Lived Experience Advisory Group

The Roses in the Ocean Lived Experience Advisory Group (LEAG) is an integral part of our organisation.

Meet our LEAG

Sam Phipps (she/her)

Sam Phipps is Chair of Roses in the Ocean’s Lived Experience Advisory Group, a workshop facilitator and the Peer CARE Companion Lead Regional Co-ordinator. Sam is a lived experience educator with Curtin University’s Valuing Lived Experience Project and has 35 years of work experience across a variety of roles, including customer service, manufacturing operations, human resources and safety.

She loves to connect with people and is a passionate suicide prevention advocate. Sam is dedicated to supporting people impacted by suicide within her community and uses her experiences to drive systemic reform and hold compassionate, courageous conversations regarding mental health and suicide prevention.

When Sam is not working in suicide prevention, she loves to read, grow flowers and spend her time connecting with family and friends.

Lindy Zillman (she/her)

Lindy Zillman first became involved with Roses in the Ocean when she completed the Voices of In-Sight training with her sister in March 2016. She is a member of the Lived Experience Advisory Group at Roses in the Ocean and volunteers her time supporting others. Lindy fulfils a variety of roles within the organisation including facilitating capacity building workshops, co-designs and community consultations as well as other projects requiring a lived experience lens. Her professional experience includes education, counselling and the law. She also runs her own business with her husband. For fun she writes and illustrates children’s books, loves to go to the movies and the beach. Lindy lives with her husband Bruce and her dog Banjo in Northern NSW.

Mark Davis (he/him)

Mark has a living experience which contributes to his work as a Peer Support Worker and Mentor, specialising in persons at risk. Mark volunteers his time across a variety of roles in the suicide prevention sector and is a Consumer Representative on Federal, State and NGO committees and panels.
He collects old movies as a change of pace.

Amy Corcoran (she/they)

Amy has worked for suicide prevention services in lived experience roles, including facilitating workshops from a lived experience lens and supporting people experiencing thoughts of, or those bereaved by suicide. She is driven by the power of connection when discussing suicide and values solidarity, compassion and kindness.

Amy is excited to be part of the LEAG to contribute and learn from others, particularly around the diversity of experiences.

Amy has a greyhound, is a big Simpsons fan and loves being amongst nature.

Fairley Wijesinghe (he/him)

Fairley has an extensive career in managing teams and is currently studying Certificate 4 in Mental Health. He volunteers his time mentoring and supporting others within his community and is passionate about affecting systemic changes through collaboration and conversation. Fairley brings a cultural diversity lens to conversations and has contributed to a variety of outreach projects including the asylum seeker suicide prevention task group – an initiative of the greater Dandenong suicide prevention place-based trial.

Fairley lives in Melbourne with his family and enjoys connecting with people through authentic connection and conversations.

Ray O'Brien (he/him)

Ray enjoyed a career in industrial sales and operations before making a change several years ago and moving into the charity and not for profit sector. Ray currently works as a support worker in mental health and suicide prevention as well as volunteering in a range of suicide prevention and postvention activities. Ray also helps to facilitate a peer led suicide bereavement support group. He values family, connection and community and loves spending time with his family, working in the garden, cooking and running.

Darlia Dafter (she/her)

Darlia is bereaved by her partner (and 8 friends).

She has been in the lived experience space for 2 years now in different roles, and her current role is with Jesuit Social Services as the Regional Coordinator for the StandBy Support After Suicide program in North West and South East Melbourne. She is very passionate about this space, that we respectively share with honour, to support those who have lost someone to Suicide.

Her favourite thing to do on the weekend is spending time with her dog, spending time with friends and family, listening to live music, eating yummy food whether cooked together or out at an amazing Melbourne restaurant.

Ben Brien (he/him)

Ben is an emerging leader in the lived experience and Peer Workforce space, and a passionate lived experience and consumer advocate.

Having living experience of mental ill health, suicidal distress and substance use recovery since his early teen years, as well as caring and supporting loved ones with similar experiences, Ben is passionate about changing the narrative around living with mental ill health and challenging the existing stigma around suicide.

Improving lived experience integration and developing the Peer Workforce are two of Ben’s greatest personal and professional goals.

Imeleta Lia-Norris (she/her)

Imeleta is a cultural artist, musician and community leader, she sees herself as a strong advocate for culturally diverse young people and women and those who are struggling with mental health and finding verbal therapies challenging. As a parent of a young person with a mental illness who attempted to take her life during the pandemic, Imeleta hopes to grow and bring awareness to mental health and to ensure young peoples voices are heard, society understands their value and to stay connected with what’s happening on the ground.

Anwyn Ladzinski (she/her)

Anwyn is a very passionate suicide prevention advocate, using her own lived experience to share & connect with others. She aims to live a life that prioritises empathetic, trauma informed and radical acceptance of self & others. She resides in Perth, working for the government by day and sleeping by 8pm by night.

Her free time is spent engaging in as many sapphic stereotypes as possible with her wife: spoiling her dog, playing intense board game campaigns, hiking and descending into the chaos of life as a birder/twitcher. She is also a diehard Freo fan and if anything has taught her hope, it’s supporting the Freo Dockers.