Consumer Reference Committee

About LifeTec's Consumer REference Committee

The LifeTec Reference Committee has been established to provide an opportunity for people with valuable lived experience, as people who have lived, worked and played with AT, to have a key role in promoting the successful use of AT for community, social and economic participation.

We are passionate about increasing the awareness of Assistive Technology (AT) and the benefits of choosing the most appropriate AT options.

The LifeTec Consumer Reference Committee bring a broad consumer voice to:

The Consumer Reference Committee undertake consumer engagement activities such as:

  • Assisting in research
  • Consumer interviews
  • Liaising and networking with key local groups and organisations
  • local events and expos

Members on the committee will be sought from a variety of regions throughout Queensland and reflect LifeTec consumer base including a broad range of people with respect to age, gender, disability, culture, and location.

The Committee meets once every 2 months.

Meet The Committee Members

History of the LifeTec Consumer Reference Committee

In 2016 and 2017 LifeTec held seven consumer consultation sessions throughout Queensland. Assistive technology users, family/carers and a small number of health professionals attended the consultations. Participants took part in small group and large group conversations about their experiences with selecting and using AT. During the consultations participants also discussed what they wanted from a health professional in this process.

The consultations also focused on the stages of the LifeTec Imagine, Seek, Choose, Live Consumer Pathway and the value that the pathway has in working with consumers to identify the right AT solutions.

These consultations confirmed that the Imagine, Seek, Choose, Live pathway acknowledges the consumer experience and provides a useful framework for engaging with them. LifeTec is well served by the service pathway and we identified the need to seek to understand how they can best work with expert and novice AT users.

The consumer consultations identified that there was a need for LifeTec to engage in further conversation with consumer and to work together with consumers to ensure that the services LifeTec provide are embedded in the principles of co-design. As a result the LifeTec Consumer Reference Committee was established.

Interested in being a part of something meaningful?

Join the Consumer Reference Committee and work with us in promoting the successful use of AT for community, social and economic participation!

*Get a better understanding at this by reading the LifeTec Consumer Reference Committee manual HERE. 

Also in this section

LifeTec works with you to advise you where assistive technology may assist you in achieving your goals. 

View Our Full Range of Services Here

Learn more about what we do and our efforts in inspiring and enabling people to achieve their goals through assistive technology. 

About LifeTec Australia

Here at LifeTec, we have structured the consumer pathway to allow clients to be be in control and well-informed of the solutions that are available to them.

Discover the Imagine-Seek-Choose-Live Pathway Here

Meet the friendly and experienced allied health professionals and management team behind LifeTec!

Meet the Team Here

LifeTec’s Reconciliation Action Plan includes actions and deliverables that we are committed to deliver over a period of 12 months.

Learn More About Our RAP

Peter from the consumer reference group

Peter Tully

Peter is a proud resident of Ipswich, and together with his wife Linda has been involved in the “every Australian Counts” campaign and QDN (Queenslanders with Disability Network) for a number of years. 

In 2018 Peter and Linda started their own independent volunteer engagement identity – Disability Community Awareness (DCA). DCA’s focus is on networking, community engagement and encouraging better relationships between participants and the support services they engage. 

Peter is an advocate for people with disability and is passionate about speaking up to drive change for the better. Peter has a lived experience of utilising assistive technology, and he shares his personal experiences of living with a disability to provide insight and information for parents, teachers and service providers.  

Uncle Willie from the consumer reference committee

Willie Prince

Willie’s relationship with LifeTec has been for over 16 years and started when LifeTec was a founding member of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Disability Network of Queensland, of which Willie is currently the President.

As a member of the Consumer Reference Committee, Willie brings both advice and guidance on disability awareness and culturally appropriate awareness. Willie brings a wealth of knowledge and information that benefits and assists LifeTec on projects that benefit the Indigenous Community that are culturally appropriate.

Shaz from the consumer reference committee

Shaz Thorndike

Shaz was an Occupational Therapist (OT) for many years before crossing to the other side and experiencing life with a disability first-hand. She has lived experience with chronic pain, chronic fatigue, acquired brain injury, limited mobility and psychological injury with long term effects.  

Although no longer practicing as an OT, she still is passionately interested in assistive technology and strategies, as well as championing the importance of all Australians to have access to this type of information and services. She is very fortunate to live in the beautiful coastal town of Hervey Bay.  

Terry from the consumer reference committee

Terry O'Hanlon

Terry has been a member of LifeTec’s Consumer Reference Committee since its inception in October 2018. 

Terry has Friedreich Ataxia (FA – a progressive, degenerative neurological condition) which is characterised most prominently by poor balance and coordination. Hence Terry well understands the need for, and uses a fair amount of, assistive technology (AT). 

Terry worked in advertising for many years and in many countries, so he has a good appreciation of the fact that different people approach their AT journey with different perspectives. He arrived in Australia in 2001, moved to Queensland in 2012 and now lives in Cleveland with his two sons. 

He is also closely involved with FAN (Friedreich Ataxia Network), QLD’s FA patient support group and fara, the Australian FA research fundraising organisation. 

David- consumer reference committee

David Swift

David has a long association with LifeTec, including as a Consumer Engagement Consultant and was heavily involved in organising a number of consumer consultations undertaken by LifeTec in 2017. This enabled David to develop a deep understanding of the issues people face in acquiring good assistive technology solutions. David continues to develop support strategies that sustain in work and other aspects of his life, such as applications that assist with reading and writing.

David has a power-assist wheelchair with push pull hand controls and a stylist indicator. David has a keen interest to hear other people’s stories about their lived experience of assistive technology and is passionate about influencing positive change at the policy level. David enjoys going to the movies, QPAC performances and travelling to near and far away places and he is proud of the large steps forward that he has made to full self-management.

Garry- consumer reference committee

Garry Darmanin

Garry’s involvement with LifeTec stems from a keen interest in all forms of technology (mainstream, adaptive and assistive) that can help people to live the life they choose to live. Garry has extensive experience supporting individuals of all ages who are experiencing blindness and vision loss across Australia. Garry’s passion and interest in assistive technology stemmed from a lived experience with a vision condition and has been facilitated through the completion of an Engineering degree, Post Graduate Studies in Disability and currently undertaking an Occupational Therapy degree.

Garry is a also a member of the Institute of Engineers Australia and is a National Panel Assessor with Job Access.