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April 2016


Message from our Chair

Mark Tucker-Evans

Health Consumers Queensland looks forward to welcoming health consumers and carers, health services and community organisations to our first Annual Forum at the Royal International Convention Centre, 600 Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills on Thursday 19 May 2016.
The Forum will be officially opened by the Hon. Cameron Dick, Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services, our Forum will showcase best practice examples of consumer and community engagement.  A dynamic mix of health consumers and carers, health providers, community members and organisations will gather to share their experiences, network and build their skills in consumer engagement.
A full program of keynote speakers, panels, concurrent sessions and workshops will be available online soon, after our Annual Forum Advisory Committee have selected the presentations and workshops.
Expressions of interest to attend and applications from consumers/carers for travel assistance to attend are due this Friday 15 April.  
For more information go to:


Keynote Address

New Partnerships, New Leaders: Co-design transforming health services

The keynote speakers for Health Consumers Queensland Annual Forum on Thurs. 19 May, Brisbane will be Dr Lynne Maher and consumer advocate Renee Greaves from New Zealand.
Co-design is a way of bringing patients, families and staff together to share the role of improving health services.  Lynne (via video) and Renee (in person) will share how they work together in their Auckland-based health service to create new partnerships between health consumers and health professionals to transform patient experiences and healthcare through co-design.  Renee will showcase the impact of this co-design through case studies which highlight the enablers for these staff, consumers and families to positively disrupt the way they have previously worked and enabling them to influence their futures.

Keynote Speakers

Dr Lynne Maher

Dr. Lynne Maher is the Director of Innovation at Ko Awatea, Auckland, New Zealand.  She is a successful visionary leader illustrated through an extensive health care career ranging from critical care nursing, operational and board posts at local and national level during which she has been highly influential in creating significant improvement in health systems.  Lynne is recognised as an international leader of innovation and improvement and is sought after to provide advice on a variety of aspects relating to change management, service design, innovation and improvement in Canada, Europe, America and Australasia.  

Lynne has published guidance on innovation, patient experience, improvement and change management and has worked with a wide range of health care organisations and charities.  Lynne is also Honorary Associate Professor of Nursing at the University of Auckland.  Additionally, she acts as an Advisory Board Member of the CORE Research Study on co-design at the University of Melbourne and is a reviewer for the NZ Medical Journal and BMJ Quality and Safety Journals. 


Renee Greaves

Renee Greaves is a consumer advocate from New Zealand.  Her personal experience of health services led her to start disrupting the system to improve care.  She is now employed as the Patient & Whaanau (Family) Care Advisor for the Counties Manukau District Health Board and co-leads the direction of consumer engagement, co design, patient experience and patient and family centred care.  

Her growing expertise in change management and leadership has led to an increase in consumer engagement at multiple levels of the organisation which has led to improvements at the front line of care, in organisational design and has influenced the new strategy and values for the organisation.

Consumer profile: Hamza Vayani, consumer member of the Queensland Health Consumer Collaborative

Hamza moved to Australia in 2008 with his wife & 2 girls.  Up until December 2015, Hamza was the Executive Officer for Mental Health in Multicultural Australia which is an initiative funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.  In this role Hamza facilitated stakeholder engagement across Australian jurisdictions and the Non Government Organisation sector; developed mechanisms for improved Culturally and Linguistically Diverse consumer and carer participation and led the team design and delivery of the ‘Framework for Mental Health in Multicultural Australia’ that integrates various mental health accreditation requirements, mental health legislation and policies.
Currently, Hamza works for Metro South Hospital & Health Service and is part of a team responsible for health service integration between acute, primary and non-government sector health and social care service providers.  He is a board member of World Wellness Group which runs a medical practice inclusive of allied health and traditional medicine services for marginalised migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.

Hamza has firsthand experience of the healthcare system from a patient and carer perspective.  He is passionate about making health services more accessible.  Hamza’s areas of interest are healthcare reform and policy development with a focus on safety and quality improvement activities that actively partner with consumers and carers.  He is also keen to promote and where possible actively facilitate consumers and carers being engaged in translational healthcare research that improves the quality of life for patients with chronic congenital healthcare conditions.

Board of Director Profiles

Two new Directors have joined the Board of Health Consumers Queensland.

Stephen Russell
Steve is a lifelong health consumer and an active health consumer advocate for over 40 years.  His professional experience includes social justice and human resource program manager with the Commonwealth Government in the ACT, NSW and QLD, a community development consultant to all levels of government and community sector and an elected local government councillor.
Julie Connolly
Julie holds a PhD in political philosophy and continues to teach on a casual basis at the University of Queensland in the history of political thought. In her other day job she manages advocacy, impact and innovation at the Multicultural Development Association (MDA), working with and on behalf of refugees, asylum seekers and other emergent communities in Queensland. This is not Julie’s first job as an advocate and she has also worked in mental health advocacy and trade unions.

The rest of these profiles and the profiles of all Board Members are on our website

Peer support for consumer representatives

Wednesday 20 April
9.30 to 11.30 am

Our next Networking session in Brisbane will be a chance for experienced consumer representatives to report to the group on their committee’s work and outcomes, discuss your needs for further skill development and training, and workshop ways we could facilitate a mentoring scheme for consumer representatives.
To RSVP for this free event, please go to Eventbrite.

Training for consumers and health service staff

Cairns and Hinterland Health and Hospital Service has recruited new members to its three geographic Community Consultative Committees and its newly established Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Consultative Committee.  The Chair of each of these committees will sit on the Community Board Advisory Group.  Health Consumers Queensland provided training for the committee members and we wish all the committees and their members the best as they work together to shape health services to meet their community’s needs. 

We have also delivered training for Children’s Health Queensland staff to assist them to strengthen consumer and community partnerships in their work.  

This week we’re on the Sunshine Coast delivering training to consumers involved in that Hospital and Health Service.
If you’d like to organise training on consumer engagement for consumers and/or staff, please contact Anne Curtis, Project Manager at Health Consumers Queensland on 07 3012 9090.

Opportunities to have your say

Gold Coast Health are in the process of planning for the future and want to hear from you.  Your views will help shape how they deliver healthcare to the community.  Their ten year plan is a great opportunity for health consumers to get involved in how services may look.  The on-line consultation is open until the end of April.
Genetic Health Queensland in partnership with Metro North Hospital and Health Service are developing a statewide Genetic Health Plan by online consultation.  They would like to hear from past or current users of genetic services and also the potential users of genetic services in the future.  Remember to also check our consumer representatives ‘vacancies’ to keep informed about the latest vacancies, and ‘like’ our Facebook  too.
Website feedback: The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care is seeking feedback on their website.  They value the views of consumers in helping them improve the user experience of their web site and shaping its future direction.  It takes 8-10 minutes to complete, and it is mostly multiple choice.  The survey closes on Friday, 15th April.  The link to the survey can be seen at the top of their homepage:
If you have any questions about the survey, please contact the Communications team from Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care:

Public Lecture: Australian Centre for Health Law Research

“Doctors at highest risk of claims and complaints”

Associate Professor Marie Bismark and her researchers analysed 19,000 formal patient complaints from Australia and 66,000 paid malpractice claims from the United States to identify the prevalence and characteristics of high risk doctors.  It was found that a small number of doctors with distinctive characteristics accounted for a disproportionate share of complaints and paid malpractice claims.  

Marie will discuss whether insurers, complaints commissioners, and medical boards should be more proactive about identifying complaint-prone doctors and supporting them back into safe care before further harm occurs.
Date:    Monday 16 May 2016
When:  5.00pm light refreshments followed by
            5.30pm - 6.30pm lecture        
Venue:  Gibson Room, Level 10, Z Block,
            QUT Gardens Point Campus,
            2 George St, Brisbane
Register: By Thursday 12 May 2016 here:

Final Word

‘Patient’ experience


‘Patient’ experience is often discussed in health circles.  Janette Moore from Brisbane shared her experiences of leukaemia and receiving an allogenic stem cell transplant at an event organised by the Leukaemia Foundation of Queensland.  

We share Janette’s story here:

Mark Tucker-Evans (left) and Melissa Fox from Health Consumers Queensland met with Mark McArdle the Shadow Minister for Health (right)

The Shadow Minister for Health in Queensland, Mark McArdle, came to our office in early April to meet with Health Consumers Queensland Chair, Mark Tucker-Evans and General Manager, Melissa Fox.  It was a chance to share with him the issues facing Queensland health consumers and carers.

Health Consumers Queensland continues to work with all elected representatives to promote consumers at the centre of our health system.

HEALTH PROMOTION CHARITY. Health Consumers Queensland © 2015. All rights reserved.

HEALTH PROMOTION CHARITY. Health Consumers Queensland © 2015. All rights reserved.


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Health Consumers Queensland · Level 9, 217 George Street · Brisbane, Qld 4000 · Australia

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