Lived Experience Engagement & Development Program | Contributors & Community Mentors

Find out a little more about the contributors for the Learning & Development Series and the Mentors for the Community Mentoring Series.

Learning & Development Series

Jon Eddy

Jon Eddy is Roses in the Ocean’s Safe Spaces Project Co-ordinator.

Jon comes from a long working career in the construction industry including successfully running his own plumbing business for many years. He also comes from a longer history of a lived experience of suicide.

After losing his son to suicide in 2019, he made a promise to him to use his grief and pain to help change the way we deal with the topic. In the early days he had no idea how a tradesman could possibly make any difference in this sector. He went forward with his diploma in life and it has led him to Roses in the Ocean which he’s very proud to be a part of.

He’s very much looking forward to both learning from all but also being able to guide others through the process of setting up their own Community-led Safe Space.

We must tear down the stigma surrounding suicide and we must go forward with a firm belief that our sacred lived experience knowledge will lead the change. Compassion, empathy, collaboration and education are his mantras.

Sam Phipps

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 in WA. She has 35 years of work experience across a variety of roles, including customer service, manufacturing operations, human resources and safety. Sam is a small business owner and a lived experience educator with Curtin University’s Valuing Lived Experience Project.

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

Karyn Moyle

My name is Karyn Moyle, and I am an Indigenous Eastern Arrernte Warlpiri woman. A local to the Greater Darwin region, brought to the area because of the ‘Stolen Generation’.

I have two now adult children, a son, and a daughter, who are my strength and healing, and along with my faith, allow me to live and breathe another day.

I have lived experience with mental health, trauma, suicidal ideations, and being bereaved to suicide. Because of this, my focus and objective are to provide a Community-led Safe Space for Darwin, Palmerston, and surrounding areas.

With the support and guidance from Roses in the Ocean and collaboration with Grassroots Action Palmerston, I have achieved “Auntie’s Place.” A stable facility for our community to provide direct and tangible access to services that will support them in positive outcomes.

A community-led non-clinical safe space that provides a warm and welcoming environment where we can yarn/talk about any concerns, grief, or trauma someone may be experiencing.   

A place where you will engage with peer care companions with lived experiences and understanding.

A place where you can learn about the impacts of mental health, grief, loss, and trauma and how it can impact our social and emotional well-being while being provided with the tools to fight another day.

A place where you can call your safe space.

Fairley Wijesinghe

“Life is short, do good and enjoy it while you can”

Volunteer/Advocate for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Lived/Living Experience.

Associated with Roses In the Ocean since 2017 and a member of the Lived Experience Advisory Group in 2023/24.

Also a member of the VMC Advisory Committee advocating for mental health as the number one priority in the community.

Community Mentoring Series

Caroline Allen

Caroline Allen is a suicide attempt survivor who continues to experience intense episodes of suicidal ideation. In 2015 she completed a psychology degree, graduating with first class honours. Utilizing her lived experience and academic training, Caroline is passionate about improving services for people who seek support regarding thoughts of suicide or who survive a suicide attempt. Her interests include challenging the medicalised model of suicidality, creating spaces where people can openly share their feelings of suicide without fear of emergency services being called, and working with organisations to help them integrate trauma informed practices into their services.

Within her Local Health District (LHD), Caroline is a member of the Joint Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan Steering Committee, the Towards Zero Suicides Lived Experience Advisory Group, and the Mental Health Consumer and Carer Council. Caroline has presented at conferences including the Suicide Prevention Australia (SPA) conference and the Roses in the Ocean Lived Experience Summit and has been involved in the development of educational materials including a unit on suicide prevention and support for mental health and psychology students at Monash University. Caroline has also worked closely with Lifeline Australia as a member of the Steering Committee for the Wellbeing Support Program and as an advisor in the re-writing of the Crisis Support Worker Training.

Glenn Cotter

Glenn works as a Lived Experience Peer Worker with Grand Pacific Health in the Next Steps program across the Bega Valley on the NSW Far South Coast since 2018

Glenn spent a number of years as Deputy Chair of Bega SPAN before taking on a leading role in the development of The Bega Valley Eurobodalla Suicide Prevention Collaborative, now sitting on the Executive Steering Committee.

In 2022 Glenn joined the SPA Lived Experience Advisory Panel as well as the ACT\NSW Regional Advisory & is passionate about the value of Lived Experience in Suicide Prevention & Suicidal Crisis Counselling joining the LEP to help those in rural & regional areas have a voice.

Glenn became a Community Ambassador with R U OK? In 2018 where he continues to work to bring community together in breaking down the stigma surrounding suicide

Glenn was recognised for his work in community with a Community Services Medal presented by Bega Valley Shire in 2018, finalist in the Barbra Hocking Memorial Awards in 2021 plus being nominated for an Australian Mental Health Award in 2022

Glenn has provided Lived Experience consultancy with many Suicide Prevention Services including Suicide Prevention Australia, The Black Dog Institute, Roses In The Ocean, Critical & LivingWorks Australia as well as being a registered SafeTALK Trainer with LivingWorks Australia

Glenn is active in speaking publicly about the value of Lived Experience in Suicide Prevention, using his knowledge & experience as a member of the original Suicide Prevention Lived Experience Speakers Bureau as well as the Roses in The Ocean Voices of Insight Group.

Glenn has presented on his experience of Lived Experience at numerous events & conferences including the International Association of Suicide Prevention Asia Pacific Conference, Gold Coast 2022, Roses in The Ocean Lived Experience Summit, Hobart, 2023, SPA National Suicide Prevention Conference, Canberra 2023 & The Rural Mental Health Conference, Albury 2023

Rosiel Elwyn


Rosiel is a Master of Psychology graduate and a PhD candidate at the Thompson Institute, studying the neurobiology of anorexia nervosa.

Rosiel currently works as a lived experience researcher and mental health consultant on a number of projects, focusing on topics including in suicide prevention, self-harm, eating disorders, psychosis, trauma, and trauma-informed care. As part of this work, Rosiel has been involved in co-design in suicide prevention research, and evaluation of Safe Havens programs.

Rosiel is a member of an Expert Advisory Committee developing a screening measure for self-harm and suicidal behaviours in children aged 6-12 years old, aimed at early intervention.

Rosiel is also a member of various advisory committees for Switchboard, Suicide Prevention Australia, Roses in the Ocean as well as co-charing Queensland Mental Health Commission’s Lived Experience Advisory Group for Suicide Prevention.

Sophie Hattch

Sophie is a mental health and suicide prevention advocate, and soon to be qualified counsellor. She has a lived experience of a suicide attempt 7 years ago, which led her to want to use this experience to help and support others who are struggling. She has since been working for Lifeline as a crisis supporter and mentor to other volunteers, as well as sharing her lived experience as a spokesperson for Lifeline in the media.

Through Roses in the Ocean Sophie has collaborated with organisations such as The Black Dog Institute, Monash University, NSW Health and The University of Sydney. She was also the recipient of one of the 2023 Grassroots Community Grants for a suicide prevention initiative in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.

She has a particular interest in youth mental health, peer support and non-clinical intervention, and suicide attempt aftercare for survivors and carers. Her main self-care is her Labrador Rose whose high energy and bottomless appetite never fails to bring her joy.

James Hill

James Hill is a passionate Mental Health Advocate whose background is in the electricity industry. James has successfully implemented positive systemic and cultural change regarding workplace mental health and is the Mental Health Manager for Energy Queensland, leading a dedicated mental health team. Outside the workplace James is a lived experience speaker for Beyondblue, advisor for the Queensland Mental Health Commission and a lived experience advocate for UniSc Thompson Institute.

His achievements in the mental health sector have earned him the Individual Contribution to Mental Health Award in Queensland Australia, along with the Large Workplace Mental Health Award. In addition, he was a finalist for the Queensland Local Hero category in the Australian of the Year awards and awarded the Chancellors Medal at UniSC for his contribution to mental health.

Ray O'Brien

Ray enjoyed a career in industrial sales and operations prior to the loss of one of his children to suicide in 2017. Later that year Ray moved into the charity and not for profit sector and currently works as a support worker in mental health and suicide prevention as well as volunteering in suicide prevention and postvention activities. Ray co-facilitates a peer led suicide bereavement support group in Townsville and recently commenced co-facilitating an online peer support group for Western Queensland. He is a volunteer member of the Standby FNQ Advisory Group; the Selectability Community of Practise; Treasurer of the Townsville Suicide Prevention Network and member of the Roses in The Ocean Lived Experience Collective and currently a member of the Roses in the Ocean Lived Experience Advisory Group.