Consumer representatives are the link that enable health service providers to become aware of the importance and diversity of consumer needs. CHF supports consumer representatives from many backgrounds to represent a broad range of consumer views, including those from vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.

CHF advocates for a high-quality, patient-centred health system where people have choice and control over their health and care. We know that better outcomes are achieved when consumers are involved in all aspects of policy and healthcare decisions, from involvement at every level of strategic planning to being on committees.

As such, we are committed to equipping consumer leaders to act with impact and influence, and to facilitating opportunities to build capacity and improve the practice of consumer-centred health care. In addition to the resources on our website, we are increasingly using digital platforms such as webinars to support our consumer representatives with updated policy information and advice

Your role as a consumer representative is an exciting one. You will play an important role in any committee by bringing the essential perspective of those for whom the service is designed and thereby transforming the way the service is provided. By understanding the different ways in which committees can work, and how you can contribute effectively during your term on the committee, you can maximise your potential for creating positive outcomes.

This resource, Guidelines for Consumer Representatives provides you with an orientation to your consumer representative role. CHF has over 30 years of experience as the national peak body representing the interests of Australian healthcare consumers. Together with experienced consumer representatives CHF has developed this resource to de-mystify committee work and provide you with practical advice to assist you in your role. These Guidelines for consumer representatives can be used to supplement formal orientation training offered by some state-based health consumer organisations and provide a refresher for experienced consumer representatives.

We hope that these Guidelines for Consumer Representatives will assist you to develop your skills and knowledge in contributing the consumer perspective to your committee. I would also like to encourage you to network with other experienced consumer representatives and consumers within your health consumer organisations.

We wish you all the very best in your role and look forward to hearing about your achievements.

Good health!

Elizabeth Deveny PhD

Chief Executive Officer
Consumers Health Forum of Australia