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Intouch : In Touch Issue 77
18 In touch Winter 2011 www.alzheimers.org.au Policy and Research at AlzNSW is coordinated by Lisa Langley (Manager Policy and Information) and Jo-Ann Brown (Research Officer). As part of the Policy and Information Unit, Lisa and Jo-Ann research dementia-specific social policy issues, write submissions to government inquiries, write and disseminate discussion papers, organise public forums such as the Planning Ahead Forums, conduct dementia-specific program evaluations and provide advice to staff members about current trends and statistics regarding dementia. Lisa and Jo-Ann both have tertiary qualifications in policy, advocacy and applied social research and, together, they are able to combine their skills to contribute to the integral work of the organisation as the peak body for those living with dementia. Keeping policy appropriate Much of the work Lisa and Jo-Ann undertake is based on the AlzNSW Consumer Engagement Strategy. This strategy underlies the eight regional consumer committees around NSW and ensures that policy and services for people with dementia and their carers are informed, appropriate and effective. Lisa and Jo-Ann are proud to report that their paper promoting this best practice model for consumer- driven policy and service delivery has been accepted for presentation at the inaugural Consumers Reforming Health Conference, to be held in Melbourne in July. “Our work is very important to the organisation,” Lisa explains. “Our link to the people we represent through the regional consumer committees lends strength and credibility to our policy development. “Both Jo-Ann and I are passionate about ensuring the voices of people with dementia and their carers are reflected in AlzNSW policy and submissions to government.” Rewarding social research “I have been in this role for eight years now and I have seen social research grow to become an important part of the organisation across the board,” says Jo-Ann. “For instance, within the fundraising department, the importance of measuring social impact is increasing and the evidence that our unit can provide often makes all the difference to a tender. “To be able to see the results of our research grow to become a successful AlzNSW service or policy change that may assist people with dementia and their carers is a wonderful reward.” A day in the life of... the AlzNSW Policy and Information Unit Lisa Langley (left) and Jo-Ann Brown are passionate about ensuring the voices of people with dementia and their carers are reflected in AlzNSW policy and submissions to government. PEOPLE
In Touch Issue 76
In Touch Issue 78