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Meet Rachael, Our Sunny Coast Client Representative

Words by Rachael

I first contacted QuIHN 14 years ago when I was homeless, using every day and on opioid replacement therapy (ORT). I started counselling at QuIHN and still do it to this day. I have been an addict for the most part of twenty years, my drug of choice was heroin. I have been on ORT three times and am currently on suboxone.

My counsellor first asked me if I wanted to be an advocate for clients in the Sunshine Coast region. I had no idea what a client representative was but was keen to be involved.

I was contacted by Niki P who chatted to me and sent me paperwork to read about the role. I was totally freaked out because I was scared about having some responsibility and wondered if I could do the job as a client rep.

Part of my duties as a client rep are being on an interview panel for different jobs that are going at QuiHN. I get to ask questions and give feedback about the candidate and do an assessment. QuIHN are totally client focused and really take into consideration what clients have to say which made me realise that QuIHN do really care.

I go to the Sunshine Coast regional meetings and give feedback about what’s been going on, what I have been doing and any feedback from clients who’d like to have their say. I also provide information about how things are going for clients, like what’s going on for them in the community, what trends are happening and any dangerous batches of drugs that are going around.

We also are asked for feedback on images, videos, language, and clips that QuIHN uses on their website. We are also asked to check policies for the client reps.

There is a client representative for each region, we try to keep up with what’s happening in their area and to keep well-informed.

The client reps get together online once a month and talk about what we are up to because QuIHN is a little bit different in each region.

I also volunteer 2 days a week at the Sunshine Coast Needle and Syringe Program (NSP) to help stay connected with the clients of QuiHN.

If you are from the Sunshine Coast region and you want to get in contact with me please leave your name and number at the NSP and I will get in contact with you.