Episode 1: Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights

Patient Power Podcast: Healthcare Rights and Positive Change

Episode 1: Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights

Patient Power Podcast: Healthcare Rights and Positive Change

You have rights when receiving healthcare.

In Episode 1 of Patient Power, we hear about the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights from three remarkable and diverse young women who are health consumers and family advocates, and a ‘patient doctor’.

Julie discusses how the Charter can be used to help build partnerships to improve healthcare at the individual and system levels.

Shona, Christie, Ben and Nadine reflect on how the Charter has helped – or could help – them to improve healthcare.

Julie chats to Shona Edwards, Christie Ah-Fa, Ben Bravery & Nadine El-Kabbout about the Australian Charter of Healthcare Rights.

Julie McCrossin AM

Presenter: Julie McCrossin AM

Julie McCrossin gets people talking. After 20 years with ABC Radio National, ABC TV and Network Ten, she is now a freelance broadcaster and MC.

Julie was treated for HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer in 2013. Julie is an Ambassador for Targeting Cancer and TROG Cancer Research and a member of Cancer Voices SA. Julie hosts the podcast series, The Thing About Cancer and The Thing About Advanced Cancer for Cancer Council NSW. She has also produced and presented many videos in partnership with clinicians and advocates.

Julie has qualifications in the arts, education and law. In 2019, Julie was awarded an OAM for significant service to the community, particularly through LGBTIQ advocacy roles and to the broadcast media.


Shona Edwards

Shona Edwards

Shona Edwards is a disability and youth cancer advocate in Adelaide South Australia. Shona is Deputy Chair of Cancer Voices SA.

When she was diagnosed with a spinal tumour in 2018, she travelled to Prague in the Czech Republic for proton beam radiation therapy. Upon her return, she joined the Youth Cancer Service Youth Advisory Group to advocate for the unique and complex needs of adolescents and young adult patients.

As a postgraduate student at the University of Adelaide she fights for disability equity in higher education. Shona is a founding member and President of the Disability Illness and Divergence Association (DIDA). This is a club affiliated with the student union which provides essential peer support to disabled students.

Dr Ben Bravery

Dr Ben Bravery

Ben Bravery was originally a zoologist and science communicator. He worked for the Australian and Chinese governments before being diagnosed with colorectal cancer at the age of 28.

After undergoing eighteen months of cancer treatment, Ben decided on a new career and wanted to make a change in the health system. He became a medical doctor in 2018 and is now undertaking speciality training in psychiatry in Sydney. Ben advocates and speaks about colorectal cancer, living with cancer, cancer in young adults, and medicine and medical education. He is committed to advocating for improvements in Australia’s healthcare system.

His memoir, The Patient Doctor, was released in 2022.

Christie Ah-Fa

Christie Ah-Fa

Christie Ah-Fa is a young widow and mother from Brisbane Queensland. She is a member of the Community Advisory Panel of the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Clinical Trials Group (AGITG).

Christie is passionate about patient advocacy after her experience caring for her late husband Lei during his two years of treatment for pancreatic cancer. Christie was also a family advocate for her parents-in-law during their time passing in hospital.

Christie and her family experienced several challenges when receiving health care, including having informed consent, as well as cultural barriers as her husband and in-laws were from a Pacific Island background.

Christie hopes this series will help patients better understand their rights in terms of access to information and healthcare, informed consent and ensuring patients are equipped to advocate for themselves. Christie believes that quality of life objectives can be different for everyone and this needs to be better understood.

Nadine El-Kabbout

Nadine El-Kabbout

Nadine El-Kabbout is a Muslim and Arabic community advocate and a youth advocate in south western Sydney.

Her journey with cancer and challenges navigating the health system pushed her into a variety of volunteer and advocacy roles within the cancer, Muslim, youth and multicultural communities.

She is a member of several boards and working groups related to health and health research at the state and local level. She is passionate about the delivery of culturally and spiritually appropriate services, equitable healthcare, and creating a positive roadmap, experiences, and journeys for these communities where their values, needs and preferences are honoured.

Nadine is a psychotherapist and life coach in her private practice, Nafs Counselling which caters to the mental and spiritual wellness needs of her community.


Patient Power: Healthcare Rights and Positive Change is a Health Consumers NSW podcast and video series.

The series is supported by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care