LELAN, LEDGE Project Worker and Facilitator
LELAN recently welcomed Ari Reid to the team as our Lived Experience Development, Governance and Education Project Worker and Trainer. We are excited for Ari to start in this role as we work to strengthen and embed lived/living experience involvement throughout South Australia
Below Ari answers some questions to introduce herself.
Who Ari is:
I’m emotional, and I overthink and talk too fast. Things that make me happy are sunshine, my dog and ocean views. I am passionate about all things social justice.
Professionally, I am a qualified Social Worker (but don’t hold that against me) and I have spent much of the last 20 years working in community development within community based and peer led projects and organisations.
I think my best quality is that I genuinely respect people and the way they choose to live their lives. I am compassionate, have very little judgement and truly believe that each of us are doing our best with what we got…
My experience in project management and various board positions has made me slightly obsessed with developing good quality policy and procedures, and this is both a strength and a weakness, depending on the context.
How Ari felt starting with LELAN:
I am super excited and a little bit nervous. It’s exciting to have the opportunity to work in a role that so closely fits my skills, experience and interests but also challenges me with lots of new things to learn. And I’m nervous because… eeeeeek!! new job!!!
Ari’s hope for the project and what she thinks will come from it:
My hope is that the LEDGE project will result in improved opportunities for genuine partnerships between people with lived experience and organisational leadership.
It’s important that the involvement of people with lived experience is meaningful and valued within leadership structures, that is not a tokenistic exercise.
I am looking forward to working with the lived experience community and organisations to increase capacity through the development of training opportunities, resources and ongoing support strategies that are relevant, useful and accessible. Ultimately, I believe the effectiveness of organisations and their services will be improved by strengthening the role of people with lived experience in their leadership structures.
What Ari appreciates about LELAN and how we do things:
I’m excited to have discovered an organisation that is doing this work and is committed to values that so closely align with my own.
I feel lucky to be involved during this time when the organisation is growing and expanding but is still full of passion an enthusiasm, it’s inspirational.
Ari’s thoughts on lived experience leadership and advocacy:
So many thoughts! Ultimately, it’s a social justice issue because people deserve to have a seat at the table when decisions are being made that will effect them.
The outcomes for everyone are improved through the leadership and advocacy of people with lived experience. Not just individuals and organisations involved.
I believe that our society as a whole benefits when we are valued and respected for the knowledge, skills, feelings and relationships that we have to offer rather than being stigmatised and discriminated against.
A story about Ari’s passion for her work and being in this space:
I feel like all my experiences in life have lead me to this place and this role. It’s a perfect fir for everything I am good at doing and everything I am passionate about. Process, lived experience, governance, leadership, capacity building, community development, empowerment are all part of my professional practice framework!
I have been incredibly lucky to have worked with amazing and supportive, skilled community activists and leaders throughout my career who have supported me and taught me so much.
I feel privileged to to have the opportunity to bring all I have learnt into this new role and to work with, learn from and support others in the same way.
Connecting with Ari:
Ari will be working with LELAN Tuesday, Thursday & Friday. She can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org .