The Children’s Cancer Centre Parents Advisory Group PAG

  • About us

    The Children’s Cancer Centre Parent Advisory Group (PAG), commonly called PAG, is made up of a number of parents or carers of babies, children or adolescents who are, or have been, treated for cancer or a haematological disease.  Sometimes, children receive treatments commonly given to cancer patients, without themselves being diagnosed with cancer. Senior staff members representing the various disciplines of care that make up the CCC are also members of the PAG. The chair of the group is always a parent.

    The PAG is devoted to continually improving the care provided to all babies, children and adolescents suffering from cancer, or who otherwise receive treatment in the CCC.  We are guided by the principles of Patient and Family Centred Care which include; dignity and respect, information sharing, collaboration and participation.

    What we do

    • We listen and respond to feedback from families whose children are receiving treatment in the CCC, and other relevant facilities.
    • We promote opportunities for positive partnerships between families and hospital staff.
    • We participate in the ongoing development and improvement of clinical services within the CCC community.
    • We focus on initiatives that can be taken by the CCC in minimising the suffering experienced by patients and their families, and in promoting recovery and healing.  We do so in part by addressing the issues and needs expressed to us by patients and their families, and when necessary, pursuing these matters through the forums available within the wider Hospital. PAG
    • We actively seek input from particular groups’ i.e. rural families, adolescents, culturally and linguistically diverse families, and community support organisations, as appropriate.

    How we operate

    • Monthly meetings are held, usually at the Royal Children's Hospital.
    • PAG members can meet outside the regular meetings to follow up items.
    • Liaise with relevant CCC staff members to communicate and obtain progress updates on    initiatives.
    • Seek constant feedback from patients, carers and staff to document and positively influence the delivery of care by the CCC.
    • Report achievements, improvements as well as issues and challenges via various mediums, including this website.

    Our team

    Our team consists of parents and CCC staff members who care about and wish to improve the care provided to our children.  The parent members of the PAG have personal experience of living with and caring for children undergoing treatment in the CCC.

    Current parent members

    Anne Kay

    Anne Kay

    Anne’s daughter was treated for  Hodgkin’s lymphoma during high school years 11 and 12. She recently graduated from university in America.  Anne is a member of the Parents' Advisory Group and a consumer cancer research grant assessor for Cancer Australia's Priority-driven Collaborative Cancer Research Scheme and chair of ANZCHOG National Patient and Carer Advisory Group.  Life before lymphoma kept me busy and full filled as an English as a Second Language teacher in Japan and later in Melbourne tertiary administrative roles.

    Kimberly McConchie

    Kimberly McConchie

    Kimberly has spent many years working as a health professional in both acute and community health care settings. Since her son's diagnosis early in 2007, she now feels privileged to be able to offer her health professional input into ensuring all children receive optimal care during their stay within the Children's Cancer Centre.

    Cameron Ross

    Cameron Ross

    Cameron has been involved in PAG since early 2014 following his child's treatment for cancer at RCH. He is committed to assisting children and families navigate the difficult challenges of the treatment process.

    Tom Di Lallo

    Tom Di Lallo

    Tom's daughter was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia at 5 years of age. She commenced chemotherapy and other treatment in the CCC in February 2004.  She has been 'off-treatment' for many years, and is now part of the Long Term Review program at the Monash Medical Centre.  Tom's daughter is an active and healthy adolescent who enjoys her studies at secondary school. 

    Gavin Blakemore

    Gavin Blakemore

    Gavin joined the parent advisory group in 2011 following the 2nd treatment to his teenage daughter Sarah for Hodgkins Lymphoma. He works in community services as a director of mission and has a corporate IT background but one of the most important aspects he brings is as a father. He enjoys spending time on the ward and day oncology with other parents and particularly seeks out other fathers to give them a safe place to talk about their experiences. His daughter Sarah is now studying Primary Teaching at ACU.

    Regular CCC staff representatives

    • Dr, Francoise Mechinaud, Director CCC
    • Mary McGowan, Community Liaison Manager
    • Jennifer Burn, Social Work
    • Dr. Maria McCarthy, Psychosocial Services
    • Melinda Sharpe, Nurse Unit Manger RCH CCC rotating with
    • Theresa Clemens, Nurse Unit manager Day Oncology Unit

    Would you like to join our team?

    If you have experience as a parent or carer of a child who has undergone treatment or is currently being treated at the CCC; You may be an ideal candidate to join the PAG.

    The PAG invites parents or carers of current or former patients of the CCC to join the Group.  We seek Parent Members from a wide range of social, economic and cultural backgrounds, to fully reflect the diversity within the backgrounds of our children.  The parents or carers of patients who undergo treatment in the CCC accumulate a wealth of experience in coping with the serious illness of their child.  They have a great deal to contribute in assisting the parents or carers of current CCC patients by making use of their own experience as the carers of sick children, and also by making use of their other professional experiences in disciplines such as nursing, education, community services, law, counselling, management, finance, hospitality, full-time parenting, volunteer work, and so on.

    If you are interested in joining our team please contact one of our team members below, and fill out an application form.

    Mary McGowan

    Children's Cancer Centre Community Liaison Manager
    Phone: 9345-4855
    Email: mary.mcgowan@rch.org.au

    Gavin Blackmore

    Royal Children's Hospital Parent
    Phone: 0419 344 044

    Tom Di Lallo

    Royal Children's Hospital Parent
    Phone: 0412 379 614

    Kimberley McConchie

    Monash Medical Centre Parent
    Phone: 0413 651 215

    Feedback forum

    Please send us your feedback, input, comments and suggestions.

    Please note that it is not necessary to identify yourself.  However, we would encourage you to provide your name and contact details so we can confirm the receipt of your communication, and provide you with specific updates.  To ensure a timely response to your issue, your communication will be forwarded to two parent representatives and the Community Liaison Officer, who is an employee of the RCH.  If you would prefer to communicate with a parent representative only, please contact one of our parents listed above. Please note that if this is your preference, it may take a little longer to respond to your communication.