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Community and Health Advisory Group 

2023 Consumer and Health Advisory Group

Photo L to R: Kitty Knappstein (Chair), Libby Owen-Jones, Trish Dixon, Bill Little (Deputy Chair), Brigid Clarke

CHAG plays an integral role at Alpine Health by:

  • Providing a consumer perspective on the planning and delivery of Alpine Health programs, services and quality improvement activities.
  • Providing advice so that Alpine Health can respond effectively to issues related to diversity and disadvantage.
  • Advocating to the Alpine Health Board of Directors on behalf of the community.

CHAG has an Executive Officer to assist with administration, communication and promotion. The Partnering with Consumers Officer is the CHAG Executive Officer.

CHAG Members
  • Kitty Knappstein (Chair)
  • Bill Little (Deputy Chair)
  • Trish Dixon
  • Libby Owen-Jones
  • Brigid Clarke

If you have any questions about CHAG, please contact the Partnering with Consumer Officer on 0438 325 235 or [email protected]

testimonial from Brigid

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Community and Health Advisory Groups?

The Community and Health Advisory Group provides consumers with a mechanism to participate in decisions about service and program planning, development, evaluation and quality improvement activities. 

By engaging consumers as partners in health, Alpine Health ensures that the service planning is relevant to the population generally, and is better able to respond to the specific needs of the Alpine Shire community.

What are the responsibilities of members?

The responsibilities of CHAG members include:

  • To participate in Alpine Health’s planning and service development processes, including any capital works programs.
  • To report and make recommendations to Alpine Health and other health and community service agencies on relevant matters of concern following consultation with the community.
  • To advise Alpine Health on the community’s expectations concerning the quality of services provided and on how this may be continuously improved.
  • To advise on the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Alpine Health Partnering with Consumers Plan in order to improve Alpine Health’s response to health issues related to diversity and disadvantage.
  • To engage with their community and report back to the Group and/or the Board of Directors on emerging issues. This work will be guided by the CHAG Community Engagement Strategy. 
  • To review and endorse Alpine Health consumer information as directed and provide recommendations in keeping with the Checklist for Assessing Written Consumer Health Information.
  • To assist in the identification of development and training needs in relation to consumer participation.
  • To consider any matter referred to it by the Alpine Health Board of Directors.

How are members recruited and appointed?

When a position on CHAG becomes vacant, Alpine Health will advertise for expressions of interest from the community to join CHAG. Interviews will be conducted by the CHAG Chair, a Board Director and the Partnering with Consumers Officer. The CHAG Chair will recommend appointments to the Board of Directors. Appointments are then made by the Board.

Key characteristics of CHAG members should include the ability to:

  • Contribute knowledge and expertise from a consumer perspective.
  • Use their strong community networks or understanding of local issues to inform planning.
  • Reflect on and present broader community issues.
  • Show interest in creating safer systems and better care at Alpine Health.

Personal attributes should include:

  • Good interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to work cooperatively and supportively in a team environment.
  • Acceptance of philosophies, beliefs and rights of others.
  • Sensitivity to the needs of patients, residents and clients.
  • Warmth, understanding, empathy and composure.

Professional expectations:

  • A commitment to attend and actively participate in bimonthly CHAG meetings.
  • Follow guidelines established by CHAG.
  • Dependability, which includes notifying CHAG or the Executive Officer if unable to fulfil a commitment.
  • Respect for the privacy of others and maintenance of strict confidentiality of patient, resident and client information.
  • Consideration of, and respect for, the competence of others.
  • Identification and understanding of own limitations and accountability for personal actions.
  • Awareness of over-commitment.
  • Attendance at relevant training, seminars and conferences where possible.

Are meetings open to the public?

Members of the public are welcome to raise relevant community issues at a CHAG meeting, however only members may vote. Please contact the Executive Officer to discuss your concern.

What support does Alpine Health give the groups?

An Executive Officer supports the CHAG with administration, promotion and communication. Board Directors, the Chief Executive Officer and members of the Senior Management Team attend bimeetings and are available to discuss issues with members. The Board of Directors will also receive the minutes from all meetings and consider issues raised.

How do members of the community raise an issue?

A community member may discuss an issue:

  • directly with the CHAG Chairperson or the Executive Officer. If required, the issue will then be added to the CHAG meeting agenda;
  • with an Alpine Health Board member or manager at any time.


What is the role of a CHAG Chairperson and how is that person appointed?

The Board of Directors will appoint the Chair following a recommendation from CHAG. The Chair should be appointed for a three-year term, and should not serve more than two consecutive terms in this role.

The Chairperson may represent the Group at Board meetings, to other agencies and in community forums. The CHAG Chairperson may act as a spokesperson in the community. The Executive Officer will also liaise with the Chairperson between meetings to advance ongoing issues.

CHAG Charter and Terms of Reference

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