Department of Health

Lived and Living Experience Workforce University Scholarship Program

Apply now for scholarships to support university level qualifications for lived and living experience workers. This round of scholarships will be offered for Semester 1, 2024.

Lived and living experience workforce
Open, closing in 37 days

The Department of Health is offering scholarships of up to $13,000 for university level qualifications to lived and living experience workers (LLEWs) employed in state funded mental health or alcohol and other drug (AOD) services.

The scholarships are available to eligible individuals who are enrolled or intending to enrol in an eligible undergraduate and postgraduate course in Semester 1, 2024.

This scholarship aims to support LLEW to build the necessary capability, in addition to their existing skills and lived or living experience expertise, to confidently take on diverse leadership roles across the system.


    • To apply for a scholarship, applicants must:

      • be employed in a state funded mental health or AOD service including peak bodies, training organisations and services delivered by non-government bodies.
      • be employed in a designated lived or living experience role. Designated lived experience roles include all positions, that regardless of the position type or setting, require lived experience of mental illness or psychological distress, substance use or addiction, or of being a family member or carer
      • be an Australian citizen or permanent resident or New Zealand citizen
      • be eligible to enrol in, or already be enrolled in, a university level qualification for Semester 1, 2024 (i.e., bachelor’s degree, graduate certificate, graduate diploma, masters or doctorate)*.
      • be able to provide a letter of recommendation from line manager and/or lived/living experience senior (if relevant), confirming the applicant’s length of engagement in the sector and how the service will support the applicant’s learning (e.g., through study leave, flexible workload, etc). A template is provided on the Australian College of Nursing’s (ACN) websiteExternal Link .

      *Scholarship recipients may defer their enrolment once.

    • Eligible courses for this scholarship include university level courses that build management and leadership skills.

      To be awarded a scholarship, candidates must demonstrate their commitment to the lived and living experience workforces and describe how the proposed course will support them to use their lived or living experience perspective across leadership or management roles in the mental health and wellbeing or AOD sector. For example, in leadership, management or change management roles.

      Currently, there are not any lived or living experience specific university courses offered by Australian-based universities. However, applications from candidates wishing to complete postgraduate courses in Mad Studies through international universities, or higher degrees by research focused on lived or living experience research topics, are encouraged.

      These scholarships are not designed to support lived and living experience workers to qualify as mental health clinicians. As such, funding is unavailable for degrees in clinical disciplines (for example, nursing, social work, occupational therapy).

      Areas of study that applicants could consider include (but are not limited to):

      • leadership
      • education and training
      • research and evaluation
      • training and assessment
      • change management
      • finance and administration
      • policy and governance
      • health services management
      • project management
      • family therapy
      • mad studies.

      Funding is available to support lived and living experience workers to complete university level qualifications in Family Therapy (for example, a Graduate Certificate of Counselling Child Youth and Family Therapy or a Master of Clinical Family Therapy). Applicants will need to demonstrate a clear connection to family/carer leadership and skill development in their application to meet the requirements of this initiative.

    • For information on the assessment process, see the ACN's websiteExternal Link .

    • The ACN administers the scholarships on behalf of the Victorian Department of Health.

      To apply, see the ACN’s websiteExternal Link .

      For more information, please contact the ACN on 1800 117 262 or

      Please note, the ACN does not evaluate scholarship recipients.

    Reviewed 15 September 2023

    For information on these scholarships

    Australian College of Nursing