Portraits of change

Levi Graves

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Levi Graves 0:00

Our Portraits of change series presents insights from the lives of four community change-makers, who have brought their lived experience to programs of co-design with us and our partners, to send a mental health sector reform on the right path.

Levi Graves is a passionate advocate for youth and disability in the mental health space, who was a central collaborator in our Youth Housing project, helping to design an assisted living environment for young people experiencing homelessness and mental health challenges.

By Kate Bensen

23 Jul 2023

Portraits of change 4

Painting of Levi Graves by Niqui Toldi, 2023

Hi Levi, please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello, my name is Levi.

I’m a lived and living experience consultant with a passion to change youth services for the better. I’m originally from Hamilton, North Island, New Zealand. I was in New Zealand for my early childhood years and I came over with family as I wanted to begin to have new adventures in another country.

One of my most favourite adventures was being selected as school captain when I moved from Warrnambool to Geelong. I took pride in understanding what my peers wanted to raise with the whole school community. I'm grateful to all my peers who had a lot of trust and faith in me from the start.

What does a brighter future look like to you?

A brighter future for youth and the system that navigates its way forward looks like DFFHS workers and third-party members talking in a calm, professional manner to the young people they work with, whether this be in person or over the phone. Some examples would be care plan meetings or helping youth to get on the department waitlist for supported accommodation through public housing.

Right: Levi Graves photographed by J Forsyth, 2023

Levi Graves by J Forsyth 2023 Today Strategic Design 2
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A brighter future for youth and the system that navigates its way forward looks like DFFHS workers and third-party members talking in a calm, professional manner to the young people they work with.

Levi Graves

How does strategic design help us get there?

Strategic design will get us there because it embraces great people of all shapes and sizes, from diverse backgrounds, who have a lot of insightful opinions. It gathers detailed information that will better shape youth and puts the experienced ones—those who have witnessed the system themselves—front and centre.

What is one thing you want the world to hear?

One thing I want the world to know is whether it's workers, parents or young people, we all have something in common. We're all human and should be told that it's okay to not succeed at first because we have to first fail to rise and overcome the hard challenges in life we face.

So remember, always bring patience, pride, and happiness, and you will find you will succeed more in life. You have to constantly be aiming for your goals and achievements.

We're all human and should be told that it's okay to not succeed at first because we have to first fail to rise and overcome the hard challenges in life we face.

Levi Graves
Levi Graves by J Forsyth 2023 Today Strategic Design

Levi Graves by J Forsyth, 2023

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