Louise Starr is an NDIS participant and a Carer of an NDIS participant. She wears the hats of Consumer, Carer and Lived Experience Leadership & Founder of Homegrown Recovery.

Louise will offer individual placements for a maximum of one to two students at a time. The home-run business will support students to learn about the services on the Gold Coast and key stakeholders, to tour the community and visit venues where they can co-create supports with a consumer, to advertise and promote their services and think innovatively about the types of work they can get involved in and to improve their networking.

Louise can provide access to be involved in Co-design work, to create a presentation to deliver to new services about the benefits of lived experience in the mental health sector, and to discover ways to be involved in lived experience co-design for service improvement initiatives and new services at a local, State and Federal level. Some of this will be connecting them to current opportunities via Health Consumers Queensland, Queensland Alliance for Mental Health, Gold Coast PHN and both QLD and National Mental Health Commission. Louise will support students to apply for positions and write applications and address criteria, and to add additional skills to their resumes gained during their placements.

Louise will buddy one to one with students to support a consumer in the community and to ensure they build competency and address work health and safety issues and to discover what areas and specialties they like.

Louise can escort students to South Stradbroke Island to see an Intentional Community for people with Disabilities and tour the facilities.

It’s Louise’s goal for students to learn the career trajectories of a Lived Experience worker. By completing an online profile with Mable and Kynd, students can begin to work themselves as Peer workers as this individual market to promote yourself gives students access to flexible paid work, covered by indemnity insurance and where they can choose what suits them. It is not an expectation that students have to do any activities I can offer, but to choose which ones they feel meet their individual goals to create a career path of their choosing.

Louise is solely interested in advancing the students and the Lived Experience Workforce Development across South East QLD. As such, each student can tailor some of the activities required during their vocational placement at Homegrown Recovery. Louise hopes at the end of an 80 hour placement, each student will be very competent to seek employment through multiple channels and already adding skills to their resumes and applying for positions.


Studying Cert IV in Mental Health Peer Work and has lived experience of Mental health as carer or consumer 

What We Do

Louise Starr has established three Peer Support Programs across the Gold Coast, at FSG, Headspace and the first Carer Peer Worker role at Gold Coast Hospital. After working in Government, non-government and with multiple organisations, Louise felt the need to address gaps in community services and better approaches to Lived Experience Workforce development.

As such, Louise established Homegrown Recovery with the aim to provide training and consultation to support the growth of peer work and to address better understandings of how services can support this into the future.

The career trajectory of a consumer peer worker is varied and can be very exciting. The opportunities in NDIS services are very new and not yet explored or offered on the Gold Coast. This space and the overlap with traditional services is the key market Homegrown Recovery is aimed at influencing, providing services by building capacity of a new market for Lived Experience workers to flourish in and continue to inform future outcomes.

It is exciting to be able to work in a team or to work independently and at a level you have capacity and even from your home, at the hours you feel suit you and overcoming barriers that may not allow you to succeed in a traditional part-time or full-time role. Building capacity of small community programs is essential in allowing community engagement and social inclusion and to build meaningful and purposeful careers and lives.

It is an exciting place to create future leaders and not exclude anyone who has a desire to give back and share their recovery in the best way they can. Homegrown Recovery is all about building Sustainable and Environmentally safe education, work experience and collaboration. Its motto is truly “Nothing About Us Without Us”. Its Vision is to see Lived Experience Workforce Development is done with authenticity and maintains the integrity of the core values and principles of peer work and the pioneer movement that has been instrumental in developing a recovery orientated model to align with clinical/medical service models