Professional Expertise. Life experience.


As part of New Zealand’s first professional peer support service in the mid-2000s, Graham Panther saw first-hand the transformational power of peer support. For individuals, ‘finding your tribe’ can be life-changing. For the service system itself, deliberately employing people with lived experience of personal crisis brings an unprecedented new level of accountability and connection with community needs.

Yet Graham also saw how delicate this transformation could be, especially in the face of wave after wave of mental health policy reform. In 2011 he started Redpanther, a consultancy with a simple mission: to help mental health service providers and the communities they serve understand each other better. We do this through peer workforce development, service user-led evaluation, and co-design, all with an emphasis on asking, ‘what can we learn from the people we’re trying to help?’

Since then, Redpanther have supported health agencies across Australia and New Zealand at every stage of the journey - from simple community engagement projects, to designing and implementing a peer workforce from scratch, to evaluating service innovations to build an evidence base for future funding.

Click here for a selection of our recent projects and clients.

Our consultants

Our consultants bring a diverse range of professional expertise not only in program evaluation, service design, and research, but other sectors such as marketing, design thinking, and start ups. We all also bring first-hand experience of personal crisis and using mental health services. Our aim is to give you the best of both worlds: professional expertise, grounded in lived experience.

Our project work is built on collaborative relationships. We form project teams with the right skill sets, sector experience, and lived experience for each assignment. Long-time collaborators include:

  • Julian King of Julian King & Associates - value for money and health economics

  • Gareth Edwards of Positive Thinking - large-scale culture change and lived experience leadership

  • Honor Eastly, Co-Founder of The Big Feels Club and creator of the world-renowned No Feeling Is Final podcast - expert in community building and innovative engagement

  • Audrey Hulm - project management and qualitative research


Get in touch

Keen to strengthen your lived experience engagement but don’t know where to start? Looking to better support your peer workforce? We’re always up for a chat.

Get in touch ▸