Health Consumers Queensland welcomes new CEO

Health Consumers Queensland is delighted to welcome Bernadette Praske as Chief Executive Officer.

Bernadette joins HCQ with a background in Social Science and an excellent track record of leadership and outcomes in the health and human services sectors. She was most recently Chief Operating Officer at Mercy Community and before this held leadership roles at RSL Queensland, Mates4Mates, Goolburri Aboriginal Health Advancement Co Ltd, Darling Downs and West Moreton PHN, and with the West Moreton Hospital and Health Service leading transformation and strategic community engagement.

Bernadette’s appointment comes after a competitive and merit-based selection process including the perspective of a consumer representative at interview.

The Board of HCQ is confident in Bernadette’s capability to deeply listen to and explore the needs of health consumers and to partner collaboratively with stakeholders.

Board Chair Miguel Diaz says “HCQ is measured on the meaningful change we create in health outcomes and systems and Bernadette is well qualified to lead our organisation to achieve this.”

Bernadette says ““I am very excited to join the team at HCQ. It will be a privilege to lead this important work supporting and amplifying the voices of health consumers throughout Queensland as we continue to work toward a consumer-centred healthcare system.”

“I am committed to increasing opportunities for meaningful partnerships and consumer representation across the spectrum of health services and driving consumer-led improved healthcare outcomes for people in our communities.”

The HCQ Board and team wish to thank former CEO Melissa Fox for the outcomes delivered under her leadership since 2015, and most especially during the COVID-19 pandemic period and wish her well for the future. The Board also extends their sincere thanks to Jo Smethurst for her outstanding interim leadership as Acting CEO during the leadership transition.

HCQ finishes 2023 with a capable and committed team, ready to serve consumer interests.