In 2005, the Richmond Fellowship of Western Australia, now known as Richmond Wellbeing, established the Hearing Voices Network Australia (HVNA) to introduce the important global Hearing Voices movement to Australia, and has since worked tirelessly to raise awareness and understanding about the phenomenon of hearing voices and introduce a different approach to hearing voices, seeing visions and other unusual experiences.
At the time of its introduction, HVNA was a key portal for accessing research, communication and innovation – it was at the cutting edge of mental health reform for one of the most marginalized groups of consumers of mental health services.
Over the ensuing years, HVNA’s work has influenced and encouraged the emergence of State-based networks throughout Australia, which in turn has facilitated the emergence of many hearing voices groups across the country. Since those early days in 2005, there has been a significant shift in thinking about the experience of hearing voices and an influx of hearing voices related programs, conferences and research on voice hearing experiences, the development of training for professionals, consumers and families in the Hearing Voices Approach and much more.
Today, the aspiration of HVNA is to evolve into a national network, bringing together the efforts of the country’s networks, voice hearers’ families and HV allies, to create a strong channel of influence, and to reinforce the message that voice hearing, by itself, is a normal human experience which, for some, is distressing and disabling but, importantly, there is hope for self-empowerment and self mastery over the experience – that is that ‘recovery can and does happen’.
This website is therefore a place-holder until such time that there is local, political and financial resources to support the development of a National Organisation.
Further, this website is intended to be a resource to introduce people to the Hearing Voices Network within the Australian context – essentially to be a portal for connection to State Hearing Voices Networks and sundry Hearing Voices Groups across Australia and to provide access to some resources that may light your fire in understanding hearing voices experiences and this way of working with (as opposed to against) voices.
This is a space for respecting – the experience and expertise of voice hearers, professionals and families – it is a place for allies to come together and create a community where mental, psychological and emotional human difference and diversity is accepted and appreciated.
We welcome you to this dynamic and exciting adventure!