Telethon Kids Institute Consumer and Community Advisory Council

The Consumer and Community Advisory Council (Council) was established at the Institute in 2006 and by the end of 2014 had met 30 times.

Purpose:

The Council:

  • Enabled a process of enhancing the quality and relevance of research undertaken at the Institute
  • Provided a governance and oversight role for the Involvement Program at the Institute

Membership:

  • Eight to ten consumer and community members, one of whom was an Aboriginal person
  • Four researchers
  • Consumer and Community Health Research Network staff
  • Director (or nominee)

The Chair of the Council is a consumer or community member.

Current Council membership can be viewed here.

How was the Council established?

The Joint Steering Committee  was established to undertake the necessary planning to establish Councils at the School of Population Health and the Institute.

Members of the Steering Committee were offered membership on either of the Councils. Remaining consumer and community member positions were advertised to:

  • Consumers and community members already involved in research projects
  • Community organisations
  • The wider community in the Health + Medicine section of the West Australian newspaper

A role statement and selection criteria were developed and all applicants were interviewed. Researcher positions were advertised internally and selected and appointed by the Director.

Once all members were appointed a joint meeting was held to discuss the role and tasks of the Councils.

What difference has the Council made?

The Council has had involvement in a number of activities including:

  • Development of minimum standards for consumer and community involvement
  • Developing the ‘community conversation’ process
  • Reviewing new grant applications
  • Strategic planning
  • Development of consumer and community involvement activities in grant applications
  • Introduction of an award to recognise good practice consumer and community involvement in research

What would you advise others setting up a steering group?

"The Council has given me the opportunity and privilege of being involved in a dynamic and creative committee working towards developing and supporting consumer and community members and researchers to work together to add value to research by including the consumer and community ‘voice’"

Dr Jan Payne

"Being involved with the Council has been great; it has been a chance to have strategic input into the utilisation of consumer and community experiences within the medical research field"

Julie Ireland, Past Council Chair at the Institute, 2014