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A – L


Julie Acton is a consumer representative with North Brisbane Partners in Recovery and participates in networks including the Operational Management Group and PIR Evaluation Reference Group. Julie also works as a Peer Support Worker for the Brook Red Centre and is a member of the management committee of Queensland Voice. Julie has an academic and professional background in law enforcement but has been active within the community mental health sector since 2014. Julie is a member of the Peer Participation Reference Group.

Paula Arro is the Project Officer for the Peer Participation Project and has over 25 years’ experience working in the social and community services sector in Queensland. Most recently Paula has been a Community Development Officer in the Moreton Bay region working with community members, volunteer groups, community organisations and government departments.

Noela Baglot is a passionate and highly active advocate for people in the community. A Registered Nurse with a long history of helping others, Noela knows the value of speaking up in this time of health reform. Making good use of over 50 years’ experience in the health industry, Noela is currently a consumer representative with 6 organisations and has been involved with the Gold Coast Medicare Local and Primary Health Network group since late 2014.

Belinda Barrie is currently a full time carer who lives in the Lockyer Valley. Belinda is the Chair of the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service Gatton Community Reference Group and Chair of the Community Advisory Council which reports to the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service Board.  Belinda also sits on the West Moreton Safety and Quality Committee as the Community Representative.  In these roles, Belinda continues to make a significant contribution to the health service.

Andrew Blythe is a historian by trade who only ventured into the world of hospitals while supporting his Dad after a heart attack. Nearly ten years later that journey took a dramatic turn when—after exhausting all other treatment options—his Dad received a heart transplant.

Andrew is currently writing a memoir about the mental and physical health consequences of that event, which changed the trajectories of both of their lives. He enjoys being part of a wider ‘family’ of transplantees and their support networks. Because of these health challenges he has subsequently spent many years supporting people with mental, physical and intellectual disabilities to get their health needs met with compassion and dignity. He also enjoys telling other peoples’ stories and has run a number of writing workshops to help them find a voice.

His latest projects include collaborating with internationally-renowned photographer Steve Parish in a workshop series that supports people with mental illness to connect with their natural world and find life purpose through photography, as well as being a Queensland Health Consumers Collaborative member and working with Health Consumers Queensland to connect via story with all the diverse groups that need support in our health system.

Christine Bryden worked in pharmaceutical research and scientific publishing in Europe, before joining CSIRO as a manager linking research with the mineral, energy and aerospace industries.  She became the adviser to the Prime Minister on science and technology, and had responsibility for the Cooperative Research Centres program.

After diagnosis with dementia in 1995, she became an advocate, author and speaker.  She is a member of the Caboolture Hospital Clinical Council, the Caring Together Consumer Network, the Steering Committee of the Statewide Dementia Clinical Network Steering Committee, the Cognitive Impairment Advisory Group of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, and the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Foundation Scientific Panel.

Simon Costello is a Nunukul man from Minjirrebah (North Stradbroke Island). He is a Senior Project Officer Cultural Capability with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Unit, Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service. Simon is responsible for developing systems of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Consumer Engagement and Cultural Capability Continual Quality Improvement. He holds a Diploma of Education, Post Graduate Certificate in Health Management and a Masters of Public Health Degree.

Darlene Cox is the Executive Director of Health Care Consumers’ Association Incorporated since 2008 and is a member of the Executive of ACT Council of Social Services and member of the ACT Local Hospital Network Council. Darlene has been involved in the consumer movement since the late 1990s. She is an eminent advocate for health consumers with an excellent knowledge of the health system, both locally and nationally. Darlene has a strong, practical understanding of community engagement principles.

Kaitlin Davies is the Community Engagement Coordinator at the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service.  For the past three years, Kaitlin has focused on the West Moreton community reference groups and is now broadening her engagement activities to include the management of West Moreton’s community consultation program and West Moreton’s community services sector engagement activities.

Kelsie Dummett is a young woman studying at University who knows hospitals well. She was a founding member of Mater Youth Consultancy and has worked with the centre to advocate for the needs of young people transitioning from paediatric to adult health care. Kelsie brings a unique experience of health care that clinicians don’t have and she shares that through innovative ideas and genuine interest in improving care to young people.

Philippa Fielden is a Clinical Nurse Consultant in the area of paediatric oncology at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital (LCCH), Brisbane. She began her nursing career in the UK and moved to Brisbane in 1994. She provides clinical leadership in her role working within the multidisciplinary team to provide the best possible outcomes for oncology children and their families.

Melissa Fox is General Manager of Health Consumers Queensland (HCQ), a consumer representative on the Queensland Clinical Senate and a Board Member of the national peak health consumer organisation Consumers Health Forum (CHF).   She is a consumer representative on the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare (ACSQHC)’s Partnering with Consumers Advisory Committee and the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS)’s QLD/NT State Advisory Committee.  She also sits on QUT’s School of Nursing External Advisory Committee, the QH Steering Committee for Medicinal Cannabis and the QH Medical Workforce Steering Committee.

Shaune Gifford has been working in the health industry for 33 years and has a clinical background in critical care and mental health nursing. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Health Planning. Shaune is a Principal Project Officer in the Queensland Department of Health’s Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Service and he, in collaboration with patient safety colleagues, clinicians and consumers has coordinated the development and implementation of the Ryan’s Rule – Patient and Family Escalation Process into 164 public facilities across Queensland Health.

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.

Aideen Hanly-Platz is the Patient Experience Manager at Holy Spirit Northside Private Hospital (HSNPH) Brisbane. Aideen is passionate about the entire patient experience and views consumer engagement as the very essence of the patient experience. Aideen has a background in nurse management, education and quality and safety both in Australia and Ireland.

The HSNPH had many recommendations following full hospital accreditation in December 2013. Following this, the Hospital created the Patient Experience Manager position. Aideen set up the Consumer Advisory Program at HSNPH. The Hospital went onto receive five met with merits following periodic review in December 2016.

Aideen’s vision is to see consumer engagement fully integrated across the Hospital and become a sustainable and measurable influence on the patient experience. Aideen also believes true engagement with consumers will enable health services to continuously learn how to provide an increasingly safe, quality and positive experience for patients and staff.

Jermaine Isua is a descendant from the Saibai Koedal (Crocodile) people. He is a part of Queensland Health’s Cultural Capability Team.

Dr Catherine Itman has a strong desire to engage scientists and consumers in medical research.  A lecturer in health sciences at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Catherine heads a research lab which investigates how genes and chemicals influence male health.  Her particular interest is in understanding how abnormal puberty causes changes that affect male health and wellbeing throughout life.  Catherine’s lab has made important discoveries about the effects of phthalate chemicals on male development, which have been integrated into the U.S. EPA Integrated Risk Information System and have supported the regulation of phthalate use in the U.S. and Sweden.

Faileen James is the Director of James & Button Services Pty Ltd, a management consulting and legal firm specialising in the health and disability sectors. Faileen’s clients include the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, the NSW Ministry of Health and some NSW Local Health Districts, (the previous) Medicare Locals, and various Not-for-Profits.

Tracey Johnson has a diverse background spanning banking, market research, education and business consultancy.  All of these experiences came together just over a decade ago when working with firms commercialising medical devices and healthcare solutions.

Her on-the-ground healthcare delivery experience includes establishing an integrated women’s healthcare centre and more recently becoming CEO of Inala Primary Care. Inala Primary Care is a charitable general practice in a severely disadvantaged region. The practice specialises in models of chronic disease care targeted at the aged, disabled, refugee background and mental health profile of the region.

Dean Johnson is of Aboriginal descent and lives in Ipswich with his family. He has lived experience as a health consumer and within mental health. He is currently a consumer representative member on the Queensland Health Consumers Collaborative. He works as the Indigenous Health Coordinator and Professional Lead for Indigenous Health Services at West Moreton Hospital and Health Service.

Helena Lake is a Senior Consumer Representative in 9th year of service on local (Metro North HHS), state and national levels. Helena has served on the Health Community Council in an advisory role and Health Quality Complaints Commission with focus on safety and quality of public health services and standards; community and consumer engagement; and community education in relation to the public health system.

Len Lamprecht is the Convenor of the Ipswich Prostate Cancer Support Group and together with three other Ipswich men, was instrumental in the founding of this group in 2004. Len has worked tirelessly over the years to bring information and support to men and their families who have experienced prostate cancer. Len has knocked on doors and engaged with health services across the region to consult, advice and advocate for the needs men facing difficult circumstances.

Georgina Lawson is committed to making public systems more accessible and fair for all accessing them, in particular vulnerable and marginalised groups. She has worked in sector development in the mental health community sector and in policy and communications in social security law.

Georgina is at Health Consumers Queensland to support the development of a health system all Queenslanders can participate in their health care to the extent that they wish, and that health services partner with consumers at all levels of their organisations as a matter of course. Georgina previously worked in a variety of industries including film and television and mining and travelled and worked in Ireland, Canada and the UK. She has a cat, but is not yet a crazy cat lady.


M – W


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.

Michelle McAllister is a member of the Partners in Recovery (PIR) National Reference Group and the group’s Chair for the PIR working group on NDIS. As PHN’s Community Integration Coordinator Michelle provides regional management for PIR in Central Queensland, Wide Bay and Sunshine Coast. Michelle works from a partnership based approach and is committed to placing Consumers and Carers at the centre of policy and planning directions. Her experience in primary health care includes aged care, disability and mental health leadership.

Karen McCann worked as a Senior Project Officer within the statewide Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drugs Branch from 2009-2015 and was involved with the development of several statewide projects including the Consumer, Carer and Family Participation Framework, The Consumer Companion Program and The Consumer and Carer Workforce Network. In 2016 she was appointed to the role of Community Consumer/Carer Consultant for the Logan Community Care Unit (CCU), Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services, where she provides support and professional supervision to the local Peer Recovery Support Workforce.

Greg McGahan is the manager of Mater Young Adult Health Centre (MYAHCB) and has over 25 years’ experience in mental health nursing, project work and various management roles. He established Mater Youth Consultancy while MYAHCB was in the project phase and continues to work collaboratively with the group. He sees the value in young people shaping a young person’s service and is a strong advocate for consumer participation in MYAHCB. Greg has been able to implement many recommendations from the group and integrate their views into many service development activities.

Helen Mees is a consumer member of the Queensland Health Consumer Collaborative. In 2012 Helen, from Ipswich, walked 640 km to complete the Camino in northern Spain. The walk is a highlight of Helen’s life and has taught her so much – that anyone can do anything. What’s remarkable about Helen’s achievement is that she did this just 2 years after chemotherapy treatment and while living with chronic kidney disease and understanding she may get sick during the walk. Thirty years ago Helen was diagnosed with IGA nephropathy and has been living with chronic kidney disease since. Helen is the mother of two adults living with a disability and has personal experience of the health system in many guises.

Her own experiences, coupled with listening to people’s stories for many years gives her a depth of experience and understanding on a myriad of health consumer and carer issues and challenges. She hopes to bring that experience of other people’s stories to the Queensland Health Consumer Collaborative.

Helen has a Masters in Human Services, Rehabilitation and Disability. Helen works with Uniting Care and Lifeline and recently as a relief Statewide Community Recovery Coordinator. She is a committee member of the Kidney Health Australia consumer committee.

Suzanne Michaels is the Project Manager, Patient and Family Centred Care at Caboolture and Kilcoy Hospitals. In this role, Suzanne is responsible for the continued roll out of the Caring Together program – an organisation-wide commitment to partnering with patients, carers, community and staff to ensure they feel heard, valued, supported and respected always. This involves working at all levels of the organisation to create a culture of listening to and serving our community. Suzanne’s background is in stakeholder engagement, having worked in the private sector, and local and state government for the past 13 years.

Lisa Mitchell has been a clinical nurse in Haematology, Oncology and BMT for 15 years and an Oncology educator for 8 years. Lisa was Oncology certified in the US and worked for 3 years in New York City. In the last 16 years Lisa has been involved in nursing research, health systems research, drugs trials and project management with consumer involvement. Lisa has also completed her Masters of Social Science (Health Practice) through University of Queensland.

Michael Morris is an emergency management and community services specialist with over 25 years’ experience across a diverse range of emergency services, government and non-profit sectors. He is currently the Co-Chair of the Sydney Childrens’ Hospitals Network Families and Consumers Council, Managing Director of the Samuel Morris Foundation; Australia’s first charity founded to support children after non-fatal drowning accidents and to prevent future drowning deaths and disability through education and awareness. Michael is also an Inspector with Fire and Rescue NSW currently working in the Operational Capability Directorate as the Manager Operational Improvement.

Christine Petrie has worked in consumer and community engagement in health services in Queensland and Victoria since 2002. She has a Bachelor of Social Work and Masters in Public Health. Christine has a special interest in creating supportive health service environments that embrace diversity, respond to consumer needs, and enable consumers to participate as partners.

Naomi Poole is the Director of the Partnering with Consumers program at the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, where she is involved in leading and coordinating national policy on partnerships with consumers, health literacy, end of life care and shared decision-making. She has a degree in psychology, and worked extensively at a national level in population health policy and program development for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health, national health screening programs, and child and youth health. She has also been closely involved in the development of costing models, healthcare indicators, and a national surveillance system for antimicrobial use and resistance.

Doug Porter is 46 years old and was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis from the age of six weeks. Doug currently lives in Buderim on the Sunshine Coast with his wife and two daughters aged 14 and 20. He is still a Registered Pharmacist and is very passionate about consumers taking control of their own health. Doug is committed to working towards improving patient experience but particularly those patients facing frequent hospitalisation through suffering chronic illnesses. One of Doug’s ultimate goals would be to help develop a way to keep patients happy and healthy in their own homes rather than them having to be admitted to Hospital.

Chandima Powell is a CALD Consumer/Carer Consultant at Queensland Transcultural Mental Health Centre (QTMHC). The QTMHC works with consumers and carers from culturally and linguistically inclusive engagement in the development and delivery of QTMHC programs and services as well as broader policy and program areas to ensure culturally responsive and recovery focused services. Chandima’s role focuses on two areas: to represent consumer issues and make the organisation’s work consumer focused and as a resource and support person with the consumer and carer workforce in Queensland.

Chandima also works with the trainer of QTMHC to provide with specific training to help understand what is available from the QTMHC to support CALD Consumers and help them to be more culturally inclusive.

Bernadette Praske works as Principal Engagement Advisory of West Moreton Hospital and Health Service. The focus of West Moreton’s community engagement strategy is to engage the community in health service planning, increase wider community health engagement and health literacy across the region and work to improve health outcomes of disadvantaged groups in our communities.    Bernadette has a degree in Social Science from University of Queensland majoring in health and has worked extensively with disadvantaged members of the community in a variety of service provider settings.

Gabrielle Quilliam is one of the cofounders of Hummingbird House, along with her husband Paul Quilliam. Through their experience as foster carer’s, supporting children with life-limiting conditions and complex medical care needs, they recognised a gap in community based paediatric palliative care respite and end of life care services. By contributing to the Federal and State Inquiries into Palliative Care; engaging with local and national palliative care advocacy groups; working with community and clinical services; exploring national and international children’s hospices; achieving Commonwealth and State funding and partnering with Wesley Mission Brisbane for clinical operations; their collaborations have paid off and Hummingbird House is about to be opened as Queensland’s only children’s hospice.

Julie Rogers is proud Woppaburra woman from the Great Keppell Islands. She is a part of Queensland Health’s Cultural Capability Team.

Pat Ryan is a family carer, sometimes public and community sector worker, writer and broadcaster, carer representative Partners in Recovery Consortium DDSWQ 2012–2015.

Neil Ryan is a spousal carer, carer representative Partners in Recovery Consortium DDSWQ 2012 – ongoing.

Penny Slater is Program Manager for the Queensland Paediatric Palliative Care, Haematology and Oncology Network, and the tertiary centre of that network at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital. In that role she manages the statewide clinical network and the oncology program at the LCCH, including planning, evaluation, quality and safety, and consumer engagement.

Prior to this, Penny has been with Queensland Health since 1990 in various research, planning and evaluation positions relating to diabetes, aged care, suicide prevention and oral health services.

Kellie Trigger is the Planning and Stakeholder Engagement Program Manager with the Gold Coast Primary Health Network and has led the establishment of the GCPHN Community Advisory Council. She has a diverse background with experience in stakeholder engagement, strategic planning, population health planning, community services planning and procurement, cross sector projects, law and politics.

Mark Tucker-Evans has been involved with Health Consumers Queensland since its inception in 2008. He was the inaugural Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Committee and became the first Chair when Health Consumers Queensland was established as an independent organisation. Mark is the Chief Executive of COTA (Council on the Ageing) Queensland, Chair of the Queensland Council of Social Service (QCOSS), Director of the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS); CheckUp Australia, and Institute of Healthy Communities Australia and an Executive Member of the Queensland Clinical Senate.

Previously Mark has held CEO roles within research, media, industry and professional associations in NSW and Queensland and developed significant expertise in issues related to consumer and community engagement and age-friendly cities and communities.

Gabrielle Vilic has worked in the NGO and Queensland Health within the mental health sector for over 20 years. Her interests include workforce development in the consumer, carer and peer area. Other interests include reduction in seclusion and restraint, sensory modulation and research. Gabrielle currently works with Metro South Addictions and Mental Health as the Director of Social Inclusion and Recovery and overlooks the Consumer and Carer Consultants and the peer workforce. Within the last 2 years the service has developed 33 new peer support positions.

Dr John Wakefield PSM, has over 20 years’ experience in clinical and management roles in rural, regional and tertiary public sector health services in Queensland. After completing a Fellowship under Dr Jim Bagian, at the National Centre for Patient Safety of the VA Health System in the United States, he returned to Queensland in 2004 and established the Queensland Health Patient Safety Centre, which he led until late 2012.  He established a state-wide network of patient safety officers and successfully established a legislative framework for incident analysis; ultimately demonstrating measurable reductions in preventable adverse events.

John is actively involved in national efforts to improve patient safety in partnership with the Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Healthcare.  He chaired the National Open Disclosure Pilot Project and regularly teaches Open Disclosure and other patient safety curricula.  His research interests include patient safety culture, safety performance measurement and Open Disclosure.  In 2011, John was awarded a public service medal for services to patient safety as part of the national Australia Day Awards. Adjunct Professor of Public Health – Queensland University of Technology. Qualifications: MB CHB MPH (research) FRACGP FACRRM FRACMA

Rebecca Wyeth is a consumer with a living experience of mental illness and has become passionate about being a part of the Consumer/Carer Participation world in mental health. Rebecca is currently studying a Cert IV in Mental Health and Cert IV in Mental Health Peer Work as well as participating in a variety of consumer representative roles. Rebecca was employed as a consumer evaluator by Brisbane North PHN and was involved in the Consumer and Carer Engagement and Leadership Evaluation Project.