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eAlert: Enabling vital partnerships to ensure the COVID-19 health response meets the needs of all Queenslanders

In this issue:

An inclusive Queensland matters for all Queenslanders

Health Consumers Queensland was one of eight state-wide organisations who co-hosted the Make Disability Count 2020 State Election Virtual Forum last Thursday, 8 October.

Over 200 people registered to attend and five political parties joined us to answer questions that are important to people with disability, their families and the organisations that support them.

Together with Queenslanders with Disability Network, ADA Australia hosting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Disability Network of Queensland, National Disability Services, Queensland Alliance for Mental Health, Community Services Industry Alliance, Queensland Advocacy Inc., and the Queensland Collective for Inclusive Education, we all called on political parties to commit to seven priority policy areas:
  • Independent individual and systemic advocacy
  • Investment in frontline community services
  • Disability leadership, governance and accountability across mainstream services
  • A dedicated Minister for Disability and Inclusion;
  • Human Rights
  • Workforce
  • Sector capacity
  • Inclusive education.
This week, QDN is pleased to report that commitments have been received from all the parties on: 
  • Ensuring there is a dedicated Disability Minister in the next government
  • Implementing the inclusive education recommendations from the  2017 Deloitte Review of Education for Students with Disability in Queensland State Schools
  • Retaining the Human Rights Act.
QDN said: “These are big wins, but we’re not done yet.  As promised at the forum, we have already sent all the political parties our seven policy priority areas for a formal response, as well as a list of general question themes that came through on the chat that we weren’t able to get to in the short time we had."

"We are asking you to add your voice to our call for action. Can you email the political parties to let them know that disability counts at this election?  You can find contact details for all the parties here and all you need to do is attach our list of seven policy priority areas to your email and ask them to commit to these asks. The more people the political parties hear from, the more likely they are to make a commitment on these issues.”

Queensland State Election: Please support us to amplify your voice

For the upcoming Queensland State Election, Health Consumers Queensland has been making representations to key stakeholders.  We are confident that our important role in representing health consumers in Queensland, including the critical role during the pandemic, is demonstrated in this document .

Consumers, if you’d like to lend your support, please send our election document to your local candidates. If you are attending a ‘meet-the candidate’ session, please tell them about your consumer representative role, why it matters and ask for their support for health consumer partnerships.

Treating people who test positive to COVID-19

Although case numbers are currently low in Queensland, Queensland Health is still continuing to improve how it cares for people who test positive to COVID-19.

This week, Health Consumers Queensland hosted a focus group with consumers across the state, including consumers who identified as First Nations and culturally diverse, to discuss their expectations, hopes and concerns around treatment options they would like available if they were to get COVID19.

Consumers identified the following considerations as being of importance to them:
  • Consumer-centred care
  • Voluntary
  • Care as close to home as possible
  • A range of treatment options available – to meet the individual needs of COVID-positive people and their family/household
  • Culturally safe and appropriate.
  • Informed decision making
  • Good, clear information available when consumers want it (either now for future knowledge, or at the time of diagnosis). 
A summary of the consumer perspective was presented to Queensland Health’s Clinical Reference Group (CRG) that afternoon and was well received.

Join the conversation: What does safety in healthcare mean to you?

Safety is at the very foundation of healthcare, but how often do we think about what safe care looks and feels like to us?

  • How often do we consider what the healthcare system does to keep us safe?
  • Have you ever felt uncomfortable or unsafe when receiving healthcare?
  • Do you feel you can speak up if you do start to feel unsafe?
Please join our COVID-19 Community Interest Group to attend this online Consumer Conversation hosted by Health Consumers Queensland at 11.15am-12.30pm on Monday, 19 October 2020 to discuss this important topic and have your voice heard by Queensland Health. Please register here.

Guest presenter, Dr Jillann Farmer, new Deputy Director General of Clinical Excellence Queensland, Queensland Health, will introduce our session with a short presentation about the work and role of Clinical Excellence Queensland within Queensland Health before listening to your views on safety in healthcare.

Consumer opportunities coming up? Health staff, NGOs and universities - it’s time to plan ahead

Health Consumers Queensland will be closing for two weeks at the end of the year from midday, 24 December 2020. During this time we will be unable to assist you in recruiting for consumer roles.

If you have consumer opportunities in the pipeline we recommend you allow six weeks for the recruitment process at this time of year. Please don’t hesitate to start talking to us now if you would like to talk through timeframes and make a recruitment plan.

Welcoming our new Administration Officer

Kirra Wilson has joined Health Consumers Queensland as our new Administration Officer. She brings a wealth of administrative and community services experience across the health, trade, banking, not-for-profit and NGO sectors.

Kirra will be working with the engagement team to manage our increased workload supporting the COVID-19 response. This includes supporting our ever-increasing partnership opportunities for consumers and enabling us to improve the experience for consumers and health staff who join our online conversations and training.

Join Our Board

The Health Consumers Queensland Board is seeking committed individuals to express interest in joining the current Board members to lead the future strategic direction of Health Consumers Queensland during our next stage of development.
For further information, please see the Information document following the EOI Form.  If you would like to know more, please email  (Subject: HCQ Board Recruitment) providing a number we can call or to respond by email.
Applicants should complete the Expression of Interest Form along with a brief covering letter outlining your interest in joining the HCQ Board and send to
Closing Date for expressions of interest: 6pm, Sunday, 18th October 2020.

Interviews will be held in the week of 9th November 2020.

The process is aiming to have newly appointed Directors attend the AGM and Board meeting on Wednesday, 2nd December 2020 (9am – 1pm).
Expression of Interest Form
Information sheet

Snack Pack - this week's Takeaway

It was wonderful to welcome so many Queensland Health staff to the first session of our  bite-sized consumer engagement training via video-conference this week.

This week's take-away: how do I engage with hard-to-reach-consumers?

The key to reaching any group of consumers, particularly those that might not engage with your service readily is to start early! Go out into the community and make contact with groups that are already actively engaging with your target audience, and do this as soon as you know you will be involving consumers in your project. There are many active community groups that will have advice and contacts, so spend time getting to know them.

There's still time to register

Grab your lunch and join us every other Tuesday for quick consumer engagement training via videoconference. Designed specifically for Queensland Health staff from the Department of Health and Hospital and Health Services, this series will give you the practical advice you need to create or strengthen your collaborative partnerships with consumers.

What will be covered?

  • Introduction to Consumer Partnerships
  • Best Practice approach to Consumer Partnerships
  • Top Tips Working Effectively with Consumers
  • How to support your consumers to ensure successful partnerships
  • How to support your staff to ensure successful partnerships

How are the sessions structured?

Each 30-minute session begins with a 10-minute presentation followed by questions from the audience.

The next session takes place at 12.00-12.30 pm pm Tuesday, 27 October 2020.
Register for Snack Pack
Join our Statewide network
We invite you to join our network of Queensland consumers, carers and staff of health organisations.

Our shared focus is creating strong and sustainable consumer partnerships in Queensland. By joining you will become a part of a network of skilled, connected people working together to make the health system the best it can be.
Join the Health Consumers Queensland statewide network
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Opportunities for consumers and carers
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Seeking Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents

Growing Deadly Families Implementation Oversight Committee

Closing date: 9am Friday 16 October 2020.

We are happy to share that since the Growing Deadly Families a healthy start for mums and bubs forum in Brisbane on 3 August 2017, the Growing Deadly Families Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Maternity Services Strategy 2019–2025 (Strategy) has been developed and launched.

The Strategy was guided by the voices of the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander mothers (consumers) at this forum and includes their three key priorities:
1. “We want a say in how maternity services are designed and delivered”
2. “We don’t want to keep telling our same story to different people”
3. “We want more of our people providing our maternity care”

We invite you to apply to join the Growing Deadly Families Implementation Oversight Committee (GDFIOC), that will guide and monitor the implementation of the Strategy.

Lived experience from using maternal health services in Queensland will help us meet the cultural, emotional, physical and spiritual needs of mothers, babies and their families. This experience will also increase health outcomes and ensure culturally safe, positive experiences, making a difference to the future of our communities across the state.
Read more

Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drugs Quality Assurance Committee

Closing date: Wednesday 21 October 2020

Queensland Health Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drugs Quality Assurance Committee

The Queensland Health Quality Assurance Committee (QAC) for Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drugs Services is recruiting up to two representatives to fill available roles on the QAC membership. We are seeking expressions of interest from:

  • consumers who have experience with Queensland Health mental health and/or alcohol and drug treatment services, and
  • carers who have experience with Queensland Health mental health and/or alcohol and drug treatment services.

The QAC was established by the Queensland Health Director-General in September 2017. The Committee meets an identified need for quality assurance oversight and improvement of mental health alcohol and other drugs service delivery.

Role of the Consumer

Your role will be to advocate for the interests of the group you are representing (consumers or carers) during QAC activities. You will be encouraged and supported to speak up and provide feedback and advice based on:

  • your own lived experience of accessing Queensland Health mental health and/or alcohol and drug treatment services as a consumer or as a carer
  • feedback from others with lived experience, such as through a consumer or carer group or forum that you may be part of.
Read more

Mental Health Needs-Analysis Project

Queensland Mental Health Commission – Steering Committee
Needs-analysis project – mental health non-government community services sector

Closing date: 5pm Thursday, 22 October 2020

Queensland Mental Health Commission

The Commission is seeking to engage eight (8) people with lived experience of mental illness personally or as a carer to become members of the time-limited Steering Committee that will oversee and inform the needs-analysis project.

The value of community mental health services has long been known, in terms of benefits to people who use services that also often reduce the need for more acute hospital-based services, and the cost savings and efficiencies for the system.

Shifting minds: Queensland Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drugs Strategic Plan 2018-2023 highlights the need to shift the focus of our mental health and alcohol and other drug service system towards the community as the key place where services and support are provided.

To support this strategic intent, the Queensland Mental Health Commission (the Commission) is investing in a needs-analysis of the mental health non-government community services sector to gain a better understanding of the current environment, strengths, challenges, barriers and opportunities.
Read more

Rheumatic Heart Disease Opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People

Closing date: 9am Friday 30 October 2020

Queensland Department of Health
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Rheumatic Heart Disease Action Plan 2018- 2021 (the Action Plan) team based within the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service would like to work with people who have Rheumatic Heart Disease (RHD), their carers or parents. This is an opportunity to take part in the development of services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients with Rheumatic Heart Disease across Queensland.


The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, Rheumatic Heart Disease Action Plan 2018-2021 was launched by the Minister for Health on 5 June 2018 and funded through the Making Tracks Investment Strategy.
The Action Plan sets priorities and actions that Queensland Health and its partners will take to reduce the impact of both acute rheumatic fever (ARF) and rheumatic heart disease (RHD) on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland.

We invite you to apply to join the following opportunities to provide advice on the implementation of the Action Plan:

  • The Community of Interest
  • Formal consumer engagement activities
Read more
Opportunities from external organisations

Specialist Palliative Care in Aged Care: Project Working Groups

Closing date: 18 October 2020

Clinical Excellence Queensland invites expressions of interest from consumers with relevant interest to participate in working groups that will support delivery of the Specialist Palliative Care in Aged Care (SPACE) Project in Queensland.

The proportion of older Australians dying in Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs) is increasing. While most end-of-life care in RACFs is provided by generalist healthcare workers, specialist palliative care teams support people with life-limiting illnesses with complex care needs by providing direct care and supporting other healthcare workers to deliver care.

Under the Commonwealth Government’s Comprehensive Palliative Care in Aged Care measure, funding has been allocated to provide new and innovative approaches and expansion of existing models to improve palliative and end-of-life care coordination for older people living in RACFs. A key aim of the project is to increase the capacity and capability of general practice and RACF staff to deliver care at the end of life.

The SPACE working groups will include: Service Principles, Evaluation Framework and Education.

For more information and to complete an application form please click on the links below. 
SPACE information

Join the new Mackay Hospital and Health Service Maternity Community Reference group

Closing date: Sunday, 1 November 2020

Mackay Hospital and Health Service is seeking members to join its new Maternity Community Reference group. Members of the group will contribute towards enhancing maternity healthcare services for people of the Mackay, Whitsunday and Coalfields communities.

To find out more and to apply visit

For further information please contact or phone (07) 885 6801.

Hopkins Centre In Focus Research Series on ‘Resilience and Adaptation in Rehabilitation’

Beginning Wednesday, 4 November 2020,

Hear from health practitioners, clinicians, people with lived experience, researchers and industry experts about the impact of pandemic events during 2020 on rehabilitation systems, services, connections and community.

Each research session will showcase a different perspective on disruption and adaptation in rehabilitation and designing resilient systems and responsive services, advancing technology, and creating adaptive practices and interventions for the future.

This is a FREE event for everyone to attend. We invite you to register to attend the full event series or an individual event session and hear more about Resilience and Adaptation in Rehabilitation.

Session 1: Practitioner perspectives on system and service disruption
Wednesday, 4 November 2020 1.30pm to 3.00pm AUS Eastern Time
Register >

Session 2: Panel Discussion with experts, advocates and future thinkers on a new generation and vision for rehabilitation and what inclusive, adaptable and resilient rehabilitation systems could look like into the future.
Wednesday, 11 November 2020 4.00pm to 5.30pm AUS Eastern Time
Register >

Session 3: Highlights the citizen focus on resilience, rights, and consumer centred community during system disruption.
Wednesday, 18 November 2020 1.30pm to 3.00pm AUS Eastern Time
Register >

The full session program will be released shortly.
Register for the full series
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