Sean Awen Wass
Sean Awen Wass
My name is Sean and I am a founding member of the group. When I sustained a workplace injury back in 2006 I realised that there was very little support for people like myself in the compensation system. Dealing with self regulators, self insurers and insurance agents can be a living hell and has a direct detrimental impact on ones mental health. So thus began the journey of the injured workers support network.
In 2011 I sustained my 2nd spinal injury at work and my life was plunged into darkness, despair and complete hopelessness. A small group of us got together to try and help support each other; for nobody knows the system better than those who have had to endure it. As a result of my injuries and rapid decline in my own mental health I spent the next 8 yrs in and out of psych hospitals and was suicidal. I was prescribed huge amounts of medications and was not coping. As a result I lost my family home, my partner and my children; a direct result of systemic failures and abuse.
My life had been reduced to ashes and I had lost the will to live. My days would consist of seeing Drs, treaters, assessors and trying to navigate a very broken system. I would often get up in the morning and sit in my lounge chair with a handful of pills wondering if today was going to be the day I end my own life. When I would drop my youngest Son back at his mothers I would pause for a minute watching him walk to the front day door and wait for him to turn around so I could wave goodbye, believing this would be the last time I would see him. I was sure I was going to take my life. This went on for years.
But in this darkness I found the smallest glimmer of hope. It was the only friends I felt I had at the time, the friends I had made through the injured workers support network. In the early days of our meetings I would cry uncontrollably grieving a life that had been stolen from me. It is in this safe space I found compassion, understanding and support without judgement.
This is holding space for others : Holding space for another person is incredibly profound. When you hold space for someone, you bring your entire presence to them. You walk along with them without judgment, sharing their journey to an unknown destination. Yet you're completely willing to end up wherever they need to go. You give your heart, let go of control, and offer unconditional support.
I developed my self advocacy skills and decided to fight like never before. My life literally was in the balance, there is nothing more dangerous than someone who has nothing to lose, with no way out and constant pressure there were only two options for me now, suicide or to fight. After a 10 year battle In 2017 I got out of the compensation system, got off all the medications and got my approval for Medicinal Cannabis. My life is once again finding purpose and direction. Here are some of my achievements and the new direction in continuing the fight advocating for others.
In 2018 I graduated RMIT University with distinction in Dip Screen Media.
I am currently studying Mental Health and AOD and working in the field.
MENTAL HEALTH PEER SUPPORT WORKER / MENTIS ASSIST /CURRENT
Key functions as a Peer Support Worker Role is to provide support, promote hope and optimism about recovery, to support people to engage with the service, work with people to achieve their personal recovery goals and provide advocacy where needed.
Rebuild connection with community and provide intentional Peer support when appropriate to clients needs.
PEER SUPPORT WORKER / ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MENTAL HEALTH VMIAC /CURRENT
NDIS CRITICAL REFERENCE TEAM VMIAC/CURRENT
ROYAL COMMISSION INTO VIOLENCE, ABUSE, NEGLECT AND EXPLOITATION OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES VMIAC/CURRENT
- One-on-one sessions, or small group sessions, as a peer worker
- Support others to plan and write their own personal submission
- Phone support follow-ups if needed
- Lots of choices to do it your way, including hand-writing, typed, video or audio recordings
- Simple explanations about terminology and processes
- Help with actually sending off your submission
PEER SUPPORT TEAM LEADER & PROGRAM CO-ORDINATOR/BRIGHT FUTURE CARE NDIS SERVICE PROVIDER /COMMENCING
- Innovative Community Participation to enable participants to access main stream activities
- Assistance with Travel
- Transport required to get a participant to school / education / employment / community when they are unable to travel by other means due to their disability. Includes taxis, busses and community transport.
- Accommodation / Tenancy Assistance
- Assist participants to obtain and retain housing or other accommodation options.
- Participation in the Community
- Assisting participants to participate actively in community, social and civic activities.
- Development of Daily Living skills
- Provide training and development activities undertaken by the participant or their carer to increase their ability to live as autonomously as possible. Simple explanations about terminology and processes
- I run a small film production company which addresses social justice issues.
- I have helped co-facilitate a hearing voices group with Ermha.
- I am on the Arts sub-committee at Schizy Inc.
- I am a peer tutor and short film producer with the Mojo film festival.
- I have recently joined Drug Policy Australia as a special project editor.
- I am a representative for SSDP (students for sensible drug policy) Harm minimization and drug education.
- I have volunteered at Uniting and assisted with an art/photography exhibition working with veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Volunteer Project Editor at Drug Policy Australia
- I am also an Admin for a growing community of peer workers on line (Peer workers network facebook group)
- Founding member of the injured workers support network.
- I Direct the television show “In Pit Lane” this is my 3rd season the show is in its 24th year of production.
- I worked as technical Assistant on the TV show “Quiz Night” with Anthony Mc Cormac.
- I worked as EVS operator on TV show “The Leak” with Pat Mc Caffrie.
- I work as Director on “My Tv” short series for CH31 currently in production.
- All above TV roles have IMDB credits.
- Peer tutor at Schizy Week Mojo Film Festival my films have been screened in film festivals
- Schizy Inc Arts sub-committee member and arts group facilitator
- EVS Operator at The Leak
- Technical Assistant at The Leak
- Television Director at RMITV
- Television director at In Pit Lane - TV show
- Independent Film Maker at Merlinskeepe Productions
- Director of Operations at Merlinskeepe Productions
- Social Justice Advocate at Injured Workers Support Network
- Executive director at MerlinsKeepe
- Lapidarian at IGS
- Drug law reform advocate at SSDP RMIT - Students for Sensible Drug Policy RMIT
- Contributor to the terms of reference via VMIAC for the Royal Commission into Mental Health.
- Direct consultation with Penny Armytage (Chairperson for Royal Commission into Mental Health)
- Special guest on “Tough times don’t last” with Michael Kuzilney
- Special guest on “The Boldness Disability Current Affairs” 3CR Melb radio
- Documentary subject on SBS Viceland “Stealthcare”
There is life after compensation, and we want to help you rebuild yours.
Touch one touch us all!!!
Not about us without us.
This is recovery and you can have it , its waiting for you.