Board Members


Associate Professor Martin Jones

RN MSc D’Proff

Director, UDRH, University of South Australia, Whyalla, SA


Assoc Prof Jones has worked in the UK National Health Service, having pursued a career in mental health. He has specialist experience leading and developing services for people with serious mental illness.

Deputy Chair

Associate Professor Vincent Versace

BSc (Hons, H1) PhD

Director, Deakin Rural Health, Warrnambool Campus, Deakin University, VIC


Associate Professor Versace is committed to reducing rural health disparities.  Collaborating widely with academic institutions, NGOs and government departments, he seeks to contribute to high quality research through the robust application of biostatistics and spatial methods.


Mrs Christine Howard

Director, Three Rivers Department of Rural Health, Wagga Wagga NSW .


Christine has 30 years’ experience in rural health, with a background in nursing, midwifery and occupational rehabilitation before moving to executive management at the Riverina Division of General Practice in 2010.  This organisation became the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network covering 124,00 sq kms in sotuh west NSW. 

In her role as Director of Three Rivers UDRH, Christine is focused on expanding the number of allied health, nursing, midwifery and dentistry students living, stuyding and working in rural Australia.

Christine is also ARHEN’s representative on the National Rural Health Alliance Council. 


Professor Sabina Knight


Director, Mount Isa Centre for Rural and Remote Health, QLD


Professor Knight has an extensive background in remote and Indigenous primary health care, public health and education. She is a recognised leader in nursing, rural and remote health and education and health system reform.


Professor David Lyle


Head, Broken Hill UDRH, University of Sydney, NSW


Professor Lyle is a public health physician who has worked in senior positions in the NSW public health system and university sector since 1990. He has a track record of achievement in teaching, research and health services development.


Professor Lisa Bourke


Director, UDRH, Department of Rural Health, The University of Melbourne, Shepparton VIC.


Professor Bourke is a rural sociologist with almost 25 years experience as a social researcher in rural communities. Her research and community projects focus on the health and well-being of rural, remote and Aboriginal Australians, particularly young people. 



Professor Sandra Thompson

BSc(Med)(Hons) MB BS (Hons) PhD MPH FAFPHM Grad Dipl Health Management

Director, Western Australian Centre for Rural Health, Geraldton, WA


Professor Thompson has worked in the health industry for over 20 years in a variety of roles – as a medical practitioner, laboratory based researcher, public health researcher and epidemiologist, manager and public health practitioner.


Associate Professor Tony Barnett


Director, Centre for Rural Health, University of Tasmania, Launceston, TAS


Assoc Professor Barnett trained as a nurse in South Australia and has worked in a number of hospitals in both South Australia and Victoria. He has previously held senior academic positions at both Monash and Deakin Universities.


Professor Timothy A Carey

Dip T(Prim and Pre) Grad Dip Spec Ed (Sev/Prof) BA Hons MSc (Statistics) PhD (Clinical Psychology) FAPS GAICD

Director, Centre for Remote Health, Alice Springs, NT


Professor Carey is a clincial psychologist who has worked in primary care settings in the NHS in rural Scotland and in various mental health settings in rural and remote Australia.  This includes the public mental health service, drug and alcohol service, pain management service and an Aboriginal medical service. His research, teaching and clincial practice focus on flexible and responsive approaches to improving access to effective and efficient health care, underpinned by a theoretical framework of the phenomenon of control. Prof Carey has developed a transdiagnostic model of cognitive therapy called the Method of Levels and a model of health service delivery called Patient-Perspective Care.  In 2017, Prof Carey was a Fulbright Senior Scholar which enabled him to undertake a four month project at the Center for Behavioural Health Innovation at Antioch University, New England. The title of the project was ‘Improving the Health and Wellbeing of Remote Communities’. Prof Carey investigated the use of ongoing and embedded monitoring and evaluation to improve service delivery for underserved populations.  


Dr Susan Waller

BPhty MPhty Phd

Rural Nursing and Allied Health Lead, Monash Rural Health, Moe, Vic


Dr Waller is a physiotherapist with an academic interest in interprofessional education and practice. Her clinical experience has mostly been in paediatric disability and she was previously senior physiotherapist at a major disability service provider and an academic coordinator at the Rural Clinical School, Toowoomba. Susan has worked as a physiotherapist in rural locations in Queensland, WA, Victoria and Saudi Arabia. She is passionate about values based healthcare and collaboration in education and research. 


Professor Jennifer May AM


Director, University of Newcastle, Department of Rural Health, NSW


Professor May’s career has been focused on rural and remote health, with research interests in new models of general practice, primary health care integration and retention of the health workforce. She has lived and worked in the New England area of NSW since 1984 with a five year sojourn in the remote WA Pilbara region and two stints in rural British Columbia, Canada. She is a practicing GP and has an abiding interest in rural health policy. She is the RDAA representative on the NRHA (having been Chair 2008-2011) and is currently on the Australian National Advisory Committee on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ANACAD). She was named Telstra RDAA rural doctor of the year in 2014 and awarded an AM in recognition of her services to medicine, community health and education in 2016.


Dr Leesa Walker

Discipline Head Rural and Remote Health (SA), Flinders University


Dr Leesa Walker is a rural GP in Hamilton, Victoria and Discipline Head, Rural and Remote Health, SA, for Flinders University.  She is also academic coordinator of the Parallel Rural Community Curriculum, an internationally recognised longitudinal integrated clerkship where penultimate year medical students learn from rural doctors based in general practice. Her academic intersts include wellbeing of students and clinicians, community engaged medical education, progress testing and medical school selection processes.


Professor Ross Bailie


Director, University Centre for Rural Health, North Coast, Lismore, NSW


Professor Bailie is a public health physician who has worked as a GP and a  public health academic in New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. He has a strong record of applied health and health services and systems research, particularly in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander communities.


Associate Professor Geoff Argus

Bsc (Hons), MPsych (Clinical), MAPS, FCCLP

Director, Southern Queensland Rural Health


Assoc Prof Argus is a Clincial Psychologist and has worked extensively across the public, private and community health sectors in senior clinical and management roles. He is passionate about evidence based mental health service delivery in regional and rural communities, with a particular interest in the social determinants of health as they relate to chronic physical and mental health conditions.   


Associate Professor Lindy Swain

BPharm PhD

Director, Majarlin Kimberley Centre for Remote Health, Broome, WA


Associate Professor Swain is a pharmacist by profession and has an extensive background as a clinical academic.  She was previously Sydney University’s Allied Health Academic Lead at the Centre for Rural Health, Lismore and has a particular interest in improving medication management for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Her work has been influential in shaping the strategies of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia on Aboriginal and rural health.  Assoc Prof Swain was the Society’s Pharmacist of the Year in 2014 for her work in Aboriginal health.   

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Photos courtesy of UDRH students and staff