The Health Care Consumers’ Association (HCCA) is a health promotion organisation that provides a voice for consumers on local health issues and provides opportunities for health care consumers in the ACT to participate in all levels of health service planning, policy development and decision making. HCCA works to improve the quality and availability of health services, supports consumers to identify shared priorities about health, and represents these views to the ACT Government.


HCCA is the peak consumer organisation in the ACT and involves consumers through:

• consumer representation
• consultations
• training in health rights and navigating the health system
• community forums
• information sessions about health services
• advocating for issues of concern to consumers
• works for the improvement of quality and safety of health services

HCCA works with the ACT community to advocate for health and equity in health. We recognise that good health is critical for social and personal development and good quality of life. As a health promotion organisation, we work within a framework that is based on the social determinants of health, including economic, social, cultural, environmental and political factors. We advocate for policies that enhance equal opportunities and resources so that all people can achieve their fullest health potential.

We work closely with our members, local communities, the ACT Government, service providers, media and nongovernment and voluntary organisations to provide coordinated action in improving the quality and safety of health services.


HCCA staff and banner

















Image: HCCA Staff team group photo.

Welcome to the Health Care Consumers' Association

  • Working with health services to achieve services that are responsive, respectful,
    accessible and affordable to all,
  • Encouraging direct consumer involvement in health decision making,
  • Lobbying and advocating on behalf of ACT health consumers.

There are a number of ways you can be involved:

  • By becoming a member,
  • By following developments through HCCA communications,
  • By participating in the HCCA program o f discussions on issues,
  • By representing consumers on health committees,
  • By providing feedback on issues facing health consumers,
  • By using HCCA facilities to get up-to-date information on health care interventions,
  • By participating in consumer representative training.

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 Current Annual Report


HCCA Annual Report 2015-16
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Previous Annual Reports


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30/10/2014 00:11:15
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15/10/2015 04:43:42
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05/10/2016 05:16:29


The HCCA Constitution was updated in October 2015.


The current Constitution can be downloaded below.


HCCA Constitution 2015.pdf
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HCCA Constitution 2015.doc
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Members of the Executive Committee at the 2016 Annual General Meeting.


 Executive Committee members 2016

L-R: Michelle Banfield, Louise Bannister, Shelley McInnis, Alan Thomas, Marcus Bogie, Indra Gajanayake, Sue Andrews
and Marion Reilly. Absent from this photo: Fiona Tito Wheatland.



President: Sue Andrews


Vice President: Michelle Banfield


Treasurer:  Indra Gajanayake


Members: Marcus Bogie, Marion Reilly, Fiona Tito Wheatland, Louise Bannister, Alan Thomas and Shelley McInnis 



Executive Committee Profile


 Sue Andrews


Sue Andrews


Sue joined the HCCA Executive Committee in April 2012 and was re-elected President at the AGM in 2016. Sue has worked in different roles in the health field over many years and is committed to consumer centred health care. She began her working life as a Medical Technologist at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children in Sydney, then in Papua New Guinea and later in Canberra. After completing an honours degree in Science at the ANU in the 1980s, Sue joined ACT Health initially as a researcher for the Cervical Screening Pilot Program, then later in the 1990s as Women’s Health Advisor and also in other health and social policy areas. She has experience in the non-government sector, having worked for Family Planning Australia and ACT Shelter and has served on the boards of Sexual Health and Family Planning ACT, the Domestic Violence Crisis Service and the Women’s Centre for Health Matters, of which she is a life member. Sue has a PhD in Women’s Studies and maintains a strong interest in the social determinants of health, including gender. Sue chairs the HCCA Health Policy Steering Committee and the Quality and Safety Consumer Reference Group and is a consumer representative on The Canberra Hospital Clinical Ethics Committee, and the ACT Clinical Council.


Michelle Banfield

Vice President

Michelle Banfield


Michelle has been a member of HCCA since 2011 and joined the Executive Committee at the AGM in November 2012 and was re-elected Vice President at the 2016 AGM. Michelle is a consumer researcher in mental health and primary health care at the Australian National University. Originally a biological anthropologist exploring the behaviour and social systems of primates, Michelle moved into mental health research after serious mental illness derailed her grand plans and gave her a new focus. She has a PhD in epidemiology and population health, using participatory research methods to explore mental health consumers’ priorities for research on depression and bipolar disorder in Australia. Her current work is focused on mental health services and policy, using a flexible model of research involvement to include consumers and other stakeholders in the research process and ensure their perspectives are central. She is the Head of ACACIA: The ACT Consumer and Carer Mental Health Research Unit.


Indra Gajanayake


 Indra Gajanayake   compressed

Indra joined HCCA in 2009 and become a member of the Executive Committee in October 2015. Indra was elected Treasurer at the 2016 AGM. Currently, she is the Consumer Lead in ACT Health's Falls Standard Group and is a consumer representative on a number of ACT Health committees. Indra has extensive experience in health policy, performance monitoring, information development and reporting in Australia, and in population research in Sri Lanka.  She has a Master's Degree in Medical Science (Clinical Epidemiology) and a PhD in Demography. A past President of the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) ACT Branch, Indra is also a member of the Australasian Epidemiological Association.  She has a strong interest in the safety and quality of health care people receive in hospital and in the community.


Fiona Tito Wheatland


 Fiona Tito Wheatland


Fiona joined the Executive Committee in 2015, having served in the 1990s in a number of positions, including as President of HCCA.  She has had extensive experience as a consumer advocate and consumer representative in various parts of health care. She has worked on patient safety issues in particular for more than 20 years – first as Chair of the Professional Indemnity Review, and then later on committees at the local hospital, Territory and National level. She has served as a consumer representative on the Policy Review Committee of Mental Health ACT, as Principal Health Advisor to ACOSS, as inaugural Chair of Health Policy in the ACT Council of Social Services and as Chair of the ACT Community Health Rights Advisory Council.

She is completing her PhD looking at the Doctor Identity and its impact on patient safety. Fiona is currently a community representative on the Canberra Regional Medical Education Council, an HCCA representative on the Australian Council of Healthcare Standards (ACHS), a community representative on the Australian Pharmacy Council and member of the Progress Reports Working Group of the Australian Medical Council. Fiona is also a member of the HCCA Health Policy Steering Committee.


Marcus Bogie


 Marcus Bogie


Marcus Bogie is the Senior Client Services Coordinator at the AIDS Action Council of the ACT. Marcus has worked for the Council for the past 14 years in various roles and has a thorough understanding of the needs of people accessing health services. Having lived with HIV for over 20 years, Marcus has first-hand experience in navigating the health system and is conscious of the needs of people receiving timely and accurate information. He is the coordinator of the Blood Bourne Virus Counsellors Network and represents the Council on various committees in advancing its cause . Marcus is passionate about equal access and believes stigma and discrimination around any issue is intolerable. He strongly believes in assisting people to be empowered to advocate for themselves and if not, have someone skilled to advocate on their behalf. 




Marion Reilly


Marion Reilly


Marion joined the HCCA in 1997 and was a member of Executive Committee from 1998 to 2012. As well as working with the Executive Committee Marion has worked on the Consumer Representative Program and she chaired the Consumer Representatives Committee until 2011. Marion also participated in various committees with the Department of Health. This has included the ACT Medical and Dentist Advisory Committee, ACT Redevelopment Committee and she currently sits on the ACT Equipment Scheme Advisory Committee. Marion also was a member in the first Ministerial Advisory Committee for Ageing from 2009 until 2011. She is a Life Member of the YWCA where she was a member of the Board until 2009. She is a member of the COTA and ACT Shelter. Her main interest in health is where the 'patient' is the central decision maker. Also she is interested in people living with disabilities.


Louise Bannister


Lou Bannister


Lou is passionate about women’s health and wellbeing, disability rights and advocacy. Lou joined HCCA in 1999 and started her consumer representative role in 2001 as a member of a disability Task Group for ACT Health’s Breast Screen and Cervical Screening Programs. This experience led to her being appointed to the ACT Cervical Screening Advisory Program, where she served for 10 years, including 5 years as the Committee’s Chair. Lou has worked on many Community Health committees over the years, including the Clinical Review Committee, and was also a rep on the HIP Project Control Group. She is currently on the Quality and Safety Committee for Rehabilitation and Community Care (RACC).

Lou served for 7 years on the ACT Board of the Physiotherapist Board of Australia, to help oversee the Board’s transition to a National body. She has previously served on HCCA’s Executive Committee from 2003-2006 and was part of the Consumer Representative Training Team from 2008-2012. As well as being involved with HCCA, Lou is also an active member of Women With Disabilities ACT. In 2012, she was awarded the Chief Minister’s Inclusion Award, for Inclusion by an Individual, in recognition of her work in the disability community.


Alan Thomas


Alan Thomas 


Alan has been a member of HCCA for over 10 years and have served on a variety of ACT Health Committees. The most recent include the Program Control Groups for the Health Infrastructure Program (HIP) for both the Canberra Hospital and the Calvary Hospital. He is presently a member of HCCA’s Consumer Representative Program Steering Committee and the ACT Health’s Medical and Dental Appointments Advisory Committee. 

Alan has a Ph D in Analytical Chemistry and worked for 5 years as a pharmaceutical chemist with the Commonwealth Health Department. He believes HCCA is making a significant contribution to health care in the ACT, and that in general there is a good working relationship with ACT Health. He would be keen to ensure this continues. He is interested in a discussion at the Executive Committee level in the first instance on whether HCCA should take a more advocacy role, particularly for the management of patients in hospital, and if so how that could be achieved.


Shelley McInnis


 Shelley McInnis


Shelley joined the HCCA towards the end of 2013, after a lengthy career in health education. She has worked as a researcher into cardiovascular disease, as a lecturer in health promotion program planning and evaluation, a social policy advisor, and a manager and evaluator of health projects in several developing countries of Asia and the Middle East. She has also, as an inquiry secretary for a number of federal parliamentary committees, crafted reports on subjects such as the social costs of drug abuse. After her retirement from full-time work in 2006 she worked as a mediator with Canberra’s Conflict Resolution Service, and spent a substantial amount of time caring for terminally-ill family members. In her work as a consumer representative, she is especially passionate about the care of the elderly. She has an arts degree in political science, an applied science degree in health education, and masters degrees in education and international development. She loves films, swimming, babysitting her grand-niece, and reviewing non-fiction for the Newtown Review of Books.