Personal experience counts

For Benalla’s Ian Graves, first-hand experience with the healthcare system was instrumental in his decision to join Benalla Health’s Cultural Diversity and Consumer Committee.

Ian said that he had an extensive list of chronic illnesses which meant he had needed to access Benalla Health’s services on several occasions.

“After suffering a heart attack in 2011, I had several operations and received an acquired brain injury, with most of my admissions being at Seymour District Memorial Hospital.

“It became obvious that I needed to relocate to a town that had a bigger health service, offering a broader range of services, so I moved to Benalla.

“I was referred to the cardio rehabilitation program, and I was pleasantly surprised to find it worked really well for me.”

Ian said he was severely underweight when he started the cardio rehabilitation program, but he quickly gained 9kg during the eight weeks of rehabilitation.

“It was such a great experience and the work I did both on my cardio and pulmonary systems under the expert guidance of the Benalla Health team gave me back my quality of life,” Ian said.

“I joined the Consumer Committee about four years ago because I really wanted to be able to give back to the community and the health service that I believe was responsible for restoring my health and wellbeing.

“My story is about hope and the great work that Benalla Health does, as well as raising community awareness about the help which is out there when you need it.”

“I was also diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes last year and again I was able to gain support and help through Benalla Health so I have a lot to be thankful for.”


The Consumer Committee is an opportunity for consumers and community members in Benalla and surrounding towns to provide their views on how Benalla Health operates its various services and provide their feedback into planning and policy development.


This board sub-committee has two board members on the committee and it enables consumer/community views to go up to the Benalla Health Board of Management on a variety of issues that are important to the community, consumers and carers.


The Committee will meet monthly until August, and then it will become bi-monthly. It is currently a lunch time meeting involving consumer representatives, Executive members and senior members of the clinical staff at Benalla Health.

Membership of this Committee is open to anyone who resides or works within the Benalla municipality or anyone who has family members who have received a service from Benalla Health.

For more information, phone Neil Stott on (03) 5761 4500 or email

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