“being brave and courageous is considered a key principle and enabler of co-design. To be brave and courageous is believing that anything is possible. It is underpinned by optimism and a ‘can do’ attitude. It requires a shift in the usual way of doing things and understands that any challenge can be overcome with creativity and collaboration” (ACI, 2019, page 14).

NSW Government Agency for Clinical Innovation’s ‘A guide to build co-design capability’.

Roses in the Ocean, spur:, and Beacon Strategies partnership

Roses in the Ocean has partnered with spur:, a leading social impact design and venture studio to combine our expertise in working with people with a lived experience of suicide, our proven facilitation skills and ability to develop and lead co-design projects with their extensive national and international co-design experience.  Our partnership harnesses the strengths of each organisation to ensure critical input from lived experience is effectively engaged with all other stakeholders to achieve optimum outcomes.

We have also partnered with Beacon Strategies, a mission-based health and social services consultancy with core areas of expertise being Health planning, Service design, Project management and implementation support, Evaluation and reporting, Training and facilitation, and Communication and engagement.  As an organisation, they have expert capability in supporting service provider organisations to design, establish and implement service models. Beacon Strategies has worked extensively with PHN’s and LHD’s in a number of States and territories including NSW.

This three way partnership provides an end-to-end comprehensive co-design service.

The increased engagement of lived experience in suicide prevention has supported a much-anticipated emergence of non-clinical alternatives to care. Roses in the Ocean, spur: and Beacon Strategies are increasingly involved in leading co-design processes to ensure that collaborative, lived experience informed, human centred solutions and models are developed to best meet specific needs for people in need.

our co-design approach

Roses in the Ocean and spur have conducted a co-design process to design our fit for purpose approach to co-design for the suicide prevention context. This includes:

  • development of a specialised Lived Experience of suicide Co-design Facilitation team
  • customised co-design resources / tools / activities relevant and appropriate for the suicide context
  • development of an iterative process of co-design, guardianship, re-design – all underpinned by individual principles and desired outcomes of each project/ service.

Our process is based on the foundational principles of honest conversation, equal partnership, inclusion, shared decision making, innovation, purposeful involvement, and integration.  It involves partnering with people who are most affected by decisions and services at every stage in decision making from issue identification to design, development, delivery and opportunity for involvement in evaluation.

our co-design framework

Our co-design framework follows an iterative phased approach involving:

Outcomes / Principles and Values

  • Consultative design of co-design process best suited to the project and desired outcomes.
  • Determination and clarity of parameters and hard boundaries is established. 
  • Alignment with relevant lived experience, state or territory guiding principles for co-design
  • Recruitment of stakeholders – involves recruiting and screening for readiness people with a lived experience of suicide relevant to the focus and engaging other key stakeholders to participate in the pre-design phase.


  • co-design commences with a five step process to prepare for the project:
    Step one: Project mapping (determining number sub-phases in collective design phase)
    Step two: Stakeholder mapping (ensuring all voices are engaged)
    Step three: Stakeholder voice spectrum (level and type of engagement)
    Step four: Engagement purpose (define why and how of engagement)
    Step five: Engagement reference guide: (plans specific tools, resources for co-design)
  • stakeholder consultation – individual and/or small group meetings
  • development of understanding of parameters of the proposed service, budget and/or staffing limitations, remuneration, boundaries.
  • documentation of individual and collective expectations
  • design of co-design process to best meet the needs of the project
  • delivery of ‘What is co-design?’ workshop to ensure all stakeholders commence co-design process from place of mutual understanding and expectations

Collective design and Guardianship 

  • whole of stakeholder workshop to establish of code of conduct; agreement of underlying principles and values for the service model / product; collective expectations and understanding of parameters of the project.
  • further co-design process is undertaken with all identified stakeholders – this may include small focus groups of specific stakeholder groups, followed by whole of stakeholder group workshops to focus on initial co-design of service model/ product utilising a range of customised co-design activities and resources appropriate for the suicide context and people with a lived experience of suicide.
  • collation and presentation of co-design outputs to initial stakeholders and client for review
  • model is workshopped with a wider audience for further contribution, opportunity to challenge and innovate further.
  • proposed model of service is circulated for review to all stakeholders involved in the co-design service to check integrity of final product to the co-design outputs
  • Guardianship of co-design outputs ensures that decisions made throughout the process are incorporated into final model of service
  • Guardianship supports recruitment and training of peer workers for the model of service

Post Implementation and re-design

  • Review of  external evaluation results at appropriate intervals (external evaluation coordinated and funded by service provider/client)
  • Feedback to co-design participants and ‘re-design’ following agreed upon period of operational time


  • Internal process evaluation to inform quality improvement
  • External evaluation of outcomes (Roses in the Ocean will provide whatever input is requested from external evaluation providers and support lived experience involvement in the evaluation process)

about spur: 

spur: is a social impact design and venture studio.

Governments, NGOs, and corporates work with spur: on projects across health and wellbeing, education, environment and sustainability, equality, access, and peace.

spur: has pioneered ground-breaking mental health campaigns in Australia, designed and deployed global data projects, trained scores of non-profit leaders on social impact measurement, re-designed systematic approaches for businesses to change customer behaviour, helped governments understand the impact of their funding dollars, and much more. Their work has reached a collective total of 40 million people worldwide and won accolades from the Unleash Innovation Lab, Deloitte, the Australasian Men’s Health Forum, Business News Australia, Brisbane City Council, and more.

Project partners have included Australian State and Local Governments, the World Economic Forum, Google, Microsoft, World Wildlife Fund International, Anglicare, Mater Hospitals and others.