Helen Mees’ LinkedIn page describes her as “committed and curious”. Certainly, she has honed her keen interest in hospital services since developing kidney disease in her 20s into an active and passionate role advocating for and representing consumers and carers at a local, state-wide and national level.

Helen  currently sits on Queensland Health’s strategic, high level Tier 2 Patient Safety and Quality Advisory Committee as well as the Tier 3 Statewide Services Advisory Committee. Last year, she was appointed to Consumers Health Forum of Australia’s  (CHF)Consumer Commission: Beyond COVID-19 with a diverse group of consumer leaders from across the nation to contribute views and ideas about the future of the Australian health and social care system.

At a local level, Helen sits on West Moreton Hospital and Health Service’s Safety and Quality Council and Darling Downs West Moreton Primary Health Network’s (PHN) Clinical Council.

She has hosted numerous Kitchen Table Discussions, amplifying the voices of lesser-heard members of the communities on health topics including the future of healthcare, ageing and the new health services comparison website, ‘Inform my Care’. She has contributed to numerous consultations during COVID-19 including on testing, health care priorities and innovation and is outspoken about the importance of the health and wellbeing of the health workforce.

Helen served as the inaugural Chair of Health Consumers Queensland’s Consumer Advisory Group, supporting and mentoring new and emerging consumers, and remains actively involved with Kidney Health Australia.

Helen never hesitates to remind decision-makers of the importance of including consumers in decisions that affect them. Together with other experienced consumers, she recently joined Health Consumers Queensland’s CEO, Melissa Fox at a Queensland Health COVID-19 planning forum to urge system leaders to ensure consumers continue to have a seat at the table during the planning, preparation and implementation of the State’s health response to the Delta variant.

What does Helen want people to get out of attending this course: Confidence and essential skills to improve your consumer engagement.