Emma inspires mum
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.”
Anne McKenzie says her daughter has inspired her work to improve the health system.