Peer Support Network News.
The Peer Support Network is a working group of the Chronic Illness Alliance and seeks to promote excellence in Peer Support across Victoria.

Peer Support Network News


Peer Support Network meeting

Topic: Peer Leaders Online Training workshop

Date: 18th March
Time: 2-4pm
Venue: Maurice Blackburn Lawyers
Mary Holdsworth Room 
Level 10, 456 Lonsdale St.
Melbourne, VIC 3000


Workshop: Social Media in Health

Risks and opportunities for Peer Support Groups

Date: 4th March
Time: 10:30am - 1:30pm
Venue: Health Issues Centre
Level 8, 255 Bourke St
Melbourne Australia 3000



The Peer Support Network Leadership Group is a working party of the:


2015: The year ahead

For your calendar

Peer Support Network meetings

The calendar for this year has been developed and we're excited about seeing you all at the upcoming meetings.

Join us for the first quarterly Peer Support Network meeting for 2015 which is an introduction and discussion about the new Peer Leaders Online Training (PLOT) course developed by the Chronic Illness Alliance. We are looking forward to sharing information and ideas, and networking with others working in peer support.

The quarterly meetings are free, but you will need to RSVP so that we can be prepared for the right number of people. And this year, meetings are open to everyone who works in the Peer Support field, not just those working with organisations that are members of the Chronic Illness Alliance.

Please share this newsletter with your colleagues!

This year, we're continuing to alternate days to make sure that part time workers will be able to come to at least one of the meetings. We've also been very lucky to have Maurice Blackburn Lawyers and the Health Issues Centre, both located in the CBD, offer premises for our meetings. Both locations are accessible by public transport and easy to get to.

Here's a list of this year's meeting dates, times and locations for your calendar:

Wednesday 18th March, 2-4pm located at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers
Tuesday 12th May, 2-4pm located at Health Issues Centre
Thursday 13th August, 2-4pm located at Health Issues Centre
Wednesday 13th October, 2-4pm located at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

Launch of Peer Leaders Online Training (PLOT)

The Peer Leaders Online Training (PLOT) course developed by the Chronic Illness Alliance is about to be officially launched! The highly anticipated revised version of PLOT follows an extensive restructure, new content, and improved navigation and usability.

Designed as a step-by-step guide to setting up and running a peer support group, PLOT can also be used to build the capacity of an existing group, or to train a new peer leader to take over. The course is completely free, and available to anyone who would like to register.

The training is self-guided and structured around core units and optional electives, covering areas such as leadership and facilitation skills, navigating through difficult times, governance and financial matters, planning, and looking after oneself in the role.

In addition to providing information and recommendations within each Unit, the course includes a range of activities, resources and templates that are designed to help participants convert concepts into skills, and put theory into practice. Participants who complete the course will also receive a Certificate of Completion. A flyer and full Course Overview are available on the PLOT homepage.

The course was created as part of the Health Conditions Support Grant funding from the Victorian Department of Health.

Peer Support Network members are invited to take a sneak peek at the course before its official launch in March.

To register, go to

We’d love to hear your feedback on the course to help us make this free resource even better. There is a feedback form at the end of the course, or contact

We look forward to hearing from you!

Other training

Over the next few months, Health Issues Centre is running 4 peer support group training sessions for leaders and members. These are funded under the Victorian Department of Health, Health Conditions Support Grant.
The first workshop will be held on the 4th March on the risks and opportunities for social media in peer support groups. This lively discussion will cover the different types of social media in health and provide practical ways in which peer support groups can take advantage of social media to better connect with their local community. In our consultations with peer support groups and several condition-specific organisations, this was an area of interest by peer support or self-help groups.
More information about this workshops is available on the Health Issues Centre website and we encourage you to share this training opportunity amongst your peer support networks.
If you have any questions regarding this workshop, please feel free to contact Esther Lim or Mary Macheras-Magias on (03) 9664 9343.

We need your help...

The Chronic Illness Alliance will be running a full-day peer support workshop in the second half of the year about Best Practice in Peer Support. The workshop will involve people working in peer support and health professionals.


We are in the process of deciding on a date for the workshop, and would like to know of any major health-related workshops, forums or conferences scheduled after July so as not to clash with them. If you know of any events that we should be aware of in our planning, please let us know on

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