Consumer Engagement Program: Building a network

The goal of the Consumer Engagement Program is to generate better outcomes from research by involving consumers, and key to achieving this is establishing the Consumer Advisory Network (CAN).

Over the past few months, the SRI has been building the CAN by inviting a diverse cross-section of people from the spinal community to come and get involved in this unique opportunity to make an impact on how spinal research works with consumers, and we were thrilled to hold the first meeting last week.

Currently, membership consists of people with lived experience of spinal cord injury, family members/carers, as well as researchers in the spinal field, including:

  • Maya Dove, consumer
  • Ben Gruter, consumer
  • Martin Heng, consumer
  • Campbell Message, consumer
  • Lachlan O’Brien, consumer
  • Leanne Rees, researcher and physiotherapist
  • Christine Tripp, family member and carer

We look forward to sharing insights from this group.

If you’d like to find out more visit the Consumer Engagement page or contact Antonio Vecchio, Consumer Engagement Lead at

Pictured above (L-R): Antonio Vecchio, SRI Consumer Engagement Lead; Campbell Message, consumer; Ben Gruter, consumer; Christine Tripp, family member and carer; Lachlan O’Brien, consumer; Leanne Rees, researcher and physiotherapist; Martin Heng, consumer; and Emma Peleg, SRI Collaborations Manager.

Pictured: The inaugural Consumer Advisory Network meeting.


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