Ms Jo Cockwill has been appointed the inaugural Deputy Chair of the VCCC Alliance Cancer Consumer Advisory Committee (CCAC).
Jo is a long-time, passionate consumer leader and advocate and brings considerable experience as a member of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre Consumer Advisory Committee, WEHI Consumer Advisory Panel and VCCC Alliance CCAC.
Consumer engagement has been a major focus for the VCCC Alliance since its inception. Effective consumer engagement not only ensures our organisation’s work is grounded in a patient-centric philosophy, but tangibly assists researchers, clinicians and educators to better understand and tap into the lived experience of cancer for the benefit of all.
As Deputy Chair, Jo will assist in providing strategic leadership for the CCAC and governing the consumer engagement strategy alongside CCAC Chair Ms Sophy Athan. A specific responsibility of the Deputy Chair role is to build collaboration and support effective consumer engagement in regional Victoria and equity initiatives, and Jo’s own experience of cancer when living in a regional community has her ideally positioned to provide a first-hand perspective.
“My awareness of the inequity associated with underserved groups in our community stems from years of teaching in multi-cultural schools in London and working in Melbourne schools as an Equal Opportunity Educator," Jo said.
“Now, as a member of the VCCC Alliance Health Equity Steering Committee, I’m proud to be contributing to projects addressing inequity of health outcomes for Victorian Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.”
Jo’s experience as a consumer has involved reviewing grant applications and research documents, understanding policies and supporting the development of educational materials. She is also a consumer grant reviewer for the Victorian Cancer Agency.
Emeritus Professor Linda Kristjanson AO, Chair of the VCCC Alliance, said Jo’s passion for promoting the benefits of professional/consumer partnership in health would be an asset to the committee.
“We are excited to have Jo take on such a key leadership role in our alliance.
“Jo’s breadth of expertise in consumer engagement, as well as her already significant contribution and commitment to the VCCC Alliance made her the ideal candidate for the position.
“We are looking forward to working with Jo to further elevate and embed the consumer voice in everything we do.”
Find out more about Consumer Engagement at the VCCC Alliance.