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Our Consumer Council

Purpose

The ACI Consumer Council provides expert advice to the ACI and its Board on consumer engagement strategies and represents consumer members of ACI Networks, Taskforces and Institutes.

Consumer Council Terms of Reference (PDF Document - 258Kb)

ACI Consumer CouncilACI Consumer Council. L-R Back row: M. Sharkey, J. van Akkeren, K. Smith, M. Simensen, R. Stirling-Kelly, S. Barter, C. Cooper, B. Foley.   Front row: T. Ratoni, A. Johnston, B. Conn.  Credit: L. Hallam.

Membership

The Consumer Council is chaired by a member of the ACI Board and comprises 8-10 consumer and community members with expertise in consumer engagement and the ability to represent the diverse interests of the NSW community.

Current members of the ACI Consumer Council are:

  • Tomas Ratoni (Chair) is an ACI Board Member and Chair of the Consumer Council.

    He is a Paediatric Clinical Nurse Consultant. He has a background primarily in paediatric critical care and paediatric and neonatal retrieval medicine and more recently has discovered a taste for general paediatrics. He has a passion for teaching and is an instructor for Australian Paediatric Life Support.

  • Craig Cooper (Chair) is CEO , Positive Life NSW .

    Craig's leadership and activism has taken place and evolved in the HIV (and broader BBV) sector jurisdictionally and nationally via the following roles: ACON Director of Community Health; NAPWHA Business Manager; Executive Director for the Northern Territory AIDS and Hepatitis Council (NTAHC); and the interim CEO for AIVL. I am a member of PozAction, the operational leadership group for the body positive throughout Australia, via my role as CEO with Positive Life NSW. I have worked in a broad range of NGO and public health services since 1990. A majority of his work has occurred in population health (blood borne viruses and sexually transmitted infections) and alcohol and other drug programs (court diversion) programs in NSW hospitals, the criminal justice system and non-government organisations. Craig holds a post graduate diploma in Clinical Drug Dependence Studies from Macquarie University and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Sydney. He was diagnosed with HIV in 2003 and successfully commenced treatments in 2004. He was diagnosed with HCV in 2014 and has been unsuccessful in being cured with the new treatments.

  • Bridget Foley is an early career, public health researcher promoting the importance of healthy eating and active living to improve population health and happiness.

    She advocates for young people, reducing health inequity and creating supportive environments in urban and regional areas. Bridget has Type 1 diabetes and is a NSW Diabetes Ambassador.  @bridgetcfly

  • Patrick Frances is currently the Co-Chair of the ACI Rural Health Network.

    He is a retired Company Director living in Port Macquarie, has served as a Consumer Representative on the Mid North Coast Community Reference Group, former Chairman of the Hastings Macleay Network Clinical Safety and Quality Committee and numerous Port Macquarie Hospital Safety and Quality working parties since his retirement 10 years ago.

  • Adam Johnston is a solicitor, holding a Masters in Law from the University of New England, Armidale, and a Graduate Diploma from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

    During his studies, he was a Senate Intern, and a delegate to both the 1998 Constitutional Convention on a Republic and the 2001 Corowa People's Conference. He is a former long-term Member of the Government Solicitors Committee of the Law Society of NSW and has worked in various complaint handling roles for the NSW Ombudsman and the Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW (EWON). He serves on a number of advisory and governance committees of the Northern Sydney Local Health District, is a member of Health Consumers NSW, a Consumer Advisor to the Clinical Excellence Commission’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Expert Advisory Committee, a member of the Consumer Advisory Council of the Sydney North Primary Health Network and a Community Member of the NSW Ministry of Health Clinical Ethics Advisory Panel. He is currently a PhD (Law) Student at Macquarie University.

  • Mae Rafraf is Co-Chair of the ACI Transition Care Network.
  • Max Simensen is a Peer Worker at Headspace and also a Youth Advisory Council Member for Orygen (National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health).
  • Kirsty Smith is Project Manager at Charles Sturt University.
  • Ro-Ann Stirling-Kelly is currently Consumer Engagement/Aboriginal Identification Officer, Mid North Coast LHD Hastings Macleay Clinical Network.

    Ro-Ann is passionate about improving access to health care for Aboriginal people and has witnessed first hand the positive impact that inclusion and acknowledgement of Aboriginal people's experiences have had locally on our service delivery. Having lived and worked in her community in various health roles over the past 20 years, Ro-Ann is able to listen to local Aboriginal people and engage them to ensure inclusion in decision making and and ownership of sustainable change within our health service. Her professional experiences have provided her with a sound working knowledge of Aboriginal community controlled health services, General Practice and NSW Health.

  • Sharon (Shazza) Taylor is currently the Aboriginal Health Educator at Health Education and Training Institute (HETI).

    She has a long history of working in primary health care using an early intervention and prevention approach. She understands and works within the principles of: a holistic understanding of health issues facing Aboriginal people, families and communities. These include the basic factors that affect Aboriginal people which have resulted in their individual perspective on health issues such as the interconnectedness of behaviour, physical and socio-economic factors, the intergenerational change in viewing health issues and the development of social networks that may contribute to a difference in health outcomes. I do this continually in the area of prenatal, antenatal, postnatal and child and family health areas of health care for Aboriginal women, children and families.

  • Joyce van Akkeren has worked for more than 20 years in multicultural settings, working with CALD communities and ethno-specific organisations both in community and sector development roles.

    Joyce’s professional work experience has ranged from refugee settlement case work, coordinating community programs for refugees and new arrivals, psychiatric social worker, tutor at NSW University for medical students, Cultural Competency trainer, and HACC Multicultural Access project worker.

  • Coralie Wales is currently the Manager Community and Consumer Engagement at Western Sydney Local Health District.

    She has worked for NSW Health in two Local Health Districts over the last 4 years. The central theme of this work is engaging people to re-design models of healthcare that are about the person not the disease. Clinically her passion is helping people who live with chronic pain. In 2006 she founded Chronic Pain Australia. This organisation aims to change the culture surrounding people that live with pain to reduce the stigma and unnecessary suffering that often accompanies the condition. In her role as President of the organisation she convenes National Pain Week each year. Currently she works with Ms. Petrea King at the Quest for Life Foundation to co-facilitate an innovative residential retreat for people living with chronic pain.

Activities

The Consumer Council meets up to five times per year. Outside of meetings, the Consumer Council works with the ACI Patient Experience and Consumer Engagement ( PEACE ) team to:

  • Inform the ACI ’s strategic vision and direction.
  • Ensure that ACI products and services meet the needs of patients and consumers.
  • Build the capability of consumers involved on ACI Networks, Taskforces and Institutes.
  • Develop relationships with key partners in the NSW health system.

Contact Us

For more information about the Consumer Council, please contact the ACI Patient Experience and Consumer Engagement ( PEACE ) team:

Sarah Barter
Acting Manager, Patient Experience and Consumer Engagement
Phone: 9464 4666
Email: aci-peace@health.nsw.gov.au