Meet Our Speakers

Veronica Ganora

Veronica speaks about the following topics

People with a lived experience of disability hold unique insights and expertise that can be integrated into the design and delivery of programs, services and peer support.

The NDIS defines recovery as achieving an optimal state of personal, social and emotional wellbeing, as defined by each individual, whilst living with, or recovering from a mental health condition. People living with mental health conditions need to be involved in defining, designing and navigating their own recovery and wellbeing journey.

Veronica Ganora

Veronica is a recovery and wellbeing educator, peer trainer and advocate for responsive and inclusive support services for people with psycho-social disability. She is committed to the social and emotional wellbeing framework applied to peer education and consumer engagement, and is passionate about social justice.

Veronica envisions a future where she is engaged in meaningful employment that contributes to positive change in attitudes, perspectives and outcomes for people marginalised by stigma, prejudices, perceived capacity or cultural background.

Background

Veronica lives and works on Gadigal land in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs. Her parents migrated to Australia from Italy, and settled in Sydney’s Inner West. She was born in Sydney and grew up as one of four siblings in a bi-lingual speaking Italian family. Veronica still remembers the bullying and prejudice she experienced living in a predominately Anglo-Australian community from the age of five.

Veronica holds a Bachelor degree in History, Philosophy and International studies and a Certificate IV in Community Services. She has been working as a recovery and wellbeing educator with the South Eastern Sydney Recovery College since October 2017. Veronica believes peer work has been an important step towards her own recovery. It allows her to share the insight, knowledge and skills she has gained through her own experience of exclusion and marginalisation, treatment and recovery, as well as the various degrees of success she has had in accessing mental-health services.

Veronica has knowledge of models of co-production and co-direction in education, research and service provision and strengths based practice and has developed and delivered training on consumer engagement, advocacy and personal storytelling and navigating the health and social systems. The courses she co-facilitated include systemic advocacy, challenging stigma and navigating the mental health system

She is a member of the Consumer Reference Committee for the Ministry of Health, Alcohol and Drugs Branch, a member of the Expert Advisory Panel for the Special Commission into Ice, and is participating as a lived experience contributor in the consultations and workshops that will be developing the Regional Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan for the Central and Eastern Sydney health district.

In sharing her story, Veronica’s focus will be on the knowledge, skills and insights gained from accessing support services as well as her belief in the value of lived experience education in shifting the perspectives of those concerned with providing responsive and inclusive support services.

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