Our Community Advisors
Sophy Athan | Chair
Sophy is the chair of the CRG and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the role having been involved on many committees and organisations in the health and community sectors over a number of years. Her currently participation as chair and/or member on various committees helps her to stay in touch with what is happening in the health and community sector.
Sophy is interested in health advocacy. Having been a carer for her mother and husband for a number of years, she became increasingly frustrated with the health system and the challenges it can present to. In her words, ‘As I navigated from primary to second to tertiary (health), I became increasingly aware of the complexity and at times, safety and quality issues that compromised the care given. I was also witness to a range of situations which were often distressing and should have been managed better.’ With these experiences in mind, Sophy decided that she could share the knowledge and experience gained with a view to system improvement.
Sophy is also passionate about the human rights of people with mental illness, older patients, women, people with disabilities, CALD communities, GBLT and Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people. She would like to see health services establish real partnerships with consumers and their families and carers where the focus is on ensuring the quality and safety of the patients is at the centre of their health care.
Pauline is a long-time member of the CRG and is a mother, grandmother, guide dog owner, and carer. She brings a wealth of experience from Australia and overseas, having been involved in community development work and health care for the ageing.
After graduating with a degree in social science, Pauline has worked as a social worker in the areas of disability, aged care and domestic violence. She has been a U3A leader in the past and still enjoys participating in the learning process.
Pauline is involved with the CRG and other committees where she can stay in touch with the current and future trends of the health and community sectors and enjoys the exchange of ideas that may ultimately change the way consumers experience their health care.
Angela has been a member of the CRG since 2006 and is committed to working with partner agencies to achieve greater consumer, care and community empowerment through participation and engagement and by promoting team work and partnerships to achieve identified outcomes. Angela has completed the Course in Consumer Leadership through Health Issues Centre (HIC) in 2011 and is a member of HIC Consumer Alumni Networking Group
Angela completed a Graduate Diploma [HR] from Deakin University in 2007 and has over 20 years’ experience in Human Resource management in public and private sectors in Melbourne, Sydney and London. Upon returning to Australia in 1998, Angela refocused on consumer advocacy in health, particularly for women with disability. She is a Board member of Women with Disabilities Victoria (WDV) and a committed advocate for people with disability accessing the health system. She spent 10 years on the board of a halfway house - a crisis and support service for women experiencing family violence, where she promoted the development of services for women and children with disability. She is interested in initiatives that reduce violence against women with disability.
Angela produces and presents a monthly radio segment on community radio (94.1 3WBC) discussing interests relevant to women with multiple sclerosis and disability in general such as the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Improving consumer education, engagement and participation in health for all consumers, health practitioners and OEHCSA partner agencies is important to Angela in achieving better health outcomes across the whole community.
Liz is a young adult who is passionate about the rights of people with disabilities accessing healthcare. After graduating with a Bachelor of Social Work, she has worked as a project officer for 3½ years and has held several voluntary roles on committees.
Liz brings a youthful perspective and strategic planning skills to the work of the CRG. As the most recent member of the CRG, Liz is hoping to learn more about the healthcare system, work towards improvements and developing connections.
On a more personal note, Liz loves going to the football, the tennis and stage shows, and socialising with family and friends.