The WAMHA awards are held annually and the 2017 round saw both The Hearing Voices Network of Western Australia and one of its employees Corina McSwain, not only having the honour of being nominated for an award but also being selected as finalists.
Over 150 nominations were received over all categories – out of which a winner and two runners up finalists were selected, with individual winners to be announced at a cocktail dinner event on Thursday 13th July. The award ceremony quickly became a sold out event and was attended by both award finalists and their guests, sponsors, stakeholders and the general public.
The calibre of the finalists was evident as a short synopsis from each one was shared with the audience. Corina was nominated for the Impact and Inspiration award whose criteria called for someone who identifies as having a lived experience of mental ill health and who has gone on to overcome challenges on their recovery journey. Furthermore, it needed to be illustrated how the nominee had improved the lives and wellbeing of others in the community and raised awareness of mental illness in Western Australia.
Below is a little of what was shared about Corina on the night:
Corina started as a volunteer in the Hearing Voices Network of Australia over four years ago and went on to secure a position as a Peer Support Worker with The network in 2014. In her role as a Richmond Wellbeing employee Corina has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others who are experiencing mental ill health, providing support encouragement and most of all hope to those she works with.
Corina facilitates a number of hearing voices support groups, participates in training individuals and groups and continually promotes awareness of the hearing voices experience. Equally important is the work that Corina does outside her role at Richmond Wellbeing which includes amongst many things: participating in numerous research projects and face to face sharing of her lived experience.
Volunteering her time for mental health research purposes, she is passionate about changing outcomes for those affected by mental health distress. Corina also volunteers as a consumer advisor on a number of panels focussed on the wellbeing of those with Mental health issues.
As well as completing a cert IV in Mental Health, Corina is a keen sportswoman volunteering her time to coach the Western Australian Basketball League U/12 Girls, participates in weekly pistol shooting matches, plays water polo and is an avid crafter. Corina attends training in her own time ensuring she is up to date with developments in the mental health sphere enabling her to pass that learning on. In her leisure activities and daily interactions. Corina seeks to find the opportunity to have conversations around Mental Health.
Congratulations Corina on being awarded a runner up position and for all your achievements to date.
Impact and Inspiration Award
The overall winner in the Impact and Inspiration Category was the very much deserving Royce Hardman for his contribution to raising awareness of PTSD, who along with his dog Trigger, embarked on an epic journey around Australia for said cause.
Meanwhile, the Hearing Voices Network of Western Australia (HVNWA) was proudly nominated for the Wellbeing Award which called for an organisation or group that contributes to and promotes mental health and wellbeing. It was specifically nominated for the work it does in establishing and facilitating Hearing Voices Support groups (HV Groups) in the community and clinical settings. Currently in Perth and surrounds there are 15 groups being facilitated by staff from the HVNWA or by external organisations. HVNWA have also been responsible for the setup and facilitation of an HV Group within the ward at St John of God Midland which is a first for HVNWA and for SJOG Midland.
Again the finalists in this category were of a very high standard and the overall winner was the much deserving Mates in Construction who are actively promoting good mental health within the Construction Industry which finds itself battling against such tragic statistics of one suicide every two days. Congratulations to all those that were nominated, shortlisted as finalists and the overall category winners, you are all doing excellent work.