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The Peer Projects team at SHARC are always looking out for information on developing the Peer workforce and the Peer Support community. If you have any resources you would like to add please contact us.

Victorian Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Peer Workforce Core Competencies

Core competencies are the capacity to successfully perform a role or function. They are often described as the knowledge, skills, and abilities a person needs to have to effectively perform a role or job.

About the Core Competencies

The AOD peer workforce is at a critical time in its development. Many peers have been trained and are working in a variety of settings, but questions remain regarding peer roles, duties and philosophies.  In an effort to create a broader and deeper understanding, reduce workplace tensions and develop effective peer worker roles, a set of agreed core competencies is necessary. These core competencies outline what peer workers do and how they go about their role, thereby assisting with community, sector and agency understanding of peer work.

The development of these competencies is an activity supported by the Strategy for the Alcohol and Other Drug Peer Workforce in Victoria (2019). SHARC and Victoria’s Peer Workforce Community of Practice have worked together with key stakeholders to identify critical knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the contemporary AOD peer worker. The goal is that these core competencies will inform peer worker training programs, position descriptions, and career development for peer workers.

To view and download the Victorian AOD Peer Workforce Core Competencies click here

What is an AOD Peer Worker?

Victoria’s AOD Peer Workforce Community of Practice have worked together to develop a document ‘What is an AOD Peer Worker?’ 

To view and download the document click here

SHARC welcomes new Strategy for the Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Peer Workforce

Yesterday, the Strategy for the Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Peer Workforce in Victoria was officially launched by the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Strategy was developed by Peer Projects at the Self Help Addiction Resource Centre (SHARC) in collaboration with numerous stakeholders and in close consultation with the Victorian AOD Peer Workforce Community of Practice (CoP).  It has also been informed by a number of AOD sector agencies who have been champions for peer workforce development, as well as the work of our colleagues in the mental health sector.

This strategy describes the required activity needed to adequately develop, support and sustain the workforce and aims to assist policy developers, funders, AOD peer workers and their employers to work towards developing a thriving peer workforce.

The strategy will ensure that the peer workforce is dynamically and directly linked to the future direction of Victoria’s AOD sector.

For a copy of the strategy or for more information click here

Charter of Peer Support (Mental Health)

SHARC are proud to endorse the Charter of Peer Support (Centre of Excellence Peer Support).

The Charter is intended to: 

  • Help key stakeholders to understand and appreciate the value and power of peer support as a means of preventing the escalation of mental health issues and promoting emotional, physical and spiritual well-being
  • Highlight the validity and value of peer support as an integral method of service delivery for consumers and carers of mental health services
  • Promote peer support services as a cost effective part of the mental health system
  • Promote consumer and carer involvement, participation and empowerment
  • For many people living with a mental illness, clinical health services and formal treatment services, while essential, are not the only means of seeking help. The peer support model is intrinsic to mental health and total well-being because it provides affordable and accessible assistance that is not available in any other way.

See the charter here

Intentional Peer Support in AOD

SHARC & IPS Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) Project

In 2016, SHARC decided to explore Intentional Peer Support and 7 SHARC staff members attended Intentional Peer Support Core Trainings funded by DHHS and Human Services Expanding Post Discharge Support Initiative. Two of SHARCs staff have become Intentional Peer Support Organisational Trainers and organisational trainings have ensured that that a further 14 SHARC staff have been IPS trained. In Sep 2017 SHARC partnered with IPS to strengthen their knowledge base and enhance their delivery of peer support initiatives. This new partnership saw the development of IPS Core Training lensed toward the Alcohol and other Drug (AOD) sector in Australia. This partnership involved comprehensive sector consultation and pilot programs throughout the state to develop core materials and training that supports and enhances the AOD space.

For any inquiries please contact us at or call 9573 1700

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Peer Support Groups

There are many AOD peer support groups in Victoria

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Peer Support Capacity Building Project 2014-2017

The Peer Support Capacity Building Project was a two year project commissioned in 2014 to assist Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) agencies to build peer support activity for both service users and families impacted by drug and alcohol misuse.

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SHARC leads new era in Peer Workforce Development

The Department of Health and Human Services has recently released an updated version of the Alcohol and other drug (AOD) program guidelines and a new AOD performance management framework. These updates…

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Proud Peer Worker, an expert by experience at 80.

SHARC have supported the Western Region Alcohol and Drug Centre (WRAD) to increase the number of peer workers delivering support services to clients in the western region of Victoria. One of…

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SHARC in the Victorian Alcohol and Other Drugs Awareness Campaign – ‘A World of Difference’.

In conjunction with the release of Victoria’s alcohol and other drugs workforce strategy 2018–2022 recently, the Government also launched the Alcohol and Other Drugs (AOD) Awareness Campaign to support workforce…

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The AOD Peer Workforce highlighted in Victoria’s alcohol and other drugs workforce strategy 2018–2022

This week the Minister for Mental Health, Martin Foley MP, released a new workforce strategy for the alcohol and other drugs sector.  Victoria’s alcohol and other drugs workforce strategy 2018–2022..

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