Lived Experience Framework

Last updated:

A systematic, evidence-based framework for the meaningful participation of people with Lived Experience across all DVA business areas.

Back to top

What is the DVA Lived Experience Framework? 

It is an enterprise level framework (the first for a Commonwealth agency), that outlines the principles and practices for lived experience participation across DVA.

Back to top

Why has DVA developed a Lived Experience Framework? 

Global research provides evidence of the positive impact of lived experience frameworks on service performance and continuous improvement. This Framework supports DVA’s commitment to systems change and service improvement through greater participation of those most impacted by the system.

Back to top

How is it being developed? 

The development of the Framework has been informed by other public standards of work across relevant areas, including family and domestic violence, mental health service user and consumer experiences, as well as suicide prevention and suicide postvention programs. It is being further enhanced through engagement with peak bodies and research institutes, as well as collaboration across the Department and with the veteran community.

Back to top

What does it aim to achieve? 

The Framework directs the Department’s increased engagement with lived experience to support delivery of effective, sustainable and valued veteran & family services. The Framework will support people with lived experience to access wider opportunities to participate in on-going system change; and managers and allies can refer to the framework to better understand and incorporate lived experience in their business areas. This will lead to service experiences that are:

  • more responsive and relevant to peoples’ diverse needs
  • safer
  • higher quality
  • more accountable
  • more cost-effective.

The DVA Lived Experience Framework:

  • articulates the Objectives of lived experience participation in DVA
  • establishes consistent Principles to deliver meaningful lived experience participation 
  • outlines the Practices to build organisational readiness and embed meaningful lived experience participation within DVA.


  • Continuously learning through bravery, accountability and humility 
  • Dignity and respect through centring lived experience and expertise 
  • Equity and inclusivity through acknowledging systemic and structural disadvantage
  • Commitment through integration and transparency.


  • PRACTICE 1: 
    Organisational culture and capability – enabling meaningful lived experience participation 
  • PRACTICE 2:  
    DVA consumer, external veteran and family and DVA staff lived experience participation
  • PRACTICE 3:  
    Lived experience workforces.

The Framework is a significant step forward in lived experience participation at all levels within DVA, including the individual, program, organisational and research levels, as well as higher strategic levels. 

Back to top

Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more at Lived Experience Framework - Frequently Asked Questions.

Back to top


Further resources are available at Lived Experience Framework - Resources.

Back to top

Contact us

Contact the Team at dva.livedexperienceteam [at] (dva[dot]livedexperienceteam[at]dva[dot]gov[dot]au).

Back to top
Was this page useful?
Please tell us why you selected 'Yes'?
Please tell us why you selected 'No'?