The HCCA staff team are here to support you to be an effective advocate for consumers. HCCA provides its members with continuous access to information and resources, learning opportunities.

Joining a Network of Consumer Representatives

As an HCCA consumer representative, you will be joining a network of people committed to improving the quality and safety of health services and will help you to represent a broad consumer perspective. We all have experiences of the health system and it is important we come together regularly to share those experiences so we can better understand the health needs of our community.

All consumer representatives are invited to attend our quarterly Consumer Representative Forums where we discuss issues that have arisen from committees, bring in speakers who can encourage consumer representatives to broaden their perspective and support each other in breaking down barriers to consumer participation.

HCCA also maintains Consumer Reference Groups for members of our community with an interest in a certain area of health. These include eHealth, Aged Care, Quality and Safety, Accessibility and Design and Maternity Services. These groups connect consumer representatives who have an interest and experience in a particular area of health, and are drawn upon as a resource when issues come up in that particular area.

One on one support

New consumer representatives will have the opportunity to have an experienced consumer representative as their mentor. The mentor may attend meetings with the new consumer representative and will assist them to understand their role and the consumer issues that will arise from their committee.

HCCA staff are always available for in-person meetings, and over the phone support, advice and debriefing for any consumer representative who needs assistance with any matter related to their representative work.

Ongoing Training and Educational Opportunities

HCCA provides ongoing training to our consumer representatives to ensure they are effective advocates on their committees. There are formal workshops such as Using Personal Stories to bring about systemic change, as well as regular Health Issues Groups. Through ongoing education and support in their role, the CRP increases health literacy for consumers and their networks.

HCCA consumer representatives have the opportunity to apply for sponsorship to attend conferences relevant to their committee work. HCCA sponsorship includes the cost of registration, travel, accommodation and meal expenses if the conference is interstate. For more information about what opportunities see our Committee Vacancies page.

The CRP team strive to ensure our consumer representatives are kept up to date with the latest health information and research. Our fortnightly newsletter, Consumer Bites, is a great way to keep informed.

The Consumers Health Forum of Australia also has a range of materials to support consumer representative and these are available on the Consumers Health Forum of Australia website.

Experienced HCCA Consumer Representative, Russell McGowan, has created some guidelines for representatives which can downloaded below. Thanks to Janne Graham for her input.

Russell’s Rules for Reps PDF

Tips for Introducing Yourself for Consumer Reps PDF

Last updated: 29/6/2021