Partnering with consumers

By drawing together the lived experience of our consumers with the expertise of our staff, we can create greater change for the people and communities we support.

Consumer partnerships drive a culture of valuing others, of shared power and an environment of trust where new ideas are welcomed. To help us build a consumer led organisation we developed our Consumer Partnership Framework, launched in September 2018, to bring together consumers, their carers, families and our staff to best design and deliver our services.

Deeply involved within our organisation, our consumers are supported to help create more innovative, effective and accessible services to achieve greater social impact. To oversee the implementation of this work, our Consumer Partnerships Steering Group was formed in December 2018.

One of the first tasks of the steering group was developing a three-year plan for consumer partnerships. This plan defines projects that will enable consumers to partner with our staff to shape decisions, priorities and most importantly, culture over the next three years.

Some of the activities our consumers have
worked on include:

  • The first phase of a redevelopment plan for two Broadmeadows sites, focusing on the needs of everyone using the site.
  • Presenting to Uniting senior leaders on the benefits and outcomes of consumer participation practice.
  • Leading and participating in focus groups to ensure the consumer voice is embedded in our submissions to the mental health royal commission and informed our advocacy in the federal and state elections.
  • Co-delivering consumer participation training to staff and consumers.
  • Presenting at the Uniting Annual Public Meeting in November 2018.

Thank you to our Consumer Consultants Toni Paynter, Richard Gornall, Con Hatzi, Narelle Seirlis, Harriet Dance, Phoebe Watson, Mitch Rhook and Amirah Ali for their vision, guidance and commitment as they help us build authentic and effective consumer participation. They are stalwart advocates for the rights of consumers.

We acknowledge the extraordinary contribution of Uniting ReGen Consumer Participation Facilitator, the late Regina Brindle, who championed the rights of consumers for many years. Regina sadly passed away at the end of 2018. Her work will guide our consumer partnerships for years to come.