Consumer participation

The Peer Education Support Program (PESP) is a volunteer program that provides people who have experienced homelessness with the opportunity to improve the service system.

PESP team members play a key role in promoting the benefits and transformative power of consumer participation in service system and policy development.

PESP activities include:

  • consumer participation training and advice
  • group and individual presentation
  • peer facilitation of focus groups, interviews or surveys
  • peer support
  • media activities
  • consultation with all levels of government
  • consultation with the specialist homelessness support services (SHSS) and related sectors
  • participation on working / steering groups and committees.

2018 PESP recruitment – applications now open


Have you experienced homelessness and want to help improve the homelessness service system? Or, do you know someone who fits that description?

Applications are now open to become a Peer Education and Support Program team member.

Members commit to being involved for two years, during which time they take part in focus groups, media activities, public speaking, and consulting with services and government.

Our current PESP team has clocked innumerable hours helping the community, media and decision-makers better understand homelessness.

Team members receive training and ongoing support and, are reimbursed for their time.

How to apply

Download the full Position Description

Download the Application Form

Applicants are requested to write a response to the PESP Volunteer position description (outlined in the Position Description document above) by filling out the Application Form (also above). Applicants should also nominate two referees. It is not necessary to respond in detail to the selection criteria but responses should clearly indicate an understanding of the position and a commitment to participate for the period of contract.

Applications close Wednesday 17 January 2018 at 4pm.

Please contact PESP Team Leader Cassandra Bawden for more information.

To display a PESP application flyer for your clients, download one here


Graduate members

When they have finished their term PESP members have the opportunity to become graduate members. PESP graduates have had a range of experiences and are available for activities if you wish. Please contact Cassandra Bawden if you are interested in having a PESP graduate involved in an activity. 

Graduate members continue their involvement with CHP through activities such as presentations, special projects and consumer consultations.


Understanding Homelessness training

Presented by PESP members, this training provides a comprehensive overview of key homelessness issues from the perspective of individuals who have lived it.

Learning objectives
To provide participants with a more detailed understanding of homelessness— its definitions, causes, effects and the lived experience—in order to inform their work with people who are experiencing homelessness and to respond in an appropriate manner.

Topics covered
• statistics and definitions of homelessness
• myths and facts
• causes and effects of homelessness
• consumers of homelessness services
• personal experiences
• rights-based approach versus charity.

1.5 hours

To book this training for your organisation, team or staff, contact Cassandra Bawden, PESP Team Leader on 8415 6210 or [email protected]

Download the flyer here.


Local councils

Councils can create greater awareness about issues of homelessness, affordable housing, family violence and poverty by engaging a homelessness advocate:

  • To deliver an ‘Understanding Homelessness’ training session for staff
  • As a guest speaker at a local council event
  • For consultation in the development of an affordable housing and/or homelessness strategy

Download the PESP for local councils flyer here.


More information

For more information—for you or a consumer—download the PESP information sheet in colour or the PESP information sheet in black and white for easy printing.

You can learn more about the program by reading the following reports:


Experiences of consumer participation in PESP

An evaluation of the PESP program, titled ‘Homelessness, learning from those who’ve lived it: Evaluation of the Peer Education and Support Program‘ is now available. It is the first evaluation of consumer participation in Victoria’s specialist homelessness service sector. 


Contact PESP

You can contact Cassandra Bawden, PESP Coordinator via email or by phone on 8415 6210.