In 2015, we launched an exciting opportunity for new and emerging leaders in mental health and social services to develop their leadership skills and learn how to implement recovery-oriented practice in their team, service, and organisation.

The Recovery-Oriented Leader Development Program (ROLDP) was a nine-month professional development program with four key learning components that ran in Sydney's Inner West and Nepean Blue Mountains regions throughout 2015 and 2016.

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The workshop series featured guest speakers and trainers from across the mental health sector. Expert guests included peer, consumer and carer experts, established leaders, and recovery-oriented mental health practitioners. Presentations were accompanied by interactive, action-oriented activities that assisted participants to apply skills and knowledge gained in their organisations.

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An extraordinary opportunity to meet with experienced coaches to focus on development of individual leadership skills. A leadership strengths assessment and meetings with a coach and direct line manager informed the focus of sessions.


Action Learning is a powerful way for leaders to learn from other leaders. With the assistance of experienced facilitators, participating leaders undertook training in Action Learning and participated in a series of Action Learning sets in small groups. Through this process they learnt to apply these skills to tackle and learn from the recovery-oriented leadership challenges they each face on a daily basis.

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We encouraged participants to organise regular group meetings throughout the program to review personal learnings and reading materials. This enhanced shared learning, and enabled the building of a network of peers for ongoing support.

How was the program structured?

Participants attended a number of face-to-face hours (approximately 100), in addition to their own reading and reflection time. 

An example outline of the program is below.


How much did the program cost?

The total value to each participant in the ROLDP is $5,200. We received funding from the Australian Government through the Partners in Recovery Innovation Fund that allowed us to offer the program for just $600 + GST per participant.



Leaders with up to three years’ experience, who are providing or influencing services for people who experience mental health challenges.


A professional development program that combined workshops, action learning sets and one-on-one leadership coaching.


Develop your leadership skills; learn how to convert recovery principles into practice within your team, services, and organisation; access expert guest speakers from the mental health sector.

The 2015/16 ROLDP was supported by the Australian Government through the Nepean Blue Mountains Partners in Recovery Innovation Grant Program.