Consumer Advisory Committee
“walk together to achieve shared goals in health”
In August 2017 the Consumer Advisory Committee for the Torres and Cape HHS was established, as an effective and efficient vehicle to engage consumers.
The Consumer Advisory Committee:
- is the ears and voice of consumers.
- engages with services / programs together.
- will draft a consumer charter of rights for the health service.
- aims to improve communication between health service providers and consumers.
- Provides advice and facilitates consumer and community engagement, involvement and partnerships.
- Provides trained consumer representatives to contribute to engagement and partnership initiatives and statutory requirements.
- Advances and fulfills the requirements of national safety and quality standards.
- Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service is committed to ensuring mutually valuable outcomes by establishing the Consumer Advisory Committee as partners in planning, design, delivery, measurement and evaluation of systems and services.
- The committee meets quarterly to provide consumer advice on improving health services. There are 10 members from a wide geographical spread, representing each area of our diverse region.
- The committee is an integral part of the organisation and is involved in co-designing key services and programs with our workforce and leaders to ensure that care is person-centred and culturally appropriate and meets the person’s holistic needs (physical, emotional, spiritual, cultural, financial, family, community).
- To date, the committee has provided input into the Clinical Services Plan, Strategic Plan, infrastructure projects and many other aspects of service delivery including how to talk about end of life care with patients.
Objectives and focus
- Review and provide feedback on internally developed information for patients, carers, families and consumers.
- Participate in recruitment panels for key positions across the HHS.
- Engage with key services/programs across the HHS to ensure care is person-centred, culturally appropriate and meets the person’s holistic needs (physical, emotional, spiritual, cultural, financial, family, community).
- Provide consumer feedback and collaborate with TCHHS in relation to new projects/initiatives.
- Collaborate with the organisation in the evaluation and redesign of structures and processes for improvement and highlight any gaps.
- Partnering in organisational design and governance by being involved with planning and strategic reviews.
- Provide input in workforce training and education to incorporate consumer views and experiences.
Achievements to date
- Engagement with Health Service Chief Executive on TCHHS COVID-19 response
- Developed the structure and identity of group and the CAC logo.
- Input into health promotion and input into TCHHS and state-wide consumer materials/brochures eg. Ryan’s Rule, PTSS redesigned forms
- Building strong connections with staff and consumers and engaging with key projects/programs across TCHHS
- Enhanced knowledge of TCHHS functions and services through engagement with staff.
- Provided feedback to staff on improving consumer outcomes eg. Travel, consumer experience survey.
Meet the members
Paul lives on Thursday Island, with a keen interest in social and emotional wellbeing within mental health to better improve access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers. As a Social Worker, he brings experiences in all fields of social health dynamics, including through his family’s experience with chronic health issues. Paul’s vision is for Aboriginal people, Torres Strait Islander people and communities to have health equality and sustainable access to better health care.
“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step in your life. Tip toe if you must, but take the step” (Paul Pedro, Outer Islands Representative).
Wally lives on Thursday Island and has a keen interest in health both as a consumer and as a role model in his community. Wally works as a cultural mentor with My Pathway, is a rugby league referee and avid sportsman. Wally has had diabetes since 1990 and is a strong advocate for managing diabetes with exercise, sport and good nutrition.
Meriam Elder Duareb man Alo lives on Mer (Murray Island). He is on the Cultural Committee in the Torres Shire Council and was a committee member in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula Health Council. Alo is very interested in wellbeing in all areas: physical, mental, financial, cultural, social, spiritual and emotional. He has an interest in the environmental impact on wellbeing: connections to the land, what we have, what we see, how we communicate and how that effects wellbeing.
Lenore lives in Hope Vale, and cares for her elderly mother. Lenore manages her own chronic health condition and regularly uses the health service, both for her mother and herself. Lenore has firsthand experience with trying to find out about visiting specialists and would like to make it easier to residents to find out what services are available. Lenore has used telehealth services for her mother to save travelling to Cairns unnecessarily.
Lou lives in Cooktown has been the Chair of the Cooktown Multipurpose Health Service Advisory Network for the past four years. She has many years' experience working in health around the region as a social work counsellor in Hope Vale, Laura, Wujal Wujal and Cooktown. She has also volunteered as a court support worker for local residents. Lou is interested in maternity services and redeveloping the Cooktown Hospital.
“As a member, the Consumer Advisory Committee provides an opportunity to share remote area health concerns with others in Cape York/Torres Straits and to achieve many positive outcomes” (Lou Norgard, Cooktown Representative).
Wendy lives in Bamaga and is very interested in making it simple for residents to access our health services. Wendy was diagnosed with borderline diabetes in 2015 and since then has transformed her life with healthy eating, fitness and competitive body building. As the mother of seven children, Wendy has many years of experience dealing with the hospital and primary health care centre in Bamaga.
Will was on the Cairns and Hinterland Consumer Advisory Group for six months before moving back home to Cooktown in 2017. Will has trained in Consumer and Carer Participation which helps consumers understand their roles to help develop, plan, deliver and evaluate health services. Will is a strong advocate for mental health services and is keen to improve support services for people recovering from mental illness. He is a great role model for how to successfully manage mental illness through lifestyle choices, treatment services and social support.
“Being on the Consumer Advisory Committee has been an awesome experience for me. I have travelled the Cape and visited the major centres and have got to know people from all walks of life. I have learnt much about our health system and the way it is constructed with a focus on consumer perspectives. I have given input for many projects and have given a voice to people who may not know much about our health system. It has been an enjoyable journey and I look forward to being on this committee for years to come” (Will Luthi, Mental Health Consumer Representative, Cooktown).
Ait Koedal Elder Mariana is a passionate community advocate for the Outer Islands of the Torres Strait. From her lived experience, she understands the unique needs and aspirations of Saibai, Dauan and Boigu Islands. By shining a light on the everyday health issues communities face, Mariana looks forward to creating positive change towards better living standards, positive health outcomes and brighter futures for local people. As a Women's Supervisor for My Pathway, Mariana values strong partnerships between communities, councils and health care providers.
Beverly lives in Pormpuraaw. She has always been interested in health, starting with her first job as a community health worker at the age of 15. Beverly is a compassionate advocate for her community and is driven to work holistically with the Health Service, her community and other service providers, to ensure positive outcomes for her community. Beverly speaks five different Aboriginal dialects with English being her sixth language. She is passionate about linguistics, improving language & cultural barriers and being a conjugate between the community and the Health Service. Beverly would like to improve health outcomes and provide feedback to the Health Service around important issues from her community.
Frances has lived in Weipa for the past 12 years and has recently acquired her Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology). She currently works as a Family Led Convenor in Napranum for Cape York/Gulf Remote Area Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Child Care (RAATSICC) Advisory Association. Frances’ passions lay with holistic approaches to mental health and wellbeing and advocating for consumers’ autonomy and control of their own health. Consumer Advisory Committee Member is a youth representative who will help ensure a strong focus on health care and initiatives for young people.
Do you want to make contact with a member?
Contact the TCHHS Engagement Officer via:
Phone: (07) 4226 5978