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Health Consumers' Council

News and events to help you stay on top of what's happening in health
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You’re invited to our 2021 Annual General Meeting

This year, after the success of our online Health Consumer Excellence Awards event, we are taking our AGM online too. In this virtual environment we'd love to see people from all across WA join us! 

We have three Management Committee members who have reached the end of their first three year term and have confirmed they are willing to re-nominate for a further three years. We also have three Management Committee vacancies and have had three nominations. As such, we won't be having an election, but we will be able to introduce our new members and re-introduce you to our continuing Management Committee members.

We are also excited to unveil our first online Annual Report and will have an engaging discussion/ Q&A session on what we have been working on for the last year.

Everyone is welcome to attend, however, we do need a certain number of members to RSVP - so we would warmly encourage you to RSVP to attend. For more information including the re-nominating and new Management Committee members, and how to attend by Proxy, please visit

Tuesday 23 November
Online via Zoom
Please register

Pip Brennan
Executive Director 

In this email:

Want to get involved?

Your voice and your experiences are important and can help shape what health service in WA looks like. Want to get involved?


The Australian Government is rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine free for everyone in Australia, including all Australian citizens, permanent residents, and temporary visa holders.

The latest news and information on COVID-19 vaccines in Australia is available here.

The latest updates on WA’s vaccine policy is available here.

Vaccine information in multiple languages is available here.

 Learn how to find your vaccination record here.

Sustainable Health Review - Citizen and Community Partnership - Recommendation 4 Workshop

An update by Pip Brennan 

Friday 22nd October more than a hundred of us gathered in the room and online for the Citizen and Community Partnership Forum. This is part of the Sustainable Health Review - a decade-long, deep reform process our state has committed to. In April 2019 the Sustainable Health Review Report was released, and since then there have been (unavoidable) delays and lulls in the work, but it is now really starting to gain momentum. As Recommendation Four Co-Lead one of my goals is to ensure that this work feels "real" to people all through the system, right across our vast state. There is so much important, ongoing work to be done to bring the lived experience voice right into how our services and policies are shaped. This really is a movement, and we need many, many hands on deck!

I am Co-Lead on this Citizen and Community Partnership Recommendation and firmly believe it is one of the most important opportunities we have to embed meaningful consumer and carer involvement in our health services' planning, policy and review. This forum held in October was the first in a series of planned forums that will be held regularly - at least two per year - to bring people across the system together to ignite and re-ignite good engagement.

Attending the forum were health staff, non-profit professionals and lived experience participants, gathered together to explore real-world experiences of engaging from our different perspectives. The panel of speakers included lived experience expert Margaret Doherty who is a member of the Sustainable Health Review Independent Oversight Committee; Alex Hughes from the 100 Families Project; Danielle Loziou-Lake who among other things has worked on the Ready to Go Home project; Tim Leen now in South Metropolitan Health Service, sharing his insights from the Hive Project (East Metro); and Sustainable Health Review Recommendation Four Co-Lead Theresa Marshall from North Metropolitan Health Service.

The panel discussion highlighted the complexities and challenges of engaging well, and Theresa shared a story of how she had had to re-think a whole engagement strategy - one that had looked quite doable and linear on the page. In the break, I heard her Health Department colleagues commenting on how sharing this experience had empowered them - by knowing it is OK to admit when things don't progress the way they were planned, and realising that sometimes engagement needs to be approached in a more flexible, in-the-moment manner. 

What was interesting was that more than 80% of people in the room wanted to learn more about how to collaborate effectively. However, most people in the room self-scored themselves as still being at the inform/consult end of the spectrum.

For lived experience members there was some frustration expressed -  that it felt like a "talk fest". I think we all know there is a real divide between how ready health services are to engage, and how keen people with lived experience members are to be included at the table. This forum was a chance for health service providers to continue to learn and grow in their engagement practice, but did it deliver for lived experience members? As Recommendation Co-Lead I will be reaching out to some lived experience attendees to keep on exploring what needs to be considered when we convene our next forum in 2022, and for the ongoing work generally.

There were other comments on the day about how it wasn't always easy to hear each other at the tables, and we needed more time to talk together and work on something concrete. All of this will be factored into future forum planning.

A full report from the Sustainable Health Review inaugural forum will be available soon, and you can always email me on if you have comments, questions or suggestions. 

Consumer, carer, family and community change agent networking - Dec 2021

A networking and learning opportunity for anyone in a consumer, family, carer or community representative, committee or working group role in the health system in WA.
These consumer, family, carer and community representative networking events are a mix of informal and structured elements, with time for networking, interactive working sessions and facilitated learning around good practice in consumer, carer and community engagement.

As we approach the end of the year, this session is an opportunity to meet and connect with fellow consumer, carer, community and family change agents in a relaxed setting.

At this event, we will have an opportunity to discuss the feedback from the consumer, carer, family and community rep community about their thoughts on how a combined network of people with an interest in health services, and people with an interest in health and medical research, could operate. Health Consumers' Council and the Consumer and Community Involvement Program will use this discussion to inform a proposal to the Department of Health potentially bringing the Consumer and Community Involvement Program and the Health Consumers Council into a true partnership model.

There will also be plenty of time to connect and chat with your peers.

Thursday 9 December
East Perth, with an online Zoom option available
Find out more and register at

The hardest conversations can be the most important 

Thanks to a 2021 Community Awareness Grant from the Organ and Tissue Authority, we've been undertaking a project aimed at empowering Western Australians to increase their knowledge of the benefits of organ and tissue donation and transplantation, to encourage conversations, and to register online on the Australian Organ Donor Register.

Over the last couple of weeks, we've held a series of community conversations with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse and Aboriginal people, including young people. These have been vibrant, emotional, insightful conversations and it has been a real privilege to take part in them and hear community voices. 

On 1 November we held an online conversation sharing some of the feedback from these sessions and providing a chance for community members to have their questions answered. We were also lucky enough to hear the powerful lived experience stories of on organ donor mum, and a transplant recipient. 

We look forward to now creating resources informed by all of these sessions and feedback, and will share them with you early next year. In the meantime, you can keep an eye on this page for updates and a video recording of our online community conversation (available soon). 

If you want to find out more or register to be an organ and tissue donor, visit

The next stage of the Medical Costs Finder platform

You're invited to attend the upcoming webinar about the Australian Government and the Department of Health’s initiative, to provide you with an update of the latest enhancements to the Medical Costs Finder.
Date: Wednesday, 17 November 2021
Time: 12:30 PM – 1:30 PM AEDST (online)
Cost: Free
Register here by Monday, 15 November 2021:
This webinar will take you through the latest enhancements to the Medical Costs Finder, including a demonstration of the new website design, key timelines in the rollout of the enhancements and the opportunity for you to participate within a panel-style virtual Q&A session. The panel members are:

  • Mr Brian Kelleher – Assistant Secretary, Private Health Industry Branch, Department of Health.
  • Dr Stephen Robson - Obstetrics & Gynaecology Staff Specialist, Canberra Health Services, and Professor, ANU Medical School.
  • Ms Leanne Wells - Chief Executive Officer, Consumers Health Forum.

The Medical Costs Finder website provides consumers and GPs with general guidance on the costs of common specialist services by location. The latest design of the Medical Costs Finder has been informed by both consumers and specialists, with the aim of increasing consumer health literacy. This has been improved since the last webinar and we have now determined the list of services that will initially be included on the website next year.
If you have any questions or require further information, please do not hesitate to contact us via email at: or Ms Mehak Vohra, Director, Out of Pockets Transparency Section, on (02) 6289 1818.

Consumer participation opportunities

  • Every week we send out an email with information about consumer consultations, representative opportunities and relevant workshops - if you'd like to sign up for this you can do so at


Thinking Big - Your priorities for research

Telethon Kids Institute want to hear from you - the WA community - about the big picture challenges facing kids and young people, and how we might tackle them to make a real difference.
Be part of the conversation - Think Big - so your ideas can help TKI make decisions about future research. To get involved, simply take the short 10-15 minute survey:  Thinking Big | Telethon Kids Institute

You are invited to share your voice and views to help identify the issues and questions that you feel are important to future research to improve child health and development. This may include your thoughts or concerns relating to prevention, diagnosis, treatment or support for child and youth health and wellbeing. It may be things beyond health and medical issues.


Expression of Interest - WAAMH Mental Health Community Supports Reference Group

The Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH) invites Expressions of Interest (EOI) from people interested in joining the WAAMH Mental Health Community Supports Reference Group.

This group will be a collaborative forum that can operate as a sounding board, an advisory group and a bank of wisdom for knowledge-sharing and problem solving about community supports for consumers, family members/carers and providers. It will inform WAAMH’s activities across sector development, training, projects and systemic advocacy; enable stakeholders to support and inform each other; and develop opportunities for collective learning and action.

The reference group will comprise no more than ten (10) members including consumers and family/carer representatives and their peak organisations, and a representative group of providers and organisations with a range of expertise.

View the Eligibility Criteria, Terms of Reference and other information details here.

To apply, please complete the Expression of Interest form online HERE or fill out the Word form, and return by email to

If you would like to apply by phone or online/in-person meeting, or you have any further questions, please contact Liz Connor (Senior Policy Officer) on 6246 3000 or the contact email above.

Applications close 9am on Monday, 15 November 2021.


Fiona Stanley Hospital seeking members for Youth Advisory Group

Fiona Stanley Hospital is looking for members for their new Youth Advisory Group.

To be eligible you have to be aged between 12 and 20 and have had received services from FSH.

Please contact FSH on 6152 2222 and ask to be put through to the Nurse Unit Manager Paediatric Ward.


Mental Health Needs and Community Supports - Regional Communities Survey

Have your say for your chance to win one of five $30 gift vouchers on offer
  • What supports are available in regional WA to help people with their mental health?
  • Do people have options for different needs - to assist with social connection, recovery and to live their best life?
  • Where are the difficulties and what is missing?
The Mental Health Needs and Community Supports – Regional Communities Survey aims to understand the needs for community mental health support options in regional areas. Often it is the experiences of people living in metropolitan Perth that informs services and policy settings, with the needs of people outside of Perth being less understood.
This work is being conducted by a partnership between the Western Australian Association for Mental Health and the Centre for Social Impact, University of Western Australia.
Together, they are seeking the views of mental health and alcohol and other drugs consumers, carers and family members, service providers and any community members with an interest in mental health or their community.
The team want to better understand what it is like to seek and receive support for mental health challenges while living in rural and regional WA.
This survey offers you the chance to be heard! Participants can also put their name down to go into a prize draw to win one of five Coles group gift vouchers valued at $30.

If you would like to discuss this survey, or the project, or to obtain a document copy of the Participant Information Form and/or Consent Details to keep, please contact:
Lisette Kaleveld, Research Officer, Centre for Social Impact
M. 0418 605 629

Research study: mental health and social care for older adults during periods of social isolation

A research team from Edith Cowan University has been funded by the Department of Health Western Australia to conduct a project titled, ‘Enhancing mental health and social care services for older adults during periods of long-term social isolation’.

The aim of the project is to understand the impact, and current and future implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on services who provide mental health and social support to older adults.
The team are seeking volunteers to complete a survey for this research project (the link for the survey is below). They would like to know whether you tried to access any services and, if you did, what your experience was.  
Click here to see the participant information sheet for this study, which includes more information about the survey and what your participation would involve.  
Who can participate?
  • Adults aged 60 years or older with a chronic medical condition/s OR
  • Adults aged 70 years and older
  • Participants need basic English proficiency AND to not have not been told by a doctor that they have dementia
What is involved?
Completing a survey that takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.  
What are the possible benefits?
Those who complete the survey will have the choice to enter into a draw to win one of twelve $25 vouchers. This research may not provide any other personal benefit to you but may benefit older adults in the future.
Do I have to take part in the research?
No. Participation is completely voluntary
Follow this link to access the survey:
If you would like a paper copy for the survey OR to complete it over the phone, please contact Amy Budrikis on 08 6304 5196. The team are also available to come to your organisation to meet people and complete the survey face to face.  
If you would like any further information about the study, please contact Amy Budrikis by email at or call 08 6304 5196 .


SMHS seeking input on accessible healthcare 

Do you live with a disability, or care for someone who does?

South Metropolitan Health Service (SMHS) would like your input to help them to provide accessible health care by sharing your thoughts on how they can improve access to SMHS facilities, services and information for people with disability.

Your feedback will help guide the work needed to improve health care access and inclusion across the South Metropolitan Health Service as part of the SMHS Disability Access and Inclusion Plan 2022–2027.

Have your say now. Complete the online survey or email if you would like to complete the survey in an alternative format.

The survey closes 5 December 2021.

Mental Health Peerwork Scholarships  

Consumers of Mental Health WA and the WA Peer Supporters’ Network (WAPSN), in collaboration with North Metro TAFE are pleased to announce that scholarships are NOW OPEN for the 2022 Certificate IV Mental Health Peer Work Scholarships.

Scholarships have been funded by the Mental Health Commission of Western Australia in order to build capacity of the Peer Workforce and contribute to improved employment outcomes for Peer Workers.

Information Session
CoMHWA, WAPSN and NM TAFE invite you to attend our information session. Come along to find out more about the course from past students, Peer Lecturers, and Course Coordinator; Tracey Hennessy, plus find out about the scholarship process from CoMHWA staff.

Date: Tuesday 16 November
Time: 6pm - 8pm
Place: North Metro TAFE, Leederville Campus (follow the signs!)
RSVP: to Danielle on 9258 8911 or

Information packs and application forms are available at 

Consumers invited to join Digital Health Forums   

The Australian Digital Health Agency is inviting consumers to join the next round of Digital Health Forums.

The forums are run by the Partnerships team, held bi-annually and provide an opportunity for representatives across the digital health ecosystem to come together for a roundtable discussion at a state/territory level.
The forums are attended by a broad range of stakeholders including Jurisdictions, Primary Health Networks, clinical peak associations and consumer peak and community organisations.

The purpose of the forums is to bring together stakeholders to have a discussion at the local state level about digital health initiatives currently underway or planned into the future.

The WA event will be held online on 18 November, 9:30am-11:00am.
Please note this is not a paid activity.
Register at
Or email for more information, including the agenda

We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities as the Traditional Custodians of the land we work on, specifically the Whadjuk people of the Noongar nation, and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging. We recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.
Copyright © 2021 Health Consumers' Council, All rights reserved.

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