Get Involved

Dental Health Services Victoria works with patients and carers to improve its services. We welcome feedback and participation from anyone who has visited us.

What activities could I get involved in?

  • interviews to capture your experiences and opinions
  • ideas and prototype testing online
  • focus groups and workshops
  • ‘mystery shopping’ and simulations of services
  • surveys or email feedback
  • You can take part face-to-face, over the phone or online

Who do we look for?

  • people who have visited of public dental care (patients, families or carers)
  • people who could use emergency care at the dental hospital
  • people with lived experience
  • anyone who is in one of our priority groups

Why should you sign up to the network?

  • Participating in activities can be rewarding
  • Taking part is a chance for you to give back to the community
  • It is a chance to share your experiences and expertise
  • For most activities you will get reimbursed for your time

Will I get in trouble for bad feedback?

No. Not at all. In fact we’d like to hear about the things we could do better.

Will I get paid?

Most likely. We pay people for their time and travel. We will have a chat about it before each activity. DHSV pays consumers in gift cards.

Join the Consumer Advisory Network anytime

The Consumer Advisory Network (CAN) is a group of people that helps us test and design ideas. When you sign up online, we will follow up with a call to get to know you a bit better. Once you are a member you will get emails or calls about things you can be part of. Depending on the activity, participation could be a few minutes online to half a day.

Sign up online

Express interest in joining our Community Advisory Committee

Our CAC is a group of community advocates that reports to the Board of Directors. Its role is to:

  • advise DHSV’s Board on issues which impact on dental health
  • advocate to the Board on behalf of the community and marginalised users of our services

Currently we do not have any openings in our Community Advisory Committee. But we can talk about what the process is like. Contact

Why is Consumer involvement important?

Dental Health Services Victoria is committed to purposeful, proactive and constructive engagement with consumers. We partner with people who use our services to

  • design
  • implement
  • and evaluate the services and products we deliver.

We value the voice of the consumers and engage diverse communities to make sure we deliver improved health outcomes for them, and bring them valuable experiences.

Partnering with Consumers is now part of the Australian Safety Standard 2. The Partnering with Consumers Standard aims to create health service organisations in which there are mutually beneficial outcomes by having:

  • consumers as partners in planning, design, delivery, measurement and evaluation of systems and services
  • patients as partners in their own care, to the extent that they choose.

For more information about how we work with consumers

Community Advisory Committee

The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) is a sub-committee of the Board of Directors of Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV). The committee members are made up of

  • consumers
  • carers
  • members of the community
  • members of the Board.

Meetings are held quarterly to discuss issues of importance to consumers and carers in general, issues affecting people considered at a disadvantage. The CAC provides advice to the Board of Directors and maintains a close eye on DHSV’s community participation projects.

CAC members are people with experience in a range of areas and have worked with groups such as young people and families, indigenous people, people with disabilities and people from different backgrounds. CAC members are committed to supporting the needs of various groups within the Victorian community and often participate in other committees and groups.

Meet our Community Advisory Committee members

John Gavens

Chair: Community Advisory Committee

John is a Partner in Crowe Melbourne’s Audit & Assurance Division and has more than 30 years’ experience in the provision of internal and external audit, assurance, strategic, risk management, probity, compliance, fraud and governance advice.  John provides strong strategic thinking capability combined with sound technical skills.

John has been responsible for audits across many sectors with particular emphasis on public sector agencies, local government and not-for-profits.  John has been an approved service provider to the Victorian Auditor General for over 20 years. In addition, he has recently completed 7 years as a member of the Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board.

John’s board experience includes the water sector, coastal asset management and the disability sector.  He is also an independent member of several audit committees.

John is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, has a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) University of Melbourne and a Master of Arts (Accounting) University of Kent at Canterbury.

Candice Charles

Candice Charles has had a career in the financial, health and community sectors. She has a deep commitment to the human service sector, and in particular ensuring these services are accessible and effective for people in our community who are vulnerable or experiencing disadvantage.

Candice has held senior leadership positions in the financial services sector at National Australia Bank and Transport Accident Commission, and in health and community service organisations including Good Shepherd Microfinance and Breast Cancer Network Australia. Candice has also run her own consulting business. She is currently Chair of Aruma Services, one of Australia’s largest providers of disability support services. She was previously Chair of The Tipping Foundation, Deputy Chair of the North Richmond Community Health Centre and has served on the board of several other community organisations.

Candice has a Masters Degrees in Public Health and Business Administration from the University of Melbourne. She has a strong interest in clinical governance and health policy.

Katherine Stevenson

Katherine has worked extensively in public health as a nurse, lawyer and leader for over 20 years at a variety of public health services across Victoria.  She is currently a senior lawyer at The Royal Children’s Hospital.

Katherine has advised on matters of governance, the law and Board operations.  She has also been responsible for the translation of strategy into innovative policy and responsive legal frameworks.

In previous roles, Katherine has been responsible for a wide range of matters across operational and structural change, strategy development, and the delivery of major capital developments.  She prides herself on her ability to identify and engage stakeholders whose participation in strategic endeavours will facilitate effective and efficient change.

Kevyn Morris

Co-chair: Community Advisory Committee

Kevyn is a furniture maker, artist and photographer. Since 2017, Kevyn has been an active advocate and member of the Dementia Australia Advisory Committee (DAAC). He has worked on a variety of projects with the DAAC providing information to department heads, staff and researchers.

Andrea Cooper

Andrea is a professional communicator specialising in inclusion with expertise across a wide variety of sectors. She brings her professional expertise and lived experience of partial hearing loss to our CAC. She is an advocate for providing accessible information for people from diverse cultures, those with a communications disability, and those with low English literacy.

Rana Ebrahimi

Rana is a strategic adviser in diversity and inclusion, monitoring and evaluation. She has 16 years’ experience working with United Nations agencies and international NGOs globally. She is working at the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission to reduce racism.

Billy Park

Billy is a social researcher, volunteer and peer support person. Billy studied community services, mental health peer support and leadership. He brings experience in research and community services advocacy and support.

Wolfie Sun

Wolfie is a co-chair of the Gender Clinic Consumer Advisory Panel, a student and performer. Wolfie joined the CAC to support members of the queer community who are financially disadvantaged and find it difficult to access dental services.

Jody Letts

Jody has been an active member in executive and non-executive roles for over 6 years as a volunteer, advocate and peer support graduate; contributing to the improvements of homelessness & community services; and physical, mental & oral health experiences. She has worked on a variety of initiatives with DHHS (Department of Health & Human Services) and CHP (Council to Homeless Persons) to provide information and a lived experience aspect to department leaders, staff and researchers in the development of the Client Voice Framework, Workforce Transition Plans, Quality & Safety Monitoring and the government response to homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is involved in raising awareness through media and training opportunities within government, sector employees & volunteers the keep a continued focus on the delivery of services that are person-centred, trauma informed and use shared decision making to deliver the best experience and outcomes.

How do I contact the Community Advisory Committee?

To communicate with the CAC or to provide feedback, please email

Learn more about CAC Governance

CAC Terms of Reference