Fireside Conversations with…

Fortnightly Q&A virtual events sessions with WA Health Leaders

The second in our series of Fireside Conversations was held on 28th May with James Williamson, WA Health Assistant Director General, Clinical Excellence Division. Health Consumers’ Council Executive Director Pip Brennan put your COVID-19 research-related questions to James Williamson in this informal, virtual event. Stay tuned for details the next virtual fortnightly event, with guest speaker Denise Sullivan.


The first Fireside Chat was with the Director General of WA Health, Dr David Russell-Weisz, which was held on Thursday 14th May. A summary of the event and links to recordings will be posted as soon as possible.



Consumers Health Forum Session – 26th May

CHF is hosting an online conversation where you can hear and discuss the latest from doctors at the centre of the national effort. How the community has responded to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on our lives has been a key feature in Australia’s success to date in quelling the spread of the virus. As most states of Australia begin cautiously stepping down their COVID-19 restrictions, the decisions of individual consumers and communities takes on more importance. To foster consumer discussion on the steps ahead, CHF has arranged for two Deputy Chief Medical Officers, Professor Michael Kidd and Dr Nick Coatsworth, to share their thoughts and respond to consumers’ questions in a webinar. Your comments and questions are encouraged, please send them by Friday 22 May.

When: Tuesday 26 May
Time: 12:30pm WST (2:30pm AEST)
Register at:


During this unprecedented time, it’s important to get your Coronavirus (COVID-19) information from reliable sources. These are the places we’re looking at regularly for our updates:

COVID-19 Information Sources


Statewide Network

If you would like to be a part of a statewide network of consumers and carers who are interested in being involved on COVID-19 responses, please register your details via the link below. We are still planning how we will organise this, but we can start collecting the names of those people who are interested. We imagine that this group will be a ready source of consumers and carers to call upon should COVID-19-related opportunities arise at short notice.

Register to join the COVID-19 Community of Interest


  • Health Issues Centre convened an online event entitled Who Makes The Call? which focused on ethical decision making when care may need to be rationed. You can read the report here or watch a video of the event here. (Note it is one hour 40 minutes.)
  • The health consumer peak organisations across Australia worked with Health Issues Centre to bring together a second forum entitled Will Technology Save Us? focusing on both the COVIDSafe App and Telehealth. You can see the video of the event here. (Note it is one hour 11 minutes.)


  • Community of Interest Survey conducted in April on elective surgery, consumer engagement and communications. Read the summary here.
  • A survey we conducted on 23/3 “How will you manage the Coronavirus” shows great confusion in relation to information about the virus, what they needed to do to avoid it, and fear of financial impacts. Read the summary here.
  • We repeated this survey and the results highlighted that as the situation has evolved, people have expressed concern about separation from loved ones, and impact on their mental health of social distancing. Read the summary here.


  • The WA Department of Health is conducting a survey in relation to people’s experience of cancer care in the time of COVID-19. Responses will help inform the implementation of the WA Cancer Plan 2020-2025 and guide future initiatives across WA Health with the intention of improving the care of people diagnosed with cancer. Click here for their survey. Click here for their new resources – Cancer care during COVID-19 and COVID-19 Travelling for medical treatment.
  • There has had to be a range of changes made to clinical services, the up to date clinical guidelines are here:
  • – We hope to be able to help create consumer-friendly explanations of what these service changes mean and what may need to be adjusted as the scale of the pandemic alters.


WA has a coordinated research response – see the WA Health Translation Network’s page here:

WA Health Translation Network’s Consumer and Community Health Research Network has developed a pool of interested consumers and community members who want to be involved with COVID19 health and medical research projects. They presented at our 20th April  Consumer, carer, community and family representative drop-in session, and you can watch their presentation here. (25 mins)

Keep up with all their latest on the link below:

COVID-19 Consumer and Carers in Research


See the WA Council of Social Services page which brings together information and resources across the wide range of social and community services.