Consumer Health Advocate
HIV Outreach Team, District Services
“For me, a consumer advocate is someone who has been, or is, a client of a service, who is thinking about how the services work for all clients. My role is to run the HIV consumer representative group for SESLHD. I either implement or recommend strategies to the Outreach Team regarding issues that face consumers living with HIV.
About six years ago I had a major stroke and I was in St Vincent’s Hospital for months. While I was there, two people from the HIV Outreach Team arrived – I’d never heard of them – and said they would support me as I moved back into the community. When I recovered, they asked ‘why don’t you participate in the HIV consumer representative group?’ and so I did.
I’m continually amazed and inspired by some of the people on the consumer representative group. It’s people’s ability to construct enjoyment in life despite huge health problems. We work in a place that focusses on illness and what’s really good with consumers is to work on what brings us joy and pleasure.”