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Staff

Professor Sabina Knight AM

RN, MTH, FACN, FCRANA+, ARLF, GAICD

Director

Phone: (07) 4745 4501
Email: sabina.knight@jcu.edu.au

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Role at MCRRH

Under Professor Sabina Knight’s leadership, the Murtupuni Centre for Rural & Remote Health has doubled in size, capacity and footprint across outback Queensland. Professor Knight is a strong collaborator and networker who brings together people, resources, communities and services with common interests and passion to innovate and build a brighter future in and for outback Australia.

Biography

Professor Knight comes from an extensive background in remote and Indigenous primary health care, public health and education. Originally a Remote Area Nurse (RAN) in NSW, Professor Knight gained her Master of Tropical Health from the University of Queensland and has held various remote health practice, service and academic roles, including extensive work as a RAN in very remote communities of Central Australia.

Professor Knight has served on numerous national, state and regional committees and advisory councils. Her leadership roles have included foundation roles with the Council of Remote Area Nurses of Australia; the National Rural Health Alliance, the Central Australian Rural Practitioners Association and as a commissioner with the National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission.

Research Topics

  • Health inequalities – remote, isolated, vulnerable populations and rural health, in particular Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health and health workforce maldistribution.

Achievements/Professional Roles

  • 2009 finalist of the NT Australian of the Year and Centenary Medallist
  • Fellow of Rural Leadership Australia
  • Fellow of CRANA plus
  • Fellow of the College of Nursing Australia
  • Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors
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Associate Professor Catrina Felton-Busch

BA, MPH, Grad Cert PHC Res, PhD (candidate)

Remote Indigenous Health Workforce

Phone: (07) 4745 4514
Email: catrina.feltonbusch@jcu.edu.au

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Role at MCRRH

As Associate Professor Remote Indigenous Health & Workforce, Catrina is responsible for providing leadership for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health workforce development, research and scholarship at the Murtupuni Centre for Rural & Remote Health and for General Practice Training at James Cook University.

Catrina is an Aboriginal woman from Mornington Island with family ties to the Yankaal and Gangalida people of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Education

  • 1993 Bachelor of Arts, Monash University
  • 2008 Master of Public Health, James Cook University
  • 2012 Graduate Certificate of Primary Health Care Research, James Cook University
  • Current – Doctor of Philosophy (candidate), James Cook University

Previous Experience

  • 2010–2015: As Director of the Indigenous Health Unit, Catrina was tasked with operationalising the strategic goals of the division’s Indigenous Health agenda. Catrina worked with community, professional, industry and government stakeholders to deliver on this agenda.
  • 2001–2009: Catrina’s academic career commenced with James Cook University (JCU) at the Centre for Rural and Remote Health (CRRH) within the Faculty of Medicine Health & Molecular Sciences (FMHMS). Appointed to the position of Co-ordinator of Indigenous Studies, Catrina was responsible for one of CRRH’s key domains – Indigenous community engagement in health. As an Aboriginal woman from Mornington Island with family ties to the Yankaal and Gangalida people of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Catrina’s family background, cultural connections to the Indigenous communities of North West Queensland and work experience, provide essential skills and knowledge for this work. Some examples of this work include:
    • Indigenous representative on the Mount Isa Human Research Ethics Committee
    • Board member of Yapatjarra Aboriginal Medical Service, later reconstituted as the Mount Isa Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service trading as Gidgee Healing.
    • Gulf Communities Indigenous Health Summit
    • Consultative committee member for North West Queensland Allied Health Service
    • Mount Isa NAIDOC Committee
    • Aboriginal Health Worker Training Program
    • Cultural Awareness training and mentoring for health students (undergrad, postgraduate and international) and staff.

Research & Project Management Experience:

Catrina’s research interests lie within projects that provide the opportunity to be engaged in work that is aligned with her own personal commitment to improving the lives of her own people. Her research experience to date demonstrates she has the skills, knowledge and experience to successfully undertake research and project management that utilising Indigenous methodologies and is informed by Indigenous epistemologies, ontologies and axiologies (our ways of knowing, being and doing).

Example of work

Year: 2013–current
Role: Project Manager
Project title: Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health Worker Skills Recognition & Upskilling Project

Funding and purpose: Funded by Australian Government’s Department of Health, to provide for a recognition of skills and/or upskilling of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Health Workers who current have certificate iv qualifications and work in a clinical setting, to qualify for registration as Aboriginal Health Practitioners with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA). 

Project description: This work built on decades of commitment to the advancement of Aboriginal Health Workers by the Division of Tropical Health & Medicine (formerly Faculty of Medicine, Health & Molecular Sciences) at James Cook University.

*Kristy Hill & Catrina Felton-Busch. (September 2015). Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Health  
WorkerSkills Recognition & Up-Skilling Project: Final Report. Indigenous Health Unit, James Cook University.

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Shaun Solomon

Head of Indigenous Health

Phone: (07) 4745 7913
Email: shaun.solomon1@jcu.edu.au

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Role at MCRRH

Shaun was appointed Head of Indigenous Health at the Murtupuni Centre for Rural & Remote Health in 2012. This role involves teaching, industry engagement and working with MCRRH academics across program areas to support the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health content and issues in the centre’s goals and activities.

Shaun brings to this role senior project officer experience through his previous positions in the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (Department of Health and Ageing) and his cultural affiliation with the Birri and Ewamain peoples of Northern Queensland.
Shaun’s interests include supporting Aboriginal Health Workers, chronic disease care and rural and remote health in outback Queensland.

Education and experience

  • Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Health Promotion, Sydney University
  • Graduate and Fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation
  • Member of the Australian Health Promotion Association Indigenous Working Party – Queensland Branch
  • 2014–present. Chairperson of the Mount Isa Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service, Gidgee Healing.

Teaching Areas:

  • Cultural Awareness, Cultural Safety and Indigenous Health for Nursing Sciences
  • Indigenous Education
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Christine Mylchreest

Team Leader, GP Training and Regional Medical Training for Central West and North West

Email: christine.mylchreest@jcu.edu.au

Patrick Collins

LLB. B.Com

Operations Manager

Phone: (07) 4745 4500
Email: patrick.collins@jcu.edu.au

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Role at MCRRH

Patrick manages and oversees the daily operations of the Murtupuni Centre for Rural and Remote Health. He also oversees community relations and ensures infrastructure, resources, finances, services and administration functions support the current and future strategic and operational needs.

Patrick provides strategic support to the Director, including actively seeking additional grant funding to support infrastructure expansion across the MCRRH region. He also provides detailed financial management and leadership in managing the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy, coordination of MCRRH infrastructure development and facilities management.

Biography

Patrick Collins is an accomplished senior executive & an advocate of strategic leadership, is focused on outcomes & is an instrument of change.

For 40 years he's created a successful track record in developing relationships & leading stakeholder & communication challenges & operational areas of complexity to achieve excellent business outcomes. His ability to anticipate, identify & manage complex/sensitive issues enables him to negotiate effective resolutions. 

In 2006, as Manager, Community Relations, McArthur River Mine he built relationships with the mine’s stakeholders; facilitating & negotiating outcomes for the local community; & managing the mine’s external reputation.

As a global leader at Xstrata Zinc in 2008, he:

  • Undertook a strategic review of the Community Relations functions for Xstrata Zinc in its operations & led planning to sharpen strategic focus & ensure that outcomes & budget optimisation was in line with KPIs;
  • Represented Xstrata Zinc in negotiations with the NT government to establish the $32 million MRM Community Benefits Trust that underpins benefits for that community
  • Coordinated a global leadership conference for Xstrata Zinc on the theme of ‘Mature Leadership’ &
  • Worked continuously to protect & enhance the reputation of Xstrata Zinc & its operations.

As GM Operations, WDR in the NT, he facilitated the NOI & EIS project approvals process, through construction & into operation. Then as CEO, with the neighbouring not for profit remote indigenous community of Robinson River, he leads the Board from former special administration to being a creditable, financially secure & sustainable organisation, capable of undertaking its own initiatives ongoing 2019.

 

Education

Qualified LLB/B.Com, his experience in corporate, stakeholder, community & indigenous engagement as well as managing legal & statutory compliance obligations of operations are extensively crafted from experience as Qld Police Officer, whilst at the Queensland Bar & as Client Relations Centre Manager at the Queensland Law Society.

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Linda Ford

BCW, BSocWk, PGD PSectMgt

Senior Academic Lead, Allied Health

Phone: (07) 4745 4500
Email: linda.ford@jcu.edu.au

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Role at MCRRH

Senior Academic Lead – Allied Health

Biography

Linda Ford is an Aboriginal woman from the Bigambul people of South West Queensland but grew up on Kalkadoon land in the North West part of Queensland.  Linda has 26 years’ experience as a Social Worker in rural, remote and urban settings mainly in the fields of child protection, health, mental health and tertiary education.  Linda has previously presented to national and international conferences in the area of Aboriginal Health and Mental Health.  In November 2021 Linda was appointed as the National Vice President of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW) and in January 2021 she was also appointed as the Australian Indigenous representative to the Indigenous Commission of the International Federation of Social Work (IFSW). 

Education

Post Graduate Diploma in Public Sector Management, 2010 - Macquarie University

Bachelor of Social Work: Social Work, 1995 - James Cook University

Bachelor of Community Welfare: Community Welfare, 1993 - James Cook University

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Dr. Santosh Jatrana

BA (Engs. Hons), MA, MPhil, PhD, DPH

Senior Principal Research Fellow

Phone: (07) 4745 4511
Email: santosh.jatrana@jcu.edu.au

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Role at MCRRH

As the research head at the Centre for Rural and Remote Health, Associate Professor Santosh is responsible for providing research leadership for the development of remote, rural and indigenous health, health services, and workforce research. She also supports novice researchers, mentors and train HDRs and ECRs and other student placement.

Biography

Santosh is a demographer and social epidemiologist with skills in: both quantitative and qualitative research design; data collection methods including surveys, focus groups, interviews, participant observation; data analysis, particularly large and complex datasets with the use of advanced complex quantitative method; program evaluation; literature review including systematic reviews. She has research interests and expertise in the following areas:

  • Primary health care
  • Migration and Health
  • Ageing and Health
  • Gender and health
  • Social epidemiology
  • Technical demography and demographic methods specifically cohort analysis
  • Analysis of large and longitudinal data-sets and developing causal methodology

Education

2007, Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand.     

2001, Certificate in University teaching, Flinders University of South Australia, Adelaide.

1999, PhD (Demography), The Australian National University, ACT.

1986, MPhil (Master of Philosophy), Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.

1983, MA (Geography), Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India.            

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Dr. Sharon Varela

Mental Health Academic - Central West and North West Queensland (Senior Psychologist) / Principal Research Officer

Phone: 0428 684 655
Email: sharon.varela@jcu.edu.au

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Dr. Sharon Varela is Senior Clinical Lead/Senior Lecturer with the Centre for Rural and Remote Health, James Cook University. She has a passion for her profession and rural and remote practice. Sharon is located in Longreach and works across the Central West and North West regions of Queensland. She completed her PhD research in the clinical and sport psychology topic areas, developing and implementing a group resilience program for young athletes in Brisbane, Australia and Seattle, USA. Sharon has extensive experience in the training and supervision of provisional and student psychologists, and with other allied health professions through collaborative and professional practice models.

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Christine Foley

BPsychSc

Allied Health Clinical Lead - Pyschology

Phone: (07) 4745 4500

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Role at MCRRH

Christine Foley is employed as the Allied Health Clinical Lead, Psychology, and is based in the Murtupuni Centre for Rural and Remote Health (MCRRH). Christine is a Psychology Board of Australia approved Supervisor and takes great care and consideration when supervising Provisional Psychologists to fulfill their supervised practice plans. Christine is a passionate advocate for service delivery in rural and remote regions and is always looking for ways to improve access to mental health services, to members of rural and remote areas.

Biography

Christine has a special interest in working with people who have experienced either childhood trauma or combat trauma. And in addition to working with the CRRH, she is Mount Isa’s only approved sub contractor for Open Arms, the Veterans and Family Counselling Service (formerly known as VVCS) and has completed advanced training with both The Child Trauma Academy in Houston, Texas and The Phoenix Centre (formerly known as the Australian Centre for Post Traumatic Mental Health) based at the University of Melbourne.

Education

Christine has a Masters in Forensic Mental Health and is experienced in how mental health symptoms interact and impact with forensic matters.

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Jodi Brown

RN, BN, MHHS, MClinN(Clin Nurs & Teach.)

Senior Lecturer, Nursing, Mount Isa

Phone: (07) 4745 4540
Email: jodi.brown@jcu.edu.au

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Role at the MCRRH

Senior Lecturer, Nursing

Biography

Jodi is a Registered Nurse with a background of working in rural and remote clinical care in Tasmania, Western Australia, and Queensland. Her clinical teaching roles have been as a facilitator at the Gold Coast University Hospital across the full range of specialties. Jodi has been a Senior Lecturer with James Cook University since 2018 and coordinates the Bachelor of Nursing program in Mount Isa and Cloncurry.

Originally from Tasmania, Jodi is passionate about building sustainable communities and enabling people to gain qualifications close to where they live.

Professional roles/memberships

  • World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Research and Education
  • CRANA Plus

Education

Jodi has completed Masters in both health and human services management and leadership; and in clinical nursing and teaching. She was awarded a Tasmanian DHHS scholarship to complete these qualifications. She was the Director of Nursing at Oatlands Multipurpose Health Centre in Tasmania. She was a remote area nurse in Warburton in the Ngaanyatjarra lands in Western Australia.

  • Bachelor of Nursing (UTAS),
  • Masters of Health and Human Services Leadership and Management (UTAS)
  • Masters of Clinical Nursing Teaching (UTAS)
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Selina Taylor

B Pharm

Rural Pharmacy Academic

Phone: (07) 4745 4505
Email: selina.taylor@jcu.edu.au

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Role at MCRRH

Selina coordinates pharmacy student placements in and around the region where placements involve community, hospital, and outreach/remote pharmacy. These experiences allow the students to gain first-hand experience of the challenges that rural pharmacy can present.

Selina mentors local students who are studying pharmacy at JCU which helps them remain connected to their hometown and keeps them involved in local health and pharmacy issues while they are away studying at university.

Selina facilitates an "Outback Intern Program" to enhance Intern pharmacist's supervised year of practice. The program involves engaging Intern pharmacists with Allied Health Professionals for shared learning experiences as well as examination preparation.

Biography

Selina Taylor joined the team at MCRRH in 2009. She grew up in Mount Isa and has returned to further her career out west. Selina worked in multiple pharmacy settings in Mount Isa prior to coming to MCRRH.

Selina’s passion for rural and remote health shines through in her enthusiasm, and in her encouragement, for students and pharmacists to enjoy the vast opportunities that North West Queensland has on offer.

Education

Bachelor of Pharmacy - James Cook University

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is also an area that Selina is working on. Facilitating CPD events and activities through MCRRH enables local pharmacists to up-skill and meet their CPD requirements without having to travel to the coast. It has been recognised that access to CPD in Mount Isa can be limited and thus facilitation will assist all pharmacists to access the CPD events available through various organisations.

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Miriam Gerber

Ba.App.Sc.OT

NWQ Community Rehab Clinical Lead, Occupational Therapy

Phone: (07) 4745 4527
Email: miriam.gerber@jcu.edu.au

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Role at MCRRH

Clinical Lead for Occupational Therapy and Program Manager for North West Community Rehabilitation. Miriam provides rehabilitation services for Mount Isa and surrounds, as well as facilitating 3rd and 4th year Occupational Therapy student placements.

 

Biography

Miriam worked for 24 years as an Occupational Therapist in Northern Outback South Australia, East Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, North West Queensland, and Northern Territory via a visiting service hub in Mt Isa. She has also worked as a Development Officer for an Adelaide Allied Health Business Unit, in the Burdekin (Qld) where she met and married her husband who was born in Mount Isa. They have now been based in Mount Isa for 16 years where they have 2 children who are now 11 and 13 years old. As a primarily remote OT, Miriam has worked overtime in the full scope of OT from paediatrics to Workcover to aged and disability in State-funded, Commonwealth funded, and private services. Miriam has a passion for remote health and for supporting and educating the next generation of Occupational Therapists.

Education

Completed Bachelor of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy (Ba.App.Sc.OT) from the University of South Australia in 1996. She is also a qualified Trainer and Assessor with a Cert IV in Training, Assessment and Evaluation (TAE40116), and is currently studying a Graduate Certificate in Health Professional Education.

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Lauren Jeffs

BHSc (Food Sci/Nutr.), GradC Health Promot., MPH

Allied Health Clinical Lead - Public Health Nutrition

Phone: (07) 4745 4523
Email: lauren.jeffs@jcu.edu.au

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Role at the MCRRH

Lauren is the Allied Health Clinical Lead – Public Health Nutrition at the Murtupuni Centre for Rural and Remote Health in Mount Isa. Lauren develops, coordinates and supervises public health, community nutrition and health promotion project placements in Mount Isa and Lower Gulf. The role also involves supporting and assisting the MCRRH research team.

Biography

Previously, Lauren worked as a Research Assistant with the Menzies School of Health Research and University of Melbourne. She has provided research support to multiple projects on remote stores, nutrition and trachoma. Prior to research, she worked as a Public Health Nutritionist in remote regions of Australia with Katherine West Health Board and Queensland Health. Lauren has worked in rural and remote communities for the past 10 years in the areas of public and preventative health.

Memberships

Public Health Association Australia & Australia Health Promotion Association

Education

She has completed a Bachelor of Health Science (Food Science and Nutrition), Graduate Certificate of Health Promotion, and a Masters of Public Health. 

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Professor Richard Hays

Senior Medical Educator - GP Training

Phone: (07) 4745 8171
Email: richard.hays@jcu.edu.au

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Professor Hays, with qualifications in both clinical medicine and medical education, has a strong record of achievement in research and scholarship related to training of medical practitioners, measurement of performance, rural health service delivery and workforce, and program evaluation and accreditation.

Qualifications

  • MD (Higher Doctorate), University of Queensland, Australia, 2004 Thesis: Improving Standards in Rural General Practice
  • PhD, James Cook University, Australia, 1991 Thesis: Self-evaluation of Videotaped Consultations in General Practice
  • MBBS, University of Queensland, Australia, 1976

Biography

Richard Hays was a rural medical generalist in Northern Queensland before becoming a teacher and education researcher, gaining further qualifications in educational psychology and medical education. He has had roles in the development of several medical education programs, including new medical schools in Australia (JCU), the United Kingdom (Keele), Ireland (Limerick), Canada (Northern Ontario and Northern British Columbia), and in South-East Asia. He has also participated in many international medical education quality assurance reviews in Australia, New Zealand, the Western Pacific region, Asia, Europe and the UK. He has been awarded about AUD 3 million in competitive research and development grants and has published about 100 research papers, 150 other journal articles, 16 book chapters and 9 books, primarily on assessment, curriculum design and educational quality assurance. He still loves leading change based on medical education development and remains in part-time clinical practice.

Memberships

  • Royal Australian College of GPs
  • Royal College of GPs (UK)
  • Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine
  • Association for the Study of Medical Education (UK)
  • Association of Medical Education Europe
  • Higher Education Academy (UK)
  • Academy of Medical Educators (UK)
  • Australian and New Zealand Association of Health Professional Educators

Administrative expertise

Richard has been a head of school or Dean at four Universities, around major educational reforms.

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Dr. Yaqoot Fatima

Senior Research Fellow

Phone: (07) 4745 4529
Email: yaqoot.fatima@jcu.edu.au

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Role at MCRRH

Dr. Yaqoot Fatima is a Research Officer at the Murtupuni Centre for Rural & Remote Health.

Research Topics

Fatima's research interests are interdisciplinary in nature and involve both qualitative and quantitative methods. Her current research focus involves identifying approaches to enhance health outcomes for vulnerable and disadvantaged population groups and exploring risk factors for cardiovascular problems in young subjects.

  • Adolescent and young adult population health: Epidemiological study of sleep and cardiovascular outcomes.
  • Indigenous Health, in particular Sexually Transmitted Infections.
  • Culturally appropriate healthcare services for Indigenous people using mixed research methods.

Research Experience

Fatima is an experienced researcher with expertise in statistical analyses, the design of survey questionnaires and conducting systematic reviews and meta analyses.

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Alice Cairns

PhD, BAOccThy, GCert Res Meth

Research Fellow

Phone: 0432 532 270
Email: alice.cairns@jcu.edu.au

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Role at the MCRRH

Alice Cairns is currently working in Atherton, as the Western Cape Site Coordinator and Lecturer, for the Centre for Rural and Remote Health, James Cook University. In October 2018, she commenced an Early Career Research Fellowship.

Biography

Alice is an occupational therapist who specialised in mental health rehabilitation for over 12 years in clinical and management roles. She has worked across private and government community mental health services within Queensland and in forensic mental health services in the UK. She has a particular clinical interest in the impact of cognitive capacity on occupational performance. She received her PhD titled 'Exploring help-seeking, vocational role function and goal setting of young people accessing mental health services' from the Queensland University of Technology in 2017.

Professional roles/memberships

OT Australia member
SAARAH member

Professional achievements

In Alice's current role she has:

  • Developed a CRRH presence in Weipa through developing relationships with local Queensland Health, Apunipima, Cape York Pharmacy and Education Queensland clinical and operational staff.
  • Supported research capacity building within local Queensland Health clinical staff through supporting the development of research projects.
  • Developed a model for Occupational Therapy student placements within

Research Interests

Alice's research has focused on adult and adolescent mental health, particularly the impact on cognitive function on functioning. In her current role Alice's research interests have broadened to focus on health service research. In 2019 she will be supported by a HOT North Early Career Fellowship to evaluate a student-led older person's wellness service in remote Cape York communities.

https://research.jcu.edu.au/portfolio/alice.cairns/ 

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Ana Waqairawaqa

M.HP; PG Dip (Health Sci.); PG (Specialty Care); RN (Comp); CAT

Lecturer, Nursing

Phone: 0458310443
Email: ana.waqairawaqa@jcu.edu.au

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Role at MCRRH

Ana Waqairawaqa is the Nursing Lecturer for MCRRH Cloncurry.

Biography

Originally from Fiji migrated to NZ in 2000 as Fiji Registered General and Obstetric Nurse (1988)

Education

Ana has a background in surgical and orthopedics, and has completed a Graduate Diploma in Health Science (2007) and Masters in Health Practice (2010) AUT, NZ.

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Sally West

RIPRN, GCertDisMgnt, MPH, MNursClinEd

Nursing Academic

Phone: (07) 4082 3610
Email: sally.west@jcu.edu.au

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Role at the MCRRH

Sally West is a Nursing Academic based in Weipa. She coordinates the student experience while on placement in Weipa while Fostering relationships with Western Cape College to facilitate student exposure to health students. Sally coordinates inter-professional education and multi-disciplinary student team meetings as well as maintaining a network of current students living in Weipa studying health disciplines.

Biography

Clinical Nurse and Nurse Education in Weipa and remote communities within Cape York for the past 6 years.
Previously contributed to the implementation of public health interventions, as well as both community and staff public health education in remote Indigenous Australian communities within Cape York. Previous focus paediatrics, emergency and infectious disease nursing in Brisbane and Central Queensland since 2004.

Research Interests

Reduction of discrepancies between available resources in urban vs rural contexts.
Student placement models. Sally is currently researching the implementation of a breathing device (nasal high flow) within Thursday Island, Cooktown and Weipa for children under 5yrs old who have respiratory disease

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Chelsey Carr

BPhty

Allied Health Clinical Lead, Physiotherapist

Phone: (07) 4745 4525
Email: chelsey.carr@jcu.edu.au

Laura Wright

BN

Research Officer

Phone: (07) 4745 4517
Email: laura.wright1@jcu.edu.au

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Role at the MCRRH

Laura works as a Research Officer with the Murtupuni Centre for Rural and Remote Health. Laura is currently working on an initiative by the MCRRH to increase the research capacity of the remote health workforce. Her focus is on safety in remote health, as well as gaining broad research experience by being involved in various other projects run by the MCRRH.

 

Biography

As a Registered Nurse, Laura’s background is in Emergency Nursing and Paediatrics.

Laura grew up in various Aboriginal communities and small towns in remote South Australia, Central Australia and the Barkly region. She is passionate about the health, wellbeing and sustainability of remote Australian communities. 

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Stephanie King

BAppSc, AssocD IndComDev/Man

Research Officer

Phone: (07) 4745 4512
Email: stephanie.king1@jcu.edu.au

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Role at MCRRH

Stephanie assists other academics, students and community members in the research of health related topics as identified by MCRRH and the community. As an Indigenous researcher she ensures that the research at MCRRH is culturally appropriate, ethical and takes Indigenous culture and practices into consideration.

Stephanie also occasionally assists with Cultural Awareness and Research Capacity Building activities.

Biography

Stephanie has held a number of roles since first starting at CRRH in 2006, such as coordinating Student Placements as the Support Officer under Dr Louis Peachey, and becoming the Coordinator the Mount Isa Safe Community project.

Stephanie has acquired a strong community development background from having worked across a number of sectors such as mining, employment, training and health.

Education

Stephanie has an Associate Degree in Indigenous Community Development and Management and in 2011 completed a Bachelor of Applied Sciences at Curtin University.

Professional and Community Roles

Stephanie has held a Directorship role on the Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service (QIFVLS) Board for Mount Isa region since 2011. She passionate about ensuring that the organisation is helping to assist and support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who are victims of family violence and/or sexual assault in rural and remote communities.

Stephanie has previously held Directorship roles with Gidgee Healing and Young People Ahead (YPA).

Achievements

Stephanie’s biggest achievement is being a parent to her son Franklin.

In 2014, Stephanie started on a personal journey towards addressing drug and alcohol issues in the community, by co-facilitating Community Yarning Circles. Those affected by drugs can share their stories and ideas in a safe, non- formal environment whilst being supported from a community/family level. This is additional support towards raising awareness of the dangers of drugs, advocating for additional needs and services, supporting those struggling with addiction and family and friends who are impacted by drugs.

In 2012, she completed the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation - TRAIL Course, followed by the Indigenous Community Youth Leadership Program, Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

Stephanie is also proud to have been an Australian Action Partner for the Oxfam International Youth Partnership from 2011-2013. As the youth representative for Mount Isa, she still maintains communication and support partners with projects.

She was nominated as an ambassador for the Queensland Government Deadly Stories Campaign 2012. This initiative symbolised the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to the foundations of Queensland.

Currently projects

  • Development of a Participatory Action Research Framework for evaluation of the ‘Gidgee Healing’ Normanton Community Wellbeing and Residential Rehabilitation Service linkages.
  • Pooling and Analysis of Combined University Department of Rural Health Students Evaluation and Feedback Data.
  • Implementation of Primary Clinical Care Manual recommended Sexually Transmitted Infection screening guideline in antenatal care in North West Queensland.
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Sarah Jackson

B Phty (Hons), PG Cert (PF Physio)

Ph.D Candidate

Phone: (07) 4745 4500
Email: sarah.jackson3@jcu.edu.au

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Sarah is currently enrolled in a PhD investigating telerehabilitation for stroke survivors living in rural and remote areas.

Career Profile

Sarah has worked as a physiotherapist in Mount Isa since 2007. She first came to the area as a student in 2006 and couldn't wait to come back. During her time here she has worked across public and private sectors as a Physio, Team Leader and Clinical Educator. Most recently, Sarah was employed in the role of North West Community Rehabilitation Project Manager before taking some time out to start a family.

Research Interests

Sarah is passionate about people in rural and remote areas having access to high quality services and helping health professionals to develop their clinical skills. Her PhD is investigating how stroke survivors could be using technology to enable them on their recovery journey.

Other interests

Travel, sports, sewing and other crafts

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Peter Coombes

Central West Site Coordinator

Phone: (07) 4658 4711
Email: peter.coombes@jcu.edu.au

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Role at MCRRH

As the student placement coordinator based at Longreach, Peter deals largely with the administration and support of health student placements in the Central West. In 2015, the number of student placements expanded in the region with students at Barcaldine and with students at Barcaldine and Winton and additional allied health studentWinton and additional allied health students at Longreach. Further expansion will occur in 2016 when the new dental facility at Barcaldine is completed. Peter manages bookings for the 10 bed student accommodation facility at Longreach, built by MCRRH and JCU in 2013.

Biography

Peter commenced this role after many years in the health services of the Australian Army, commencing there as a Medical Scientist. A change from this field to a variety of roles in the health services, such as training, personnel management and operational deployments in support of international and United Nations’ activities saw him serving in many locations and different countries.

For stability of education for his three children, Peter “retired” from the Army and purchased a farm business, principally growing out pigs on contract from weaners to market size. As this industry expanded, his family was able to expand their farm pig capacity and their cattle herd. They left the farm in 2014 when his wife Jenny accepted a call to full time Ministry at the Uniting Church in Longreach, creating a new era for them.

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Kali-Jean Duncombe

Emerald Site Coordinator

Phone: 0447 355 474
Email: kalijean.duncombe@jcu.edu.au

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Role with MCRRH

Kali-Jean is the MCRRH Site Coordinator based in Emerald. As site coordinator, Kali-Jean provides administratiive and accomodation support to students on placement in Emerald. 

Biography

Kali-Jean is originally from Charters Towers, however has lived in Emerald for the past 13 years.  In 2018, Kali-Jean started worked for CQ Rural Health in Emerald as a admin/project officer and consequently has taken on the Site Coordinator role in conjunction with her role with CQ Rural health. Kali-Jean has 4 daughters and lives on small cattle farm just outside of Emerald.

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Amanda Kaminski

Personal Assistant to Director, Administration Officer

Phone: (07) 4745 4528
Email: amanda.kaminski@jcu.edu.au

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Role at MCRRH

Amanda joined the MCRRH team in April 2012 in the dual role of personal assistant to the Director Professor Sabina Knight, and Administrative Officer with a focus on finance and financial activities.

Prior to working with MCRRH, she spent 10 years in corporate operations and finance. Amanda has attention to detail and holds formal accredited qualifications in Business.

Biography

Amanda moved from Townsville to Mount Isa in April 2012 and enjoys fishing and travelling.

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Tullita Miller

BBus(Mktg/PR)

Communications Officer

Phone: (07) 4745 4528
Email: tullita.miller@jcu.edu.au

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Role at CRRH

As the Communications Officer, Tullita delivers effective communication, community engagement, and media programs fostering strong industry and community networks and relationships that increase awareness and develop an enviable corporate image.

Biography

Prior to working with CRRH, she spent her time working in hospitality marketing. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family.

Education

Tullita has completed her Bachelor of Business with majors in Marketing and Public Relations. She is now currently studying a Master of Social Work. 

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Fallan Willis

Student and Registrar Coordinator

Phone: (07) 4745 4538
Email: fallan.willis@jcu.edu.au

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Role at the MCRRH

Fallan Willis's role at the MCRRH is to look after all student placements. Fallan takes students from all Universities for all Health Related Disciplines. She also books and looks after all the accommodation needs for students, keeps the students up to date with whats going on, helps them get orientated into the local community and provide on-going and friendly support during their placement.

Biography

Fallan was born and bred in Mount Isa and just loves it. She is very passionate about our little community and wants to keep it thriving for many, many more years to come. Coming from a previous Human Resources job she knew that she wanted to work with people, Fallan applied for the position at MCRRH and has loved it ever since. She loves being able to show students our town and get them to experience our rural outback experience.

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Brad Weeks

Maintenance Officer

Phone: (07) 4745 7909
Email: brad.weeks@jcu.edu.au

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Role at MCRRH

Brad is the maintenance officer at MCRRH, and is responsible for maintenance and upgrades to CRRH buildings and infrastructure.

Biography

Brad is from the Sunshine Coast and has a background in Horticulture. He loves coffee and playing video games in his spare time.

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Kimberley Walton

CertIIIBus

Administrative Assistant

Phone: (07) 4745 4500
Email: kimberley.walton@jcu.edu.au

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Role at CRRH

Kimberley coordinates bookings for CRRH facilities and provides administrative assistance to CRRH staff and students.

Biography

Kimberley joined the CRRH team in 2012. She has a strong affiliation with the Mount Isa region and is a born and bred local with strong community ties as both a member of the Kalkadoon tribe, and a result of strong family history within the Mount Isa/Cloncurry area.

Education

All of Kimberley’s education has taken place in Mount Isa. She has a TAFE Cert III in Business.

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Catherine Seaton

BA(Hons), MPH

Research Officer

Phone: (07) 4745 4532
Email: catherine.hays@jcu.edu.au

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Role at MCRRH

Catherine has been the Library Assistant at the MCRRH since late 2014 and is now a Research Officer adding to our research team. She assists with day-to-day library tasks, student academic support, research support, and other administrative tasks.

Biography

Catherine grew up in Townsville, QLD and has been living in Mount Isa since 2014.

Education

Master of Public Health 2021

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) 2013

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Spandana Talari

IT Services and Support Officer

Phone: (07) 4745 4515
Email: Spandana.Talari@jcu.edu.au

Courtenay Tohovaka

Training Officer - GP Training, Central West and North West

Phone: (07) 4745 4530
Email: courtenay.tohovaka@jcu.edu.au

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Role at the MCRRH

Courtenay Tohovaka is the Training Officer for Generalist Medical Training. Her role is managing the training program for registrars on the AGPT pathway in both the Northwest and Central West regions. Courtenay also provides support for all registrars on the GMT program working in remote locations.

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Lyndy Skea

Training Officer

Phone: (07) 4745 4530
Email: lyndy.skea@jcu.edu.au

Marjorie Renouf

Casual Exam Coordinator/Admin Assistant

Email: marjorie.renouf@jcu.edu.au

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Twenty-five years admin experienvce at James Cook University.

Role at CRRH

Marjorie Renouf coordinates and supervisors university exams for JCU and other universities. She also works as a casual Administrative support when required.

Background

Marjorie previously worked at James Cook University in Townsville for 20 years. Her role was a part-time Administrative Officer for the Graduate Research School.

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Andrew Varela

Research & Administration Officer

Phone: (07) 4658 4711
Email: andrew.varela@jcu.edu.au

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Role at MCRRH

Research Officer

 

Biography

Andrew Varela is a research officer with the Supervisor Training Program at James Cook University. Andrew has experience in the banking and not-for-profit sector, finance, customer service, research and administrative roles. Andrew is an author who has published online. Andrew is currently completing a fine arts degree in creative writing.

 

Education

QUT Bachelor of Fine Arts: Creative & Professional Writing 2017 – Current (expected completion date 2022)

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Danae Giardina

BPubHlthNutr

Clinical Lead, Public Health Nutrition

Phone: 0459 911 961
Email: danae.giardina@jcu.edu.au

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Role at CRRH

Danae is the Allied Health Clinical Lead for Nutrition and Dietetics at the Centre for Rural and Remote Health in Mount Isa. Danae’s role is to develop, coordinate and supervise community public health nutrition project placements in Mount Isa and the Lower Gulf. The role also involves delivering the Service Learning model of teaching by building and maintaining community relationships and service delivery that responds to community needs while building a rural and remote workforce.

Biography

Danae grew up in Mount Isa and relocated to the Sunshine Coast to complete a Bachelor of Dietetics and has since returned to Mount Isa to join the rural and remote workforce. She has experience working as a private practice dietitian and is currently branching out into community public health nutrition at the Murtupuni Centre for Rural and Remote Health. She is also undertaking a food security project at Gidgee Healing Aboriginal Community Controlled Medical Service.

Education

Bachelor of Dietetics, University of the Sunshine Coast.

Dietitian’s Australia.

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Erika Finnila

BOT.

Clinical Lead, Occupational Therapy

Phone: 0459 934 674
Email: erika.finnila@jcu.edu.au

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Role at MCRRH

Erika coordinates and supervises paediatric Occupational Therapy student placements based in Mount Isa and the Lower Gulf. The role involves strengthening partnerships in the community to promote access to student-led health services and further build the allied health workforce within rural and remote communities.

 

Biography

Erika was born and raised in Mount Isa and has returned after graduating with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy from James Cook University in Townsville. Erika has experience working in non-government organisations as a rural generalist and has provided Occupational Therapy services to rural and remote communities in North West Queensland. Erika’s passion for improving access to health services in rural and remote regions has led her to return to Mount Isa to live, work and give back to her hometown and its surrounding communities.

 

Education

Bachelor of Occupational Therapy

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Rickisha Hills

CertIII ATSI Primary Health Care

NWCR Administration Assistant

Phone: 07 47454525
Email: rickisha.hills@jcu.edu.au

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Role at MCRRH

North West Community Rehabilitation – Administration Assistant

 

Education

Studied Certificate III Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care – TAFE Queensland   

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Keith Stalling

Dip Library/Inform. Services

Librarian

Phone: (07) 47454521
Email: keith.stalling@health.qld.gov.au

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My Role at MCRRH:

Keith is the Librarian & Research Governance Officer at the Yacca Library. He is responsible for the operation of the library including circulation, shelving, and collection development.

Biography:

Keith grew up in Glenbrook in the  Blue Mountains about 70km west of Sydney New South Wales before moving to Mount Isa with his wife, three children & dog in 2019. Keith has been working in the library field since 1998 with various local governments both in New South Wales & Queensland. Research roles from his previous positions involved genealogy, local history, and other historical records. Through his years of working in libraries, he has a good level of research information that utilises Library of Congress Subject Headings and Dewey Decimal Classification.

Keith likes to read mainly non-fiction books and enjoys reading manga or comics and some other fiction. He enjoys watching movies, cooking, collecting Lego, and other pop culture. He likes to travel in Australia and around the world, and appreciates the history and culture of all places and experiencing new food and drinks.

 

Education:

Keith completed his Diploma of Library and Information Services in 2002 from TAFE NSW. In March 2021, he completed the ALIA PD Cataloguing Basics through TAFE NSW. Keith is currently studying a Bachelor of Information Studies through Charles Sturt University.

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Morgan Booth

Administration Assistant

Phone: 07 4745 4500
Email: Morgan.Booth@jcu.edu.au

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Role at MCRRH

Morgan coordinates bookings for MCRRH facilities and provides administrative assistance to MCRRH staff and students.

 

Biography

Morgan is a proud Waanyi woman originally from the Gulf. When Morgan isn’t working she’s watching her children participate in various sports in and around the community. In her spare time, she likes to cook and spend time with her family and friends.

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Bridget Greathead

BSpPath(Hons)

Allied Health Clinical lead, Speech pathology

Phone: 0447 114 373
Email: bridget.greathead@jcu.edu.au

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Role at MCRRH

As the Clinical Lead for Speech Pathology, Bridget coordinates and supervises speech pathology student service-learning placements in Mount Isa and the Lower Gulf. Bridget also connects with community stakeholders to foster relationships and develop service learning placements that respond to the needs of the community and support the rural and remote health workforce.    

Biography

Bridget grew up in Brisbane, where she completed her Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Hons) at the University of Queensland. She worked in schools across Far North Queensland before moving to Mount Isa in 2019 where she began working as a rural generalist speech pathologist in North-West Queensland and the Lower Gulf. Bridget enjoys the lifestyle and opportunities that living and working rural and remote provides, in particular trying all different types of arts and crafts and getting out camping when she can. Bridget is grateful for the opportunity to combine her passions of remote health, speech pathology practice, and learning together for this role at Murtupuni Centre for Rural and Remote Health.

Education
Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Hons)
Bridget is currently completing a Masters of Public Health

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Contact us

General enquiries

P (07) 4745 4500
F (07) 4749 5130
E micrrh.admin@jcu.edu.au

A Commonwealth funded Department of Rural Health
in collaboration with: