Consumer Community Engagement Council

Tasmanian Health Service - Northern Region

About us

Consumer Community Engagement Council

The Tasmanian Health Service (THS) has three Consumer Community engagement Councils (CCEC).  They provide a community member point of view into the delivery of health care services in the North, North West and South. The Council represents a cross section of the community. This provides the opportunity for a variety of people to have a say about how health services could be delivered to improve patient outcomes. The involvement of the CCEC supports the THS to provide health care that improves the health experience for our people.

Christine Beswick

Head and shoulders image of Chris Beswick, member of the THO-North Community Advisory Council

Christine is a retired Launceston General Hospital (LGH) Pathology laboratory scientist who spent much of her working life in Pathology at LGH. Patient contact here, interstate and overseas gave Christine an interest in the consumer perspective, and she is pleased to see the shift from medico-centred to patient-centred care.

After retirement Christine became a carer to varying degrees for several family members, which enhanced her interest in the needs of those with disabilities.

Christine applied to join the Consumer and Community Engagement Council(CCEC) as a practical way to use her life experiences to contribute to the community, and has found her involvement in the many and varied aspects of the CCEC’s work to be both useful and fulfilling.

Christine’s other “jobs" include being a long-time volunteer with Meals on Wheels and Deputy Coordinator in Perth, and the more recent role of Honorary Secretary of the Royal Society of Tasmania, Northern Chapter.  Christine is also a member of Launceston School for Seniors, having joined initially in order to return to her major interest of bushwalking. This has exposed Christine to a wide range of people in an age group likely to need health services.

Joyce Bissland

Head and shoulders image of  Joyce Bissland, member of the THO-North Community Advisory Council

Joyce is a retired registered nurse specialising in paediatrics. Joyce is involved with the Older Persons Reference Group and the Richmond Fellowship. She lives in West Launceston.

Joyce is a dedicated patient advocate and she and her family have all experienced services across THS-North and in particular the LGH Emergency Departent and wards.  Her experience working in Disability Services and inpatient Mental Health Services, exposed her to a variety of challenging situations.  Joyce is particularly interested in ensuring the rights of the elderly in the community are considered in decision making.

Amir Khankeshipour

Head and shoulders image of  Amir Khankeshipour, member of the THO-North Community Advisory Council

Amir was born in Iran, arrived in Australia in 2010, and he and his wife live in East Launceston.  He works as an interpreter for newly settled Afghani refugees across the health sector – and has a paid position as a bilingual support for Farsi speakers with TasTAFE. Amir also has a UTAS degree in medical laboratory science, and is undertaking post-grad Master of Applied Science in Aquatic Animal Health.

Amir talks of his awareness of the importance of trust especially with culturally conservative clients who feel secure relating their personal health issues. It is a small community and an interpreter must have trust that no confidence will be breached. Amir is very familiar with LGH Emergency Department, Specialist Clinics, Children’s and Adult Diabetes.

In working with the Afghani community, he ‘hears from many clients about their experiences’ within the health and community sectors, and says that him being on the Council means they will have a voice if there are issues of concern. He says he considers it a ‘privilege’ to be able to assist in giving feedback.

Robin McKendrick

Head and shoulder image of Mr Robin McKendrick, member of the THO-North Community Advisory Committee

Robin lives in Norwood, is a member of the Franklin House Committee, Tasmanian Heritage Council, Launceston college committee and Tram Society Committee as well as being a former member of the Legislative Council. He is a sports lover (and participant!), past chairman (and a member for 12 years) of the York Park Inveresk Precinct that includes UTAS Stadium, and has been involved in many community organisations.

Robin is entirely committed to representing consumers. Robin compares consumer feedback to his own businesses and the importance of solid relationships with consumers to ensure reputation, service and care is maintained.

Peter O'Sullivan OAM

Head and shoulders image of Peter O'Sullivan, member of the THO-North Community Advisory Council

Peter lives in Launceston, a former Chair and member of St Patricks College Board for six years and more recently a member of the College Governing Council, past Deputy Chair of Life Education Tasmania (‘Healthy Harold’) and life member, befriender , volunteer trainer and past President with Lifelink Samaritans for 32 years. He has been a board member (and volunteer) with the Launceston Benevolent Society.

Peter is a retired senior manager within the State Service with 42 years’ service and on retirement was with the Department of Treasury and Finance, Liquor and Gaming Branch – as Secretary to the Licensing Board and Manager Communications and Education. Peter was responsible for the management of both Responsible Service of Alcohol and Responsible Conduct of Gaming education and training programs – and is an experienced facilitator.

Some of Peters close friends and family members have experienced often lengthy episodes of care within acute care services across Tasmanian Health Service - North. Peter is experienced in providing consumer feedback and remains committed to the principles of consumers being involved in planning and design of health care.

Peter is the current Chair of the Consumer and Community Engagement Council.

Tony Deane-Shaw

Head and shoulders image of Tony Deane-Shaw, member of the THO-North Community Advisory Council

Tony has an engineering background and many years as a business consultant. This enables Tony to bring this knowledge and experience to the Consumer Community Engagement Council table.

In a previous career Tony ran a surgical and medical supplies company in WA. This brought Tony into hospitals and medical and surgical practices and provided grounding, albeit some time ago, in the way hospitals operate at the input part of the supply chain process.

More recently Tony had direct experience of the hospitals system as a patient having major surgery and as well as several years ago being a patient in a cardiac ward at LGH.

Whilst Tony’s own experiences within the medical/hospitals scene have been very good, this will not colour his own personal feedback as a recipient of such service to the Council deliberations.

Tony has lived and volunteered in the North East of Tasmania so can also bring to bear a knowledge of and perspective of living in a rural setting when it comes to medical care from a rural community and personal viewpoint.

Currently Tony is on the board of the NTCA and is able to be a conduit from the strong cricket and associated sports organisations to the Council. Tony is a member of two choirs in Launceston situating him in contact with a wide choral demographic hence being able to voice their views where relevant.

Tony is pleased to have been invited to serve on Consumer Community Engagement Council and to be involved as an elder community member as well as being able to have an input on the very welcome move to greater patient centred care.

Ella Dixon

Head and shoulders image of Ella Dixon, member of the THO-North Community Advisory Council

Ella is the CEO of Migrant Resource Centre (Northern Tas) Inc.  Prior to this, she spent 8 years as Regional Manager, Department of Premier and Cabinet, joining in 2006 then known as Women Tasmania. Her career has mostly been in management roles in economic and community development in and on the fringes of government.  During her time in local government in NW Tasmania, she was involved in the steering committee that established what is now Rural Health Tasmania. The project proposal that resulted in a successful funding submission required an understanding of health issues from a consumer perspective, as well as a good grounding in policies and programs that affect people’s health outcomes.

Born in the Philippines, Ella moved to Australia with her family in 1981 when she was a young girl.  From a metropolitan city of 11.5 million to Smithton with a population of around 7000 people, the first few years of settlement had its share of joys and challenges. Her experiences as a second generation migrant, combined with her current role at the Migrant Resource Centre will provide the Council with valuable insights in terms of service provision for clients from culturally and linguistic diverse backgrounds.  Ella can also draw on her extensive experience in government and community development to speak to a wide range of issues from a consumer perspective.

Ally Mercer

Head and shoulders image of Alley Mercer, member of the THS-North Community Advisory CouncilAlly lives in Springfield and is heavily involved in volunteering with many organisations in the North East of Tasmania and Launceston. She is the past Deputy Chair of the Launceston Benevolent Society and the current Treasurer of the Mechanics Hall in Scottsdale. She is a literacy Libraries Tasmania volunteer as well as a University Preparation Program mentor at UTAS and a Tasmanian Volunteer Ambulance Officer.

In 2016 Ally retired as a manager with the State Public Service. The majority of her 35 years of work has been with the Commonwealth Government in the Defence Forces, Australian Federal Police and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.  Ally was responsible for the management of three Censuses in Northern Tasmania,  specifically in the areas of Cultural and Linguistically diverse community, homeless strategies and the hospitals. She is an experienced negotiator and facilitator.

Ally and her family have all experienced services across THS North and in particular the LGH Holman Clinic and North Eastern Soldiers Memorial Hospital.  Ally is particularly interested in patient and service provider clarity and understanding.

Michelle Ogulin

Head and shoulders image of Michelle Ogulin, member of the THS-North Community Advisory CouncilMichelle lives in Evandale, having moved to Tasmania from Melbourne in 2012.

Michelle has primarily worked for the public sector in both Victoria and Tasmania. Through these roles, Michelle has gained extensive experience in consulting with community members, from both metropolitan and rural settings, when designing projects and policies.

Since moving to Tasmania Michelle has had two children, both born at the Launceston General Hospital (LGH). Michelle’s interest in the Consumer Community Engagement Council (CCEC) has been influenced by her experiences as a patient of the LGH antenatal clinic, maternity unit and emergency department. Michelle also brings to the CCEC her experiences as a carer of young children who have used services within the Tasmanian Health Service.

Michelle is passionate about the importance of using plain language to help people understand complex issues affecting them. To that effect, Michelle provides feedback on the LGH’s patient information leaflets to make them clear to read and easy to understand.

Michelle holds a Bachelor of Social Science (Environment) and a Master of Public Policy and Management.

Paul Dare

Paul Dare, member of the THS North Consumer Community Engagement CouncilPaul grew up in rural Tasmania before joining the Army at 16, including graduating from the Royal Military College, Duntroon. He has recently returned to Tasmania, and now lives in Launceston where he is currently the pastor at Newstead Baptist Church. Paul also has recently taken over the family farm.

Paul spent twenty years in the Army working in electronics and on helicopters; he has also worked for Sikorsky Aircraft as well as pastored churches in Queensland.

A greater understanding of different people groups and culture is something Paul is passionate about, especially as he continues to discover his family origins as an indigenous Tasmanian.  He is deeply interested in seeing better outcomes for all people, and the state in all areas of life.

Health is one area where he has had experience, both as a consumer and a carer; as well as a Board member with the Wide Bay Health and Hospital Service.

Paul has studied extensively and holds an MBA (Technology Management), MDiv, Grad Dip Christian Ministry, and BEng (Aerospace).