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Lessons Learned at North Melbourne: Paving the Way Forward


Mission Australia, NMLL, Drummond St

In November 2022, Health Q Consulting (Health Q) was appointed by Mission Australia Consulting to undertake a series of stakeholder consultations to explore the lessons learned from the Paving the Way Forward (PTWF) community partnership and activities at North Melbourne.


The Department of Families, Fairness and Housing set up the PTWF initiative to find better ways of working with residents at the North Melbourne public housing estate to: solve local issues, build on local strengths and change the way government and community interact. 


Evaluation of Rural Workforce Strategy


Rural Support Service

In May 2022, Health Q Consulting (Health Q) was appointed by the Rural Support Services (RSS) to complete an evaluation of the Rural Health Workforce Strategy (the Strategy). 


In 2018, an election commitment was made to develop a rural health workforce plan to ensure the sustainability of rural health services. With the Government committed to $20 million over a four-year period, a Rural Health Workforce Strategy (RHWS) was developed, supplemented by six comprehensive rural workforce plans that span all major rural health groups. Implementation activity derived from these plans is occurring across the six regional LHNs (rLHNs). 


Evaluation of the Long Stay Patient Transition to Discharge Project


Wellbeing SA

In March 2022, Health Q Consulting (Health Q) was appointed by Wellbeing SA to evaluate the Long Stay Patient Transition to Discharge Project.  An overarching evaluation framework was developed to guide the evaluation.


In total, 20 stakeholders attended online consultations (using MS Teams). The following LHNs engaged in the evaluation through either consultation or the online survey: Barossa, Hills and Fleurieu LHN, Central Adelaide LHN, Eyre and Far North LHN, Northern Adelaide LHN, Southern Adelaide LHN, Women’s and Children’s Hospital Network, and Yorke and Northern LHN


Evaluation of the Local Government Information, Linkages & Capacity Building Project


Local Government Association

The Local Government Association (LGA) appointed Health Q Consulting to undertake an Evaluation of its Local Government Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Project.

The evaluation approach reflected the fact that the programs and projects were established without a focus of the data needs of an evaluation. Our design was flexible to ensure an evaluation outcome that optimised available data, minimized the burden on program managers and staff, and collected the necessary insights and learnings to inform future projects of this nature.


Evaluation & community consultation Northern & Far Western SA


Royal Flying Doctor Service

The RFDS (Central Operations) appointed Health Q Consulting to undertake an evaluation and needs analysis of their services to communities in Far North and Western South Australia.

A total of 139 stakeholders were consulted with using a blended face-to-face, Zoom and telephone model, in addition to 130 survey responses. We spoke to consumers, ACCHOs, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander consumers, and the rural and remote health workforce.

The final report presented 21 recommendations which were accepted by the client.


Evaluation of the Volunteerability Program


Orana Australia Limited

Volunteerability is a new program aimed at creating more inclusive communities for people with disability by supporting the inclusiveness of volunteers and Volunteer Involving Organisations (VIOs). It was developed in partnership between Orana, Volunteering SA&NT, Southern Volunteering SA and Northern Volunteering SA. It is funded by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) with an Information, Linkages and Capacity Building (ILC) Grant.

Health Q Consulting was been appointed to complete the evaluation of the program processes and outcomes. This will include reviewing the effectiveness, efficiency, appropriateness and sustainable impact of the program in utilising volunteering to increase inclusion for people with disability.

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Evaluation of the Primary Health Network After Hours Program


Commonwealth Department of Heath

The evaluation assessed the extent to which Primary Health Networks achieved the objectives of the After Hours Program. It will also examined value for money and identified the successes or lessons learned to be considered going forward. 

Darren was an Associate to the evaluation team and managed four (of the eight) case studies (Alice Springs; Adelaide; Perth South and Brisbane North).  The case study approach included a review of activity work plans submitted by PHNs and interviews with PHNs, commissioned providers and consumers. In addition, Darren completed several consultations with national and representative bodies with respect to the success of the program.

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Evaluation of the Revised Disability Support Pension Assessment Process


Commonwealth Department of Social Services

The evaluation sought to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of the 2015 reforms to the DSP claim assessment process, intended to provide additional rigour to the DSP assessment process to improve and uphold the integrity of the welfare system.

Darren was an Associate to the evaluation team and completed extensive data analysis, since 2015, to determine the extent to which the revised processes had met the policy intent, including (but not limited to): reduced assessment timeframes; impacts of appeals and reviews; potential disadvantage to vulnerable cohorts. In addition, Darren completed the cost-effectiveness analysis reporting on the extent to which the changes represented value for money for Government.

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Evaluation of the ATSI Mental Health Alcohol and Other Drug project Rockhampton


Murri Binda Consortium

The evaluation focused on the developmental and formative achievements of Murri Binda Consortium, with a focus on its governance, partnerships, and Elder and community-controlled design elements.  An Evaluation Framework was developed centred around five key result areas: Implementation; Partnerships; Outputs; Consortium model; Community/ client experiences.

Darren led this evaluation and was involved in all aspect of its delivery.  Assessment of the strength and effectiveness of the consortium and service provider partnerships was a key component of the evaluation.

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Evaluation of the In-Home Telemonitoring Trial


Department of Veterans' Affairs

The trial was designed to determine whether telemonitoring over high quality, high capacity broadband is a safe, effective and efficient complement to traditional health services, and understand whether the potential for NBN enabled in-home monitoring and video consultations to assist in achieving quality of care and improved health outcomes for veterans.

The evaluation of this Trial focused on understanding: whether telemonitoring is a safe, effective and efficient way to complement conventional health services and if risks to health were reduced, if there was improvement in the monitoring and management of selected complex chronic conditions for Veterans, reduction in hospitalisations and the return on investment and scalability of the service to other cohorts.

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Review of Suicide Prevention Training and Resources for People from CALD Backgrounds


Queensland Mental Health Commission

The aim of this project was to empower community members from CALD communities to recognise and support a person at risk of suicide or self-harm. To this end, a review of suicide prevention training and materials to support CALD communities, was undertaken to identify existing high-quality, culturally tailored resources and information as well as to identify service gaps and barriers for CALD communities to accessing this support. In particular, the project focused on people from vulnerable population groups in Queensland who have been identified as communities at high risk of suicide and/or mental illness.

Young Man in Therapy

Evaluation of the GLBTI Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative


Department of Health Victoria

The evaluation sought to assess the program, both the individual programs within it and of the larger project of improving and extending the range of GLBTI related support services, linkages and referral pathways for mainstream youth services. Programs and services with different outcomes were accommodated in the evaluation as well as evaluation of qualitatively different outcomes, from individual programs to service linkages, and system development and capacity building.

Darren led this evaluation and was involved in all aspect of its delivery. The assessment of the strength and effectiveness of the partnership model was a key component of the evaluation.

Feeling Mom's Tummy

Evaluation of the National Perinatal Depression Initiative


Commonwealth Department of Health

The evaluation sought to assess whether the original objectives of the NPDI were achieved; to help inform future policy development relating to perinatal depression; and to guide future Commonwealth investment decisions in the area. The primary focus of the evaluation was on the implementation and effectiveness of the National Partnership Agreement with specific assessment of the major milestones completed in the three year period.

Darren led this evaluation as was involved in all aspects, including development of the evaluation framework, consultation, outcomes data analysis and presentation of the final report.

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Review of the NFC Paediatric Lung and Heart-Lung Transplantation Program


Department of Health and Ageing

The primary objective of this review was to provide a comprehensive analysis of the delivery of the Paediatric Lung and Heart-Lung Transplantation under the Nationally Funded Cetntres (NFC) Program as delivered by the Alfred Hospital with the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne:

The review informed recommendations regarding the current eligibility of this procedure for NFC status; the appropriate number of sites for the delivery of this procedure; the quality of the Paediatric Lung and Heart-Lung Transplantation in the context of the objectives of the NFC Program and appropriate pricing for the delivery of the procedure.


Review of the Carer and Volunteer Support Program


Department of Veterans' Affairs

The purpose of this Review was to assess the extent to which the Carer and Volunteer Support Program was positioned to provide appropriate social health support to the veteran and ex-service community into the future, through the delivery of a range of social health activities. Findings were made with respect to program design and governance, service delivery and demand, as well as opportunities for improvement in workforce development, partnerships, and outcomes reporting. A selection of service options to provide appropriate social health support to the veteran and ex-service community into the future was also developed.


Evaluation of the Western Perinatal Emotional Health Program (PEHP) Trial


Department of Health Victoria

The focus of the evaluation was to determine if the Trial model was consistent with both the Framework for the National Perinatal Depression Initiative and Beyondblue’s ‘Clinical Practice Guidelines: Depression and related disorders – anxiety, bipolar disorder and puerperal psychosis – in the perinatal period, A guideline for primary care health professionals February 2011’ and to make recommendations around the model’s impact on perinatal mental health, connections and capacity building with other local referring services, and potential transferability to other metropolitan regions.

Darren led this evaluation which involved extensive stakeholder consultation (focus groups, interviews and stakeholder surveys) and mental health outcomes measurement and analysis.

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Review of the NFC Norwood procedure and staged surgical palliation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome


Department of Health, SA

A review was conducted of the Nationally Funded Centre's (NFC) Norwood procedure and staged surgical palliation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome (the Norwood procedure) delivered at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne and the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (Westmead), in order to:

  • Provide a comprehensive analysis of the service and conclude on the continuing eligibility of the Norwood procedure as a NFC site, and

  • Recommend a price for the delivery of each of the three stages of the procedure and improvements to the delivery of the procedure as identified during the course of the review.

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Business Model and Start-up Plan for Health Industry SA (HealthIn SA)


Department of Health SA

The Plan was developed to guide the establishment of HealthinSA as the key strategic initiative in the development of health industries in South Australia as well as to set up a framework for achieving growth in the SA economy through health industries.


A comprehensive two-year Start-up Business Plan comprising ten strategies was developed informed by extensive stakeholder consultation, workshops and a literature review 


Review of the NFC Paediatric Heart Transplantation Program


Department of Health and Ageing

The objective of the review was to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the Nationally Funded Centre's (NFC) PHT Program delivered by the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne (RCHM) from 2008-13. Through extensive stakeholder consultation and a case study site visit, recommendations and findings around the following were formulated:

  • performance of the NFC program (with specific analysis of access, outcomes achieved, quality and safety, teaching, training and research, cost, service demand, risk management, clinical practice)

  • the future of the NFC program in terms of new clinical practice and technologies, equity of access, assessment of demand and patient throughput and PHT target population

  • program costing (specifically procedure costing and funding, care pathway costs, drivers of cost, benchmarking of costs, cost effectiveness of PHT).

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Review of the NFC Pancreas Transplantation Program


Department of Health and Ageing

The objective of review was to provide the Nationally Funded Centre's (NFC) Reference Group with recommendations on the need for, and benefits of, continued service concentration under the NFC Program, with two sites delivering services at Westmead Hospital, New South Wales and Monash Medical Centre, Victoria. Findings and recommendations were made with respect to:

  • access to the NFC, including: criteria for patient selection; analysis of patient numbers and referral sources of patients; equity of access and outcomes of accepted referrals

  • health outcomes achieved 

  • the model of care and service delivery

  • the costs of delivering the Program for both care pathways.


Evaluation and review of the Opiate Pharmacotherapy Program


Department of Health, NT

The evaluation sought to identify where the NT OPP is consistent with recognised best practice and where there are opportunities for improvement. The evaluation included a literature review, analysis of OPP datasets, and extensive consultation.

Darren was responsible for the conduct of consultations in Alice Springs with opioid-dependent people, service providers, retail pharmacies, and needle and syringe programs. Darren also supported the data analysis and development of the evaluation’s recommendations.


Evaluation of the services provided by Quit SA


Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia

The evaluation sought to measure the performance of Quit SA and determine whether the service agreement represented value for money for SA Health. It included a best-practice review, consultation with service users (smokers) and referrers; data analysis, and benchmarking against other Australian Quit smoking services in Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania to compare performance.

Darren led this evaluation and was involved in all aspect of its delivery.

Attentive Therapist

Evaluation of needs assessment and case management tools 


Department of Immigration and Citizenship

This evaluation focused on identifying and assessing existing tools used by HSS providers, including DIAC-developed tools, that would be suitable for needs-based assessment, case management planning, and mental health screening. The objective was to define a minimum standard to be used in all tools adopted by DIAC, develop an accreditation process to allow contracted providers with existing tools to have their tools approved for use and identify the optimal platform/system for client information management purposes, having regard to DIAC requirements. An illustrative tool incorporating all identified best practice components was also submitted for consideration.

Mother and Baby Sleeping

Evaluation of New Perinatal Infant Mental Health (PIMH) Teams


Department of Health NSW

The PIMH Teams were established under the National Perinatal Depression Initiative (NPDI) and the focus of the evaluation was to identify the extent to which the target group received appropriate intervention in the community setting (out of hospital) leading to improved mental health outcomes. In particular, the evaluation considered whether there was reduced separation time between mother and infant, the impact of PIMH team model of care on broader mental health service and the viability of replicating and expanding the program state-wide.


Review of Life Skills and Settlement Outcomes for Refugees


Life Without Barriers

Analysis of client level data was undertaken in relation to children and young people who arrived in Australia as asylum seekers unaccompanied by adult family members, to understand independent living skills development. The data analysed selected outcome measures of the services provided to these children and young people who were referred into the Community Detention or Settlement Programs.  

The analysis identified a high level of client satisfaction with the services provided by LWB through the delivery of both programs, and an overall improvement across all life skill assessment domains reported by program participants and workers.

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Review of the Goulburn Valley Area Mental Health Service’s 


Goulburn Valley Health Service

This review focussed on the acute mental health and aged care services provided by GVAMHS. It involved an assessment of the existing bed configuration and analysis of resource utilisation and service demands for the Goulburn Valley Region.  In addition, an assessment of innovative service model options to improve the sustainability of these facilities.

Overall, findings and recommendations were made in relation to relationship/partnership issues, key implementation issues, future demand, service and workforce profile, proposed bed based service configuration and a business case for change was presented.

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Evaluation of selected Victorian Child Youth Mental Health Reform Initiatives 


Department of Health Victoria

The evaluation included assessment of the following initiatives:

  • Two child and youth mental health service redesign demonstration projects

  • Selected Health Services which undertook broader child and youth mental health reform/system redevelopment (two sites)

  • Six youth early intervention teams (YEIT)

The evaluation focused on understanding what activities were put in place and/or redesigned and why these approaches were taken, including how additional and existing resources were utilised as well as the identification and assessment of the service development and reform processes used by services and their service partners to bring about the intended change.

Couple at Home

Evaluation of the SA Returning Home Program


SA Health

The Returning Home Program assisted long term residents of Rehabilitation Services at Glenside Campus in preparation for, and achievement of, transition to community accommodation, with support from government and non- government services. In order to understand the outcomes generated by the Program, amongst other consultative techniques, extensive quantitative analysis of the Ridgeway Recovery-Enhancing Environment (REE) Measure data and of consumer outcomes using the National Outcomes and Casemix collection (NOCC) measures, was undertaken to understand the impact of the program on social connectedness and community and vocational engagement, physical and mental health and housing.

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Evaluation of the Reducing Risky Drinking Initiative


Department of Human Services Victoria

This Initiative involved four demonstration projects that were funded to develop and trial new strategies for engaging and delivering brief interventions for adult at-risk drinkers who had not previously sought treatment.


The four projects included: (1) Ballarat Reducing Risky Drinking Project (Reduce 2 Two), (2) Peninsula Older Adults Reducing Risky Drinking Project, (3) Risky Drinking in the culturally and Linguistically Diverse Community, and (4) Southcity Clinic’s Reducing the Risks of Drinking Project.

Each service model was assessed for effectiveness as well as replicability and findings were also made around partnerships, community development, service provider recruitment and training, and client recruitment and retention.

Mothers and their Baby

Evaluation of community-based early intervention perinatal & infant mental health services 


St John of God Health Care

The Raphael Services provided community-based early intervention perinatal and infant mental health services for families with children from conception to when the child reaches four years of age. The Services have been established since 2003 and were provided in response to community needs in each state and six services located in WA, Victoria and NSW were included in this evaluation.

A range of consultation techniques were implemented as well as analysis of demographic, outcomes (DASS21, HoNOS, Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale) and financial data to inform the evaluation.  Findings were made on cultural components of the service; excellence in care and in governance and management of resources; formation, education and leadership; services provided to the socially disadvantaged, service efficiency and future evaluation strategy.


Evaluation of the COAG Supporting Measures Relating to Needle & Syringe Programs (NSPs) in Victoria


Department of Human Services, Victoria

This evaluation was focused on understanding the effectiveness of increased education, counselling and referral services provided through NSPs and the diversification of existing NSPs (COAG supporting measures) on reducing the spread of blood-borne diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis C (HCV) among populations of injecting drug users. Findings and recommendations were made around NSP Policy and Strategy, NSP Service Models, partnership arrangements, governance and reporting arrangements and an assessment made with respect to Syringe Vending Machines.


Evaluation of the Positive Futures Initiative


Department of Communities, Queensland

This evaluation, was commissioned in response to a $228m funding investment to reform the Disability and Community Care Services (DCCS) and disability sector’s response to the care and support of adults with an intellectual/cognitive disability and severely challenging behaviours, and who pose a significant risk of harm to themselves, their support workers and/or the community.


In order to understand what initiatives had been implemented and the outcomes generated as a result, 42 client-based case studies across the seven disability services regions in Queensland were implemented. Quantitative outcomes were measured using the HoNOS-LD tool.

At the Pharmacy

Evaluation of program resources & training materials, Diabetes Medication Assistance Service


Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing

This project required a comprehensive evaluation of the effectiveness and appropriateness of the program resources and training materials (including delivery formats) developed for the implementation of stage 2 of the Diabetes Medication Assistance Service (DMAS). The findings from the evaluation were required to inform future policy directions around training requirements of diabetes care services within the community pharmacy industry.

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Evaluation of the Young Persons in Residential Aged Care Program (YPIRAC)


Department of Human Services, NSW

The objective of this evaluation was to determine the effectiveness of this program which was designed in order to provide better living options for younger people in, or at risk of entry to, residential aged care. A case study approach was implemented involving three of the six ADHC regions involved in the YPIRAC Program and recommendations made around improving person-centred support, design considerations and administration and funding.

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