Help us learn from your experiences!

We know that consumers are an essential part of our health research and innovation. That’s why we have established the IPAN Consumer Network as a way for Australians of all ages and backgrounds to share their lived experience to help us design, develop and deliver research that can be used in the real world.

If you:

  • have or are at risk of an illness or health condition
  • care or have cared for someone with an illness or health condition
  • work in an area where IPAN research outcomes are delivered e.g. as a clinician, teacher, nurse, allied health professional, or
  • have a general interest in contributing to research

We invite you to express your interest in joining the IPAN Consumer Network!

All Consumer Network members are required to have a valid, or be willing to apply for, a volunteer Working with Children Check (WWCC). This can be a Victorian or Interstate Volunteer WWCC. If you wish to discuss this prior to applying, please contact:

  • Why join the IPAN Consumer Network?
    • Use your lived experience and insights to make a difference to the way health research is design and developed
    • Be matched to work alongside our researchers according to your lived experience and interests
    • Gain new experiences and skills
    • Become part of the IPAN community with invitations to events and seminars
    • Have access to Consumer Network online resources and training
    • Receive updates on and acknowledgement for how your contribution is making a difference to research
  • Ways members of the Consumer Network get involved in research:
    • Develop new project ideas
    • Help to obtain funding by informing grant applications
    • Provide advice on appropriate recruitment strategies for studies
    • Review and comment on data collection methods such as questionnaires and patient information and consent forms
    • Become a community researcher and assist in conducting interviews and surveys
    • Interpret data from a consumer perspective and advise on key messages and recommendations arising from the research data
    • Share research findings with the community

    This is an opportunity for people who need flexibility to be involved. You can get involved as little or as much as you can.



  • Why become a Consumer Network member?

    For our research to make a real difference we need to hear the diverse needs, ideas and experiences of everyday Australians. By bringing your lived experience, ideas and thoughts to the table, you can help us to ensure our research has benefits to those who need it the most.

  • How long can I be a Consumer Network member?

    Initial membership is for a term of up to two years. This may be extended upon application or if you are involved in a long term project.

  • How much time is required to be a Consumer Network member?

    The amount of time you want to contribute is up to you and depends on your personal circumstances. We will match your skills, knowledge and lived experience with opportunities to contribute to our research activities as they arise. You will be advised of the time commitments of each research activity to help you make an informed decision as to whether you want to get involved.

  • Why do I need a volunteer Working with Children Check (WWCC)?

    In Victoria, the Child Safe Standards are compulsory for all organisations providing services to children (people under 18 years of age), including universities. The Deakin community has significant numbers of students under the age of 18 and many more are engaged with the University as research subjects and through work experience and other programs. The University is committed to using the Working with Children Check, as a screening process for volunteers who may encounter children as part of their role. This includes members of the Consumer Network. In all states (except Tasmania and WA), the VolunteerWWCC is free. See links below for more details regarding your relevant State’s WWCC. 

    Volunteer Working with Children Checks* 

    Vic – Working with Children Check – free and valid for 5 years 

    ACT – Working with Children Check – free and valid for 3 years 

    NSW – Working with Children Check – free and valid for 5 years 

    SA – Working with Children Check – free and valid for 5 years 

    QLD – Working with Children Check – free (is also referred to as a Blue Card) 

    TAS – Working with Children Check $20.40 fee and valid for 5 years 

    WA – Working with Children Check $11 fee and valid for 3 years 

    * Information current as of 2/3/2023