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.
The final Oakden Response Report is now available. It provides a comprehensive record of the work undertaken by the Oakden Report Response Plan Oversight Committee, on which HCA was a member. The committee was established under recommendations outlined in the Oakden Report It is intended to provide a complete reference point for policy documents and guidelines created in response to the Oakden Report recommendations for use by SA Health staff and staff of partner organisations providing services to older people in South Australia. The document contains details of the work of the Committee and its subcommittees and complete copies of all relevant outputs. You can download the document below.
Monday 20 – Sunday 26 August 2018
Next week is Be Medicinewise Week. The theme this year is ''Our Families Matter'', so it’s important to make safe and wise decisions about medicines and health. No matter what type of medicines you or your family take, it’s important to know your medicines. If medicines aren’t used correctly, the results can be serious. You can find out more about being Medicinewise here.
HCA’s Chief Executive, Julia Overton was invited to attend a morning tea held in SA Parliament House and hosted by the Pelvic Mesh Awareness Group. The morning brought people with lived experience together with members of parliament, industry experts and SA health. Thank you to the mesh affected women who attended and shared their experiences with us.
There is a SA Health Transvaginal Mesh Strategy in place now which includes:
- a free consumer support line 1800 666 374, staffed 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday
- establishment of The Consumer Advisory Group
- distribution of information via GP newsletters
- commencement of medical record audit
- establishment of The Executive Advisory Group and Clinical Reference Group.
You can find out more here
Carers SA has released its Strategic Plan 2018-2019. This is an important document which will guide their work over the next 18 months and has been developed with input from the sector and staff. You can view the Plan on their website here.
Closes: 5pm Monday 27 August 2018
The South Australian Academic Health Science and Translation Centre is inviting applications for Rapid Applied Research Translation for Health Impact Grants through a funding allocation from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). This funding opportunity is presented in the context of the Medical Research and Innovation Strategy 2016 -2021 and Medical Research and Innovation Priorities 2016-2018, as part of the Medical Research Future Fund. You can find out more in the Terms of Reference and download an application form below.
Wednesday 29 August 2018
1.30pm – 3.00pm
HCA in partnership with SA Health invites consumers to attend an information session to learn about the draft Equity and Access in Health Care Policy Directive for SA Health. Participants will have an opportunity to contribute their ideas and feedback on the Policy.
You can access the draft policy here.
You can register to attend the Forum here.
If you are unable to attend the Forum you can complete an online survey here.
Thursday 13 September 2018
9.15am – 12.30om
Thursday 27 September 2018
10am – 4pm
The annual Disability, Ageing and Lifestyle Expo will showcase practical ideas, research and initiatives under the ‘My Life, My Choice’ theme. My Life, My Choice, is about empowering individuals, couples and families to ensure that they remain at the centre of decisions related to their needs and provide information about the types of services and supports that are available to them. You can find out more here.
Friday 31 August 2018
8.30am - 5.00pm
The 9th National Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Australia Conference is hosted by the MND Association of South Australia and will be held at the Grand Chancellor Hotel. The Conference will promote the sharing of expertise and understanding of MND nationally, with the aim to improve care and support for people living with MND, their carers and families. You can find out more and register here.
Wednesday 12 September 2018
1.00pm – 4.30pm
Healthy Cities Onkaparinga is hosting a forum with the aim to establish a Food Security Collaborative for Onkaparinga. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss and provide their input on what should be included in the design of the Food Security Collaborative. There will be guest speakers and presentations, information stalls and light refreshments will be served. You can find out more and register here.