About Listening to Voices

A powerful performance and educational session led by people with lived experience. 

Listening to Voices highlights the need for compassionate individual and unique approaches to human distress and builds on the skills to address this.

Who is behind Listening to Voices?

The project and resources are co-designed and produced by people with lived experience of the mental health system.

Performance aspects of the work are directed by Catherine Simmonds

Listening to Voices is a Gateway Health project.

How we can support you

We can co-design sessions that inform, inspire and educate.

We bring theatre that helps increase community understanding and hopefulness around mental health and psychological distress.

Meet our crew

Our crew’s willingness to to share their stories has inspired many people. For some it can be the beginning of recovery and for others it is a place of empowerment and social change.

Our current team includes:

  • Five performers who share their personal stories
  • Musician
  • Creative Director
  • Program Manager

Kelly Bayley

Performer, advocate and expert by experience - Kelly joined Listening to Voices to help people who aren't able to speak up about their experiences, particularly childhood trauma. Kelly is a talented flautist and adds her music and her determination to delivering the important messages in this work.

Ben Pearson

Growing up in the small town of Glenrowan, Ben discovered his love of storytelling at an early age. The heroic narrative became a source of strength when he experienced bullying. Performing with Listening to Voices brings Ben’s affinity for story together with the opportunity to tell an authentic human tale, in a forum that can change minds and inspire hearts.

Yomal Rajasinghe

Yomal is a self-taught musician and has collaborated as a composer and sound scape artist within various event and theatre contexts. Yomal composes music and sound that supports and honours people's stories. He has composed original music for projects including Listening to Voices, Light in Winter Festival, Big West Festival and Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.

Sarah Sewell

Performer, advocate and expert by experience - Sarah is an original member of Listening to Voices and the lead facilitator of the Albury-Wodonga Hearing Voices Group. Sarah has contributed her lived experience and further training to the pursuit of inspiring and educating others.

Jain Thompson

Jain loves going to the theatre and taking part in amateur theatre, particularly performing with Listening to Voices. She appreciates the opportunity to use both drama and comedy to express life’s journey, hope, growth and recovery - and to break down social prejudices and barriers.

Catherine Simmonds OAM

Artistic Director
Catherine Simmonds is one of Australia’s leading community cultural development theatre makers. As an artistic director, her focus is the space between the ‘lived experiences’ of marginalised communities and the language of art. The result is powerful theatre that heals profoundly on a personal level and in so doing creates strong social and political advocates.

Kate Fiske

Program Manager
Kate is the Gateway Health Program Manager for Listening to Voices. Her passion for an acceptance of diverse narratives of ‘mental illness’ was seeded through studies in anthropology and sociology and inspired by the Hearing Voices movement. As a mental health professional and manager for Listening to Voices, Kate aims to increase the community dialogue that builds greater connection and compassion.

Ros Thomas

Ros offers the entire crew her pearls of wisdom and many years experience in mental health recovery. Ros is passionate about creating a paradigm shift in mental health services by sharing her knowledge in trauma informed practice and the hearing voices approaches.

“Takes us to the heart of the experience with interest and empathy.”
“The most profound, moving, authentic and non-simplistic artistic expression of the lived experience of mental health issues I have ever been privileged to witness. Thank you!”
“Honest personal accounts share a message of hope connection and recovery.”
“Powerful and confronting - stimulating very important conversation.”
“Witnessing this work has changed the way I think about many of the experiences of the young people I work with.”
“A chance to reflect on why I came into this work in the first place.”