Meet the Storyteller – Cath Roper


The next installment in our Meet the Storyteller and Respondent series bring us to Melbourne, Australia to meet Cath Roper and Piers Gooding. Cath and Piers will be attending our thematic workshop on consent to medical treatment in January 2017.

cath-roperMy name is Cath Roper.

I am from Australia.

My 7 word autobiography is: I’m still crazy after all these years.

Over a thirteen year period I was hospitalised annually against my will, usually for about six weeks at a time, and was given psychiatric treatment against my will and repeatedly secluded. Even though the last time I was hospitalised was almost 20 years ago, these experiences were formative and continue to have a strong impact. They have influenced the work I do, what I study, what I think about, who I befriend, who I trust and how I shape my life.

I bring a consumer/survivor perspective to the research, teaching, writing and presentations I do. I am interested in contributing to the development of ‘mad knowledge’ and I also work alongside other academics to give voice to consumer/survivor perspectives in research and teaching. On a practical level I provide ‘industry based’ coproduced workforce training on subjects like supported decision-making and coproduction, to the mental health workforce.

I joined the VOICES project because it is an ethical and significant project that will inform ongoing legislative development. I want to be involved in a project that uses the UN CRPD in a positive and innovative way, that uses human rights, narrative, and a disability framework and places the voices of people who live with disabilities at the centre.

What was your favourite part of the first workshop?

I really enjoyed hearing the speakers on day one, in particular the radically honest story telling of Amita Dhanda and Gabor Gombos and I really enjoyed all of the story telling sessions on day 2.

What are you hoping to learn from the project?

How to work with another person in shaping an influential narrative

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