Many of you knew Noel as a fellow member of HCQ’s consumer network and we are sad to share the news that he passed away on 20 April 2021.

Noel was an active, dedicated and inclusive health consumer representative who made a valuable contribution to improving our public health care system whilst championing other health consumers and ensuring that their voices were heard – right up until a few days before his death.

He was the first consumer representative appointed at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in 2012. He was held in such high regard by the hospital that their Executive committee honoured him with a standing ovation at the Executive Meeting when he relayed the distressing news that he was nearing the end of his life. You can read the beautiful tribute from all the staff at the hospital here.

Since joining HCQ’s consumer network he continued to share his views and experience as well as ensuring the consumer voice was heard in response to the handling of COVID-19 here in Queensland.

Never one to mince his words, he always fiercely pushed to make sure the discussions included every consumer at the table – and particularly the voices of women. He was frequently heard to ask, “Have you thought of this?” or “What about someone with…”

A familiar face and forthright voice at many of our weekly/fortnightly COVID-19 consumer conversations, he was also part of consultation and testing of the Queensland Health COVID-19 online booking and triaging solution and worked on the fast-track development of HCQ’s FAQs about the new system in the run up to Christmas along with fellow consumer representatives, Jim Madden and Adele Witte.

He was a consumer representative on the COVID-19 Congregate Living testing framework and was helpful in sharing his knowledge with the other consumers. Last year, he tested the Inform My Care website and we are delighted that his feedback contributed to the successful launch of this important resource.

Noel will be sadly missed and remembered with smiles and gratitude for his enormous contribution to improving the health care system for all Queenslanders. We encourage you to be inspired by his work and channel some of his energy and courage into your own applications for consumer partnering roles – and believe in your power to influence and improve our public health care system.