Alana Mondy – Senior Peer Worker

Growing up in a beachside community, Alana Mondy acquired a deep bond with nature - the ocean, the desert and forests; a connection she believes to be essential to wellbeing. Tending to plants, along with music and singing, are some of the many ways in which Alana encourages others to explore what they love and find meaning in their own lives, in her work as a Senior Peer Worker for Flourish Australia.

Honoring Genuine Connections as a Pathway to Empowerment

Alana leads by example in groups dedicated to encouraging and empowering women and men alike to see their innate strength and strive for their personal best in the workplace and in their lives.  Committed to many facets of meaningful advocacy for women, she demonstrates strength and resilience in rising to her own life challenges and supporting others who access Flourish Australia services.

Never shy of standing up for what she believes in, Alana is brave in sharing her own recovery journey, her willingness to be open and vulnerable make her a very approachable and effective peer who helps other women believe in themselves and find their own voice.

The mother of two girls, aged 16 and 10 Alana has worked in the community services industry for more than 8 years and is very active in her local community where she supports women in music.  She has been a passionate activist for environmental and social change campaigns for more than 25 years; including travelling Australia extensively on anti-nuclear and forest preservation initiatives.

Soon after joining Flourish Australia 3½ years ago as a casual mental health worker, Alana was appointed to a more senior peer position.  The new role has been integral to her own recovery journey, riding through the tough times surrounded by caring and supportive people.

Making such real and genuine connections has become her work’s greatest reward, “when I hold space with people and they feel complete freedom to be themselves”.   It’s the many small moments of breakthrough that hold the most meaning for Alana in her work; the 65-year-old man who finds the courage to sing his favourite song publicly for the first time at karaoke or someone she supports taking it upon themselves to travel train a younger person so that they can make their way to the centre independently.

Sharing her own lived experience to build a foundation of trust that encourages freedom of expression is what Alana does best and it brings out the best in others.   The bond of understanding creates a safe place where people can share their insecurities as healthy interactions help them to look beyond their mental health issue and see their own worth.  Alana gets to paint, play guitar, sing karaoke, play pool and cook with people and see the profound difference it makes to their confidence and outlook.

On a personal level, Alana is proud to have been assistant coach for The Big Issue NSW street soccer team at The Street Soccer Nationals at Darling Harbour as well as having coordinated more than 1000 individual participants and 50 different services for the Hunter Homeless Connect Day in 2010.  She is regularly invited to speak to TAFE classes about her relationship with activism and how her career in mental health came about.

Of all her achievements however, Alana considers knowing that she is loved and respected by her community to be the greatest accolade.  Her hope is to pass on the legacy of love and support that she experienced in her biological and professional families to her own girls and to all women; empowering them to become capable, self-respecting individuals who create fulfilling lives of their own without feeling compelled to conform to archaic social standards.  These are themes that are woven into her song writing as well as her professional approach.

Looking to the future, Alana aspires to playing a part in advancing Flourish Australia to its full capacity and would like to again travel Australia to work with remote communities.   “I want women everywhere to live free from feeling afraid to be powerful,” Alana says.

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