What is the Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP)?
The LEAP is a consumer panel of advisors who have lived experience of workplace sexual harassment.
At Circle Green, we believe that the voices and views of people who have personal experiences of workplace sexual harassment are vital in shaping our work. The LEAP provides expert advice to Circle Green in regards to the design and delivery of our services.
Who are the LEAP members?
Current LEAP members include:
Audrey is a Ballardong Noongar woman from Western Australia. She was motivated to join the LEAP as a result of her journey through PTSD after being sexually assaulted by a colleague. It is her hope that her contributions to the LEAP may prevent other people suffering an experience like this and will empower those who have to seek support.
Emily is an engineer in the resources industry, with 10 years experience. She has worked on a wide range of significant resources projects, managing complex stakeholder relationships and technical challenges both onsite and in corporate offices. At significant personal cost, she has excelled in these challenges despite being subjected to sexual harassment. In one instance although the perpetrator admitted to the sexual harassment through a formal investigation, the company she was working for did not fire the employee. Emily was later told by the VP of HR that if they were in charge at that time the person would have been fired; but ultimately, retrospective action was not taken and her sense of value to the company remained irreparably damaged. As a result, she suffered PTSD as the inaction delegitimised her trauma and suffering. The experience did however empower her to speak up.
When she experienced sexism and bullying at her new company, she spoke up and the perpetrator was fired. These experiences occurred in an office environment dispelling the myth that sexual harassment only prevails on site. Emily is passionate about channeling her experiences into advocating for a better space for the next female, which is why she is excited about the opportunity to contribute to Circle Green.
Melissa Callanan has worked professionally in the arts, culture and education sectors for some of Western Australia’s leading cultural institutions including Perth Festival, Barking Gecko Theatre Company, the Australian Writers’ Guild, the Foundation for the Western Australian Museum, the Fashion Council of WA and the University of Western Australia. Most recently she lived in the East Kimberley as the General Manager of Warmun Art Centre on Gija country and home of the national and internationally recognised past leaders of the contemporary Indigenous Art movement including Rover Thomas, Quennie McKenzie, Jack Britten and more recently Mabel Juli and Lena Nyadbi. Melissa holds bachelor level degrees (hons) in education and psychology, a Masters of Business Administration and a Juris Doctor degree in law. She is currently a Board Member with Women’s Legal Services of WA and has completed the AICD Company Director’s Course. Former Board positions include Sexual Health Quarters, Perth Theatre Company, Perth Centre for Photography and Stages (WA Playwright’s Consortium). Melissa is passionate about equity and social justice.
Dr Marilyn Metta is the Director and Founder of The Metis Centre, a social justice organisation working to address gender inequality and promote women and children’s safety and wellbeing. Marilyn has over 20 years’ experience working as a trauma-integrated counsellor with culturally diverse and marginalised communities. She is the Founder of Metamorphosis Inc, a not-for-profit charitable organisation working to provide access to education and promote safety and wellbeing of marginalised young people.
Commencing most of her work experience in hospitality has always been a vulnerable but rewarding experience for Nisha, as an order taker in fast food, onto making coffees in well-known cafes, to working within a family-owned business. Her vision behind undertaking a lived experience advisor role was an exciting opportunity to speak openly about her experience with intrinsic motivation. She thought that if sharing her personal experience aids in providing improved assistances for the Circle Green’s future clientele, the sense of power and achievement within herself would leave her gratified.
Workplace harassment is a defenseless experience often misjudged and misunderstood. Victims are often left to believe that the nature of their reports will be ignored or not handled respectfully and confidentially, or it its feared that reporting harassment may expose them to additional harm. She highly believes the LEAP will achieve an abundance of valuable and captivating information from their advisory panel in the success of being competent to discuss vulnerable occurrences with all genders, ethnically and linguistically diverse persons, the LGBTQI community & Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander persons.
Betty is an Economist and Community Engagement specialist with interest in place based economic, social and ecological justice and resilience, with local and international practice experience. She has recently returned to Perth after a decade away, where she has been specialising in co-operative business development in Western Sydney and greater New South Wales. She has been a national lead in progressing plural and new economics narratives Nationally “as if people and planet mattered”, including initiating some of the first Community Wealth Building capacity building nationally, in Western Sydney. She is particularly interested in urban resilience narratives and local government responsivity to preparing communities in the coming ecological and economic challenges, as well as Government implementing Wellbeing Budget and Indicators priorities.
Mental health lived experience educator, academic, consultant, speaker, advocate, and research associate. Rachel has experience at state, national & international levels in the various hats she wears. She is a multiple scholarship recipient who is passionate about breaking down the stigma and discrimination faced by her peers, utilising her diverse skills to empower and educate. She holds the esteemed Curtin University Valuing Lived Experience (VLEP) Educator Certificate and thrives in the Mental Health, Sexuality and Disability education and training space. Rachel’s vocation comes from her own lived experience of overcoming the negative impacts of mental distress and its associated treatments. She draws deeply on this wisdom along with her background in education, business ownership and leadership. A major strength of Rachels’ is her inter-personal relations, particularly showing empathy for others. After attaining various accreditations in Mental Health, she will be soon utilising this inherent compassion for others in a professional setting as a Peer Supervisor. Rachel appreciates humour, loves a good giggle and is enthusiastic about being an agent for change for consumer rights and social justice
How can I join the LEAP?
We welcome applications for the LEAP on a rolling basis, prioritising applications from people representing communities who experience particularly high rates of workplace sexual harassment including women, LGBTQI+ people, people with a disability and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Frequently asked questions
What does the LEAP actually do?
The voices of our Lived Experience Advisors are vital in informing the Workplace Respect Project.
Convening about 4 times yearly, LEAP members draw on their lived experience to provide valuable feedback and insight into the design and development of project elements such as education resources and training and legal assistance models.
Are LEAP members volunteers?
)LEAP members are contracted to provide support to Circle Green in a consultancy role, in recognition of the value of including and amplifying the voices of people with lived experience in our work.
Each member is offered $70 per hour for each LEAP meeting (not including preparation time). In addition, members are also offered access to personal and professional development opportunities as they arise, such as access to training and events.
What “level” of sexual harassment do I need to have experienced to be considered?
We recognise that sexual harassment occurs as part of a continuum of sexual harm and violence, in a variety of different contexts.
Anyone can experience sexual harassment. Attributes such as gender, age, sexuality, race and disability can also increase likelihood of occurrence, and increase the likelihood of physical or psychological harm. In recognition of this, we welcome membership enquiries from a diverse range of applicants with diverse experiences of workplace sexual harassment and discrimination.
I had to sign a non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreement as part of my settlement. Does this mean I can’t join the LEAP?
If you’ve signed a settlement agreement with your employer in relation to your matter, it’s possible it might contain a clause that prevents you from talking about your matter, including things like the circumstances of your matter, the settlement amount, etc.
You should review anything you signed and consider if being a LEAP member may create a risk of breaching your agreement. If you are unsure whether or not you may be breaching a settlement agreement or other written document, we recommend that you seek legal advice before participating.
How can I keep up to date with the LEAP's work?
We post recap blogs summarising the key findings from each of our LEAP meetings. You can find our latest blogs on LEAP meeting themes below. You can view all LEAP meeting blogs and and other Workplace Respect Project updates here.