(03) 5981 5100

The People's Committee

The focus People's Committee has the capacity for 10 members.

The current elected Committee members are:

Tim Jolly
Marie McLellan
Mary Nickson
Marcus Schindler
Veronica Tocknell
Catherine Rigoni
Erin Wooloughan

The Committee is co-ordinated and supported by Fran Cashman - Active Support Leader at The Factory in Mornington. 

The Committee can be contacted on email - thepeoplescommittee@focuslife.com.au or on
phone number: (03) 5975 4711

The aim of the people’s committee is to empower each committee member, to enable them to assist all of the people that receive services at focus.


To enable the people receiving services to be involved in the decision making process related to service provision, through elected representatives, that communicate regularly with management.

Policy Statement

A Client Committee has been formed to assist clients to have a say in what happens at 'focus'.

The Client Committee is important because:

  • 'clients get to have a say'
  • 'it makes 'focus' a better place with happy clients in a happy environment'
  • 'clients can speak up for what they want'
  • 'it is their service'
  • 'so management know what clients want'

The 'focus' Client Committee wish to be known as The 'focus' People’s Committee

The 'focus' People’s Committee is overseen by the Coordinator - Community Support.

Purpose of the Committee

To provide feedback to the Board of Directors and management about day to day issues, opinions and needs of clients by:

  1. Representing the views and needs of all clients within the service
  2. Forming part of the process for information to flow between clients and management
  3. Electing client representative to serve on other 'focus' Committee’s or other groups as required
  4. Serving as a forum for discussion, information sharing and peer learning
  5. Providing client feedback as part of quality assurance processes
  6. Undertaking tasks around 'focus' as required. These should have been raised in the People’s Committee minutes and upon completion support the wider client body
  7. Providing training in self-advocacy and leadership skills


The 'focus' People’s Committee is made up of ten members, who are elected by the clients receiving services from 'focus'.

Elections are held each December and representatives are elected to the Committee for one year.

Membership will consist of representatives from the Community Support Service and the Residential Service.

The Election Process

  1. Nominations are called from all clients receiving services from 'focus', in December each year
  2. Nominations close 4-weeks after they are opened
  3. An election date is set and clients are assisted (if required) to vote
  4. Voting forms with the photo of each candidate are used for the election
  5. The 10-people with the most votes are elected
  6. At the beginning of the new year, the new committee members commence meetings


The 'focus' People’s Committee meets weekly.

All members must be committed to their role for one year.

Office Bearers and Representatives

The first meeting of the new committee is an 'orientation' session.

At the second meeting the members hold a formal vote to elect officer bearers.

The roles will be:

  • Chairperson
  • Secretary
  • Committee representative on the 'Events' Committee

Responsibilities of the Committee Members

Representatives on the People's Committee have been elected to do a job on behalf of the clients of 'focus'.

Therefore they have some responsibilities:

  1. To speak up and advocate for all clients of 'focus'
  2. To be prepared to learn how to run meetings
  3. Respect the Privacy and Confidentiality of others and the service
  4. Work as a team
  5. Listen to others
  6. Respect others by being polite
  7. Fulfil their roles to the best of their ability
  8. Represent the views of all 'focus' clients
  9. Offer ideas and positive solutions for issues
  10. Participate in tasks and activities as required
  11. Participate in other meetings as required
  12. Be on time and attend all meetings

The Responsibility of the Staff Facilitator

The 'focus' People Committee is supported by a staff member from 'focus':

  • To assist with setting up and running the meeting eg. agendas, inviting guests
  • To support clients to learn more about how to participate in and run meetings
  • To assist clients to discuss issues and not to dominate discussion
  • To ensure everyone is involved and has a chance to have their say
  • To avoid including their own personal opinions, except as a constructive way of teaching or illustrating a point
  • To ensure that minutes are completed and distributed
  • To support committee members/chairperson to bring discussion to a conclusion, eg. agreement, decide on appropriate action

The staff person should not:

  • Use the meeting as a forum for staff or personal issues

Things that the member’s participate in are:

A monthly VALID meeting.

They have completed an 8-week course through VALID

Organised quest speaker’s to make presentation that are relevant to the people of 'focus'.


The People’s Committee is a member of other relevant networks and groups, to assist with the client’s learning and development

  • Southern Client Network (SRSN) - VALID
  • Connections Network Meetings