Peri O'Shea

Research Officer

Dr Peri O’Shea is a Lived Experience Researcher who specialises in participatory, qualitative research working with people with mental health challenges, drawing on her lived experience as both a consumer and carer and her significant experience in consumer-led mental health policy reform, to action and facilitate co-designed and peer-led research and evaluation. 

Dr O’Shea is a recognised leader in the mental health sector, holding the position of Chief Executive Officer at Being, the NSW Consumer Advisory Group from 2010 to 2017, and as an expert delegate on State and National committees improving mental health services. Prior to this Dr O’Shea was the Research Program Coordinator at the Social Justice and Social Change Research Centre at Western Sydney University. Dr O’Shea’s work and personal histories have given prominence to social justice, social inclusion and participation. Dr O’Shea has a strong history in working with Human Service NGOs and in service management and a strong understanding of mental health policy and consumer issues.


BSocSc (Hons), MSoc Policy, PhD Applied Sociology


Byrne, L.; Roennfeldt, H.; O’Shea, P.; Macdonald, F. Taking a Gamble for High Rewards? Management Perspectives on the Value of Mental Health Peer Workers. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 201815, 746.

Byrne, L. , Roennfeldt, H. , Wang, Y. and O'Shea, P. (2019), ‘You don't know what you don't know’: The essential role of management exposure, understanding and commitment in peer workforce development. Int. Journal Mental Health Nursing, 28: 572-581. doi:10.1111/inm.12562

O'Shea P, 2007, A discursive study of institutionalisation in community organisations, International Journal of Sociology and Social policy, vol 27, no. 11,12, pp 483-493

O'Shea P, Leonard R, Darcy M, 2007, Does 'Competition' Kill Social Capital, Third Sector Review, vol 13, no. 2, pp 49-69

Kelly G, O'Shea P, 2005, Activism in the Social Policy Classroom, Advances in Social Work and Welfare Education, vol 7, no. 1, pp 84-92

Purcal C; O'Shea P; Blunden H; Zmudzki F; Giuntoli G; Fisher KR, 2019, Evaluation of Housing & Accommodation Support Initiative Plus (HASI Plus) – Report 1, Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, Sydney, SPRC Report 13/19,

Purcal C; Zmudzki F; Hill T; Giuntoli G; Fisher K; O’Shea P; Wehbe A, 2019, Evaluation Plan Housing & Accommodation Support Initiative Plus (HASI Plus), Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, Sydney,

Giuntoli G; Hill T; Zmudzki F; Fisher K; Purcal C; O'Shea P, 2018, Evaluation Plan Community-based Mental Health Programs: Community Living Supports (CLS) and Housing & Accommodation Support Initiative (HASI), Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, Sydney,

Byrne, L. Roennfeldt, H. and O'Shea, P. (2017) Identifying barriers to change: The lived experience worker as a valued member of the mental health team: Final Report. Brisbane: Queensland Government.