The Rise of the Consumer Voice webcast

Free online webcast

When: Monday, 11 November 2019
What Time: 6.00 - 6.45 pm AEDT
Local Times:
- WA: 3.00 - 3.45 pm
- NT:  4.30 - 5.15 pm
- QLD: 5.00 - 5.45 pm
- SA: 5.30 - 6.15 pm
- ACT, NSW, TAS & VIC: 6.00 - 6.45 pm

About the Webinar

Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) and Consumers Health Forum of Australia’s (CHF) joint live webcast, The Rise of the Consumer Voice, will discuss the evolution and current state of the health consumer movement in Australia.

This will include a discussion of:

  • the focus on ‘patient-centred care’ and people playing a more active role in decision making about their treatment and care
  • the role of health consumer organisations such as CHF and BCNA in advocating the importance of meaningfully involving health consumers in decision making about policy, research and service delivery
  • the emergence of concepts such as ‘co-design’ and consumers as partners.
Panel members will share their views about the current state of the health consumer movement, challenges associated with the meaningful involvement of health consumer representatives in decision making, and what current opportunities and issues consumer representatives should be aware of.



Alison Coughlan

Alison Coughlan is an accomplished consultant and leader with 25 years’ experience in the research and public health sectors. This includes 22 years in the cancer sector in a range of roles in cancer screening (primary and secondary prevention), treatment, supportive care, survivorship and research. Alison's passion for consumer engagement was ignited in 1997 when she first came to work at BreastScreen Victoria and had the privilege of working in partnership with women who were advocating for change including Lyn Swinburne as the early foundations of BCNA were laid.

Alison's passion for and practice in consumer engagement has evolved since that time and been integrated into much of the work she has undertaken with almost 70 organisations. Alison has been fortunate to have taken on leadership and governance roles at a state, national and global level in government and NGOs (Victorian Cancer Agency Ministerial Advisory Council, BreaCan, Ovarian Cancer Australia and the World Ovarian Cancer Coalition). Alison is so pleased to be supporting BCNA in this very important work to build consumer engagement capacity.


Kathryn Fagg AO (Chair of the Board, Breast Cancer Network Australia)

Kathryn has had an extensive career as a senior executive in banking, manufacturing and logistics across Australia, New Zealand and Asia.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012 and was appointed to the BCNA Board in 2013. She has been the Board Chair since 2016.

Kathryn is Chairman of Boral, a member of two other ASX-listed company boards (Incitec Pivot and Djerriwarrh Investments) and a member of the Board of the CSIRO. In December 2019, she will join the Board of NAB.

Kathryn is also Chairman of the Melbourne Recital Centre and sits on the Boards of the Grattan Institute, the Myer Foundation and the Male Champions of Change. In 2018 she retired from the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia and as President of Chief Executive Women. She is also a former Chairman of Parks Victoria.

Kathryn was awarded an Officer in the Order of Australia in 2019 for her distinguished service to business and finance, to the central banking, logistics and manufacturing sectors, and to women. She has also been awarded an honorary doctorate in engineering by the University of Queensland and in business by the University of New South Wales.

Lyn Swinburne AO (Founder of Breast Cancer Network Australia)

Lyn Swinburne was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993 and underwent surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and hormone therapy. As a result of her experiences, she became a committed advocate on behalf of women with breast cancer and their families and in 1998, she founded Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA).

In 2000, Lyn was one of three Australians invited to sign the Charter of Paris Against Cancer at the Elysee Palace in the presence of the French President, Jacques Chirac. A passionate advocate for consumer input, Lyn represented women with breast cancer on a number of state, national and international committees. She also received numerous awards, including an Order of Australia.

While Lyn retired from her role as Chief Executive Officer of BCNA in November 2011, she has remained an active advocate in the breast cancer community, recently being named as one of the Australian Financial Review & Westpac's 100 Women of Influence for 2016. Lyn is currently the chair of the Melbourne Royal Women's Hospital board

Jo Watson (Deputy Chair, Consumers Health Forum of Australia)

Jo Watson is the inaugural Deputy Chair of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC), and has been a consumer nominee on the PBAC since 2013. She has been the Chair of the HTA Consumer Consultative Committee within the Office of Health Technology Assessment in the Department of Health, since it was established in February 2017. Areas of interest include developing model pathways for patient engagement in health technology assessment, and capacity building for patient representatives.

Jo was the consumer nominee on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Pricing Authority (PBPA) from 2002 to 2012, is the current Deputy Chair of the Consumers Health Forum, the peak national health consumer organisation in Australia, and has been a Board Director since 2012.

Jo has been a community representative and patient advocate in the Australian HIV response since the early nineties, including as the Executive Director of the National Association of People living with HIV Australia (NAPWHA) from 1998 to 2014.

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