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Community engagement

Northern New South Wales Local Health District (NNSWLHD) uses community engagement to draw on the knowledge, skills and experiences of health services users to improve local health services.

How to get involved

There are many ways community members can participate:

Community Engagement Framework

NNSWLHD has a Community Engagement Framework encourages community participation and enables their feedback into key policies, plans and initiatives.

The Framework was developed with input from community members, staff and the Board and includes an Engagement Structure and a Community Engagement Strategy. You can read or download a copy of the Framework here.

Community advisory group structure

The NNSWLHD advisory group structure includes:

  • Community Partnership Advisory Council to oversee community engagement across NNSWLHD
  • advisory groups in local towns and service areas
  • special interest groups and improvement groups.
Community Partnership Advisory Council

Our peak advisory committee is the Community Partnership Advisory Committee (CPAC) which is a sub-committee of the NNSWLHD Board and serves to ensure the community is part of the ongoing improvement of health care services.

Established in 2019, it provides valuable insights and advice about the community's needs and expectations. The purpose of the Community Partnership Advisory Council is to:

  • assist NNSWLHD to integrate community views in its operations, planning and policy development
  • express the views of the community to the NNSWLHD Health Board
  • advise the NNSWLHD Health Board on whether there is effective community engagement/participation across the organisation, as defined by the NNSWLHD Community Engagement Framework.
Community Advisory Groups (CAGs)

Community Advisory Groups help to make sure the community is involved in decisions and plans that affect them.

CAGs are being established in most areas within the NNSWLHD footprint including Tweed, Murwillumbah, Byron, Ballina, Lismore, Casino and Clarence.

CAGs meet regularly and provide suggestions, feedback, perspective, ideas and advice to help ensure our healthcare services are accessible and respond to the community's needs.

NNDSWLHD service areas also have advisory groups. They include:

  • Mental Health Forum
  • Drug and Alcohol Community Advisory Committee
  • Multi-Purpose Service Network Community Consultation Forum.


Frequently asked questions
What is a health consumer?
Consumers of health care are people who use, or are potential users, of health services. NNSWLHD prefers to use words such as community representatives or participants, patients and carers.
What is consumer participation?
Consumer or community participation is when people who use our services can have a say in how services are developed and provided.
Why is community participation important?
When people are involved in decisions that affect them, we achieve better health outcomes and create better services. You can participate by joining the Northern NSW Local Health District community register by emailing the engagement team here
How do community advisors participate?
As a community advisor, you may be involved in: Providing advice about services Reading and commenting on publications Contribute to planning, review, and evaluation of services Assisting with staff education and training Speaking to staff Participating in focus groups or surveys.
Who can become a member of a Community Advisory Group?
Committee members may include patients, families, carers, friends of patients, members of community groups, and people interested in health who live or work in Northern NSW. CAG members are volunteers and act in an advisory capacity. They are not expected to have knowledge in the health sector or have technical backgrounds – their presence is to share their experiences and be the voice of the community.
Will I get paid as a community advisor?
Community advisors generally are volunteers however members receive a reimbursement payment for attending approved meetings. How do I apply to be a member of an advisory group? For further details about advisory groups and how to apply, please contact the Community Engagement Manager, on 02 6624 0333 or emailing the engagement team here
Connect with us

NNSWLHD values the input of our community in helping to shape their local public healthcare system.

Here’s how you can stay in touch and provide your input:

NNSWLHD has a community engagement database where community members can register to receive information about opportunities to participate and provide input into health service consultative processes. Let us know if you would like to be added to this database by emailing us here.

If you have a story to share on our channels, email the media team here