Call for Applications (Community Advisory Committee)

The Royal Women’s Hospital welcomes applications from interested patients, consumers and community members to join our Community Advisory Committee.

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1. The Community Advisory Committee

The Community Advisory Committee (“the Committee”) is appointed by and reports to the Board of Directors (“the Board”) of the Royal Women’s Hospital (“the Women’s”).

The Committee:

  • Promotes improved outcomes for patients and the broader community through effective patient and consumer partnering and participation in the hospital.
  • Ensures the diverse views and cultures of women and their families are taken into account in the hospital’s decision making processes.
  • Advocates to the Board for effective consumer partnering in key strategic areas identified in the annual statement of priorities and the Women’s Strategic Plan 2016 – 2020.
  • Advocates to the Board and provides leadership on new initiatives to deal with current or emerging women’s health issues.
  • Monitors the implementation of the Women’s Patient and Consumer Experiences Strategy and the
  • Patient and Consumers partnering approach and provides regular updates to the Board and the Department of Health and Human Services (as required).
  • Provides advice on the development and implementation of new and revised consumer partnering requirements for the hospital and for the hospital accreditation process.
  • Promotes the work of the Women’s across our local networks and communities.

Members of the Community Advisory Committee also have the option to join our Patient and Consumer Experience (PCX) Steering Group. This Steering Group meeting is held just prior to the Community Advisory
Committee and is designed to be complementary.

The Community Advisory Committee considers governance and strategic issues, and is established under section 65ZA and 65ZB of the Health Services Act 1988 (Vic.) as a formal subcommittee of the Board.

The PCX Steering Group models a partnership approach and discusses operational matters and invites frontline staff to participate. Current committee members have chosen to join both the Community Advisory Committee and the PCX Steering Group. The time commitment for both meetings is two hours, from 4.30pm – 6.30pm on Thursday afternoons six times per year.

2. Composition of the Committee

The composition of the Committee aims to reflect the interests of the diversity of women and their families who use or may use the services of the Women’s, with a focus on the needs of marginalised women. Our campuses are Parkville and Sandringham, but we provide of state-wide programs and services across Victoria.

All community members resident in Victoria are welcome to apply. The Committee has identified the need to incorporate the following areas of diverse experience in the membership: (1) Living in regional or remote Victoria (2) Young women (3) Women with a disability (4) Members of the LGBTIQ+ community (5) Members of African communities (6) Members of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities.

3. Terms of Appointment

  1. Each member is appointed for an initial period of one year.

  2. After one year, the Committee Chair will undertake a review with new members in order to determine whether they will be offered a following two year period of appointment.

  3. Committee members have the option of re-applying for a second term of three years with the Board and Committee Chair’s approval.

  4. It is a condition of appointment that members are required to attend at least three meetings a year. Where a member cannot meet this level of commitment, the Chair will review that member’s ability to contribute to the committee. A leave of absence can be requested for consideration by the Chair. Members who fail to attend two consecutive meetings without providing an apology will be asked to resign from the Committee.

  5. A leave of absence can be requested for consideration by the Chair.

4. Meetings

  1. The Committee meets at least six times a year, usually on a Thursday afternoon. Together with the PCX Steering Committee, the time commitment is two hours from 4.30 pm -6.30pm.

  2. The members of the Committee have the option of meeting via teleconferencing and/or ‘in camera’ for at least part of each meeting if required.

  3. Papers are provided at least a week in advance of each meeting and it is expected that committee members will have read the papers prior to the meeting.

  4. The Women’s provides:

  • An executive sponsor

  • Secretariat support to meetings

  • Appropriate funds to members to defray reasonable costs of attending meetings. The sitting fee is $50 for attendance at RWH Community Advisory Committee meetings.

  • Taxi vouchers or car park exit passes are also provided to Committee members.

5. Skills and experience required

  1. Strong commitment to improving patient and consumer experience and partnerships.

  2. Lived experience as patient, family member or carer the Women’s is highly valued, but not essential.

  3. Willingness to promote the work of the Women’s across our local networks and communities, and bring the voices of communities into the work of the Committee.

  4. A willingness to participate thoughtfully and collaboratively as a member of the committee.

  5. Time to attend six meetings per year (2 hour meetings, incorporating the PCX Steering Committee).

  6. Time to read committee papers prior to meeting (1-2 hours per meeting).

  7. In line with the Health Service Act 1988 guidelines for Community Advisory Committees, patients, consumers, carers and community members should be emphasised for this role. The selection process “give(s) preference to those people who are not a registered (health) provider, and not currently nor recently employed in the provision of health”

  8. No mandatory qualifications and professional registration requirements.

6. Support provided

The hospital recognises that encouraging consumers to step up to such forums and enabling them to contribute requires ongoing support and training. The hospital commits to providing consumers with:

  • Orientation (briefing on the hospital and work of the committee, outline of hospital values and confidentiality requirements, discussion of support expectations, and Introduction to key persons.

  • A dedicated staff member to be a regular point of contact. Pre-meeting opportunity to ask questions about agenda items, or other information required, and a post-meeting debrief.

  • Regular opportunities to meet with the consumer advisors on other Board committees and attend training offered to consumers.

  • If you live with a disability, we will provide the necessary support for your participation.

7. How to apply

If you would like to apply to be a member of the Women’s Community Advisory Committee, please write a
short application that outlines:

  • Your interest in being a member of the Community Advisory Committee

  • Any relevant experience and skills, as detailed in Section 5 (Skills and Experience)

We encourage you to read the Women’s 2018 Annual Report and the Women’s Strategic Plan.
Please submit your application via email: communityengagement@thewomens.org.au.
We can provide support in the application for people with disabilities, or if you have other access needs, just let us know.

Any questions can be directed to Louise Sampson, Community Engagement Coordinator, tel (03) 8345 2045 or email louise.sampson@thewomens.org.au.


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