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Consumer Advisory Group

The Consumer Advisory Group (CAG) are community representatives who work with Gold Coast Health to improve our local health system. 

Our vision to have the best health outcomes for all our patients, families and carers is at the heart of what we do and can be achieved in partnership with our community. 

CAG members are volunteers and act in an advisory capacity. They are not expected to have knowledge in the health sector or have technical backgrounds – their presence is to bring the consumer voice to the planning table and act as a community voice. As such, CAG members participate in committees, working groups, forums, and promotional activities. They provide valuable feedback to Gold Coast Health and work collaboratively with the service to ensure the world-class care we provide to the Gold Coast Community is always improving.

The CAG provides health consumers, carers and representatives from community organisations with direct in-depth participation in health care planning and the improvement, delivery and assessment of Gold Coast Health services.

Vacancies appear from time-to-time, if you are interested in joining the CAG or the Always Care Consumer Network, please complete an online or PDF application to register your interest.

Meet your CAG members

Our purpose is to provide an independent voice that promotes, protects and partners with Gold Coast Health to provide a safe, excellent quality and timely healthcare.

We believe that the best possible health care is provided by way of a partnership between practitioners, patients and carers.  As an advocate of patient centred care, CAG strives to promote health care that is respectful of and responsive to the preferences needs and values of patients and consumers.

Strategic priorities
In order to do this, we are focusing on these strategic priorities.

  1. Health Literacy - developing and educating the community (consumers and health practitioners) in health literacy
  2. Diversity and Inclusion - advocating values and practices that are inclusive of cultural background, age, gender, religious beliefs, language, disability and education.
  3. Person-centred care - bringing the needs of the individual to the forefront of health care.
  4. Consumers in research - increasing consumer involvement in research projects.

CAG Chair

Teleah Lindenberg

Teleah is a proud descendant from the Maiawali and Kurawali peoples of Winton, North Queensland. She was born in Toowoomba and grew up in a variety of places across Queensland and Northern NSW.

The Gold Coast has been her home for the past 16 years where she has completed an Advanced Diploma in Performing Arts, Graduate degree in Human Services & Social Work, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aide, Certificate IV Indigenous Leadership, Certificate IV in Human Resources and Certificate III Business Administration.

Teleah has been employed at Griffith University in numerous roles for the past ten years, including being instrumental in the establishment of the First Peoples Health Unit. She has also worked on the Gold Coast NAIDOC Committee, Gold Coast Health's Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, is a member of Indigenous Allied Health Australia and is also a member on the Consumer Advisory Committee for Waijungbah Jarjums.

Now as a fulltime parent of her two-year-old daughter Presley, Teleah runs a business teaching dance classes and Mums and Bubs Dance fitness classes at multiple locations on the Gold Coast.

Teleah is very active and passionate about the local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and hopes her role within the CAG can help bring positive change and better health outcomes for her people and community.

CAG Deputy Chair

Noela Baglot

Noela is a retired nurse with more than 50 years’ experience in the health industry particularly, community and aged care. Her long history of caring and helping others began while supporting family members with chronic disorders and experiencing her own health issues. In the community, Noela is known as an advocate for older persons and their families. She has a firm belief in the importance of speaking up, which landed her in a consumer representative role.

Noela now represents consumers across several organisations, including Gold Coast Health, Gold Coast Primary Health Network, Health Consumers Queensland and Health Care Forum.

In this environment, Noela hopes to integrate the advisory groups, and is committed to supporting and encouraging involvement of all consumers. As she believes that when consumer’s voices are heard, we can make a difference together.

CAG member profiles

Margaret Shapiro PhD

Margaret’s experience with health and hospital services has been long and varied as an academic, a carer, a consumer, and passionate health advocate.

In the 1980s, Margaret designed and developed a public health program 60 and Better. The program sparked an everlasting interest in collaboration with community members across urban and country areas. This gave Margaret an appreciation for the importance of community health needs and expectations when planning new policies and areas of practice.

Now retired, Margaret is a committed consumer representative for many agencies and committees. Including past consumer member of Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency and at Gold Coast Health on the Clinical Governance Committee and Cancer Access and Support Committees. As a Consumer Advisory Group member, she pursues her interest areas in health literacy, health promotion and person-centered care.

Dr Joan Carlini

Co-producing solutions with diverse communities is Joan's passion. She works with citizens, businesses, and public sector organisations to solve real-world problems. As an advocate who gives voice to vulnerable groups, she has substantial experience in health and business advocacy. 

She is the founding Chair of the Gold Coast Health Consumer Advisory Group (CAG), whose members actively work with the Hospital to provide a consumer voice in the design, delivery, and planning of health services. 

Her professional interests are driven by her personal experience of a chronic medical condition and her interactions with the health system. She is a member of the GCHHS Board Research Committee, Clinical Trial Steering Committee, Menzies Health Institute Queensland Patient-Centred Health Services Associate Member, and co-chairs the Centre for Research Excellence in Wiser Wound Care Consumer Committee.

With a firm belief in health and wellness being the key to a happy life, Joan is committed to working with Gold Coast Health to build a resilient, and healthy Gold Coast community.

Robert (Bob) Lee

In December 2005, Bob was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s follicular lymphoma and treated using RCHOP chemotherapy. This was followed by stem cell harvest in 2006. A couple of years later, it became evident that he was no longer in remission. After consulting with his haematologist and discussions with family, he joined a double-blind placebo-controlled treatment trial.

At the conclusion of trial in late 2008, Bob was asked if he was interested in becoming a member of the Human Research Ethics Committee. He eventually joined the Gold Coast Health Consumer Advisory Group, which lead him to becoming a health consumer representative on various Haematology and Oncology Committees.

Bob gladly accepted these requests, and is now currently a member of the Human Research Ethics Committee, CBD Quality and Safety Committee, and CBD Consumer Engagement Committee.

Zehnab Vayani

As a mother of two children who require specialist healthcare from health professionals, Zee understands the importance of advocating for consumers on their behalf.

This has driven her passion to help others to do the same, and to allow better choices and control of their health care needs.

Zee is proud to educate clinicians about consumer experiences of healthcare. This allows her to be a conduit for other health consumers and provide feedback on making healthcare services more accessible for the community.

Her passion and interest around health literacy and co-design is informed by her own extensive lived experience of the healthcare system. Specifically, across the continuum of primary care, specialist secondary consultation services and advanced level tertiary healthcare. Zee understands the impact on, not only her children and wider family, but the community.

This encourages Zee to be a voice, and advocate for those within the community. 

Siobhán McKernan

Sobhán is a student of Social Work at Griffith University and is a proud member of the LGBTIQ+ community. Her pronouns are she/they. As a genderqueer trans person herself, who has been a patient at hospitals many times in her life, she is passionate about the treatment transgender people receive from health care providers. Her experiences are varied from being a patient, working in hospitality, caring for family members, to more recently working in the Aged Care sector. Siobhán spends her free time studying, reading, and watching fútbol español.

Lily Bevan

With experience as a consumer in the digital space, Lily has played a vital part of the Consumer Advisory Group since November 2019. She is currently part of both Digital Innovation and Digital Healthcare Steering Committees across the Gold Coast University Hospital.

Lily’s passions within healthcare are in medicine and innovation, as she hopes one day to work as a cardiologist.

Whilst having a background in public health, she has an interest in the development and implementation of public policy. Engaging as a consumer with Gold Coast Health has provided her with an invaluable opportunity to have consumer voices heard. Lily believes this is a crucial element of having an engaged and healthy community.

Letisha Living

Letisha Living is a mother of 4 sons and resides in the Gold Coast hinterland. At the age of 35, she unexpectedly had a stroke.

Through her own lived experience as a stroke survivor and parent to two children with complex care needs, Letisha understands the importance of early diagnosis, treatment, and access to community health services post hospital discharge. She firmly believes in the importance of health professionals and consumers working together to achieve best outcomes.

Letisha is person-centred and is passionate about being a consumer voice for lived experience. Her areas of interest are: health literacy, co-design, post-stroke research, inclusion and diversity, mental health, and neurorehabilitation.

Letisha has been a member of the Consumer Advisory Group since 2021.

Helen Eager

Helen has been a member of the Consumer Advisory Group (CAG) for over a decade. She currently represents CAG on the Coomera Hospital, Medical Imaging, and Renal Patient Support Group Committees.

Helen is a passionate advocate for improving the health and well-being of the local community on the Gold Coast. Through her affiliation with CAG, she has been able to leverage her expertise and knowledge to create a positive impact. Helen participates in committees and working parties that focus on advancing continuous improvement and excellence in healthcare for all consumers. Helen's extensive background includes a dynamic management career within Disability Services, Allied Health, and recruitment. She has gained a wealth of experience as a Management Board member for Youth Health and Education Services (YHES) and Living Made Easy (Disability Services).

Currently, Helen serves as an Administration Officer at GCUH in GCHHS, which allows her to gain insights into the health sector's challenges while working within the values of Queensland Health. Patient-centered care constitutes Helen's primary interest and focus within the healthcare domain. She is especially passionate about improving healthcare access for individuals in palliative care, those with disabilities, and the most underprivileged members of our society.

By doing so, she aims to ensure that all individuals feel included in their healthcare decisions. As a former Northern Gold Coast resident, Helen is eager to make substantive contributions to the Coomera Health precinct's future planning. The precinct's establishment will guarantee healthcare excellence for the most rapidly growing region in Australia.

Farah Dyer-Steel

Originally from Perth, Farah now works for her local community in Tambourine Mountain, where she helps the elderly and infirm with domestic requirements and social support. While Farah is interested in aged, dementia and palliative care, her main area of focus is autism. This is close to Farah’s heart, as she is a parenting-grandparent to a 15-year-old boy with autism.

Their boy was diagnosed at the Gold Coast Hospital in Southport 2009. At the age of three, he was assessed by the pediatric outpatient, annually, to monitor his progress.

It goes without saying, Farah is a natural-born carer. She supports and cares for her husband with diabetes, her mother, and her eldest daughter who was diagnosed with bipolar.

Farah’s father-in-law is living with Alzheimer’s, underwent emergency open heart surgery in 2015 at the Gold Coast University Hospital and has made a fantastic recovery.

Farah has been a member of the Consumer Advisory Group since its inception. She enjoys the cross-section of members and finds the topics of interest relevant to her work. Farah finds it refreshing to have others interested in her opinion.

Dig Vijay Singh

Dig is a chartered accountant who has worked in hospital settings for more than 15 years. This has allowed him insight into funding allocation strategies for the best patient and customer outcomes.

As a consumer, Dig experienced inadequate support while waiting in pain and discomfort in an emergency department. Again, while waiting for an eye check-up. During this time, he noticed the lack of awareness of services and information being provided to consumers. His wife, however, experienced excellent services when transported by ambulance to Gold Coast University Hospital.

Disability and diabetes are both areas of healthcare that Dig is passionate about, as he believes these are underprivileged populations that hold common issues in relation to healthcare. He understands the lack of resources in community contribute to a poor lifestyle, where people can unknowingly suffer from illness.

What makes Dig happy is raising awareness about services and support available to consumers. This is one of the main reasons why he joined the Consumer Advisory Group.

Damien (Damo) Williams

Damien (Damo) is 53 years old and joined the CAG in 2024. He experienced 2 separate accidents, the first at age 13 and the second at age 27, resulting in blindness. 

Damo has been engaged within the hospital system for the majority of his life as an in/out patient. He has an interest in advocating for men's health and accessibility to holistic health for all. He has worked closely with his local homeless community and is a champion for better access and follow up care in this space. 

Damo is a husband, father and elite athlete. He has completed extensive charity events raising much needed funds for the Gold Coaster in need. He also engages in public speaking across the Gold Coast and Brisbane area. He is passionate about music and loves socialising. 

Emily Silver

Emily is an early year's educator who has had many opportunities to learn about quality care standards and how to continuously improve. Through her work with children, Emily has discovered that her highly sensitive nature and empathy are strengths in connecting with children and teaching them resilience.

Emily is interested in the emotional well-being of children and has learned how domestic violence can affect them. As a new single mom in 2022, Emily wants to share her experiences and join the women and newborn research committee to create a pathway for advocacy. She wants to bring attention to tough topics and create a safe space for everyone to express their views, ensuring that the voices of children and families in her community are heard and supported.

Emily believes that continuous new ideas and suggestions are essential for supporting both consumers and professionals. She plans to use her professional knowledge and lived experiences to give others in the community a voice and ensure their messages are heard. Emily aims to create a safe space to support the children and families within her community, where her daughter will grow up and live alongside them.

Julie Hale

Julie has extensive experience of the healthcare sector internationally. Previously Deputy CEO of Women’s and Children’s Healthcare Australasia, she was responsible for advocacy, hospital benchmarking, special interest groups focused on sharing best practices and support of hospitals and health services internationally. Having recently been CEO of Clever Care Now, a community care provider and worked in the Primary Care sector, Julie has extensive experience of the entire health system.

Julie and her family members have personal experience of the healthcare sector both public and private within the Gold Coast region. She also has personal experience of the health sector across a number of jurisdictions.

Having previously negotiated a $45 million recurrent decision for hospitals and health services nationwide, she is keen to support initiatives that will improve outcomes for health service users.

Last updated 20 Feb 2024