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Engagement of people with lived experience (people with disability, chronic illness and carers) in decision-making and consultation processes, when it has occurred, has mostly been limited to the health sector. CHA expands this to encompass all systems and constructs that they interact with in their daily lives. The CHA approach allows the intersectionality of the person's lived experience to interplay with the interconnectedness of systems to form innovative and sustainable solutions. 


So what are the problems that exist within 'consumer' engagement without CHA?

  • Stakeholders experience challenges finding the right consumer (with the lived experience, availability and understanding of the service necessary for context of engagement)

  • Lack of consumer impact and productivity during 'acclimatising' period as the consumer finds their feet and builds confidence in roles with limited opportunities for 1-on-1 support

  • Project delays when consumer positions cannot be filled within the required timeframe

  • 'Present' (just being there, tokenistic and not beneficial to service or consumer) engagement rather than 'meaningful' engagement 

  • Limited feedback processes or evaluations of consumer engagement processes or frameworks conducted from a consumer perspective

  • No agency representing/managing people with disability and chronic illness wanting to use their lived experience to pursue a meaningful, professional career 

  • High cost of time and money spent by services following up invoices, coordinating and preparing EOIs/recruiting/sourcing consumers, answering questions, timetabling, providing training

  • People with lived experience do not usually identify as 'consumers' until exposed to health system lingo, therefore creating a barrier to engagement and finding opportunities

  • Challenges for consumers to individually find and create opportunities to influence positive change

  • People with lived experience requiring business management skills to do consumer representative work creates a barrier to pursuing as a career when unable to have the support of an agency or management

  • Exploitation of people with lived experience

  • Barriers to social and economic participation for people with chronic illness/disability, especially the 91% unable to gain access to the NDIS

  • Ableist constructs throughout society creating inequities

The CHA Solution:

  • World-first agency providing personalised, tailored management of people with chronic illness and disability to engage with stakeholders to professionalise their lived experience - improving opportunities for people with chronic illness/disability to socially and economically participate in society

  • Delivering cross-sectoral system-change through a social impact model

  • Instigating consumer (people with lived experience)-led solutions

  • Providing a voice and platform for people with chronic illness/disability and carers, reducing ableism in society

  • Reaching out directly to the community to find people with lived experience, rather than only recruiting people familiar with 'consumer engagement' 

  • 'Matchmaking' the right person (represented Champion) into the right role with stakeholders, that match the person's interest with the stakeholder's needs/project scope

  • Mentoring, professional development and peer-training to reduce/eliminate acclimatising period, so the Champion understands their role, expectations of them, how to meaningfully contribute and feel confident to use their voice to advocate on behalf of their community

  • Reducing project delays created by not finding a consumer

  • Streamline the process of recruiting, on-boarding, training, invoicing and 'managing' consumers, to save time and money

  • Advocating on behalf of payment of consumer Champions, and the acknowledgement of the financial value of lived experience

  • Offering consumer-delivered evaluations of consumer-focused processes through services delivered to stakeholders by management e.g. Consumer Engagement Framework Evaluation 

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