Community and Health Advisory Groups | Alpine Health
Skip to content Skip to navigation

Community and Health Advisory Groups

Alpine Health is committed to engaging the community to plan and deliver the best health outcomes for the Alpine Shire region. We have three well-established Community and Health Advisory Groups in the towns of Bright, Myrtleford and Mount Beauty who meet every two months. CHAG members represent their local community with the purpose of sharing information, gathering feedback and advising the Board of Directors on community issues.

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

CHAG Chairs

 Mount Beauty 



 Bill Little  Kitty Knappstein   Mary Tomaino 

If you would like to be involved or find out more about CHAG please contact the Partnering with Consumer Officer on 0438 325 235 or

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Community and Health Advisory Groups?

The Community and Health Advisory Groups provide consumers with a mechanism to participate in decisions about health service planning, improvement processes and evaluation of services, as well as program development. 

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

What is the role of the group?

The role of CHAGs are:

  1. To provide advice and enable the integration of consumers, carers and community participation into health service operations.
  2. To provide advice to Alpine Health on systems that are necessary for the organization to respond effectively to issues of disability, cultural, religious, linguistic, gender and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander diversity, and issues related to disadvantage, including socio-economic status, age and gender.
  3. To advocate to the Alpine Health Board of Directors on behalf of the community, consumers and carers.

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 and Communication Strategy. 
  • To review Alpine Health consumer information as directed and provide recommendations in keeping with the Checklist for Assessing Written Consumer Health Information.
  • To provide input on appropriate forms of fundraising for major projects such as capital development.
  • 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 do members fulfill their roles?

By sharing personal opinions and experiences at meetings and discussions, and by seeking input from people in the community (eg through clubs, organisations and social networks).

How are members recruited and appointed?

Any community member may express interest in joining 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 bimonthly CHAG meetings and to participate in CHAG activities.
  • 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 attend a CHAG meeting to discuss a particular community issue, however, only members may vote. Please contact the Executive Officer to have your concern placed on the agenda for the meeting. Meetings are held in rooms with limited seating so you will need to confirm your attendance in advance. 

Matters that are confidential may be discussed in a closed session at the end of an ordinary meeting to protect the privacy of those involved. This is in accordance with the Board's Code of Corporate Governance.

What support does Alpine Health give the groups?

An Executive Officer supports the three CHAGs with administration, promotion and communication. Board Directors, the Chief Executive Officer and members of the Senior Management Team will generally attend meetings 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 groups share information?

Members will be notified of all meetings and may attend in another town if they wish. The Executive Officer and members maintain communication between the groups. A combined meeting of the three Community and Health Advisory Groups will be held once a year or as required.

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;
  • Request that an issue be added to the CHAG meeting agenda for discussion by the group;
  • Discuss an issue with an Alpine Health Board member or manager at any time.

Feedback from these discussions will be provided to the community member.

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

The Board of Directors will appoint the CHAG Chairs following a recommendation from each 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 each Chairperson between meetings to advance ongoing issues.

CHAG Charter and Terms of Reference

Back to top