Involving consumers in our work

NPS MedicineWise is committed to involving consumers in our work, so that they can influence what we do and participate in the development of our programs, products and services.

The NPS MedicineWise organisational strategy emphasises our focus and commitment to keep consumers at the heart of all that we do – to ultimately achieve better health outcomes for all Australians.

Central to this commitment is our pledge to genuinely engage with consumers, communities and organisations at all levels of the organisation and throughout the process of developing all our programs, products and services.


Our principles

NPS MedicineWise is committed to the following principles which guide our approach to all consumer engagement activities:


Consumers have the right to participate in decisions about their own health, well-being and welfare.

Incorporate a broad range of engagement strategies to ensure accessibility for all, particularly those experiencing the greatest need and with the least opportunity to influence. 

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Consumers and their families/significant others are a diverse group e.g. their health, the medicines they take, or medical tests they have undertaken, as well as cultural, age, gender, socio-cultural, economic and geographic circumstance.

Engagement opportunities need to be accessible and inclusive, with flexibility and a range of options. A disability access and inclusion plan may be useful in identifying audiences and opportunities for engagement. 

Leadership and support

Organisational culture must support and value consumer engagement, through leadership, knowledge, skills and processes

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All consumer engagement opportunities are meaningful, involving consumers at the earliest opportunity, clearly identifying and explaining the role of consumers, informing consumers of the purpose of their participation, including the decision-making processes, the ability to influence outcomes and ensuring access to information and means to participate.


Consumer engagement activities are transparent and establish clear and measurable criteria. Continuous improvement processes are incorporated including ongoing and regular review and evaluation.

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Respect and value

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The needs of consumers and their families/significant others, benefits of consumer engagement and processes are respected and valued.


NPS MedicineWise Consumer Advisory Group


The Consumer Advisory Group provides advice on best practice for consumer and community engagement and hold NPS MedicineWise accountable to our obligation and commitment to follow through on the consumer engagement principles as set out in the Consumer Engagement Framework.


Members include a mix of consumer representatives and consumer engagement experts.

Michael Cousins (Chair – based in SA)

Health consumer and advocate with extensive experience in public health, including health education, quality use of medicines and consumer and community engagement.

Previously Chief Executive of Health Consumers Alliance of SA Inc, Assistant Director of Community Engagement for the Royal commission into Aged care in 2019 and currently works as Manager Consumer Engagement for Carers SA, Michael has extensive experience in consumer engagement.

Michael sits on a range of committees, including:

  • Partnering with Consumer Committee for the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (chair)
  • Partnering with Consumers and Community Advisory Group, SA Health (chair)
  • Primary Care Committee, Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (member)
  • SA Academic Health Science Translation Centre Executive, SA Health and Medical Research Institute (member)
  • Consumer and Community Partnership Council, Women’s and Children’s Health Network (member).

Debra Letica (based in WA)

Debra is passionate about reducing health disparities, especially for vulnerable people living with disabilities, their carers and support workers. She is a member of several clinical safety & quality committees for Metro South Health Service in Western Australia and a member of the Choosing Wisely Implementation Group at Fiona Stanley Hospital.

She is the consumer representative on The Executive Committee, Clinical Governance Committee and Education & Training Committee at Rockingham Peel Health Campus and the current Chair of the Consumer Advisory Council at Rockingham General Hospital. Debra was a finalist in the 2018 Health Consumer’s Council Consumer Excellence Awards.

John Stubbs (based in NSW)

John is a committed and passionate advocate for people affected by cancer and chronic disease. He has held positions on a range of consumer groups at both State and Federal level and is a regular speaker at medical conferences in Australia and internationally about health policy, advocacy and the benefits of consumer involvement.

John is a Board member at Cancer Institute NSW and a committee member for the Therapeutic Goods Administration - Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling, various Medical Benefits Scheme Review groups and on the Consumer Advisory Committee for the NHMRC.

He was awarded an Honorary Associate of the University of Sydney – School of Medicine in 2009 for the work in promotion of Research and Clinical Trial in Australia and a Recognition Award from the Federal Department of Health on 2011.

Tim Benson (based in WA)

After being diagnosed with a chronic health condition 23 years ago, Tim has worked tirelessly as a consumer health consumer representative/ advocate.

Tim was a director of Lab Tests Online Australia and continues to be a member of the WA Health Diagnostic Imaging Pathways [project Steering and Editorial Committees. He is also a past Board member and Chairman of Health Consumers Council of WA. He is currently a member of the WA PHN community council.

Karin Calford (based in ACT)

With a special interest in health literacy and health promotion, Karin has worked on developing a range of educational resources for clinicians and consumers on haemochromatosis. She has recently been appointed as the Consumer Representative to the new Community Health Literacy Steering Group, with Health Care Consumer Association (HCCA).

Colleen Papadopoulos (based in QLD)

Colleen’s career has largely been devoted to understanding and addressing complex social and organisational issues in the public health and community services sector, with a focus on the disability and aged care. Colleen has a Master of Public Health ad a lived experience managing a disabling chronic condition.

Colleen has been a consumer representative on multiple committees for Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and has experience working with regional and rural communities while working for local government in NSW and Executive Director at Australian Rural Health research Institute.

Diane Walsh (based in NT)

Diane Walsh is an experienced health consumer and community representative at an NT and national level, with a background in teaching and 18 years of governance experience in health organisations. She is a Senior Notifications Officer at the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

Diane is a member of the Consumers Health Forum of Australia and serves in many consumer health roles including as consumer representative on the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Expert Committee on Standards for General Practice and as a member of the Primary Care Committee of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.


Our other consumer representatives (in other advisory groups)

Clinical Interventions Advisory Group

Darlene Cox

Choosing Wisely Advisory Group

Debra Letica

Helen Belcher

Data Governance committee

Anne McKenzie

Tony McBride

Good Medicine Better Health

Currently Vacant


Our partnerships

Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF)

An agreement: Working Together: A Partnership between NPS MedicineWise and the Consumers Health Forum of Australia was signed in May 2020, setting out how we will partner and build on our collaboration over the past 20 years to ensure consumers are at the centre of quality use of medicines and better health decision-making.

Read more about our Working Together agreement with CHF.

One of the key projects highlighted in the Working Together agreement is the Consumer Health Literacy Segmentation and Activation Research Project.


Opportunities for consumers to work with us

Current opportunities will be listed here when they become available.


Want to know more?

If you have any questions about our work with consumers, email us at [email protected]