The Stroke Foundation Consumer Council is a board subcommittee that represents the interests and viewpoints of stroke survivors and carers in Australia and increase the capacity of the Stroke Foundation to influence debate, policy and service delivery.
The current members are:
- Chair – Jennifer Muller
- Richard Haley
- Julie Collins
- Nadia Moffatt
- Lara Cole
- Tony Finneran
- Kevin English
- Julie Davey
- Tony Rolfe
Ms Jennifer Muller Dip Rad (Diag), Grad Dip Hlth Ed, MEnv&ComHealth
Chair of Consumer Council
Ms Muller is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Queensland University of Technology’s School of Public Health & Social Work, as well as a Director of Veritas Health Service Solutions – a consultancy business that aims to assist individual health professionals, groups and organisations to achieve better health outcomes for their clients.
Prior to her current positions, Ms Muller was a Senior Executive in Queensland Health and led the development and implementation of state-wide population based cancer screening services, including BreastScreen Queensland and the Cervical and Bowel Cancer Screening Programs, clinical information systems, state-wide registers and ensuring equitable access to services for people in rural and remote areas, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people from diverse cultures and disadvantaged groups.
Ms Muller holds a Master of Environmental and Community Health from Griffith University, a Graduate Diploma of Health Education from Queensland University of Technology and a Diploma of Radiography (Diagnostic) from NSW University of Technology, and is the recipient of an Australian Public Service Medal Honours Award and an Australia Day Achievement Medallion.
Richard Haley – Member of the Stroke Foundation Consumer Council and Strokesafe Ambassador.
Richard Haley suffered a series of strokes in April 2010 culminating in him being one of the first recipients of a then new procedure (now) called Endovascular Clot Retrieval, a procedure that both saved his life and also allowed him to make a remarkable recovery considering his condition.
Since his Stroke Richard has become heavily involved with the Stroke Foundation. He has attended a number of summits in Canberra to raise the wants and needs of the Stroke Community with our Federal Politicians. He is a Strokesafe Ambassador involved with Community Education in Western Australia. Richard runs a Stroke Support Group in the Peel Region of WA and is also involved with the Stroke Foundation in Western Australia petitioning the State Government for resources to better support the “Stroke Community” in WA. He is also a member of the Australian Stroke Foundation Consumer Council and is deeply committed to advocating on behalf of sufferers of Stroke in Australia.
Richard has engineering qualifications from the UK, on arriving in Australia in 1975 he initially worked with a team building one of the worlds first Gravitational Radiation Detectors at UWA. Richard then went overseas and worked in the booming oil and gas sector working and living in Lybia, India, China, and Indonesia.
Following his stroke Richard retired and now lives with his partner and carer Philippa in Mandurah WA.
Julie Collins became a full-time carer when her husband Ross had a stroke in October of 2012. Ross’ stroke has left him wheelchair bound and unable to move the right side of his body. He has difficulty communicating, eating, drinking and swallowing and depends on his wife’s care for most daily activities. Since her husband’s stroke their lives have changed dramatically. Whilst Julie was able to return to work as a school teacher two days a week in 2016 both Julie and Ross rely heavily on their daughter, other family members, friends, community services and programs for assistance for this to happen. There are many challenges which need to be navigated since Ross’ stroke and Julie now uses her experience to help others by advocating for stroke survivors and carers, informing the community about stroke and leading a carer support group. “Since my husband’s stroke, I’ve realised just how vital it is to be an advocate for a stroke survivor,” Julie says. “It is crucial to be able to speak up for Ross who is not always able to speak for himself due to his difficulties with communication and memory loss. “As a carer you become so focused on caring for others that it’s easy to neglect your own wellbeing. The carers group gives us all an opportunity to share our common difficulties and vent our frustrations in a situation where we can relate to each other’s struggles.”
Nadia is a highly experienced and qualified non-executive director, chair and committee member with over fifteen years’ experience in business, government and the not for profit sectors across Australia in corporate, telecommunications, health and community services. Nadia is a trusted board adviser in all areas contributing to an organisation's performance. Nadia’s tertiary background is in Economics and accounting, these studies have been enhanced by formal qualifications as a company director. Nadia’s scholarships include the Leaders for Tomorrow program and the Copland, Centre for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) leadership program. Nadia’s global insight into social innovation through research and policy was developed by attending an - European Forum for Studies of Policies for Research and Innovation in Helsinki (Eu-SPRI). Current directorships include, election to the board of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), member of governance subcommittee and board member, Brain Injury SA, (previous chair of the member and External communications subcommittee, current member of governance subcommittee). Nadia is currently a member of the consumer council for the Stroke Foundation, a member of the consumer consultative forum of the Australian Communications Media Authority (ACMA), a member of the Health Practitioners Tribunal and a member of the Medicare benefits schedule review committee and the consumer subcommittee. Nadia’s diverse background and experience enables Nadia to add value, offer a diverse perspective and offer creative solutions.
Life was good! Both my husband and I were working full time, had recently started travelling and were enjoying our 2 new grand babies which had recently been born to our 2 beautiful daughters.
Although in one tragic day, this all changed, never to be the same….
A little over 2 years ago, my husband Shaun (48 at the time) suffered a dense right MCA infarct, followed by a haemorrhagic transformation 12 hours after the initial stroke. There was a 5% chance of haemorrhage after receiving the clot busting drug, (which he had received within the 4 hour time frame) and unfortunately it happened to him…
23 days were spent in Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital fighting to survive. Other complications following the initial stroke were 3 PE’s in his lungs, a DVT which had developed in his left leg from his ankle to his thigh, an IVC filter being inserted to prevent further clots from travelling to his heart and a possible craniotomy to reduce the swelling and pressure. Due to his unstable condition, the craniotomy did not go ahead, and it was a case of “wait it out”.
Eventually stable, he was transferred to Fiona Stanley Hospital for intense rehabilitation and occupational therapy. The stroke to the right side of his brain had resulted in complete left sided hemiplegia, as well as the damage to his frontal lobe from the brain haemorrhage causing severe personality changes, emotions and decision making, impulsiveness and short term memory loss.
The old “Shaun” was gone for ever. Left in his body was a man battling to understand what had happened to his own body, his own personality and anything of what it meant to be his former self.
After 4 months of gruelling rehabilitation, Shaun returned home and I became his full time carer to a person I barely knew. It was easy for everyone to say “you’re lucky that he’s still here” but people just didn’t understand the stresses and the loss of losing the man I’d married 27 years prior. He was more impatient, aggressive, abrupt – a completely different man. The grief and the loss for all of us was intense and heart breaking.
2 years and 3 months on, life is good again. We have slowly adapted to this new way of life with its challenges. I have been a strong advocate in finding the best services for my husband and continual support with ongoing rehabilitation and therapy. I have encouraged Shaun to enjoy this new life he has! He participates in disabled fishing, disabled golf, the local men’s shed, movies and outings through our Northern Suburbs Stroke Support Group, of which has been a great support to us both since his return home.
I am very much looking forward to being the WA representative on the consumer council for the Stroke Foundation. Helping others and advocating for what is needed and supporting other carers in their new roles is very rewarding to me.
Aged 59 years young, married to the lovely Amanda and having two daughters and one granddaughter, Tony is a stroke survivor after a debilitating stroke on Easter Sunday 2013. It really wasn't in his plans! Three and a half weeks in ICU and then a further 3 weeks waiting for a Rehab vacancy in which time all his muscles had atrophied.
Transferred to Bankstown Hospital Stroke Ward and a six week program of total muscle and strength building after being fully paralysed in the first four weeks. Goal setting was a major factor in Tony's journey and since the stroke he has written four books about the Australian Bus and Coach Industry, which he has lived and breathed for 40 years or so.
In addition, Tony served over 37 years service with the Army Reserve and reached the senior soldier position of Warrant Officer Class One. He was a Driver Testing Officer continuously from 1986 until his discharge in 2015.
His life with the Bus and Coach Industry commenced with various bus and coach companies ranging from positions as a driver, Operations Manager, charter organiser to name a few. He also worked for four years with a respected freight Company (Simon Transport) where he learnt his skills as a salesman.
Tony moved onto various bus chassis manufacturers and a bus bodybuilder, where he has spent over half his working life as a chassis and body salesman and then a specialist bus and coach driver trainer. He is now self employed in developing bus and coach drivers and assessing their driving styles.
He is a member of the Bankstown Lidcombe Community Committee, the Secretary and acting Treasurer for the Bankstown Stroke Recovery Club as well as participating in various hospital Specialist training roles as a patient, as required. He also has a regular segment on 90.1FM Community Radio discussing stroke issues.
For sports, Tony plays lawn bowls as his weapon of choice and is a keen Canterbury Bankstown "Bulldogs" supporter.
The stroke has not disempowered him. In fact, the opposite is true ..it has empowered Tony and made him realise that this was his journey and thank fully for his Army Training, it has given him the ability to adjust and overcome with the assistance of very capable professionals at Bankstown Hospital.
Kevin English suffered a ruptured cerebral aneurism (Subarachnoid hemorrhage) in 2010 while living in Singapore and working throughout Asia as an electrical engineer specialising in telecommunications. This immediately lead to an operation to place a clip over the site of the bleed and a six-month hospital stay, one month in Singapore and a further five months of rehabilitation in Melbourne. Despite good progress over this period, including regaining his driver’s license with the assistance of a steering knob, Kevin was left with a left hemiparesis. This has caused some ongoing walking impediments and a lack of movement in his left arm and hand. He is now retired. He is married with three adult children and five young grandchildren who have provided invaluable support throughout his ordeal. Ongoing support from his wife in a carer role continues to be a crucial factor.
Kevin is an Ambassador in Melbourne for the Stroke Safe program run by the Stroke Foundation for education of community groups on stroke and stroke risk minimisation. He is a stroke sufferer representative on the Consumer Council of the Stroke Foundation. Kevin also attends a regular coffee group of stroke survivors nicknamed ‘Blokes with Strokes’. He continues to seek medical solutions that may help restore further functions. He is passionate that all stroke sufferers receive the best medical help as quickly as possible, to optimise their recovery following the devastating impacts of a stroke. Early and full participation in available Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy programs, and full support from family and friends, are crucial factors in their recovery.
Julie Davey BA, BSW, MMngt, MAASW, AFACHSM
Julie has been a respected senior executive in Community Health; Acquired Brain Injury; Community Aged and Disability Services in Victoria for over twenty-five years, as well as being a consultant to the field. She is an Associate Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Service Managers and her most recent position was as Chief Executive Officer of Bendigo Primary Care Centre. Her qualifications in Social Work, a Master of Management, her sense of humour and practical approach to life provide the background to her values, skills and approach.
Her leadership is based on creating respectful, responsive and innovative organisational cultures, where everyone knows their contribution is valued. They share a commitment to work together and with consumers, their families and carers who are empowered to actively engage in their own health care and with improving quality. Fostering innovation through partnership, Julie has led many organisations to improve service quality, increase consumer satisfaction, impact and to achieve service expansion.
Since surviving multiple strokes in one evening in 2015 she has the lived experience of the health system as a consumer. One day she was a CEO of a large primary health care service, the next densely paralysed and dependant on carers.
Drawing on this experience and her previous work as a health leader, Julie is now a passionate advocate for consumer empowerment and involvement in their own care, in quality improvement of care and support systems, policy development, governance, advocacy and research.
Away from advocacy, she enjoys spending time with her husband and carer, Peter (a disability support worker), and their adult daughter Amy (a clinical psychologist), socialising with friends and reading a good book.
Following a stroke in February 2017, Tony Rolfe subsequently joined the National Disability Insurance Agency in a stakeholder engagement role in the Queensland Central region. Tony is also the contact officer for all Federal Members and Senators with offices located in the NDIA Queensland Central Region.
Prior to his stroke, Tony was Policy Adviser to the Hon Jane Prentice, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services and experienced the initial rollout of the NDIS from the perspective of the Minister’s Office.
Tony had worked for six other Federal Members and Senators in Adviser roles since 2003 interspersed with time as the inaugural CEO for an ethno-specific community organisation providing community care, residential aged care and retirement living options. During this time, Tony was a Board member for Aged Care Queensland (now Leading Aged Services Australia, Queensland) and a senior manager at other community care organisations during the transition to consumer directed care arrangements.
Tony also has thirty years’ experience in several government departments and agencies in Canberra - primarily in the Department of Health. Tony was a senior manager at the time of the HIV/AIDS crisis and worked on the Grim Reaper TV campaign; the development of Commonwealth legislation for the creation and use of Stem Cells and Human Cloning; and the ethics of human participation in research.
Tony has built extensive networks and contacts across a broad range of disability, health and aged care specific areas across Australia and brings this government and community expertise to his Stroke Foundation activities.