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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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Looking for everyday heroes in health

After a short, sharp lockdown in Perth and surrounds, we were happy to reopen the office from Monday 15 February. Thanks for your patience during this time as we once again made quick changes to ensure we could continue to operate in line with restrictions.

If you know of any great work happening in the WA health system, we’d like to invite you to nominate a team or an individual for a Health Consumer Excellence Award.  

These awards celebrate the everyday heroes in health, as well as health consumers who go out of their way to make a difference in the system. More details are available below, but nominations close on Friday March 5 so get in quick

In this email:


The Australian Government has released its plan for providing the COVID-19 vaccine free for everyone in Australia, including all Australian citizens, permanent residents, and temporary visa holders.

It’s important to be aware of misinformation and stay up to date using reliable sources only. You can find more information at and in multiple languages at
You can find the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 at:

Information in languages other than English is available at

AWARE Advocacy training project

Health Consumers Council is excited to be leading a collective of eleven community organisations in a co-designed project to provide specialist training and skill development for existing and potential individual advocates, working in areas of social justice and human rights.
AWARE, which stand for Advocacy Workforce: Advancing Rights and Equity, is a new training course being piloted in a Lotterywest funded collaborative project.
We are passionate about ensuring people are able to co-design the advocacy intervention with their advocate, and this training will support the vision for best-practice advocacy.
This project was initiated by Health Consumers’ Council, Developmental Disability WA, Consumers of Mental Health WA, Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre, Explorability Inc. Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre, Women’s Health and Family Services, Family Inclusion Network of WA, Uniting WA, People with Disabilities WA, and Circle Green Community Legal (previously Tenancy WA). The training will be coordinated and administrated by Evolve Events and Training.
You can find out more, and sign up to receive updates about the training, at

Video now available - Healthy Weight Action Plan community update 

"We need to harness the power of the people!"
"They should show "before", "after" and "way after" photos"
"How do we get the message out to people who don't use Zoom or social media?"
"I've learned so much!"

These are some of the comments from the community conversation we hosted last week with Divya and Tiffany from the Weight Issues Network and The Obesity Collective about how consumers and community members can get involved in speaking up for better services for treating overweight and obesity.

We chatted about the importance of sharing our stories to influence change; the need for us to be proactive in advocating for services that meet our needs; and the need to reduce stigma to really make a difference.

The recording of the session is available to view here.

If you'd like to be involved in advocating for change on this topic - which impacts almost 70% of adults in WA and 25% of children – check out our website and join our private Facebook page

Health Consumer Excellence Awards – nominations close Friday 5 March

The Health Consumer Excellence Awards aim to celebrate and recognise people in the health system in WA who are doing great work to involve and partner with consumers, carers, family and community members.

We’ve been highlighting some of the previous years’ winners on our Facebook page recently.

You can nominate people across four categories:

  • Health Consumer Award
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Award
  • Compassionate Care Award
  • Diversity Award

Find out more, and submit your nomination online by Friday 5 March at

Consumer, carer, community and family representative networking session, Tuesday 16 March

We’re inviting anyone in a consumer, carer, community or family representative role, or who is interested in becoming one, to join us for our first networking event of the year.

We know that many of you like to share what is working well, and also to seek ideas for how to address challenges you might face in your role. In this session, we'll do some informal networking which will give you the chance to connect with old and new contacts and discuss how we can continue to promote consumer, carer, family and community voices as partners for improving health and health services.

At this stage, the March session will a Zoom event – but if we open it up to face to face participation we’ll let you know.

Save the Date: March 4, World Obesity Day 2021

The theme for World Obesity Day 2021 is Every Body Needs Everybody: Bringing together the global community - working towards building happier, healthier and longer lives for everybody.

This year, World Obesity Day has 4 key mission areas they want to focus on: increase awareness, encourage advocacy, improve policies, and share experiences.

The Obesity Collective is organising a national online event for World Obesity Day, with short presentations from speakers across Australia on a range of topics relating to obesity. HCC's Deputy Director Clare Mullen will be presenting on involving people with lived experience in planning services.

The event will be held 9am-10:30am WST

Further details will be available soon, or you can email to register your interest and we will update you with all the information once it become available. 

Social prescribing and holistic care

Have you heard of social prescribing?

It’s a concept where GPs and other primary health care workers refer patients to non-medical services in their local community.

Our Deputy Director, Clare Mullen, shared some of her thoughts in a Medical Forum article which explores whether Covid-19 could be the catalyst to get social prescribing on the national agenda.

“I think social prescribing and more holistic care of patients has great potential for helping to meet people’s needs that may not neatly fit into the box of either ‘clinical’ or ‘social’, she said.

“We regularly hear from people who want to be seen and treated as whole people.”

You can read the full article at

Reimagining Advance Care Planning in Community

Thursday 25 March, 9:30am-1:00pm

Held during National Advance Care Planning Week, this forum provides the opportunity to hear from Advance Care Panning innovators from around Australia and here in WA. With a focus to enable increased engagement in the ACP process within our community, Palliative Care WA looks forward to welcoming members of the community to this forum, as well as those from the health, aged and community service sectors.

You can attend in person or online.

For more information on guest presenters as well as details on costs, venue and registration, please visit

caring@home for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Families 

Health professionals, health workers and other interested people are invited to take part in a national consultation to assist in the development of tailored resources for the caring@home for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Families project.

The Australian Government-funded project aims to support the provision of palliative care at home for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, when this is preferred. This may help connect family, culture, community, country and the spiritual wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
You can participate by attending an in-person event or an online meeting, via an online survey, or by having a one-on-one conversation with the project manager.  

To participate or register visit

For more information

CARE Hub for mental health practice

The team at the Western Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH) has launched the Collaborative and Responsive Engagement Hub, or CARE Hub.

Thanks to support from Lotterywest, the CARE Hub was co-designed as an online community specifically for people with an interest in community mental health practice.

The CARE Hub is:

  • A shared space for members to communicate on various topics related to mental health and wellbeing, and explore opportunities for collaboration including practice groups, working groups and scenario planning. 
  • A forum for members to draw on the collective wisdom of the community, ask questions, start conversations.
  • A source of reliable information, tools and frameworks.
  • A way to provide recommendations on areas requiring systemic advocacy for the community mental health sector. 

CARE Hub is open to anyone connected to the community mental health sector, whether through lived experience, work or study.

You can find out more about, or register for the platform, at

Accessibility and voting

The 2021 State election voting period runs from Wednesday 24 February through to election day on Saturday 13 March.

A range of options are available to electors to be able to cast their vote conveniently and safely. The WA Electoral Commission is encouraging all electors to plan how, where and when they will vote.

You can find out more about assisted voting, including videos and factsheets, at

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


Violence against women across the lifespan – survey

Though violence and abuse may occur across the lifespan, historically definitions of and responses to abuse tend to be based on the age of the person experiencing the abuse (i.e. child abuse, family and domestic violence, and elder abuse). Siloed responses to abuse have the benefit of allowing services to focus on the specific needs and issues of vulnerable populations, however there may also be disadvantages, such as individuals falling through gaps between various sectors, missed opportunities for collaboration and learning, and reduced effectiveness, or even duplication, of services. Furthermore, as these siloes are predominantly age focused, they may not necessarily fit emerging forms of violence (e.g. adolescent violence).

Researchers from Curtin University (research student Amy Warren and supervisors Dr Barbara Blundell, Professor Donna Chung and Dr Rebecca Waters) are conducting research that considers violence against women across the entire lifespan, exploring whether experiences and responses differ across the lifespan.

They are looking for practitioners and women with lived experience to participate in online surveys, which will take 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete.

The practitioner survey can be accessed via

Curtin University Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) has approved this study (HRE2020-0751).

If you have any questions about the project or would like any further information, please contact Amy Warren at or Dr Barbara Blundell at

Consumers Health Forum virtual summit: Changing Gears 18-19 March 2021

Australasia’s inaugural consumer health summit is going virtual, putting this high impact event in reach of a wider audience within Australia, New Zealand and worldwide.

The Consumers Health Forum of Australia will present the Shifting Gears Summit on 18-19 March 2021 on-line.

Consumers as leaders in healthcare will be a central theme of this first Australian and New Zealand Consumer Experience and Leadership in Health Summit.

Successful health strategies, policies, research and programs depend on consumers involvement at each stage of development.

Find out more

Consumer survey - healthcare during COVID-19 restrictions 

The Continuity of Care Collaboration (CCC) is a communication collaboration of more than 35 Peak Bodies, Industry and Healthcare organisations. The goal of the CCC is to stress the importance for people to continue with monitoring their health status and conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A consumer survey by the CCC seeks to better understand access to health services in Australia and any barriers people may be experiencing.

The questions in the survey are optional and the data collected will be anonymous. The survey should take you about 5 minutes.

The CCC includes Pathology Awareness Australia, Consumers Health Forum, Heart Foundation, Australian Primary Healthcare Nurses Association, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and more.

The survey data will be available to these organisations to inform public messaging about healthcare and to ensure optimal long term health outcomes are achieved.

Please share this survey with your channels as we would like as many patients, consumers and carers to complete this as possible.

You can complete the survey online at

National Board opportunities: Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra) works with the 15 National Boards to help protect the public by regulating Australia's registered health practitioners.

National Boards regulate Australia’s 800,000 registered health practitioners and 180,000 registered students across 16 health professions. These Boards consist of community members and practitioner members (who are registered in the relevant profession) and set the professional standards practitioners must meet to be registered.
Applications are now open for 36 National Board community member positions.
There is an information session about these opportunities on Wed 3 February.
Members of the community across Australia are invited to apply for upcoming vacancies on the National Boards for:
  • Dental 
  • Medical 
  • Nursing and midwifery
  • Occupational therapy
  • Optometry 
  • Osteopathy
  • Pharmacy 
  • Physiotherapy 
  • Podiatry 
  • Psychology
Find out more, including how to apply online at

Closing date for applications is 21 February, 2pm WA time

Steering Committee members of the Forensic Mental Health Sub Network 

The Forensic Mental Health Sub Network are seeking expressions of interest for steering committee members to contribute as part of the Forensic Mental Health Sub Network Steering Committee.

The Forensic Mental Health Sub Network Steering Committee invites expressions of interest from:
  • consumers;
  • support person;
  • community managed organisations;
  • primary health services;
  • individuals and agencies working with people with co-occurring alcohol and other drug and mental health issues;
  • individuals and agencies working with different age cohorts (relevant for cross-age cohort working groups), including infant children and adolescents, youth, adults, older adults;
  • individuals and agencies working with populations with specific needs such as Aboriginal peoples, people with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and people identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex;
  • government agencies that have responsibilities for policies, programs, services and initiatives related to forensic mental health;
  • inpatient and community private mental health services;
  • prevention and promotion services;
  • mental health professionals from a range of disciplines including peer workers, community support, allied health, nursing, medical, psychology and psychiatry;
  • academics/researchers/data analysts with expertise and knowledge relevant to related to forensic mental health; and
  • individuals with other expertise relevant to the Steering Committee responsibilities (MHN Co-Leads and Sub Network Co-Chairs may collaborate to co-opt individuals for short term engagement).
For more information please contact Bridget Harvey, Co-Chair, Forensic Mental Health Sub Network Steering Committee on
Please note, applications close at 9am Monday, 22 February 2021.
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