Joint Statement from DoH and Consumer Conversations

On Thursday, 14 December 2017 we received an email with the Subject: FW: Follow up to meeting with The Department on Tuesday 21 November

Good morning Doug,

Apologies for the late response.

Natasha Cole has reviewed the attached draft CC to DoH and provides the suggested edits marked in track changes.

Kind Regards

Sue Maher

Executive Assistant to Natasha Cole, First Assistant Secretary, Primary Care & Mental Health Division

Australian Government, Department of Health – ( (02) 6289 1389 * sue.maher@health.gov.au Sirius Building desk number 8.N.213


Five members (Ailsa Rayner, Darren Jiggins, Douglas Holmes, Fay Jackson, & Wayne Oldfield) of Consumer Conversations, a group developed using Facebook Messenger to support the development of a National Consumer Run Organisation in Australia met with the Department of Health on Tuesday 21st November 2017 to identify what support was available to keep the proposal developed by the Consumer Reference Group (CRG) with the support of Mental Health Australia moving forward.

The 5 members listed above asked the Department to release a joint statement of the meeting that would be circulated through the many social media groups that members of Consumer Conversations are involved with. This will support Consumer Conversations to meet its aim of networking among people with a Consumer Perspective as described in page 256 of The Kit that: promotes information sharing, social support, social belonging and collaborative partnerships with others who live in our community..

This will include an opportunity for Consumer Conversations collect feedback online and groups to have local face to face meetings organised by members of the group.

Unfortunately the Department was not able to support the CRG proposal in its current form and The Department asked us to explore three questions with members of Consumer Conversations and report back to The Department with a summary of the feedback.

The questions included.

How would the new group bring different information back to the Government that was not being provided by the existing groups the Department was already funding?

The groups included:

National Mental Health Commission
National Mental Health Consumer and Carer Forum
Consumer Health Forum
TheMHS Consumer Day
The Private Carer & Consumer Network

What would Consumer Conversations do as a group to reduce the running costs to keep a National Consumer Run Organisation like the one described in the current proposal operational at the end of three years without the need for more Government funding?

The Department would identify how much of the original $4,000,000 was spent on developing the Consumer Reference Group project and identify if any funding could be identified to develop any innovative proposals.

For more information contact Douglas Holmes at douglas.holmes@thestation.org.au

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