Ready to elevate capabilities in consumer engagement?
Registrations are now open for the Health Issues Centre’s Consumer Engagement Practitioners Network. This pioneering network is designed to provide high-quality training, support and education to grow the skills and confidence of consumer engagement practitioners in the health sector, to:
- Support organisations and individuals to embed meaningful and transformational engagement in their practice; and
- Ultimately empower and support consumers and community members to find their voice, grow their agency, draw on their strengths and participate
This network is part of our umbrella Victorian Health Consumer Engagement Leadership Programs, which also include the consumer-focused programs:
Check out our handy graphic to help you decide which program you should join. Read on for more information about each program. And visit our Frequently Asked Questions page to have your questions answered.
*Please note that we are currently taking registrations only for the Consumer Engagement Practitioners Network and exploring alternative funding avenues for the consumer-focused programs. We would love to capture your interest in these programs so we can get in touch later down the track. Please fill out this form if you’re an interested consumer.
Consumer Engagement Practitioners Network
The Consumer Engagement Practitioners Network builds the capability, confidence and contacts of consumer engagement practitioners to engage and influence the design, delivery and improvement of the Victorian health system.
The value of the network comes from bringing together individuals with a common interest where they can interact, collectively learn and share resources and knowledge within a supportive environment. The areas of focus for each network will be determined by the members based on
their needs, interests and challenges they are facing.
To download a brochure about the Consumer Engagement Practitioners Network, click here.
The network will meet online monthly (1.5hr per meeting) over a period of 10 months (February to November 2024).
Network meetings may include the following components:
- Training/education sessions;
- Presentations by members;
- Presentations by guest speakers;
- Networking time;
- Questions/brainstorming/problem-solving; and
The format of the meetings will ultimately be developed by network members and could vary month to month.
To download a sample agenda for the Consumer Engagement Practitioners Network, click here.
Health Issues Centre will provide the following to the network:
- Secretariat support, including scheduling of network meetings, minute-taking and actioning
- Liaison with network members and their sponsor organisations;
- Chairing or co-chairing meetings;
- Program development, including delivering training and arranging external speakers and
coordinating other aspects related to program content;
- Managing resources, including uploading meeting recordings and other documents from the
- Ad-hoc support for Network members;
- Evaluation process and reporting.
Eligibility and costs
The network is open to consumer engagement practitioners involved in any aspect of the Victorian healthcare system.
An early-bird fee of $1,500 will be charged for a one-year individual membership to the network. This price is valid until 19 January 2024. The regular price is $1,700.
We encourage health services/organisations to sponsor consumer engagement practitioners to take part in the network. The membership purchase must be approved by the consumer’s sponsor organisation.
To register for a one-year membership (per participant), please click here.
Consumer Partners Network
The Consumer Partners Network is very similar in structure and inclusions to the Consumer Engagement Practitioners Network, but is aimed at consumers involved in any aspect of the Victorian healthcare system. We are committed to enhancing consumer capabilities from a wide range of backgrounds, with the goal to enhance the diversity of voices that are driving change in the health system to reduce health inequities.
To download a brochure about the Consumer Partners Network, click here.
To download a sample agenda for the Consumer Partners Network, click here.
Expressions of interest
To register your interest and be kept in the loop about the network, please click here.
Consumer Partners Mentoring Program
The Consumer Partners Mentoring Program provides a development pathway for consumers through a peer-to-peer group learning model, supported and guided by the Health Issues Centre. This will enable a safe and secure environment to:
- Support a diverse range of ‘emerging’ and ‘evolving’ consumer partners to develop their skills, knowledge and capabilities; and
- Support ‘expert’ consumers to develop and advance their skills as consumer leaders through mentorship.
To download a pamphlet about the program, click here.
Each group of mentees will meet with their mentor online monthly (1.5hr per meeting) over a period of 10 months (February to November 2024).
In addition, the program will have the following sessions:
- A 1:1 intake interview with the program coordinator to understand more about your needs and goals;
- Launch event (45min, online, all participants), then break into groups (30 min kick-off meetings);
- A mentoring program manual including goal-setting template;
- Half-day celebration event.
Health Issues Centre will provide the following:
- Recruitment and matching of mentors with mentees;
- Provision of resources, materials and meeting scheduling support where needed;
- Launch event and onboarding for groups;
- Comprehensive training program, mentoring manual and coaching for mentors to guide and support positive and influential mentoring practice;
- Ad-hoc support for mentees and mentors as required;
- Half-day celebration event at conclusion of program.
This program is open to consumers involved in any aspect of the Victorian healthcare system.
To increase diversity and reach, Health Issues Centre will:
- Recruit for diversity across mentors and mentees; and
- Engage with a wide cross section of organisations.
The program is suited to mentees who demonstrate the following:
- Engaged in a health organisation in a consumer partner or representative role;
- Has support from their organisation to sponsor their participation;
- Would classify as an ‘emerging’ or ‘evolving’ consumer;
- Able to identify some development areas to work on through a mentorship relationship;
- Open to learning and growing in a group context with consumer peers; and
- Located in Victoria.
Expressions of interest
To register your interest and be kept in the loop about the program, please click here.
We hosted a webinar about the programs on Wednesday 15 November 2023. Our CEO Alison Coughlan and Training, Projects and Development Officer Katherine Burnard summarised what can be expected from the networks/program. The video also features a participant of the pilot program, Lester, who talks about his experiences. Watch here.
Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page to have your questions answered about the programs.