Phone: 08 8231 4169 | Email: | Find HCASA on FacebookFollow HCASA on Twitter

Phone: 08 8231 4169
Find HCASA on FacebookFollow HCASA on Twitter

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Consumers at the centre of health
in South Australia

Are you thinking about becoming a consumer advocate or would you like to refresh your knowledge?

Our Introduction to Consumer Advocacy Training session will give you information on the role, challenges and benefits of being a consumer advocate.

The sessions are interactive and based on adult-learning principles. Participants receive reference materials and a certificate of attendance.

For more information see the attached flyer.

The upcoming training dates are:

  • Tuesday 18 September 2018
  • Wednesday 14 November 2018

The training is held at the HCA offices at Level 1/12 Pirie Street Adelaide. You can register to attend online here. 

Consumer Advocacy Training Flyer

Latest news

What does HCA mean to you?

Over the past week, HCA has continued discussions with Politicians and other key stakeholders emphasising the importance of ensuring consumers remain at the centre of health care in South Australia. 

The defunding of HCA was tabled during last week's question time in the House of Representatives. You can view the transcript in relation to the de-funding of HCA below. 

Many of you have responded to the question we posed in last weeks eNews..."What does HCA mean to you"? We have published some of your answers below: 

''HCA supports consumers across a wide range of health issues and institutions''.
''HCA keeps me up to date with training opportunities, opportunities to participate in community consultations including health-related, YourSAy surveys, and a place to turn to for professional advice about my roles as a health consumer representative''.
''Without HCA I would not have the knowledge, skills, support, and access to opportunities that enable me to volunteer as an effective health consumer representative''.
If you have not yet shared your experience of HCA with us, we would love to hear from you. You can submit your thoughts here

QT 18 September 2018 Health Consumers Alliance

AHCSA Media Release in response to significant cuts to Aboriginal programs and services

The Aboriginal Health Council of South Australia Limited (AHCSA) holds grave concerns as to the decisions made in the 2018-2019 South Australian Budget, and their probable impact upon the health and welfare of South Australia’s Aboriginal Community. They have released a media statement outlining their main concerns.  You can read their full statement in response to the 2018-2019 South Australian Budget below.

ACHCSA Budget Response Media Statement

My Health Record Submission

On 15 August 2018, the Senate referred My Health Record to the Senate Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report. Health Consumers Alliance (HCA) sought feedback from consumers via the Consumer Advocates Network (CAN) meeting held in August and a focus group held on 30 August. Both of these engagement opportunities were used to inform HCA’s submission to the enquiry.

 The feedback at both engagement sessions about MHR was consistent. The key messages in the consumer feedback includes: 

• My Health Record is a good initiative that should result in improved service coordination and efficiency.
• Security, transparency and full disclosure of any breaches are paramount.
• An online tutorial is required to show people how to navigate and manage their record.
• Consideration needs to be given to the needs of vulnerable community members.
• People may need prompts during major life transitions to check and ensure that MHR meets their changing needs.

You can view the submission below.

My Health Record Submission

Notice of 2018 Annual General Meeting and Call for Nominations

Closes: Monday 22 October 2018

HCA’s 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Monday 19 November 2018,
from 4-6pm at the HCA office, Level 1, 12 Pirie Street, Adelaide. Six director vacancies exist: four ordinary directors and the positions of chair and deputy chair.

Please note:

  • Jane Marshall has completed her two-year term and is eligible to stand again
  • Allan Patching has completed his two-year term and has decided not to re-nominate
  • Ros Chataway has served three two-year terms and is not eligible to re-nominate
  • The Deputy Chair position is currently vacant, due to the resignation of Jessie Byrne.
  • The Chair position will be vacant. Debra Kay (Board Chair), is eligible to stand again following a formal motion at the Extraordinary Board Meeting help on Monday 10 September 2018 under 7.2.8 of the HCA Constitution.

Nominations for the Board are sought in accordance with the HCA Constitution, a copy of which is available on our website here.

You can complete a nomination online here.
Or you can download a nomination form here.

Directors are appointed for two years. Meetings are held every second month, currently scheduled on Monday 4-6pm. Please be advised that only financial voting members may nominate and be nominated. If you are unsure about your membership status, please contact Vanessa Vowles on (08) 8231 4169 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Update: HCA De-funding

What have we been doing? 
Over the last week HCA has met with both the Minister and Shadow Minister for Health and Wellbeing. We had the opportunity to ask the Minister about his decision and will publish the meeting notes once they are endorsed by the Minister.
We also attended the SACOSS Post Budget Breakfast with the Treasurer and had the opportunity to ask a question in relation to the decision to cease support of HCA from 1 July 2019.
You may have seen HCA in the media, a full list of media mentions we have come across is available below. If you have seen something we have not included on our list please email it to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
HCA remains committed to working with SA Health to ensure that the consumer voice is heard at all levels across the health system.

What have you been doing? 
Last week we encouraged you to approach your local member of parliament, the Minister, Premier and Treasurer with questions.
We would like to hear if you have had any responses, you can email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 8231 4169.
Some other questions you may want to ask could be: -

  • How will SA health services meet Standard 2 Partnering with Consumers national accreditation without HCA consumer governance support?
  • Who will train and support consumer and community representatives in local health services?
  • Who will provide the South Australian consumer voice in national health issues?
  • How will SA Health be accountable to South Australian consumers when they are making plans and decisions about state-wide health policy and services?

Given that the government has announced consumer and community engagement is now to occur through the new local governing boards, have the local LHNs received any additional funding for this purpose?
Your help in advocating for your independent peak consumer organisation is important in retaining the independent voice of South Australian Health Consumers.
We are compiling evidence about how having an independent consumer peak is important. Tell us how having HCA is important to you? Submit your quote here.

HCA DeFunding Media Mentions

View all latest news

Latest eNews


World Arthritis Day: Public Lecture

Friday 12 October 2018
5.30pm – 7.00om

Arthritis SA is hosting a free public lecture as part of World Arthritis Day 2018, Professor Catherine Hill (Rheumatologist and Epidemiologist), Professor David Findlay (Cell and Molecular Biologist) and Ms. Colette Smith (President Arthritis SA) will present the latest information on the diagnosis and treatment of the most common forms of arthritis, bone and joint research, and present and future directions for arthritis treatment. You will also hear the journeys of people with lived experience of Arthritis. You can find out more and register here.

Engagement and Advocacy for Influence Training

Thursday 4 October 2018

9.30am - 3.30pm
HCA Adelaide

HCA has developed an Engagement and Advocacy for Influence Training for experienced consumer representatives who are looking to improve their skills, effectiveness and leadership. The session will cover:

  • The Australian health system
  • Health data – what is available, where to find it and how to use it
  • How to use the healthcare standards in your role
  • Why, how, what and where to get engaged in the health system
  • Values and processes of co-production
  • Strategies for effectiveness in sharing stories, meetings and leadership roles 

This course will require some pre-reading.  The training method will include presentations, group discussions and self-reflection activities.

You can view the program below. 

Register to attend here.

Program Outline Engagement and Advocacy for Influence

Youth Mental Health Forum

Sonder is hosting two full-day Youth Mental Health Forum’s, one will be held in Southern Adelaide and one in Northern Adelaide. Topics covered throughout the day are centered around the issues affecting youth, including mental health, eating disorders, employment, suicide and trauma. You can find out more by clicking the links below.

North: Tuesday 25 September 2018 here
South: Wednesday, 10 October 2018 here.

For further information call Sonder on 8209 0700

5th National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Conference

Tuesday 6 – Friday 9 November 2018


The Aboriginal Drug & Alcohol Council (SA) Aboriginal Corporation is hosting the 5th National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Conference over three days at the Adelaide Convention Centre. The theme of this Conference, ‘Responding to Complexity’, acknowledges the range of issues confronting indigenous populations that accompany harmful alcohol and other drug use. The Conference seeks to explore these complexities and the interventions and supports required to address harmful alcohol and drug use. You can find out more here.

Disability Ageing and Lifestyle Expo, My Life My Choice

Thursday 27 September 2018

Adelaide Showground

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.

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