Alzheimer’s Australia’s new Consumer Engagement policy


A new Alzheimer’s Australia (AA) consumer engagement policy was announced by the CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia, Carol Bennett, in May 2016. As stated by Carol Bennett, - “The policy outlines consumer involvement in AA’s work as a national advocacy organisation representing the interests of people with dementia, carers and their families”.

The National Dementia Consumer Network (Consumer Network) will support the involvement of a broad and diverse network of consumers in national dementia policy, programs and research. The new flexible and inclusive Consumer Network will replace AA’s consumer groups, including the National Consumers Advisory Committee (NCAC) and the Consumer Dementia Research Network (CDRN).

AA will continue to support the discrete AA Dementia Advisory Committee (AADAC), the membership of which is only people with a dementia, recognising that people with a dementia may require additional support to be fully involved in the consumer engagement process.

A National Dementia and Diversity Leadership Network (Diversity Leadership Network) has also been established. This Network will involve national peak bodies, community leaders, health professionals and researchers all contributing their expertise towards improved outcomes for groups with special needs. The Diversity Leadership Network will draw on best practice models from across health, aged care, community and other sectors.

Members of the existing National Committees, including the CDRN, are encouraged to join the new Networks. The CDRN, along with the other National Committees, will no longer continue.

From June 2016, Consumers have been invited to indicate their interest in joining the new Networks. AA supports members of the former CDRN who have been involved with the CDPC, to continue their involvement.

Consumers who join the new Consumer Network can indicate through an EOI to AA (Nat), their interest in contributing to Research, the facilitation of which for the CDPC will be the Lead, Consumer Enabling Sub-Unit (Joan Jackman).
The AA-CDPC Consumer Investigator position, including the CDPC Lead, Consumer Enabling Sub-Unit role, will continue to be supported by Alzheimer’s Australia as a Funding Partner of the CDPC, at this time.

This new approach by Alzheimer’s Australia intends to strengthen consumer engagement and support consumer leadership in a more sustainable way into the future, as part of responding to the growing impact of dementia in the community and representing the 353,800 Australians living with dementia - and over a million people involved in their care.

If further information or clarification regarding these changes would be helpful, please contact - Joan Jackman, CDPC Lead, Consumer Enabling Sub-Unit @ - or Ellen Skladzien, AA Senior Executive Manager Policy, Programs & Communications @

Appreciation is expressed to all the CDRN Members who have chosen to contribute their time, experience & expertise (voluntarily) to the work of the CDPC to date.
This Consumer involvement is highly valued & welcomed in the continuing work of the CDPC.

If you would like to find out more about the NCAC go to Dementia News

Joan Jackman - AA-CDPC Lead, Consumer Enabling Sub-Unit.June 2016