Executive Committee 2019

L-R: Indra Gajanayake, Louise Bannister, Bernard Borg-Caruana, Shelley McInnis, David Pearson,
Wendy Armstrong and Alan Thomas. Absent from this photo Bea Vann and Marcus Bogie.


Members of the Executive Committee at the 2019 Annual General Meeting.

President: Alan Thomas

Vice President: Wendy Armstrong

Treasurer:  Indra Gajanayake

Members: Marcus Bogie, Louise Bannister, Shelley McInnis, Bernard Borg-Caruana, Bea Vann and David Pearson

Executive Committee Profile

Alan Thomas


Alan has been a member of HCCA for over 10 years and has been a member of the executive Committee since September 2016 and was elected President at the 2018 AGM.  He has served on a variety of ACT Health Committees. The most recent include the Program Control Groups for the Health Infrastructure Program (HIP) for both the Canberra Hospital and the Calvary Hospital. He is presently a member of the ACT Health’s Medical and Dental Appointments Advisory Committee.

Alan has a PhD in Analytical Chemistry and worked for 5 years as a pharmaceutical chemist with the Commonwealth Health Department. He believes HCCA is making a significant contribution to health care in the ACT, and that in general there is a good working relationship with ACT Health. He would be keen to ensure this continues. He is interested in a discussion at the Executive Committee level in the first instance on whether HCCA should take a more advocacy role, particularly for the management of patients in hospital, and if so how that could be achieved.

Wendy Armstrong

Vice President

Wendy has been a member of HCCA since 2015. She is a member of the Health Policy Committee and has served on a number of other ACT Health Committees most recently the Timely Care Committee. A retired health professional, Wendy has a particular interest in Women and Children’s Health, Sexual Health and Blood Borne Viruses and Drug and Alcohol issues. She is committed at to social justice and is keen to contribute to HCCA’s role in ensuring population health equity.

Indra Gajanayake


Indra joined HCCA in 2009, became a member of the Executive Committee in October 2015 and has been the Treasurer since November 2016. She continues to be a consumer representative on a number of ACT Health committees. Indra has extensive experience in health policy, performance monitoring, information development and reporting in Australia, and in population research in Sri Lanka.  She has a Master’s Degree in Medical Science (Clinical Epidemiology) and a PhD in Demography. A past President of the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) ACT Branch, Indra is also a member of the Australasian Epidemiological Association and the Consumers’ Health Forum of Australia.  She has a strong interest in population health issues and the safety and quality of health care.

Marcus Bogie


Marcus Bogie joined the Executive Committee at the AGM in 2014. Marcus is the Manager  Client Services and Peer education at the AIDS Action Council of the ACT. Marcus has worked for the Council for the past 18 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 represents the AIDS  Action 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, having someone skilled to advocate on their behalf.

Louise Bannister


Louise is passionate about women’s health, wellbeing, disability rights and advocacy. In 2012, she was awarded the Chief Minister’s Inclusion Award, for Inclusion by an Individual, in recognition of her work in the disability community. She joined HCCA in 1999 and started her consumer representative role in 2001 as a member of a Disability Task Group for ACT Health’s Breast Screen and Cervical Screening Programs. Louise was a member of ACT Cervical Screening Advisory Program Committee for 10 years, which including serving 5 years as the Committee’s Chair. Louise has worked on many Community Health committees over the years. She is currently on the Rehabilitation, Aged and Community Services’ Quality and Safety Committee; and the Breast Screen ACT Managers & Quality Committee. Louise served for 7 years on the ACT Board of the Physiotherapist Board of Australia, to help oversee its transition to a National Board. Louise was part of HCCA’s Consumer Representative Training team from 2008-2012. She served on HCCA’s Executive Committee from 2003-2006 and again from 2015-2019. In addition to her HCCA roles, Louise sits on the Women With Disability ACT’s Board where she is an active member. In 2019 she was appointed Chair of the ACT Ministerial Council on Women (MACW); and her ministerial appointment on the Disability Reference Group (DRG) was also extended for another year.

Shelley McInnis


Shelley joined the HCCA towards the end of 2013, after a lengthy career in health education and health promotion and has been a member of the Executive Committee since 2016. She has worked as a researcher into cardiovascular disease, a lecturer in health program planning and evaluation, a health policy advisor for state and territory and federal governments, and a manager and evaluator of health projects in developing countries of Asia and the Middle East. She has also, as an inquiry secretary for federal parliamentary committees, crafted reports on subjects such as the social costs of drug abuse. After her retirement from full-time work in 2006, she trained and worked as a mediator with Canberra’s Conflict Resolution Service, and devoted herself to the care of family members with Type 1 diabetes and dementia. Since joining the HCCA, Shelley has served as a consumer representative with the National Prescribing Service, the Capital Health Network, and the ACT Government. She is a member of the HCCA’s Health of Older Peoples’ Consumer Reference Group and has also served on the steering committees of a number of research projects.

Bernard Borg-Caruana


Bernard is a long-standing member of the Health Care Consumers’ Association of the ACT (HCCA) and an experienced consumer representative who has a broad knowledge of consumer issues across the health system locally and nationally. He has been a consumer representative for many years. He has been a strong advocate for improving the consumer experience and empowering consumers to better manage their care. Bernard has extensive interest in and knowledge of digital health, in both his professional life and his work as a consumer representative. He was a founding member of the ACT eHealth reference Group.

Bernard has participated extensively on numerous health committees and forums, including: Information Management and Information Technology Steering Committee, Alerts System Steering Committee and  Shared Electronic Health Record Steering Committee.

Bernard has a strong interest the quality and safety in Healthcare, particularly medication management. He has participated in the Project Advisory Group developing the Professional Practice Standards and for the revision of the Code of Ethics for Pharmacists.


Bea Vann


Bea has been a member of HCCA since 2016 and joined the Executive Committee in 2018. She is also a member of the Health of Older People Consumer Reference Group. My background is in community aged care. I began my career in aged care in 1998 as a Home Care Personal Assistant and by 2006 I became the coordinator of the program and coordinated a total of up to 70 clients and 20 staff in Queanbeyan. Currently I am employed with Red Cross as a Community Visiting Coordinator. My role is to match friendly volunteers with socially isolated older persons living in an aged care facility or in their own homes (with a Home Care package or assessed for one), for the purpose of friendship and companionship.
I have joined HCCA as I would like to understand and be more mindful of the services that are provided to older people in our community who are in a hospital/health care setting and to make a difference when required, if I can.


David Pearson


David joined HCCA in 2017, and is a member of the Health Policy Committee.  He has over 30 years’ experience as a healthcare consumer, provider, and public health program administrator.  David developed a keen interest in how good communication can improve health outcomes for consumers through his work as a pharmacist in the community and hospital sectors.  He is also passionate about health program design, and the importance of seeing program access, navigation, and evaluation through the eyes of program users.  David hopes to add value to HCCA activities and policy development for the benefit of all ACT healthcare consumers.

Last updated: 18/11/2019