Lived and Living Experience workforce, the massive mental health system reforms happening in Victoria, what she does to look after her mental health and much more! You can listen here.
Life on the road: truck driver wellbeing

Ever wondered what life is like for truck drivers? How do they stay healthy and maintain good mental health? It's not easy and there's numerous barriers for the people, mostly men, who drive all over Australia to deliver all the things we need and use daily.

Rod Hannifey has been driving B-double trucks for decades. He’s driven millions of kilometres over that time, across Australia. He's an advocate for road safety and the wellbeing of his profession and he spoke to us for GET REAL podcast about life on the road and the impact of truck driving on health. 
You can listen here.

Reading, watching, listening

I just came out as non-binary, here’s what that means

I just came out as non-binary, here’s what that means - an article from Arlo on the Minus18 website.
Weenthunga Health Network 

Weenthunga Health Network has short videos on its YouTube Channel capturing the voices of First Nations women, including Elders and Aunts, who hold health, wellbeing and healing roles.

Weenthunga means ‘hear/understand’ in Woiwurrung, the language of the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation. 

Queerstories podcast

Queerstories, A national LGBTQI+ storytelling project curated by Maeve Marsden. Loads of episodes celebrating the culture and creativity of the LGBTQI+ community, one true story at a time.

Useful links and resources

Minus18 are champions for LQBTQIA+ youth.

They seek to lead change, build social inclusion, and advocate for an Australia where all young people are safe, empowered, and surrounded by people that support them.

Visit Minus18
ermha365 - Complex Mental Health and Disability
South-East Melbourne | North-West Melbourne | Geelong | Bendigo | Darwin
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Acknowledgement of Country

ermha365 acknowledges that our work in the community takes place on the Traditional Lands of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and therefore respectfully recognise their Elders, past and present, and the ongoing Custodianship of the Land and Water by all Members of these Communities.
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