Members of the Executive Committee at the 2014 Annual General Meeting.
L-R: Bev McConnell, Fran Parker, Marcus Bogie, John Didlick, Adele Stevens, Bill Heins, Sue Andrews and Michelle Banfield.
Absent from the photo: Hugh Crawford
Executive Committee Profile
Sue joined the HCCA Executive Committee in April 2012 and was re-elected President at the AGM in 2014. Sue has worked in different roles in the health field over many years and is committed to consumer centred health care. She began her working life as a Medical Technologist at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children in Sydney, then in Papua New Guinea and later in Canberra. After completing an honours degree in Science at the ANU in the 1980s, Sue joined ACT Health initially as a researcher for the Cervical Screening Pilot Program, then later in the 1990s as Women’s Health Advisor and also in other health and social policy areas. She has experience in the non-government sector, having worked for Family Planning Australia and ACT Shelter and has served on the boards of Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT, the Domestic Violence Crisis Service and the Women’s Centre for Health Matters of which she is a Life Member. Sue has a PhD in Women’s Studies from the ANU and maintains a strong interest in issues of gender and health.
Michelle has been a member of HCCA since 2011 and joined the Executive Committee at the AGM in November 2012 and was elected Vice President at the 2014 AGM. Michelle is a consumer researcher in mental health and primary health care at the Australian National University. Originally a biological anthropologist exploring the behaviour and social systems of primates, Michelle moved into mental health research after serious mental illness derailed her grand plans and gave her a new focus. She has a PhD in epidemiology and population health, using participatory research methods to explore mental health consumers’ priorities for research on depression and bipolar disorder in Australia. Her current work is focused on increasing the involvement of health consumers and carers in the research process and conducting research relevant to their needs.
As part of her commitment to breaking down the barriers between consumers and researchers, Michelle enjoys sharing her work and her experiences with the community and has spoken at numerous events for AFFIRM: The Australian Foundation for Mental Health Research and for Australian Rotary Health. In 2012 Michelle was appointed to the Consumer Reference Group for the National Mental Health Consumer Organisation Establishment Project, setting up a new peak body for mental health consumers around Australia.
Hugh joined HCCA in 2014 and has completed the HCCA Consumers Representative training course. Hugh was an insurance broker and advisor for 35 years immediately prior to retiring in 2013 .He has also owned and operated several other successful businesses since settling in Canberra in 1969. Hugh's interest is in areas of public health and their financial impact on the community. Hugh was previously the National Treasurer of the Association of Financial Advisers for 5 years and then Chairman of the associations Investment Fund for 7 years. Hugh recently successfully completed the directors course of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Adele joined the Executive Committee in 2007 and was President of HCCA from 2008 to 2012 and Vice President from 2013 to 2014. Adele became committed to consumer participation and empowerment as a way of improving the safety and quality of health care following her experiences working for the Commonwealth Government on quality use of medicines and with the Australian Council for Safety and Quality in Health Care.
Adele began her career in the health field; principally as midwife and community nurse over a period of about 20 years. She started university studies as a mature aged student in the 1970s and, following a first class honours degree, moved into health research. Her PhD was obtained in the fields of women’s health and epidemiology and population health – both areas of interest that she still maintains. She spent the latter part of her career in the Commonwealth Department of Health where she developed some expertise on medicines policy and initiatives to improve the safety and quality of care in the health system and services.
Since the late 1970s, she has been active in a range of community organisations and at times has taken a leading role on committees, particularly in the alcohol and other drugs area. In the 1990s, she was, at different times, both President and Secretary of the Alcohol and Drug Foundation of the ACT. She is currently a member of Family and Friends for Drug Law Reform. Likewise, Adele represents HCCA on the following committees: ACT Tier One Safety and Quality Committee, Respecting Patient Choices Program Reference Group, Care of the Dying Pathway Steering Committee and Standard 9 committee - Recognising and Responding to Clinical Deterioration in Acute Health Care. Adele is also passionate about improving safety and quality in health care, particularly end of life care.
Bev McConnell was the Treasurer of HCCA from 2008 to 2014 and is also a current member of the HCCA Aged Care Consumer Reference Group. Bev has an Economics degree and worked in the Australian Public Service for around 20 years in policy, grant administration and governance, mainly in the portfolio area of broadband, telecommunications and broadcasting. Her present main area of interest is the care of older health consumers in the community, hospital and residential facility settings, especially those consumers with mild cognitive impairment and dementia.
Bill joined HCCA in 2011 and he has been a member of the Executive Committee since 2013. Since completing training as a Consumer Representative he has served on several committees including the University of Canberra Public Hospital Support Services User Group. He currently sits on the Community Health Centres Executive Reference Group. Bill spent 28 years in the Royal Australian Air Force starting as an apprentice on aircraft maintenance then working in technical administration and management. He spent the next 20 years self-employed in the ACT region followed by 10 years in semi-retirement with as active interest in ACT local government issues. Bill’s valuable contribution to the Executive Committee stems from his ethics and broad based work experience.
Fran joined HCCA in 2012 and was elected to the Executive Committee in 2013. Fran was originally a teacher of economics and has worked in the public, private and NGO sectors in a range of areas including health, education, insurance and politics (in the US). She worked for Family Planning ACT, and ACT Health where she was active in the early women’s health movement, worked on the National Women’s Health Policy and program consultations, and was active in working with consumers on maternity services in the ACT (especially the development of the birth centre and public antenatal services). In the Commonwealth she was the national director of the Breast Cancer Screening program during its first five years, and then worked on public health policy and with the Divisions of General practice (now Medicare Local). Her last 10 years before retiring from the public service in 2008 were spent in corporate areas primarily in finance, stakeholder engagement and reporting.
John Didlick is the Executive Officer at Hepatitis ACT – an organisational member of HCCA responsible for delivering services for and advocating on behalf of some of our community’s most stigmatised and marginalised people. John has tertiary qualifications in Community Development and Community Education and has experience in health policy (in Alcohol and Other Drug Policy, and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Policy) with the ACT and Australian Governments. John’s commitment to evidence based practice, consumer participation, community representation and health equity underpins his work with Hepatitis ACT and ongoing commitment to groups including the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council for Sexual Health, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis and Related Diseases; the ACT Alcohol Tobacco and other Drug Strategy Evaluation Group; the AMC Health Policies and Services Advisory Group; and ACT Medicare Local Consumer Engagement and Empowerment Advisory Panel.
Marcus Bogie is the Senior Client Services Coordinator at the AIDS Action Council of the ACT. Marcus has worked for the Council for the past 14 years in various roles and has a thorough understanding of the needs of people accessing health services. Having lived with HIV for over 20 years, Marcus has first-hand experience in navigating the health system and is conscious of the needs of people receiving timely and accurate information. He is the coordinator of the Blood Bourne Virus Counsellors Network and represents the Council on various committees in advancing its cause . Marcus is passionate about equal access and believes stigma and discrimination around any issue is intolerable. He strongly believes in assisting people to be empowered to advocate for themselves and if not, have someone skilled to advocate on their behalf.