What is a Recovery College?
Recovery describes a personal journey that people with mental health challenges undertake to rebuild and live a purposeful and meaningful life. A recovery college is a place for people with mental health lived experience, carers and service providers to come together to learn from each other, share experiences, increase their understanding of mental health recovery and achieve individual aspirations and dreams. The college is open to anyone over the age of 12 years that would like to attend workshops.

How are the Courses Developed/Produced?
The South Western Sydney (SWS) Recovery College uses a collaborative approach to provide education programs that promote healing, wellbeing and self-directed recovery. Initial development was led by a Steering Committee comprising mental health professionals, carers and people with lived experience. This model promotes shared understanding, breaks down barriers, reduces stigma, increases understanding and support and reflects our diverse South Western Sydney community.

Who Delivers the Courses?
The courses are co-facilitated by two Peer Trainer/Tutors with a mental health lived experience or a Peer Trainer/Tutor and a mental health specialist.


Our aim is to support and encourage recovery, build confidence, independence and personal and professional capacity to those who engage with the college.


Learn, Recover, Grow is our mission to enable people to reach mental health recovery goals and personal growth.


Learning is lifelong and is key to our overall development. Learning promotes self-discovery and self-growth that can enhance our recovery.


Recovery from mental health distress is possible but the first step starts with us. 
A step toward recovery encourages and motivates us to continue our journey towards wellness.


Self growth is about recognising our true potential so that we are able to live a meaningful life and participate in our communities.


Amanda Mesa

General Manager
People, Quality and Culture

Vanessa Vale

MDS Training

Janeen Harris

SWS Recovery College

Amy Marshall

Administration and Training Support Officer

Taima Sheehan

Administration and Student Support Assistant

Anna Buckingham

Peer Trainer/Tutor

Ozlem Cinar

Peer Trainer/Tutor

Sharon Shapter

Peer Trainer/Tutor (Buried in Treasure)

Julie Icardi

Peer Trainer/Tutor

Lynda Campbell

Casual Peer Trainer/Tutor

Noel Plunkett

Casual Peer Trainer/Tutor 

Cynthia Webb

Casual Peer Trainer/Tutor

Alison Cordova Santander

Casual Peer Trainer/Tutor

Fatemah Daizli

Casual Peer Trainer/Tutor 



Signifying hope and freedom, this structured and rigid bird not only embodies our greatest aspects but is also created by us.


The crescent represents our planet, Earth.
Full of life, growth and stability in
countless locations.


Within blue we find a sense of trust, dependability and freedom. Coupled with green we find stability and most importantly, prosperity.


South Western Sydney (SWS) Recovery College is a service of Macarthur Disability Services Ltd (MDS) and is supported by funding from South Western Sydney PHN through the Australian Government’s PHN program, in partnership with One Door Mental Health.