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

2018/19 has definitely been an interesting year in the history of Heath Consumers Alliance of SA. 

The news of the cessation of our grant funding from SA Health has not slowed us down! 
In addition to our normal activities we have:

  • delivered on two major projects with Local Health Networks to support them to embed consumer and community engagement through developing Consumer and Community Engagement Strategies, 
  • nearly finalised a project with SA Health to develop the Consumer and Community Engagement Strategic Management Framework which will assist Local health Networks to deliver on their legislated responsibility to develop Consumer and Community Engagement Strategies as well as demonstrate commitment to the National Safety and Quality Health Care Standards, 
  • commenced a yearlong project with SA Health to develop a Consumer Feedback and Complaints Management Strategic Framework.

We have also been involved in ensuring the consumer voice is heard through submissions on a range of topics including, most recently, a joint submission to the Health Care (Governance) Amendment Bill 2019. This submission was a collaborative response coordinated by the South Australian Council of Social Service and included contribution from Aboriginal Health Council of SA, Lived Experience Leadership & Advocacy Network, Australian Association of Social Workers (SA), SA Network of Drug and Alcohol Services, Australian Health Promotion Association SA, Public Health Association of Australia SA and Mental Health Coalition. You can read the submision and ammendments

We have also been working on developing a new business model to meet the vision of HCASA – Consumers at the Centre of Health – through making sure we are responsive to the needs of health consumers and health services while ensuring we have the capability to undertake systemic advocacy for health consumers. HCASA is also excited to be able to start the new financial year launching our new professional training which you can read more about in eNews. 

Your membership of HCASA is very important, especially this year! It shows your commitment to strengthening the health consumer voice in South Australia and demonstrates your support for consumer-centred care and consumer engagement. Current members have recently been sent their renewal notices and we have been overwhelmed with your rapid response to re-joining. If you aren’t an existing member, or you are an individual member and you would like your organisation to also show support, you can join using this link. We offer a range of membership options including Individual (full), Individual Associate (open to any individual who is practicing or representing the role of a health professional, provider or for-profit interests and is not eligible to vote), and Organisational (full) and Organisational Associate (open to any organisation that is a commercial for profit health care provider, a government department, statutory authority, agency or service provider and is not eligible to vote).

Another way you can show your support for HCASA is through a donation, as a registered charity your donation over $2 is tax deductible.

We look forward to working with you, and for you, in 2019/2020.

Julia Overton
Chief Executive
Health Consumers Alliance of South Australia

On Monday 18 November 2019, HCASA held the inaugural Consumer Engagement Awards in South Australia at our AGM.
The Awards celebrated the great things being done by individuals and organisations in the consumer engagement space in South Australia.

Below is a summary of award recipients;

Consumer Advocates Award – Two awards

Consumer Advocates Award - HCASA
In recognition of a health consumer advocate who work tirelessly in partnership with health and/or community services to improve consumer experience and health outcomes
Melissa Cadzow

HCASA in conjunction with the Rosemary Bryant AO Research Centre
In recognition of a health consumer advocate who work tirelessly in partnership with health and/or community services to improve consumer experience and health outcomes
Julie Marker

Health Professionals Partnering with Consumers Award
In recognition of a health professional’s commitment to partnering with consumers in codesign to ensure effective, targeted service delivery to best meet their individual needs
Dr Chris Moy

Consumer Engagement in Health Governance Award
In recognition of a health services commitment to partnering with consumers in codesign, delivery and evaluation of services throughout the establishment.
Three categories for this award– Health Services, Aged Care Services and Disability Services

Health Services Recipient
For the proactive establishment of Consumer Partnerships to ensure codesign of strategic planning and identification of key priorities for action of the Statewide Clinical Network Steering Committees
Commission on Excellence and Innovation in Health

Aged Care Services Recipient
For the co-design and development of its ‘Good Lives Vision’ that shapes how they design, deliver and evaluate the impact of their services on the lives of their customers.
ACH Group

Disability Services Recipient
For a social enterprise that supports families and people with disabilities in South Australia to plan for and self-manage their NDIS through independent support coordination
The Growing Space

Partnering with Consumers in Research Award
In recognition of a commitment to partnering with consumers in the research sector
With a focus on creating better lives through research, this Institute explores how we can apply better care and health outcomes across the lifespan and develop self-care and care solutions to improve people’s quality of life.
Caring Futures Institute, Flinders University

HCASA Board Award
In recognition of outstanding commitment to the vision and mission of HCASA
Deb Kay served as Chair of HCASA from 2014 and as Public Officer from 2016. Deb was committed to the vision of HCASA – Consumers at the centre of health in South Australia and in our mission of engaging consumers and health services to achieve quality, safe, consumer-centred care for all South Australians.
Deb Kay

HCASA Board Nominations 2019

Three Board Director Vacancies exist: Two ordinary Board Directors and the position of Chair.

Candidate Summaries;


Board Chair: Jane Marshall

Jane is currently HCASA's Acting Chair (appointed as Deputy Chair at the 2018 AGM) with many years’ experience working in health across all levels and in different care settings. Jane is passionate about health, wellbeing and ageing, and the vulnerable in the community. She has extensive experience in consumer advocacy roles and is a current member of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Emergency Department Re-development Committee, RDNS Consumer Advisory Committee, Calvary Wakefield Clinical Governance Committee and the Excellence and Innovation Commission Palliative Care Clinical Network. Jane is currently the consumer advocate for TQEH Emergency Department. Jane was previously a member of the CALHN Consumer Advisory Council and Prison Health CALHN Consumer Advocates Council. She is a current member of Council on the Ageing (COTA) and Palliative Care SA. Jane brings her knowledge on procedural matters and is confident in her contribution on Board issues.

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Board Director Candidate: Barbara Erichsdotter

Over the past 25 years Barbara has worked in senior management roles mainly in the health medical device and pharmaceutical industries, both in Australia and Internationally. Through this work she has developed an in depth understanding of many diseases, their diagnoses and their recommended treatments. Barbara has the ability to grasp abstract and complex scientific concepts.
Barbara has worked on the development of national guidelines for the treatment of a range of diseases and has been involved in the development of a range of legislation. Barbara is able to interpret legislation and has assisted many organisations working within stringent legislative frameworks. Most of Barbara's work has been in human health, and she has managed large and small multidisciplinary teams (including remote teams) across a range of health and science-related fields including Diabetes, Cardiovascular Disease, IVF, Asthma and Dental health to name a few. Barbara enjoys working with diverse teams in changing environments and has developed strong mentoring and coaching skills. Barbara is passionate about public health, health protection and promotion and in particular health literacy. Barbara's experience working in the health sector has provided her with significant knowledge from which to inform policy to focus on the best health outcomes for all members of the community.


Board Director Candidate: Dean Fyfe

Dean has been a consumer representative for a number of years, working at all levels of the health system and feels he has a sund understanding of the health system. He enjoys working with people to make a service or system work better for the users.  Throughout his consumer work, Dean has aimed to be a voice for people that cannot speak or feel they cannot speak for themselves. He believes that this means you must listen to others and sometimes put your own beliefs to the side and work for the majority's beliefs. 


Board Director Candidate: Bob Riessen

As a retired general practitioner Bob has become increasingly involved in health advocacy. This has predominantly been in health promotion, aged care, palliative care and mental health. Bob has been advocating mental health since about 1975 when his awareness of the deficiencies in Mental Health system started. His advocating has seen Bob being invited to attend specialist, general practitioner group meetings and supporting community carer groups. Bob's incentive has come from 38 years’ experience caring, initially in a primary, and now secondary role, for a daughter who has a chronic mental health problem, but also from his awareness of the degree on mental health issues in the community. This led to Bob being a facilitator of a mental health program on the ABC with Peter Goers. Subsequently he has written submissions to the Productivity Commission, National Mental Health Commission, and actively networked with mental health bodies including State Health. In these socially and economically challenging times Bob sees the value of improving communication and systems in all mental health areas, aged care, palliative care and health promotion for the benefit of all Australians. Bob therefore sees great value in contributing to the HCASA Board.

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Board Director Candidate: Stephen Thomas

Stephen has previously been a member of the HCASA Board where where he significantly contributed to the organisation's risk management and strategic planning process. To support the board and the organisation he brings comprehensive governance strategic planning and policy review skills. In addition, Stephen brings skills in the areas of work health and safety, public health and legislative compliance. 


Board Director Candidate: Lynda Whiteway

Lynda is committed to ensuring HCASA remains a vibrant and viable organisation. She quoted the CEO of CALHN, "If not us, then who?". She will bring her experience as a consumer, a dedicated consumer advocate and her knowledge running her own business for 30 years. Lynda has experience in advertising as prior to starting herown business she worked in that field and wass in that industry for 10 years. Lynda has been a long time supporter, member and vocal consumer advocate. 

HCASA CE  Julia Overton attended the SA Oral Health Plan Launch on Wednesday 9 October. Julia acknowledged the consumer-reported link between good oral health and general health and that HCASA would be supporting the system to implement the plan. 
Below is an excerpt from the media released by SA Dental Service on 9 October 2019.
"Healthy mouths are the focus of the next seven-year South Australian plan for oral health being launched today. 
Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the South Australian Oral Health Plan (2019-2026) sets out priorities to improve the oral health of the State’s residents, particularly those most at risk of poor oral health. “Overall oral health care in South Australia has improved in recent decades, however, the evidence shows that there are still areas of unmet need,” Minister Wade said. “A healthy mouth is fundamental to overall health, wellbeing and quality of life. It enables people to eat, speak and socialise without pain, discomfort or embarrassment. “Poor oral health impacts on social interactions and work productivity. “Poor oral health impacts on general health. It is with a range of health problems and conditions, some which are among the most common and costly health problems experienced by Australians. “Reflecting this Government’s focus on preventative health, the oral health plan will guide coordinated action over the next seven years to improve oral health, and help to deliver innovative, world-class care to improve the health and wellbeing of South Australians.”

Read the full media release here.
Find the Plan here

Nominations close: Monday 4 November 2019
HCASA is pleased to advise arrangements for our Annual General Meeting and to call for nominations for three director positions. 2018-2019 has been a challenging year for the organisation, requiring the board to focus on risk management and strategic shifts following removal of state government funding for systemic health consumer representation. The board and the staff team have shared a strong commitment to continue to support consumers and health professionals to work together to achieve safe, consumer-centred care for all South Australians. The new board will continue to face challenges as we strive to achieve sustainability for the organisation. 
Three director vacancies exist: two ordinary directors and the position of deputy chair. You are invited to contact the Chief Executive, Julia Overton, for further information about the operation of the organisation or to arrange a meeting about the board.
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
Please download the Information in Support of 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 Bernie on (08) 8231 4169 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Debra Kay PSM
Board Chair

The March HCASA Board meeting recently confirmed our capacity to continue our work well into 2020. HCASA is here to stay. We had expected to call a Special General Meeting at about this time to ask our members to consider the organisation’s future. After careful consideration of our financial position, our capacity and the importance of our work we are instead scheduling the launch of our new business prospectus. This is planned for Monday 17 June, Save the date.

You will have read in eNews that we have moved our offices upstairs from level 1 to 3 at 12 Pirie Street. Our team continues to do an amazing job building a viable and sustainable business future. You’ll hear more about this on/after 17 June. We would not have been able to consider such an optimistic future without the pragmatic and moral support of our members, partners and supporters. Thank you.

We encourage organisations and individuals who believe in our vision of ‘consumers at the centre of health’ to make sure they have current membership of HCASA. As you know, we are a state-wide, member-based incorporated association with no political affiliations. We provide the information, training and services people, services and policy makers need to ensure consumers have a powerful influence on the health services that they pay for, use and expect to support the health and wellbeing of all South Australians. This work must and will continue.

Debra Kay PSM
Board Chair HCASA
On behalf of the HCASA Board and Staff Team

In 2019 HCA will work with consumers, partner agencies and other stakeholders to develop more focused training modules for consumers on topics such as:

  • clinical governance
  • health literacy
  • document review and
  • quality improvement processes and service redesign.
  • If you would to participate in this process, please contact Kathy Mickan on 8231 4169 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

One of the changes of not having a core funding base is that we will now be charging for our training, including consumer training. Fees will be kept as low as possible, and opportunities for subsidised training will be made available to consumers who do not have the capacity to pay.

Back to eNews here

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