Since 1985, the Health Issues Centre has been the peak health consumer agency in Victoria. Sadly, the Health Issues Centre ceased trading in March 2024 and in the coming weeks the organisation will transfer selected intellectual property, training programs and other resources to the Institute as it winds up.

Current Board Chair Sophy Athan said:

‘When Health Issues Centre announced that it was closing its doors due to financial challenges, the proposal by Deakin’s Institute for Health Transformation was considered the preferred option for the Health Issues Centre legacy to be carried forward.

One of the strengths of the Health Issues Centre has been the strong focus on consumer and community engagement as an essential mechanism for health system transformation,’ Ms Athan said. ‘To be able to continue to build on that within Deakin’s Institute for Health Transformation, is one assured way that this work will continue for the benefit of the community.’

Health Issues Centre’s decades-long focus has been to empower those with lived and living experience of the health system to become active participants in its improvement, as well as building the capabilities of consumer engagement practitioners across all parts of the sector.

Former CEO of the Health Issues Centre Alison Coughlan said there is strong alignment with the values and priorities of Deakin’s Institute for Health Transformation.

‘This is an incredible achievement in the most challenging of circumstances and I am so grateful to the support of Deakin University in ensuring that the legacy of the Health Issues Centre – created over the past 39 years of service to the Victorian community is built upon in the new centre.

Working with people who bring the expertise of their lived experience as equal and active partners in the design and delivery of prevention and care is essential to achieving transformative change in health and wellbeing.’

Professor Anna Peeters, Director of Deakin’s Institute for Health Transformation, said:

‘The Institute for Health Transformation is very proud to be the custodians of this legacy. This is a significant opportunity to contribute to state and national health system transformation through the creation of the new centre.

We are very keen to further build our expertise in consumer and community engagement and look forward to welcoming Ms Alison Coughlan and Health Issues Centre former Learning and Engagement Lead, Katherine Burnard.’

The creation of the new centre at the Institute for Health Transformation will bring the following:

  • Leadership in Health System Transformation – Deakin has a proven track record of leadership in health system transformation and the transfer of this legacy will inform our work to drive positive changes across the health sector, build capabilities, and inform and advocate for best-practice engagement methodologies.
  • Expertise in Consumer and Community Engagement – Through drawing upon the unparalleled experience of the Health Issues Centre in consumer and community engagement, we will develop new knowledge and capabilities in this critical area.

Deakin’s Institute for Health Transformation looks forward to engaging with health services, policy-makers, research institutions and, most importantly, with the community in shaping the new centre and creating a vibrant and sustainable future for consumer engagement in health in Victoria, together.

To contact the Health Consumers Centre (formerly Health Issues Centre), please email here.
Read more about the Health Consumers Centre (formerly Health Issues Centre)