Consumer Council


Ms Laila Hallam

Ms Laila Hallam

With over 25 years in senior sales and marketing roles in mostly large organisations across a range of diverse industries, Laila has commenced postgraduate research in understanding Patient-Centred Care.

Laila also works with Sydney Local Health District to better understand patient and family needs and their place in their treatment. Her focus is to work with healthcare organisations to understand, recognise and facilitate the immense value and knowledge that patients and their families contribute to their own personal healthcare – for better health outcomes.

Laila became an accidental advocate for her father over 10 years ago. Tortured with a rapidly failing body, and losing his ability to speak, Laila took on her father's voice as he lost his.


Mr Craig Cooper

Craig Cooper is the Positive Life NSW CEO and holds a post graduate diploma in Clinical Drug Dependence Studies from Macquarie University and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Sydney. He's worked in community services and public health since 1990 and examples of the agencies he’s worked for are: ACON; NAPWHA; NTAHC; and AIVL.

He has been living with HIV since 2003 and has worked with people in the criminal justices system and child protection services; people who inject drugs; gay men; Aboriginal people; people living with HIV and HCV.

Mr Luke Escombe

Luke Escombe is a musician and comedian who has learnt to see his 20 years of living with an embarrassing chronic illness as an asset. He has spoken about his bowel movements to strangers on four continents and received standing ovations.

Luke is the creator of "Chronic", a one-man comedy show about living with Crohn's Disease, and "The Vegetable Plot", a roots music band for kids which promotes healthy eating through funky music and corny puns.

Luke wants to inspire change in the culture of health, putting the patient's humanity at the centre of the conversation.

Ms Zoe Fernance

Zoe Fernance is passionate about improving the health system and the care and services it provides to patients. More than ten years of carer and personal advocate experience in paediatric and adult services across several chronic diseases have taught her that health professionals, patients and their families need to work in a mutually respectful partnership to achieve the best health outcomes for patients.

Improving health literacy is a particular interest area. She is a member of Health Consumers NSW and participates in the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Consumer and Community Advisory Network and the Patient Care Committee.

Previously, she held various senior operational management roles in the Corporate Sector.

Ms Kelly Foran

Kelly Foran, founder and CEO of the Friendly Faces Helping Hands Foundation, is an enthusiastic businesswoman. From firsthand experience she knows the frailty of life and of the often overwhelming challenges faced when country people become ill or injured. For several years from 2002 Kelly and her young son endured a harrowing list of illnesses, which saw her family leaving their home in rural New South Wales and spending time in hospitals in Sydney and Brisbane.

In the seven years since the Foundation's inception over 70,000 people have been assisted. Kelly regularly does inspirational presentations and speaking engagements, which rarely leave a dry eye in the audience.

Mr Harry Iles-Mann

Harry is a patient/consumer advocate and speaker from Sydney. He has a vision for a future in which the public are health literate, and enjoy access to health care services which support and enable their own health and well-being management.

He has over 20 years' experience as a patient relying on health systems for the treatment and management of several serious physical and mental health issues. His clients include the Australian Digital Health Agency on the delivery of its My Health Record, and the National Digital Health Strategy more broadly.

He sits as a consumer representative on a number of national panels and committees focusing on similar digital, chronic, and mental health initiatives.

Mr Adam Johnston

Adam Johnston is a solicitor, with extensive and varied experience on many committees and complaint handling roles.

He currently serves as a community member on advisory and governance committees of the Northern Sydney Local Health District, Health Consumers NSW, Sydney North Primary Health Network and the NSW Health Clinical Ethics Advisory Panel. He is currently a PhD (Law) Student at Macquarie University.

As a member of the Consumer Council, Adam wishes to enhance and support research and development, to see more basic research translated into better health.

Mr Michael Morris

Michael's experience of being the father to a young son who had a non-fatal drowning and subsequent long journey in the NSW Health system led him to be interested in the performance of multidisciplinary teams and health systems and how they can be better integrated to improve the management of chronic and complex care.

He is also interested in supporting both patients and their families in their healthcare journey.

As an emergency management, community services and consumer advocacy specialist, he is passionate about community risk reduction and injury prevention. He wants to ask questions differently and to move towards the 'art of the possible'.

Mr Brad Rossiter

Diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at age 5, Brad grew up in Sydney and moved to Batemans Bay in 1985. Married to Lorae, they have one son. Complications from diabetes (renal failure, dialysis and later kidney and pancreas organ transplants, legal blindness and amputations to both legs), have not slowed Brad down.

In August 2007 he and Lorae established the Eurobodalla Renal Support Group, hosting weekly community events promoting local health & accessibility. He is the Chair of the Eurobodalla Health Service Community Representative Committee, Eurobodalla Shire Disability & Inclusive Advisory Committee, Donate Life Community Partner & Key Stakeholders, Kidney Health Australia Consumer Council.

His awards include Eurobodalla Shire Citizen of the Year 2012, Kidney Health Australia Operation Angel Award, Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow, Batemans Bay Hospital Auxiliary Patron & invited guest speaker.

Dr Michael Nicholl

Adjunct Professor Michael C. Nicholl

As a clinician of 40 years, a specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist for 30 years, a senior clinician manager for 15 years, and as the senior clinical advisor obstetrics to NSW Health for over a decade, Dr Michael Nicholl has been a visionary and inspirational leader who has led and promoted excellence in safety and quality in clinical care primarily across maternity, newborn and women's health.

For the past 20 years he has concentrated on the public sector in NSW with more than 15 years in a senior clinical management roles, both operational and strategic, together with a clinical academic role.

Michael became the first obstetrician in Australia to become a Fellow of the Australasian Association for Quality in Health Care. His clinical management and safety and quality expertise led to numerous service reviews both in NSW and in other states across Australia. At a national level he has worked with the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare with respect to Maternity Data Development and the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care on Hospital Acquired Complications and the Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation.

In 2008, he became the first senior clinical advisor obstetrics to NSW Health. His time as senior clinical advisor obstetrics allowed him to gain better insights into the broader quality and safety agenda in healthcare. He has a particular academic interest in risk and his doctoral thesis related to applicability of risk matrices to high risk pregnancy care and delivery. In 2017 was recognised by the NSW government insurer (iCare – TMF) by winning the NSW Public Sector Risk Leadership Award, an award that spans all government agencies. Michael is a previous president of Women's Healthcare Australasia.

Karen Patterson

With over 30 years' experience in healthcare, Karen has learnt the factor impacting most on clinical practice, effectiveness and patient safety is the presence of supportive, collaborative and inclusive workplace cultures where leadership is not a rank but is supported at all levels.

Karen has been a champion for clinical excellence with executive experience in Strategy and Performance, Workforce and Practice Development, Clinical Governance and Policy. Through research, Karen has elevated the voice of patients, carers and families, enabling their experiences to be heard and expertise recognised as drivers for system change.

As Director Capability and Culture, Karen's portfolio integrates four portfolios being Organisational Effectiveness; Team Culture, Communication and Person Centred Care; Knowledge Management, Evaluation and Research; and the CEC Academy.