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2020-09-08 09:07:38

Consumer Advisory Council

James Wong

CAC Chair and Townsville Community Partner Advisory Group representative

James came to Australia in 2017 to complete a Master’s in Public Health and Business Administration, and now works in community disaster recovery following the 2019 floods and COVID-19, initially for the Northern Queensland Primary Health Network, and currently with the Townsville City Council.

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James has previously worked in psychiatric and geriatric care, and in hospitality at both operational and corporate levels. Coming from a family of healthcare workers, he is also an active member of Townsville's Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention Network.

James has been a community representative with the Townsville Hospital and Health Service since 2017 and seeing the health service include the community in its decision-making processes is something that impresses him and a responsibility he takes seriously. He joined the CAC to create better outcomes for consumers and patients and to advocate and provide a voice for his community.

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Graham Lohmann

CAC Deputy Chair – Charters Towers Community Advisory Network representative

Graham joined the Queensland Police Academy as a cadet in 1975 and was inducted as a police officer in 1978. He served most of his police career in north and north-west Queensland and in 2013 he was awarded the prestigious Australian Police Medal in the Australia Day Honours.

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Graham was a career police officer who held the position of Senior Sergeant, Officer-in-Charge, in Charters Towers from 2001, formally retiring from the service in August 2019.  

Graham was elected to the Charters Towers Regional Council in 2016 and is currently serving his second term after being re-elected in the March 2020 local government elections. He has been a member of the Charters Towers District Community Advisory Network since its inception and represents that group on the CAC.

Graham and his wife, Meryl, have been married since 1981 and have two adult children and two grandchildren. In his spare time, Graham enjoys fishing, camping, gardening and spending time with his family.

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Virginia Bendall-Harris

CAC Member

Virginia is a long-term customer service professional and the recipient of Customer Service Manager of the Year at both state (Queensland) and national levels. The award is bestowed by the Customer Service Institute of Australia. Virginia is a passionate advocate for bringing the voice of the customer into business. 

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She has implemented customer surveys and feedback processes, as well as employee engagement surveys which ‘take the pulse’ of an organisation from a customer and employee perspective.

Virginia’s interest in the healthcare sector was piqued by personal impact after her mother had a severe stroke. She cared for her mother and navigated the world of aged care as a result. Additionally, her grandson was born with multiple health issues and she has supported his development and engagement with the health services provided by Townsville University Hospital.

Virginia is a graduate of Monash University with a Master’s in Business Administration. The focus of her studies was on bringing about change in large organisations.

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Lorraine Clive

CAC Member

Lorraine was inspired to join the CAC after observing the health system during the three years her elderly parents were receiving care. Lorraine is a homemaker who has been married for 44 years with two children and two grandchildren. She is a volunteer ‘role player’ for medical students at James Cook University helping to teach doctor-patient communication skills.

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For the past 16 years, Lorraine has volunteered as a clinical teaching assistant tutor to fourth-year medical students for women’s health in breast and cervical cancer under the guidance of a doctor who is the head tutor in this field.

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Kylie Doyle

CAC Member

As a long-term resident of Townsville, Kylie has a genuine commitment to the region. Having the opportunity to raise a family, with her husband, in a safe and healthy environment and fostering positive community connections was one of Kylie’s reasons for joining the CAC.

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Kylie has first-hand experience as a health consumer after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015. Through this experience, she understands the impact a significant medical diagnosis has on a person and their family, and the need for high-quality, expert support delivered close to home. Through her membership on the CAC, Kylie hopes to influence local healthcare to ensure it is focused on the needs of both the patient as well as family/carers.

Kylie is a finance professional working within large government and not-for-profit organisations and it’s important for her, personally and professionally, to contribute to an inclusive and respectful community.

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Jane Hogan

CAC Member

Jane was raised in South Townsville in the family home which has existed since the early 20th century. After completing her general nursing education in 1967 at the Townsville General Hospital, Jane spent 50 years in the healthcare industry pursuing further study to enhance her professional knowledge and skill.

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Caring has always been Jane’s passion and she currently volunteers with two not-for-profit organisations and works part-time in the private sector. She also has a small business management service.

Jane feels privileged to be a member of the CAC and to have the opportunity to engage to improve healthcare services.

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Damir Muftic

CAC Member

Damir is a former teacher principal with Education Queensland and Catholic Education. He currently works as a school chaplain focussing on all levels of growth within the school. 

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He is also an executive member of the Australian Aphasia Association, after suffering a traumatic brain injury following a freak fall, and now supports people who have experienced stroke and traumatic brain injury. His major areas of interest in these roles are to assist and support through providing information, creating support networks, reducing barriers, and assisting forms of communication impairment.

Damir currently runs aphasia meetings to assist and support areas of communication impairment and every month supports communication lessons at the Townsville University Hospital sub-acute care unit.

He has been a guest speaker at Townsville University Hospital and James Cook University’s speech pathology department, and at the Australian Aphasia Conference. Damir is a member of the James Cook University medical interview panel.

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Genus Passi

CAC Member - ATSICAC representative

Genus is a Torres Strait Islander descended from Lifou, New Caledonia and Parama, Western Province (Papua New Guinea). He has lived most of his life in Townsville with his earlier years spent growing up in Hughenden, when his grandparents moved from Darnley Island in the eastern Torres Strait to work with Queensland Railways.

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He began his working life as a 15-year-old in Townsville working with the Australian Taxation Office, completing a 12-month traineeship after which he continued to work for a further six years in various business units.

Genus moved to Mackay for a period, before returning home to Townsville when his grandmother was diagnosed with cancer passing seven months later.

Genus worked with Queensland Railways for two years during his grandmother’s cancer journey, stationed in Richmond west of Townsville, then started work back in Townsville with Youth Justice and Adult Corrective Services for 15 years.

Genus is passionate about working in communities and was fortunate to have developed many of these relationships and networks in the various positions he has worked in over the years.

He is a proud Meriam man with strong cultural and family values and continues to work hard and play a leadership role to educate, mentor, and role model these values to our families, young people and the wider community and workforce.

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Mark Pepperdene

CAC Member - Mental Health Lived Experience Reference Group representative

Mark is a member of the Townsville Hospital and Health Service Mental Health Lived Experience Reference Group and represents this group as a carer representative on the CAC. Mark is a qualified pressure welder and boilermaker and a mental health peer support worker at Townsville University Hospital. 

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Mark’s learnings from his own experience supporting others in their recovery journeys are invaluable for the CAC. In his role on the CAC, Mark advocates for those living with mental illness in the community and in the healthcare setting. His lived experience helps empower others to realise and achieve their goals in an environment that encourages consumers to feel safe and supported.

Mark will always find time for his hobby - flying his plane on the weekends. After receiving his pilot’s licence in 2001 “with a bit of hard work” he managed to purchase his own plane in 2005. Apart from enjoying spectacular views of North Queensland from up in the sky, Mark also enjoys time spent on the ground with family and friends. 

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Peta Lynn Ross

CAC Member

Peta is a Juru Traditional Owner who has extensive personal and professional experience working with Traditional Owners within the legislative compliance framework. Peta is a former detective with the Queensland Police Service and currently manages the Indigenous Compliance Team at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. 

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Her leadership and ability to deliver Traditional Owner outcomes is founded on collaborative cross-partnerships and her successes have directly led to her inclusion on all aspects of Traditional Owner business.

As a chronic pain patient of the Townsville HHS, Peta believes that cultural shifts will assist with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people battling to eliminate disease and mental health issues and reduce mortality and she will support these messages through her membership of the CAC.

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Lucy Rea

CAC Member - Hughenden Community Advisory Network representative

Lucy is a member of the Hughenden Community Advisory Network and represents this group on the Consumer Advisory Council. Lucy is a small business owner in Hughenden.  She had a background in the grazing industry and spent several years working in rural, remote, and Indigenous communities as a job service provider in Cape York, the Northern Territory, and Western Australia.

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Lucy is particularly interested in after care for people who live in rural and remote communities and have had acute care at larger facilities, as well as improving the health and wellbeing of people in her region.

Lucy and her husband, Mark, have two adult children and live in Hughenden.  When she’s not running the Windmill Inn Café, Lucy gardens and goes back to her roots on the land.

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Chloe Suhr

CAC Member - Mental Health Lived Experience Reference Group representative

Chloe has lived in Townsville for most of her life and began engaging in mental health services as a consumer representative in 2017. From there, she has been part of the Mental Health Lived Experience Reference Group, became a peer support worker and a member of the Consumer Advisory Council (CAC).

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In her roles, she is proud to represent and advocate for mental health consumers and their families and to support their care and wellness in the healthcare system.

In her spare time, Chloe can be found in the Townsville music scene as an instrumentalist or enjoying a strong coffee and doing art.

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Peter Smith

CAC Member - Ingham Community Advisory Network representative

Peter is the Chair of the Ingham Community Advisory Network and represents this group at the Consumer Advisory Council. Peter is a former maths and science teacher who began work at Ingham State High School 1972, planning to give Ingham one year.

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He re-trained as a teacher librarian and retired (while still in Ingham) at the turn of the century. Peter is a strong supporter of fieldwork as an education tool in both day and longer-time formats for students of biology and geography.

Peter has served as a representative for Hinchinbrook teachers to the Queensland Teachers’ Union Council, becoming a trustee and later a life member. He is a former Chair of the Ingham Blue Nursing Service, was awarded life membership of the Ingham State High School Parents’ and Citizens’ Association and is active in the community through the Uniting Church and environmental groups. Peter is, at all times, supported by his wife of 52 years, Pam.

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Stacee Vann

CAC Member

Stacee joined the CAC to give the Townsville community a voice in the issues that affect their healthcare. She completed a Bachelor of Laws in 2014 and opened a small business in order to assist the local community. 

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Prior to joining the CAC, Stacee was a pregnancy advocate through Townsville University Hospital’s birth centre, where she gained further insight into consumer advocacy and empowering women in navigating the system so that they could have the best possible pregnancy and birth experience.

The CAC has been a much-welcomed step in Stacee's journey and is part of her passion for helping the community in seeking the best outcome for themselves and their families.

Having young children of her own she has had exposure to many areas of the hospital and hopes to provide perspective and feedback on these areas through her position on the CAC.

Stacee likes to spend her time outside with her children going to the park, taking them for a ride on their scooters, or working out.

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Christine Young

CAC Member

Chris is an occupational therapist who believes that ‘making small, simple changes can have huge positive impacts on health’. She began working in health and well-being teaching aerobics in the 80’s.

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As a consumer, health professional, daughter and mother, Chris has lived experience of the health service and joined the CAC to learn more and to contribute to simplicity and responsiveness in health care delivery. 

Chris loves cooking creatively. This has been useful with a child with anaphylaxis. She has an obsession with containers, especially glass vegemite jars. Camping with family and friends with fabulous food away from everything by a creek is her happy place.

Movement and activity still feature in her personal and professional life and are inspired by natural movement and the Feldenkrais method.

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