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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 three strategic priorities.

  1. Health Literacy – develop and educate 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. Improving the quality and perception of food - provided at the hospital to encourage nourishment and good health.
  4. Improving service standards in the Residential Aged Care - better staff/patient ratios to provide adequate care.

CAG Chair

Prof Margaret Shapiro

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 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.

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

Dr Joan Carlini

As a Doctor in Philosophy in Marketing (corporate social responsibility), Joan works as a lecturer in the Department of Marketing at Griffith University. Her career has encompassed both marketing and student recruitment, with training as a chef in hospitality after leaving school.

At age 29, Joan was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). This sparked her interest in health and wellness. After some relapses and participation in a drug trial, her symptoms are in remission. Joan is grateful to be able to share this time with her family.

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.

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.

Helen Eager

On top of her managerial duties with people with disabilities, Helen is actively involved in monitoring a care plan for her elderly father, who receives 24-hour care in an aged-care facility.

As a northern Gold Coast resident, Helen is eager to contribute towards future planning for the Coomera Health Precinct as she believes this will provide excellence in healthcare for the growing region.

With over a decade’s worth of knowledge in management and allied health services, Helen’s experience includes management board membership for YHES House, Gold Coast City Council Youth Commitment, Gold Coast Disability Community Network Committee, and representing the Consumer Advisory Group on various committees.

Her main interest in healthcare includes working in early childhood, people with disabilities and caring for the most disadvantaged people within the community.

Helen utilises her experience and knowledge to make a positive difference in the community through her participation in committees and working parties where the focus is on continuous improvement for consumers.

Nikki Fowell

Nikki is a long-term resident of the Gold Coast, with a professional background in marketing, communications and information design, along with her own local art and design practice.

She has a strong interest in how information is communicated, particular to consumers.

Nikki has been a member of the Consumer Advisory Group since 2017. Her goal is to see improvements in communication, information and public perception within our health precinct.

Nikki strives to ensure the public have the best health knowledge possible, and healthcare providers communicate clearly and effectively. Nikki hopes that this will not only improve healthcare, but health information provided to the community. Nikki believes informed and educated health consumers are essential for a healthy and proactive community.

As an advocate for consumers, Nikki has built connections to local businesses, parenting groups and community groups, along with representing the CAG in the Nutrition Steering Committee and Community Child Health Engagement.

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.

Tim Cudmore

Tim is a disability mentor and counsellor with over 20 years of disabled lived experience, specialising in exploring and explaining the psychology of long-term disability and mental health.

When he was a boy, Tim was run over by a car. This left him with significant long-term impairments, primarily physical and cognitive. As a result of this, he has continued to experience countless complications.

Tim is proudly involved in participatory research pertaining to a multitude of physical and neurological conditions including paralysis, post-traumatic stress disorder, hormone disorders, loss and grief, and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Tim feels a sense of personal responsibility to give a voice to those without, particularly when it comes to brain injury, as there are many individuals who are not fortunate enough to retain the ability to communicate their needs.

Jennifer Hobart

Jennifer graduated as a registered nurse in Adelaide in 1966. She spent the next 10 years in various hospitals across Australia, eventually landing on the Gold Coast.

After taking a break from nursing to raise four sons and assist with the family real estate business, Jennifer decided to complete her post-registration nursing degree at Griffith University. She then spent 16 years in interventional radiology nursing at GCUH, followed by two years as a scrub/scout in the day surgery clinic.

Following her retirement, Jennifer joined the Consumer Advisory Group in 2015 and became a member of the Chronic Disease and Wellness Forum for a year. She has been a member of the End-of-Life Committee and the Critical Incident Review Committee for almost two years.

Heather Andrew

Heather has been passionate about sports, and the outdoors, since she was a child.

She studied teaching and journalism while pursuing her sporting interests. This lead to Heather becoming school principal, and achieving 47 years of professional and personal growth associated with Education Queensland.

Heather lives at Pimpama and wants to give back to her community. She has played a vital part in the Strategic Planning and Partnerships section of Gold Coast Health and is an integral member of the recently-formed Rotary Club of Ormeau-Pimpama.

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. 

Kathleen Carlyon

After moving to the Gold Coast from New York City, Kathleen was impressed with the Gold Coast University Hospital. Since witnessing the high standards of our local hospital, she wanted to contribute and support the community.

With a background in healthcare in the United States, United Kingdom, and now Australia, Kathleen felt she could share an interesting and refreshing perspective.

Passionate about volunteering, Kathleen joined the Consumer Advisory Group in 2017, with a particular interest in health literacy and quality and safety.

She believes that if we can help educate our community in relation to their health and well-being, we can help improve health outcomes. As a result, this will better-manage chronic conditions and consumer’s experiences.

Besides swimming, beekeeping, and volunteering, Kathleen spends her time at Bond University studying a Master of Healthcare Innovations. She aims to broaden her knowledge and understanding in how technology and innovation can improve health outcomes and literacy.

Dig Vijah 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.

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.

Teleah Lindenberg

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

The Gold Coast has been her home for the past 16 years. This is where she has worked on the Gold Coast NAIDOC Committee, Gold Coast Health's Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, and as a member of Indigenous Allied Health Australia.

Currently working at Griffith University, Teleah has been employed in numerous roles for the past nine years, including being a part of the establishment of the First Peoples Health Unit.

She has completed a Graduate Certificate in Human Services.

Last updated 08 Dec 2017