By Dirk Corstens
Lisa Forestell has been the Chair of Intervoice since 2019. She found another challenging vocation that made her decide to step down as Chair and Board Member. We thank Lisa for her contributions to the Board and Intervoice – with her guidance, we became a more professional organisation and had regular meetings. We started a process of clarifying our purpose, something we continue to carry forward beyond her time with us. We wish Lisa much success on her new journey!
As interim Chair I am pleased introduce Kellie Stastny from Australia as the new Chair of Intervoice.
Kellie used the word tribe for the first time – as far as I know – to indicate the Hearing Voices Movement. She has already been a member of the Board for a few years. She developed the Intervoice Community Agreement with others, and moderates the Facebook Intervoice Group. I am sure as Chair Kellie will add value and enthusiasm to our tribe! She will welcome everybody at Intervoice Day this year. And I am really glad a voice hearer is Chair again.
The Hearing Voices Movement along with Intervoice have had immense influence in completely altering the trajectory of my life. Through encountering the Hearing Voices Movement and the impassioned, wise and brave individuals that are the Movement along with the knowledge that was so freely shared, I found a meaningful alternative to describe, connect and work with my experiences as a Voice Hearer. I view the Hearing Voices Movement and Intervoice as my TRIBE, my chosen family and I feel like I have been immensely blessed to have grown and developed within this network since 2009. I love being a part of a movement where the individual experience is valued, that lived experience is an expertise and removes barriers between people I have been a part of the Board of Intervoice since 2012 attending my first Board meeting in Cardiff. I feel really proud of the direction the Board is moving in, feeling renewed enthusiasm and feel that I still have much to bring to the position.
Alongside the insight I bring from being a voice hearer with lived experience navigating and recovering from the psychiatric system, I also worked in a mental health team in a Community Health Service in regional Victoria for 6.5 years. For the last 4 years I have been pursuing a double degree Bachelor of Human Services and Master of Social Work. This study has reignited my passion to pursue social justice, respect for people and their unique experiences and the variation in individual explanations of their experiences. I aspire to pursue an academic career now, to teach up and coming mental health professionals about this approach and to pursue research to propel and support the Hearing Voices Movement. I continue to want to be a part of the Board as I see immense value in our role to connect and share the innovative and expansive wealth of knowledge that is being developed around the world. I have experienced the Board evolving and believe there is a genuine desire for it to adapt, to hold a meaningful and responsible role in promoting and supporting the individual networks and initiatives around the world.