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Meet Frieda – a Consumer Representative at Peninsula Health

Frieda and her dog Muffin.

Red Hill resident Frieda Vollebergh is encouraging Frankston and Mornington Peninsula locals to get involved and help shape the future of Peninsula Health, by becoming a consumer representative.

“As a consumer your opinions are valued and you can make a real impact on the way Peninsula Health delivers the service,” explains Frieda, who is a member of Peninsula Health’s Disability Consumer Advisory Committee.

“Your involvement is beneficial not just for yourself, but for current and future consumers of Peninsula Health You also get a lot of satisfaction from being part of a group and discussing issues you might not have thought of before.”

Frieda attends Disability Community Advisory Group meetings once a month, where she provides feedback and ideas.

“I have an interest in all abilities, partly due to my background in teaching and special education,” she says.

“When I discovered there was a role where I could participate as a volunteer and be a consumer representative for people with all abilities, I wanted to make a contribution. It is important that consumers are listened to so that their needs can be met in the best possible way.”

One of the projects Frieda has been involved in is a working group looking at the design of the Emergency Departments at Frankston and Rosebud Hospital.

“I found that incredibly rewarding because I have been in the Emergency Department at both Frankston and Rosebud,” says Frieda.

“I was the only consumer in a group of all staff, but I had equal hearing and my feedback as a consumer was valued.”

Being a consumer representative has also given Frieda the opportunity to meet like-minded people.

“The consumer representative groups are made up of people from all walks of life with different backgrounds, who bring their own unique perspective to discussions.”

“I have also made some friends which has been a side-benefit – everyone I have met have been terrific, caring people who are passionate about Peninsula Health and their roles as volunteers.”

There are many different roles for consumer representatives at Peninsula Health. You can be involved by joining one of 13 Community Advisory Groups, the Community Advisory Committee, other committees and working groups for specific projects or by taking on the newly-created role where you are based on a ward.

Find out more about becoming a consumer representative – visit the website, call  9784 2665 or email consumerparticipation@phcn.vic.gov.au