This aim of the inaugural Painaustralia Consumer Advisory Group (CAG) is:
to provide a voice to Painaustralia for the interests of people living with chronic pain
to assist in addressing the strategic objectives of Painaustralia. The advice provided by the CAG will be used to inform the development of Painaustralia’s policy and advice that improves outcomes for people living with chronic pain.
to assist Painaustralia in identifying gaps, barriers, strengths and opportunities for improvement in chronic pain management in Australia
to comment on topical and priority issues requiring consumer and community engagement by Painaustralia.
This CAG provides us with an opportunity for people with lived experience of chronic pain to lead positive change for the benefit of all people living with chronic pain. CAG members will assist, advise and work together with Painaustralia to improve chronic pain management in Australia.
Sister Mary Lynne Cochrane - Chair
Mary- Lynne Cochrane is a Consumer Representative with the Agency for Clinical Innovation Pain Network and a member of the Executive Committee.
Mary- Lynne lives with a rare form of arthritis and over 35 years she has endured twenty-two surgeries, including two knee replacements, three hip replacements, three back surgeries, a shoulder replacement, pelvic bone transplants and surgeries in both feet.
Mary-Lynne entered the Sisters of the Good Samaritan in 1977 after a period working with the Endeavour Foundation a facility for intellectually slow children. She has a background in Social Science with Welfare.
In her current role, within the Good Samaritan Congregation Mary-Lynne conducts training programs for her sister nuns in the use of mobiles handsets and iPads to enhance Communication and connectivity with aging people.
Leah Dwyer has lived with a chronic condition called Cervical Dystonia for 11 years. Leah is originally from Toronto, Canada and arrived in Australia in 1997. She is a Remedial Massage Therapist in Sydney.
Leah developed Dystonia after an accident at her son’s school athletic carnival. Three months later she was diagnosed by a neurologist and offered Botox and sedatives as her treatment options. She tried this for a year then decided to stop. She then began managing her pain with over the counter codeine tablets. Unfortunately, after several years she developed a tolerance and later became addicted.
After 8 years she decided to taper off of the codeine and try other pain management strategies. She became very interested in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Cognitive Functional Therapy (CFT), mindfulness, and pain neuroscience.
Leah is committed to teaching and helping others learn to manage their chronic pain. She is passionate about providing evidence based multidisciplinary pain management to people with chronic pain. She believes that more options must be made available to Australians to manage pain.
As a young man Don travelled extensively through Western Europe, and travelled to Turkey and the Azores with Scouts. After starting a forestry degree at Oxford, he travelled to Australia via N.Africa, the Middle East, Laos during the Vietnamese war and walked across Borneo. He completed his studies at ANU.
After a few years as a federal environmental statistics researcher he settled with his wife on a small farm near Bega and ran a successful wholesale/retail nursery specialising in Australian natives and food plants.
He has been a long time front line firefighter and this combined with building and farm work has taken its toll on his body and in 2011 he became a disabled pensioner.
With a full knee replacement and several back and shoulder injuries, he has been forced to greatly reduce his physical activities. Tai Chi, singing in choirs and daily spas work together to improve and maintain the fitness of both his body and mind.
He has been gradually able to reduce his dependence on pain killers and increased his physical activity. Courses in mind training and pacing are greatly helping this process.
Louisa’s chronic pain journey began at 16 when she slipped and injured her lower back. Over the years, Louisa’s pain journey has continued and in the last 15 years she has undergone 11 surgeries. Louisa is a qualified social worker and currently works part time as a telephone counsellor. Louisa suffers from a number of chronic pain conditions and as a result, has been involved in pain management rehabilitation programs and pain support groups. Louisa has also been a participant in clinical pain research studies. Louisa has a lifetime interest and has worked in suicide prevention and mental health and believes chronic pain affects the whole person. Louisa has extensively researched pain prevention strategies and as such, feels she has a lot to contribute to this group, from personal and professional experience. Louisa’s aim for this inaugural group is to work hard to provide a voice for, and to represent people living with a chronic pain condition.
Kim has been working in the not-for-profit sector for over two decades; she is presently the secretary of a registered health promotion charity, having also served at executive levels on a number of community organisations. Kim’s time as a Lifeline telephone counsellor, led to further education in Community Development, and shaping her future directions.
With half a life living the reality of persistent pain and invisible disabilities, Kim’s knowledge, and broad spectrum of experiences, creates interesting coffee conversation. Hungry for further assistance and awareness for all those affected by CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome) and other persistent pain conditions; Kim and her carer founded The Purple Bucket Foundation Inc. in 2011.
Kim has come to believe, through both lived and learned experiences, a team is required for successful pain management. A team where the patient is the central figure. For this team to work together it must be built around: education, communication, trust, strength, support, faith, and honesty.
Paige Burton is a campaign messaging and strategy consultant. She was the 2017 Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations. She is a twice recipient of the 'Impact 25: The 25 Most Influential People in the Social Sector’ award.
Paige lives with chronic pain and is yet to be diagnosed with a specific condition. She experienced the life-altering nature of pain and I has written extensively about the nature of pain, the impact it has had on her as a young person, and on navigating the medical world as a chronic pain patient.
Paige brings a unique perspective as a young person, who are often left out of conversations about non-cancer related chronic pain. In 2017, she also conducted the largest ever consultation of young Australians.
Paige currently serves on the advisory board of Melbourne University's Social Equity Institute and is also the Vice President of People With Disability Australia.
Mary developed chronic neuropathic pain following spinal fusion surgery in 2004. She has been through the same journey as most people she has spoken to over the ensuing years. I have experienced being told it is my fault, it is all in my head etc. However, with help from her GP and a psychologist, she managed her pain and applied to university, where she completed a Post Grad/Dip in Chronic Condition Management.
Mary was a volunteer at Arthritis SA for several years, during which time she facilitated Stanford Self-Management programs. She also facilitated the same programs online in the USA and Canada for 5 years
Mary was also on the SA Statewide Pain Strategy committee from steering to implementation from 2014 until 2018. She is also on committees in the
north and south local health networks as they get their sections of the Statewide Pain Strategy up and running. Mary is also currently involved with is the Adelaide Primary Health Network on their Consumer Advisory Council (2016 till now) and also their Membership Advisory Council where the membership consists of both clinicians and consumers.
Jessica has lived with chronic pain since the start of my 20s. She can no longer work a traditional job. But as a result, she is so passionate to provide support and education to others. Jessica feels that no one deserves to go through what she has and hopes that “If I can make it easier for even one person, then my suffering has all been worthwhile.” Jessica is empathetic and always willing to go the extra mile for others. She is passionate about people understanding the role and impact of opioid based medications, as well as the life changing benefits of multidisciplinary care