Launch Pad Evidence Statement

The LaunchPad workshop is a one-day program where people with a lived experience of suicide come together as a group in a planned, coordinated and impactful manner. Similar to principles of community psychology, the LaunchPad workshop focuses on using the lived experience of suicide insights to question traditional modes of thought and contribute to social change (Laverne & Perkins, 1987).

Using Sherry Arnstein’s theory of Ladder of Citizen Participation (2019), the LaunchPad workshop offers individuals the opportunity to fulfil their own sense of empowerment by helping participants understand a new social model of community sustainability. People with a lived experience of suicide are well positioned to help inform suicide prenvetion activities drawing on insights from their lived experience to provide solutions to the community.

Arnstein’s Ladder is used as a metaphor to explain the different type of audiences engaged throughout a planning process and access to power, and through the LaunchPad workshop. The participants are rapidly upskilled throughout the process from manipulation through to and including to citizen control (see figure 1). Roses in the Ocean and lived experience attending the workshops are engaged by organisations right along the spectrum as depicted in the ladder in figure 1. At the completion of the workshop, participants are provided with the tools in order to effectively collaborate with organisations relating to suicide prevention activities.

During the workshop, John Viljoen’s Strategic Management: Planning and Implementing Successful Corporate Strategies (1994) is applied to help group members plan for long term optimal effort through developing community-based missions, values and areas of critical focus. The group strategises their growth by identifying critical networks which can contribute to the success of suicide prevention campaigns. They also examine potential barriers to the group’s objectives, through leveraging the individuals’ personal and professional skills, as well as their lived experience insights.

A theoretical underpinning for the group’s success, follows the group’s formation, by drawing on Dominque Steinberg’s Mutual Aid Approach to Working with Groups: Helping people to help people (2004). Steinberg’s works explore how the power of the dialectical process of sharing ideas and views, creates a culture within the group. This is used to develop a set of practising guidelines, discussing taboos to breakdown the stigma of suicide and to cultivate a sense of ‘we are all in the same boat’ phenomena.

Figure 1: Arnstein’s Ladder of Citizen Engagement (Arnstein, 2019)



Levine, M., & Perkins, D. V. (1987). Principles of community psychology: Perspectives and applications. Oxford University Press.

Arnstein, S. (2019). A Ladder of Citizen Participation. Journal of the American Planning Association, 85(1), 24–34.

Viljoen, J., Strategic Management, Planning and implementing successful corporate strategies, Longman, Melbourne, 1994

Steinberg, D. (2004). The mutual aid approach to working with groups: Helping people to help people (2nd ed.). New York, NY: The Haworth Press.



External research – AISRAP

In 2018, The Australian Institute of Suicide Research and Prevention (AISRAP) conducted a pilot study of two of our lived experience designed and delivered workshops.

Our Voice in Action was one such program included in the pilot study. Key findings from the evaluation report include

“The Our Voice in Action program successfully increased suicide literacy, knowledge of safe suicide language, and confidence to support people experiencing a suicidal crisis. Both the Our Voice in Action and Voices of In-Sight participants were more confident in their abilities in the key actions required to perform a lived experience representative role. Participants also demonstrated a greater value of lived experience contributions towards suicide prevention activities after the Voices of In-Sight workshops.” (Hawgood et al., 2018)

Read the evaluation excerpts document and full evaluation report.

Draft Indigenous Evaluation Strategy

Roses in the Ocean supports newly released Draft Indigenous Evaluation Strategy

The Australian Productivity Commission has released a draft Indigenous Evaluation Strategy. The draft strategy is a whole of government framework that clearly sets out guiding principles that Roses in the Ocean fully supports. Our values relating to deep listening, connections, authenticity and collaboration all align within the context of this new draft strategy.

As we continue to contribute to the growing evidence base for all aspects of lived experience of suicide and learn as an organisation from our evaluations, we are intentional and passionate about ensuring our evaluations are inclusive and culturally appropriate for the groups of people we are engaging in our work. This includes us proactively engaging with and where possible co-partnering with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to design and conduct our evaluations. Through our Lived Experience Advisory Group and Lived Experience Collective we engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to ensure our internal process evaluations are culturally appropriate and relevant. As we progress our work in this area, we will seek further opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to inform our evaluation work.

Tracy Wise, a member of our Lived Experience Advisory Group and proud Barkindji/Ngiyampaa Woman from the Wimmera Mallee region in Victoria shared her views on the draft strategy and ways Roses in the Ocean can implement its principles.  Key areas of focus are to ensure our evaluations are useable, credible, well planned and conducted ethically and with transparency. Martina McGrath our Research and Evaluation Officer acknowledges the release of the draft evaluation strategy is timely for us. While at the  early stages of developing our full research and evaluation program, as we do this work, we will make sure we proactively and meaningfully engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people at every opportunity to learn from their perspectives and tap into their infinite wisdom. This will add so much richness and have a positive impact on informing our evaluation work.