New Friends Advisory Committee elected

Friday, 26 July 2013
Pauline Glover, re-elected as Chair of Friends.
Pauline Glover, re-elected as Chair of Friends.

A new Friends Advisory Committee has been elected to support the National Rural Health Alliance’s efforts to ensure good health and wellbeing for rural Australia.

The committee is made up of two delegates from each State and Territory and two representatives of the Alliance Council. It will serve until 2015. Around 30 nominations were submitted to fill the 16 State and Territory positions.

At the first meeting of the new Committee Pauline Glover was re-elected as Chair.

The members of the new committee are as follows.

Janet Fletcher is a Remote Area Health Nurse and Manager of the Nauiyu Health Centre in the Daly River, Northern Territory. She owns a property near Katherine and is passionate about rural and remote health, especially for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Robyn Williams is the Coordinator of the Bachelor of Health Science in the School of Health at Charles Darwin University, Northern Territory. She has a long history with the Alliance and has previously been a member of the Friends committee.

Alison Fairleigh is Manager of Rural and Remote Services at Mental Illness Fellowship North Queensland Inc. Alison is the 2013 Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation (RIRDC) Queensland Rural Woman of the Year.

Christine Franklin is a psychologist who has worked in rural and remote regions for most of her career. She runs a mentoring program in Queensland to support professionals moving into rural and remote communities.

Robin Toohey is from New South Wales and is a proud consumer. She has lived in various rural and remote locations across her expansive career and is passionate about consumer issues.

Kristine Battye is involved in health service planning, development, redesign and evaluation. She worked previously with Divisions of General Practice in central west New South Wales and North Queensland, and for the last 12 years as a consultant at a local, regional and national level.

Pauline Glover is an Associate Professor of Midwifery and Nursing at Flinders University in South Australia. She has served for two years as Chair of the Friends Advisory Committee.

Andrew Waters is based in Mt Gambier South Australia. He is a Director at the South East Regional Community Health Service. Andrew has worked for the NRHA and publicly funded state health services and non-government organisations.

Sharon Condon works at the Rural Clinical School of the University of Tasmania in Burnie Tasmania. She is a Research Fellow focusing on farmer health and palliative care.

Anna Gordon is an Occupational Therapist in Tasmania. She has a strong interest and is passionate about rural and remote communities, specifically palliative and oncology care, youth mental health and health promotion.

Lisa Bourke is a Rural Sociologist at the University Department of Rural Health at the University of Melbourne. She has a particular interest in young people in rural and remote areas.

John Smith is the Chief Executive Officer of West Wimmera Health Service in Western Victoria. In an extensive career in rural health John has been Chairman of the Australian Council of Healthcare Standards and the Director of the Victorian Hospitals Industrial Association.

Irene Mills is currently Chair of the National Rural Women’s Coalition and a strong advocate of mental health and aged care. Irene lives in Western Australia and has a strong commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of people in rural, regional and remote areas.

Trish Thomson-Harry has lived and worked in remote and rural Western Australia and Victoria for approximately 26 years and is a strong advocate for social justice.

Russel McGowan lives in the Australian Capital Territory and has enjoyed a long association with the Alliance. He has been involved with many national boards including Australian Commission of Safety and Quality Health Care (ACSQHC), Australian Health Care Reform Alliance (AHCRA), Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) and Health Consumers of Rural and Remote Australia (HCRRA).

Camilla Rowland is the Chief Executive Officer at Karralika Programs Inc based in Canberra. Her experience includes management of rural and regional not-for-profit community/health service programs and organisations, adult education and training, social work and community development.

Added to these members are two representatives from the Alliance Council.

Lynne Strathie has lived in the Northern Territory since 1971. Lynne is a carer and consumer. She is involved in considerable advocacy work and sits on the Board of Carers Northern Territory.

Greg Mundy is the Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Ambulance Authorities which has a rural and remote interest group. Greg is a member of the Friends Advisory Committee through his involvement through the NRHA Council.

The new committee will meet regularly via teleconference to connect, report and discuss issues of concern in rural and remote health, particularly as they affect their local areas. Their aim is to cultivate and encourage a national network of people to support the work of the National Rural Health Alliance.

Gordon Gregory (Executive Director of the Alliance) expressed his delight at the composition of the committee and acknowledged the depth and experience brought to it by the members and his expectation for the future of the FAC as a group with the potential to incorporate change and embrace new ideas. He said, "The Friends Advisory Committee members are all involved in networks that extend beyond their own professions and it is hoped the FAC will encourage membership and involvement at all levels".

Friends of the Alliance was established fifteen years ago and is recognised in the Constitution of the National Rural Health Alliance. The organisation welcomes individual members as well as small and large organisations. The Alliance provides Friends with information, connections, discounted Conference fees and special updates about Alliance activities.

Kellie Sydlarczuk
Manager, Friends of the Alliance