Our People

To our people, it’s personal.

Our team consists of people who care deeply about remote and rural communities. People who don’t just talk the talk but walk the walk. They’re out there, on the ground, connected to and part of regional communities. Every day they see the challenges faced in health care in isolated areas. And they are inspired to provide real solutions to make a difference.

Meet our people

I remember the exact moment I decided on rural medicine. I was watching a documentary on Aboriginal health and inequity of access to care – my only thought was, I want to help make a difference.

Dr Dan Halliday

Chair | Stanthorpe

MBBS FACRRM FRACGP DRANZCOG (Adv.) AFRACMA Biomed.Sc GAICD GCAHM

Dr Daniel (Dan) Halliday is a founding Director of Rural Doctors Foundation Ltd (formerly RDAQ Foundation) and served as Secretary since the inaugural Board meeting in 2014 until May 2020 when he was appointed as Chair. Dan has contributed significantly to improving rural healthcare at a local, state, and national level. He has been an advocate taking on roles as:

  • Founding Director of RDAQ Foundation (now Rural Doctors Foundation) (2014-present)
  • Inaugural College Council Chair of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (2015-2017)
  • Board Director of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (2013 – 2014 & 2017 – present)
  • President of RDAQ Inc (2010 – 2011)
  • Secretary of RDAQ Inc (2012 – 2013)
  • Convenor of RDAQ Inc Annual Conferences (2010 and 2014 – RDAQ’s 25th Anniversary)
  • Branch Councillor of Australian Salaried Medical Officers Federation – Queensland Branch (ASMOFQB)  2017 – Present
  • Rural Generalist Member of the Queensland Rural and Remote Clinical Network Steering Committee (2012 – present)
  • Chair of the Rural Medical Workforce Working Group (RMWWG), SRRCN (2014 – 2020)
  • Board Director of Queensland Rural Medical Education (2006 – 2012)

Dan has been on a 20-year journey in rural medicine. He is a Rural Generalist with Advanced Skills in Obstetrics, based in Stanthorpe and is currently the Medical Superintendent of Stanthorpe Hospital, Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service (2015 – present). In his role he has contributed to the development of rural health and medical training opportunities in Stanthorpe and wider communities.

His recent focus has been on expanded medical outreach, education and training models, and the enhanced role of Community Integrated Care Pharmacy.

Dan is a strong advocate for equity in health care and has special interests in Maternity Services and Agricultural Health. Recently he has had the privilege of leading the Rural Doctors Foundation team providing valuable health checks to rural farming families with limited care access for the third time in succession at Beef Australia 2021.

Dr Michael Rice

Deputy Chair | Beaudesert

MB, BS, DRANZCOG, FRACGP, FACRRM

“Rural medicine is a special opportunity to work in an advanced scope of practice and provide whole-of-life care across a whole community and multiple generations.”

Dr Michael Rice has enjoyed a long career as a rural generalist practitioner in Beaudesert. Anyone who knows him can see his passion for rural medicine. He has been Director and partner in the Beaudesert Medical Centre since 1994. Michael was appointed to Rural Doctors Foundation as outgoing President of RDAQ. He stayed to contribute to better health outcomes for rural communities. Michael’s interest in rural medicine began early in his career. At this time he trained in Beaudesert as a GP Registrar in 1990 as part of his rural rotation. It was a great learning experience mentored by engaging rural GPs, who were providing cradle-to-grave care.

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Michael’s special interests

As a quintessential rural generalist, Michael has special interests in a wide number of important areas. This includes women’s health, dermatology and skin cancer surgery. As well as medical education, palliative care, residential aged care. Plus inpatient care and accident and emergency medicine. Michael is also a Senior Lecturer at University of Queensland School of Medicine (Rural Clinical School).

Community

Michael loves the community of Beaudesert. It’s one of the closest bits of the country to a major capital. Surrounded by natural beauty and blessed with great local produce. “Too near and yet too far” he says of the community that always pulls together in times of need.

Family

Michael’s wife is a paediatric Occupational Therapist self-employed in private practice in Beaudesert. Their three sons grew up locally, attending local primary school and local or metro high schools. One is engaged in local Scouting and Lions. One is at James Cook University graduate working as a doctor in Cairns. While another is studying at University of Queensland, also with a view to a medical career.

Interests

The family also have a busy kelpie/border-collie dog, some chickens, and occasional stray livestock. When he has time, Michael loves photography. Many of the photos of Rural Doctors Foundation events are often the work of Michael.  He also enjoys some occasional astronomy and supporting scouting.

“I value the strength of rural communities, and how they embrace and support rural doctors and their families.”

Professor
Tarun Sen Gupta

Treasurer | Townsville

MBBS FRACGP FACRRM PhD

Professor Tarun Sen Gupta has been a medical practitioner for 35 years. He is also an unwavering advocate for high quality education and training in rural and remote healthcare. Tarun is currently Professor of Health Professional Education at James Cook University (JCU) College of Medicine and Dentistry in Townsville. As well as the Head of Clinical School at JCU. His early career began in the town of Richmond in North Queensland, where he worked as a GP during the late 1980’s and 90’s. Before he started practicing there, he had never heard of Richmond, nor been to North Queensland. After 30 years, he still lives there, so you could say he fell in love with the place.

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Tarun’s background

For the past 26 years, Tarun has had a special focus on rural and remote medical education. In particular, policy, governance, assessment, and education. He has also contributed over 30 years to governing rural health organisations at a local, state, and national level.

Roles

  • Chair of the Assessment Committee, Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (2012 – present)
  • Co-Director and Training Advisor, Queensland Rural Generalist Pathway (2007 – present)
  • Deputy Chair of the Academic Board, James Cook University (2015 – 2019)
  • Director of RDAA (2015 – 2018)
  • Treasurer of RDAQ Inc (2017 – present)
  • President of RDAQ Inc (2014 – 2015)

Tarun was a founding Director of RDAQ Foundation Ltd in 2014. He has served as Treasurer since 2015. Currently, he is Chair of the Finance, Risk, and Investment Committee.

Family and interests

Over the years Tarun has travelled to every corner of Queensland. He enjoys rural communities, rural landscapes, and the company of rural doctors. When he’s not changing the face of rural education, he has his feet up watching sport or reading. Or you may find him out walking his dogs, or wining and dining his wife, Wendy.

Tarun has two children, one of whom is an intern at Townsville University Hospital. And he is also looking to rural generalist medicine as a career.

Dr Susan Masel

Secretary | Goondiwindi

MBBS DRANZCOG FRACGP FARGP (Anaes) DACSCM

“In rural medicine, I can never tell what is going to happen next, so it is impossible to get bored.”

Dr Susan (Sue) Masel has been living and working in Goondiwindi in western Queensland for 25 years. She is incredibly connected to the town. Sue is a rural GP and is currently Medical Superintendent of the Goondiwindi Hospital. As well as Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service. Passionate about bringing more skilled people to rural medicine, Sue is also a medical educator and advocate for innovative training for rural teams. Whilst Sue grew up in Brisbane, as a medical student, she had placements in Tara and Proserpine. This gave her a taste for rural generalist practice that would see her devote her entire career to it. Sue says Goondiwindi is a town which is welcoming of new people, and not afraid of new ideas, while retaining a strong sense of itself.

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Sue’s roles

Sue has contributed over 20 years to governing state and national rural health bodies as well as rural medical training, including:

  • President of RDAQ Inc (2013 – 2014)
  • Medical Educator and Rural Supervisor Liaison Officer for GPTQ (2005 – present)
  • Queensland representative for RDAA (2018 – present)
  • Member of the Gundy Muster Organising Committee (ongoing)
  • Rural Generalist trainer on RG workshops
  • Trainer at CRuSE courses
  • Part time Medical Educator with General Practice Training Qld (GPTQ) – involves mandatory CME on medical education and supervision and teaching of Rural Registrars in local training node
  • GP Supervisor Goondiwindi Medical Centre
  • PROMPT trainer on Goondiwindi Hospital team

Focus

Recently, Sue has enjoyed incorporating Intern placements into the Goondiwindi Medical Service Model. She has special interests in skin cancer medicine and Anaesthetics.

Sue graduated with a MBBS at the University of Queensland in 1994. After which she completed a Diploma of Obstetrics through RANZCOG at the Logan hospital in 1996. Subsequently she completed a fellowship of Advanced Rural General Practice Anaesthetics. She travelled overseas, completing 6 months of volunteer work with MSF in Sri Lanka. Sue is a Founding Director of RDAQ Foundation (now Rural Doctors Foundation).

Family and interests

Sue counts herself lucky to work with her husband, who is also a talented rural GP. Together they have four children, growing into adults she is also proud to call her friends. In her spare time, she loves getting out in the garden, or doing something fun with her family.

Dr Tony Brown

Director | Roma

MBBS MHA FACRRM FRACGP Adv Dip RANZCOG GAICD

“The rural and remote folk of Australia are the backbone of this country.”

Dr Anthony (Tony) Brown has been a rural and remote generalist for over 30 years. Tony was attracted to rural medicine because he loves the down to earth nature of rural people. He enjoys making a difference to their health outcomes. Passionate about improving First Nations health, he was also up until recently, the Executive Director of Medical Services for Torres and Cape Hospital. Tony moved into governance and policy to be able to help change outcomes on a broader scale. While still caring for individuals. He believes we should address the inequity in access, resourcing, and outcomes that he sees in his community. Tony is passionate about helping communities and rural health professionals find solutions for their own health service delivery.

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Tony’s background

For 22 years Tony was a Practice Principal in rural Victoria. Following this, he moved to North Queensland. Here he took up a position as the Hinterland Hub Medical Superintendent for Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service. Tony has recently moved to Roma from the Torres Strait. He loves being a true generalist, serving the needs of his community. It’s this ability to change health outcomes that Tony thinks is the best thing about rural medicine, so you can really make a difference. Tony has special interests in Obstetrics, Medical Administration and Sports Medicine.

Contributions

Tony has served as a Director of Rural Doctors Foundation Ltd since 2016. Currently, he is also Chair of the Grants for Good Health Assessment Panel. He has also served as a member, director, or chair for a range of organisations. This includes rural and remote Queensland and Victorian public and community organisations and committees including:

  • Executive member of the Queensland Clinical Senate (2017 – present)
  • Chair of the Statewide Rural & Remote Clinical Network (present)
  • Member of the Statewide Maternity and Neonatal Clinical Network (2017 – present)

Family and interests

Tony is incredibly proud of his family. His wife Ruth Stewart is the Rural Health Commissioner. They also have four children. Hamish, an Electron Microscope expert.  Duncan, who has also been inspired to enter Rural General Practice. Grace, who is an Olympic road cyclist. And Lachlan, a mathematician. In his spare time, Tony enjoys the great outdoors and also loves remote adventuring.

Dr Raymond Lewandowski

Director | Innisfail

MD, FAAFP, FACRRM

“I enjoy being part of a community, knowing your patients and being involved in their lives, not just as a doctor.”

Dr Raymond Lewandowski (or RT as we like to call him) has been practicing in rural health for 22 years. Firstly, in rural America and now in rural Australia. What attracted RT to rural medicine was being able to use the full scope of his training. A rural generalist role gives him the opportunity to make a difference in a community he can be involved in. RT worked as a Senior Medical Officer and Medical Superintendent in Kingaroy. After that time he took a position as Senior Medical Officer in Innisfail. More recently he was also appointed as Senior Medical Officer for Cairns Base Hospital. RT feels that health should be a right for all people. He is excited about the potential to fill some of the gaps that exist in healthcare for rural communities.

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RT’s background

Raymond trained in medicine in the United States and fell in love with Australia and rural healthcare in 2008. It was at this time he attended a year’s sabbatical. After moving to Australia in 2011, he obtained a fellowship with Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine.

RT completed his Bachelor of Science at University of Texas South Western and his Bachelor of Medicine. Then studied his post doctorate at the University of Arkansas. RT remains a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Practice, and a Diplomat of the American Board of Family Medicine.

Focus

RT has obtained advanced skills in operative obstetrics and endoscopy. This sees him travel to both Cairns and Innisfail Hospitals as a Senior Medical Officer.

He is passionate about bringing more practitioners to rural Australia. RT has lectured at the Griffith University School of Medicine, as well as the University of Queensland School of Medicine Rural Clinical School. As well, he was Principal Examiner for The Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine’s (ACRRM) Structured Assessment Using Multiple Patient Scenarios (StAMPS) exam. He was recently appointed to Rural Doctors Foundation’s Board as the outgoing Chair of RDAQ.

Community

RT loves living in beautiful Innisfail, a town sitting at the junction of 2 rivers and the ocean. The Art Deco capital of Queensland, it has iconic buildings and bridges. He says the predominantly farming community (banana, sugar cane and pawpaw) has a good community spirit. As well, there are all kinds of activities for all age groups.

Family and interests

In his spare time, RT loves camping and spending time with his wife, away from the hustle and bustle of life. He enjoys getting out into nature and enjoying God’s creation of rainforests and waterfalls in his local area. RT’s wife is a nurse who is also committed to rural medicine with a range of skills and experiences. Her passion is in Emergency medicine. Currently, she works in the Emergency Department of Innisfail Hospital.

RT and his wife also like to take the local medical students under their wing, hosting a dinner and game night every Monday night.  Their son works as a computer programmer in Melbourne. Their daughter is a 3rd year medical student at James Cook University, studying to be a rural doctor.

RT is one of 6 children. Perhaps that’s why he values community so much. His father is a professor of medical genetics in Virginia.

Rohan McPhee

Director | Brisbane

BA/LLB (Hons), GDLP

“I grew up in a rural community in a medical family, so I know what it is like to live in a rural community and have seen up close the challenges faced by rural doctors – often acting as the GP, specialist, counsellor and confidant for their patients.”

Rohan McPhee was born in Emerald in Central Queensland and grew up in a rural medical family. Rohan’s father is a local GP in Emerald. His mother manages the practice. As a non-medico director who has a long association with the rural health industry, Rohan brings a unique point of view and skillset. Rohan spent 11 years in Emerald as Managing Director of an IT company. During this time, he developed an affinity with rural and remote Queensland. Rohan is currently a practicing Solicitor primarily in the field of commercial litigation and dispute resolution. He also has extensive experience in politics. Importantly, he is incredibly motivated to help improve health outcomes in regional communities.

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Rohan’s background

In 2008 Rohan started an IT consulting business. This was in response to the high demand for quality IT services in the Central Queensland region. McPhee IT provided support for small to medium business clients throughout Queensland in a range of industries. Including the health care sector. A key focus of the business was to develop innovative solutions. Those solutions helped businesses overcome the technical challenges associated with being in rural and remote areas. Particularly where reliable internet was previously unavailable. During that time, Rohan built strong relationships with several GP clinics throughout central and western Queensland.

Looking for a career change, he restructured the business around a small number of key clients. In 2014 he relocated to Brisbane. Since then, Rohan has held roles with several law firms and with the Federal Government. This includes serving as the Chief of Staff to the Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management.

Focus

Rohan graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law (First Class Honours) from UQ in 2019. He has been practising as a solicitor with King & Wood Mallesons since 2020. Primarily in dispute resolution and litigation.

Interests

Like many kids growing up in rural areas, Rohan has always played a sport (and still does). He’s a self-confessed cricket tragic and so, he still plays as often as he can. He also likes to get up in the air when he has time. Rohan has held his pilot’s license since 2007.

Liam R. O’Brien

Director | Brisbane

MAppFIN, GAICD

“Rural medicine is uniquely Australian and to some extent reflects our country’s most attractive and iconic characteristics. It is caring, indiscriminate, ingenious, hardworking, and relentless.”

As someone with a background in business and finance, Liam O’Brien believes Australia is healthy when rural communities are at their healthiest. Both physically and economically. Rural communities foster our country’s dominant economic drivers of mining, energy, and agriculture. He believes it is important to encourage rural communities to recognise their own health requirements. As well as work towards adequate resourcing to provide them.

Whilst he lives in Brisbane, Liam has the benefit of exposure to a large and diverse set of agricultural businesses across Australia. So, he has an affinity with rural people. He says the relationship with rural communities is warm and authentic. He considers all of them as part of his community. Liam did not know everything about rural medicine before his appointment to Director. However, since immersing himself in the role, the intricacies of rural medicine have left a lasting impression on him. So he is incredibly enthusiastic about making a difference.

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Liam’s background

Liam has a Master of Applied Finance and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). His executive management experience was gained in some of Queensland and Australia’s iconic companies. These included QR Limited, Suncorp and SAI Global. Liam is currently:

  • Non-executive, independent Chair of AAM Investment Group since 2017 (AAM is an agricultural fund and asset manager).
  • A subject matter expert for GRC Solutions (e-learning and compliance trainers).
  • Founder and Managing Director of W. Wightman Advisory.
  • Key advisor to CopperString 2.0 (connecting Mount Isa and the North West Minerals
  • Province to the National Electricity Grid).
  • Key advisor to the Museum of Underwater Art in Townsville.

He has also been involved in the governance of several investment businesses. Newground Funds Management, Silver Square, and Harvest Property.

Family and interests

Liam and his wife Josephine have 2 children, Robert (two and a half) and Sophia (one and a half). When they can, they love to get out on the road. They enjoy travelling through Queensland rural and remote areas. It’s great to watch the country change around them, and experience the nuance of each town along the way.

Amanda Roser

Director | Rockhampton

BBus (Acc), MBA

“Australia needs farmers. We need rural and remote communities and I have a passion for assisting in the impacts of retention of all health professionals in the regions.”

Up until recently, Amanda Roser might have lived in South-East Queensland, but her heart has always been in the country. Amanda was born in Central Queensland and lived in Rockhampton until she was 19. She has recently moved back to Rocky, missing the small community. Where the people and lifestyles are different to the city. To Amanda, community connection is important. She values being able to have an impact for the good of the community. When it comes to healthcare, Amanda believes every community has the right to it. She has extensive experience in health, medical education and the University Sector. And is passionate about using it to further the cause of rural and remote health equities.

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Amanda’s background

Amanda was Manager of the School of Medical Science at Griffith University up until 2021. Prior to this she was Manager of Operations in General Practice Training at James Cook University. Amanda has considerable experience in the management of regionally distributed programs, Particularly those that remain responsive to local community needs.

Her experience has given Amanda a good awareness of the issues in rural and remote regions. She understands the importance of health workforce sustainability in regional, rural, and remote Australia.

Amanda has a Bachelor of Business from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). As well as a Master’s in Business Administration from the Australian Institute of Management Australia. She has completed the Company Directors Course from the Australian Institute of Company Directors. As well, she has a certificate in Governance & Risk Assessment and is an Accredited Change Manager.

Community and family

Although not a doctor, Amanda thinks rural medicine is special. She sees the importance of a tight-knit community to have doctors with a diverse range close by. That way, they are not having to travel thousands of kilometres to a doctor or city that they are unfamiliar with.

In her spare time, Amanda loves helping the kids with the horses at pony club and long walks along the beach. She also enjoys family holidays (with no Wi-Fi!).

Fran Avon

General Manager | Brisbane

BA Information Science

“Having travelled extensively around Australia and spending two years in the Northern Territory, I have seen first-hand the remoteness of this vast land.  I have also witnessed the resilience, strength and optimism of people who live in rural and remote communities. It is a privilege to be able to help these communities in whatever way I can”.

Fran Avon was appointed to the role of General Manager for Rural Doctors Foundation in February 2021. This was to help build awareness for the great cause of rural and remote healthcare. Fran has worked for several prominent non-profit and community service organisations. So she is an incredibly experienced CEO, fundraiser, and marketer. For Fran, it was an easy decision to join a much needed and respected organisation such as Rural Doctors Foundation. One that refers to itself as a “family.” Seeing the commitment, care and love that is shown for each person by the members, staff and volunteers who form the core of the organisation. Fran’s vision is to help as many people as possible have a better chance of living a long and healthy life in the country.

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Fran’s focus

Since joining Rural Doctors Foundation, Fran has taken up the cause with fervour. Her primary focus is growing the Foundation. Developing long-term sustainable income streams. By increasing the funding available to provide grants to rural doctors and communities, Rural Doctors Foundation can support more health initiatives. She is building a team of dedicated staff and volunteers to deliver on the mandate of the organisation.

Background

Fran has enjoyed a long career in several key roles in the non-profit sector. She spent 12 years at Wesley Mission in Sydney, working across key roles. Including General Manager for Community Engagement and Property and Executive Manager, Marketing, Fundraising and Volunteering.  Fran’s passion for remote communities was ignited having spent two years in the Northern Territory. She was the CEO for St Vincent De Paul Society in Northern Territory.

Fran has also worked in marketing for the Publishing, Telecommunications and Technology sectors. As well as in a consultancy capacity for a major marketing agency in business transformation, change management and marketing roles.

Family

Fran is married to Ben, and they have two children who share their adventurous spirit. Their son, Jake chases the snow and is currently living in Jindabyne (with COVID putting a halt to his jet setting lifestyle). Their daughter, Grace is in the Royal Australian Air Force, currently based in Canberra.

A team of caring individuals, determined to make a difference.

We’re committed, caring, and connected to better health in rural and remote regions. We’ve been able to achieve great things so far. And we’re only just getting started! Find out some of the innovative ways we are creating change in the communities where we work and live.


What we do