Emma in­spires mum

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Western Opinion -

ANNE McKen­zie cred­its her daugh­ter with be­ing the big­gest in­spi­ra­tion be­hind her suc­cess.

The Mt Law­ley res­i­dent was ap­pointed a Mem­ber of the Or­der of Australia on Jan­uary 26 for her work to im­prove health­care ser­vices in Australia.

Ms McKen­zie said it was her 35-year-old daugh­ter Emma, who has spina bi­fida, who mo­ti­vated her to make a dif­fer­ence.

“She’s the youngest of my four chil­dren and she was born in a coun­try town, so we used to trek from Col­lie to Perth be­cause she could only be treated at Princess Mar­garet,” she said.

“Only to get up here to find out our ap­point­ment had been can­celled and no one had both­ered to tell us – th­ese kinds of frus­trat­ing things were a com­mon oc­cur­rence.

“Fight­ing for the best for your child is hard work and along the way I met a lot of amaz­ing peo­ple who were also fight­ing the same battle as me.

“If I didn’t be­come her pro­tec­tor and ad­vo­cate, no one would have.”

Ms McKen­zie has held sev­eral con­sumer ad­vo­cacy roles around WA, in­clud­ing at Princess Mar- garet Hos­pi­tal. She has also sat on coun­cils, in­clud­ing as a vol­un­tary chair­woman, and is a life mem­ber of the Health Con­sumer Coun­cil of WA.

But it is her cur­rent role as a con­sumer re­search li­ai­son of­fi­cer for the Health Ser­vices Re­search Cen­tre at UWA that she has found most re­ward­ing.

“What the pro­gram is about is sup­port­ing re­searchers and in­volv­ing the com­mu­nity in their re­search,” Ms McKen­zie said.

“From my per­spec­tive, if you’re not hear­ing the voice or per­spec­tive of the peo­ple who use the ser­vice, you’re not get­ting the whole pic­ture.”

Pic­ture: Matt Jelonek d432242

Anne McKen­zie says her daugh­ter has in­spired her work to im­prove the health sys­tem.

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