We have a small, but energetic and committed team at HCA who work to support our members and Consumer Advocates, and ensure there is a strong consumer voice in the planning, delivery, review and monitoring of health services in South Australia.
Julia has spent most of her career working within the health system in South Australia. She is an experienced executive, having held senior positions within Medicare Locals, a Primary Health Network and Local Government, as well as management experience in small business. Working across care settings, including health, disability and ageing, Julia has supported individuals and communities to have access to the services they need, when and where they need them.
Julia’s experience includes supporting both rural/remote and metropolitan populations, with a focus on the most vulnerable people in these communities. Her experience is underpinned by her university education in the fields of Public Health, Planning and Social Geography. Julia is passionate about driving collaborative approaches to achieve progress and developing partnerships to increase organisational capacity, impact and outcomes.
Ellen Kerrins is the Manager for Advocacy and Policy at HCA. She is a former member of the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network Governing Council, and Board Director for Helping Hand Aged Care.
Ellen has proven ability to lead, consult with and advise health business units to effect consumer centred care. She has demonstrated capabilities in connecting with people, building and leading high performing teams. Having worked in government and not for profit sectors, Ellen is adaptive, resilient and outcomes focused. With over 20 years' experience as a leader, manager, executive and board director, Ellen remains committed to public health. Ellen has a broad range of competencies with particular expertise in nursing, cancer control, primary health care, workforce reform, and partnering with consumers.
Kathy Mickan is the Manager, Consumer and Community Engagement at HCA. With more than 25 years’ experience in the health and community services sector, Kathy has extensive experience engaging with stakeholders, with a particular focus on young people, health and mental health. Kathy has a passion for authentic engagement, building capacity and working collaboratively to achieve positive health outcomes for individuals and communities.
Karen Shepherd is the Senior Project Officer at HCA, and has a background in education and health services spanning more than 25 years. She brings experience in health promotion, communications, community education and media liaison. Karen has worked in the government and not for profit sectors, and is passionate about primary health care. Karen has an enduring commitment to improving health outcomes through effective communication and building partnerships.
Allison is a senior health policy adviser with some 30 years experience. Allison has worked with the children’s services sector; hospitals and other health and aged care services, disability services and Aboriginal health services. She runs a successful consultancy, providing education, policy support and project management to the health and community sectors. She also lectures to undergraduate nursing students at Flinders University and is on the national speaker circuit, speaking at nursing and community health conferences across Australia.
Allison held ministerial and Board appointments on The Pharmacy Board of SA, Shine Board and the Sexual Health and Family Planning Association of Australia. Allison has an extensive background in regulation, governance and professional practice and applies this in education, policy development and project management.
Ellie has more than 18 years of experience working in the community and mental health sectors as a practitioner, manager, educator, advisor, advocate and consultant. Most recently Ellie has been working in her Counselling Private Practice and as a Lived Experience Advisor to the South Australian Mental Health Commission. At the heart of all of Ellie’s work is her commitment to innovation, social justice and leading together. She is informed and transformed by her work and knows that everyone has a story to tell… we just need someone to hear it. Ellie integrates her lived, learned and imagined experiences; she knows that they all matter.
Vanessa Vowles is the Administration and Digital Communications Officer at HCA. In her role she is also responsible for the eNews and the HCA website. Vanessa has worked in the area of Administration for over 15 years, and has wide and varied experience in Administrations and Communications in both Adelaide and Sydney. She is passionate about online engagement, and would love to see health consumers actively engaged online, as well as through existing traditional methods.
Teresa Duncan is the Administrative Officer at HCA. She has a background in customer relations and office administration with research centres such as the Quality Use of Medicines Research Centre, Ian Wark Research Institute and SANT DataLink. Teresa is keen to utilise and extend her knowledge in an environment that promotes the consumer voice, health and wellbeing.
The South Australian Government is introducing a new model of governance and accountability in the public health system. A cornerstone of the new model will be the introduction of governing boards for Local Health Networks. There will be ten governing boards in South Australia, one for each of the four current Local Health Networks (three metropolitan and one state-wide), and six governing boards covering the six new Local Health Networks in Country Health SA. Hon Stephen Wade MLC has asked HCA to provide feedback on the Health Care (Governance) Amendment Bill 2018, as changes to legislation are required to implement the board governance structure.
The Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) in partnership with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Ageing Advisory Group (ATSIAAG) have released a report: Assuring equity of access and quality outcomes for older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: What needs to be done. The report summarises the proceedings and outcomes of the 5th National Workshop of the AAG and ATSIAAG, held in Perth on 7 November 2017. The workshop aimed to address the apparent inequities of access and outcomes for older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples under the current aged care reform program, and suggest directions for the future. You can download the full report here.
Health Consumers Alliance of SA Inc (HCA) held a consumer forum, Summary Framework for the State Public Health Plan 2019 - 2024, on Tuesday 29 May 2018. The objectives of the forum were to provide consumers the opportunity to:
1. learn more about the draft Plan and the role of public health
2. share their views about what a healthier South Australia looks like to them
3. help shape the development of the draft State Public Health Plan, which will set the direction for public health and wellbeing in South Australia over the next five years.
The event report can be found below.
The draft State Public Health Plan 2019 – 2024 is available for download here.
The Registry of Older South Australians (ROSA) is the product of the Health Ageing Research Consortium, which is a cross sectoral partnership of researchers, consumers, aged care providers and consumer advocacy groups. HCA is a consortium partner and co-chair of the consumer engagement group. ROSA is a unique data resource that will support evidence-driven decision-making to improve the lives of all South Australians accessing aged care service. ROSA was designed to monitor the health, service utilisation, medication use, mortality and other outcomes of people receiving aged care services in South Australia. You can view the first ROSA report below.
Consumers Health Forum (CHF) in partnership with NPS MedicineWise have jointly published a comprehensive report on engaging consumers in their health data journey. The report was generated through qualitative interviews, literature reviews, a round table discussion with key stakeholders and consumer representatives, and a nationally representative survey of 1,013 Australians.The overall results indicate that Australians want control over their health data and information. You can find out more here.
Thursday 5 July 2018
9.00am – 12.00pm
Level 1/12 Pirie Street, Adelaide
Monday 13 – Wednesday 15 August 2018
The 11th Australasian Viral Hepatitis Conference will be hosted at the Adelaide Convention Centre this year with the theme ‘No one left behind’. The conference is inspired by the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development and its focus on inclusion and health for all. The program will showcase and critically examine ways to effectively reach everyone living with viral hepatitis, while being inclusive of their experiences and concerns. There will be presentations on the latest research and an opportunity to network with peers. You can find out more and register here.
Monday 23 – Thursday 26 July 2018
The 2018 National Suicide Prevention Conference will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre. The focus of the conference will centre around quality - in research, practice and speaking about lived experience. The program has been designed to to focus on quality as the foundation to enhance implementation of suicide prevention at the community level. You can find out more here.
Tuesday 28 – Friday 31 August 2018
Early bird registrations are open for the Mental Health Services (TheMHS) Conference. The Conference aims to provide a platform for debate that challenges present knowledge and ideas about mental health care and current mental health systems across Australia and New Zealand. There will be presentations from both public and private sectors of the mental health community. The theme of the conference promotes collaborative research, practice, policy-making and education. You can view the conference brochure here and register to attend here.
Friday 14 - Sunday 16 September 2018
The Australian Psychosis Conference will bring together researchers, clinicians, consumers and carers, with an interest in best outcomes for people with psychotic illness. The conference will have parallel streams, covering the latest research, discussions on best practice and treatment, and debate on how to encourage recovery. You can find out more here.