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About Us

There is a lot under the HealthWISE umbrella.  

Programs and services at HealthWISE support the care of the community at every stage of life, from speech pathology services for children to healthy ageing programs for older Australians. 

We are committed to creating healthier communities as a specialist provider of rural and remote services across the New England North West of NSW & southern QLD, ranging from primary and allied health, mental health, and Aboriginal health.  

We provide primary and allied health services where there are shortages or gaps and provide mental health services across the regions. Our staff also assist in coordinating specialist services where there are none or a specific need. We are also continually developing and providing Aboriginal health programs and services.  

We strive to change the mindset concerning health by improving access to opportunities to become healthy for those in our service area. We recognise the social determinants of health and the unique characteristics of our region. We believe every person can make choices that result in a healthier self – our purpose is to make those choices easier. 

Our Services

Our Vision, Purpose & Values

Vision

Healthier Communities

Purpose

Creating healthier communities

Values

Client Focus

We listen, deliver services to meet needs and seek to exceed expectations.

Empowerment

We build confidence and capabilities of staff and empower individuals towards a common goal of a healthier community.

Courage

We create an environment in which staff are focused and encouraged to advocate, take initiative and develop new ideas and processes.

Excellence

We give our best at all times in support of our colleagues and clients. We are flexible and learn from our experiences.

Our Story

New England North West Health Ltd (HealthWISE) is a ‘for purpose’ (not for profit), registered charity. Our purpose is creating better health for our communities. We provide primary health care programs and clinical services across the New England North West region of New South Wales and the Darling Downs and West Moreton regions of southern Queensland.

HealthWISE commenced operations in July 2015, with a team experienced in delivering primary health care programs and services. The organisation has expanded over the last seven years to a staff over 120, working from ten offices across two states.

HealthWISE is contracted to deliver services on behalf of the Australian Government, Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network, Darling Downs and West Moreton Primary Health Network, NSW Ministry of Health and NSW Rural Doctors Network.

HealthWISE delivers Aboriginal health, allied health, mental health and primary health care nursing services across the New England and North West regions of NSW. Integrated Team Care is funded in partnership with Armajun Aboriginal Health Service, Pius X Aboriginal Corporation and Walhallow Aboriginal Health Services. A Memory Assessment Program and Dementia carers support is delivered on the Tablelands (Armidale, Guyra and surrounds).

HealthWISE provides mental health services across the Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Southern Downs and South Burnett Local Government Areas through multiple programs including Social and Emotional Wellbeing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People; Lived Experience Psychosocial Support; Mental Health Clinical Care Co-ordination and Support 2 Be Me for older Australians. Integrated Team Care is provided in the Goondiwindi Local Government Area. Dietetic services are delivered in Ipswich, Toowoomba and surrounds, including outreach dietetic clinics.

Between 2022 and 2024, HealthWISE will be delivering mental health services, allied health services and community workshops to support individuals and communities affected by natural disasters in 17 QLD and NSW Local Government Areas.

Our Board

The HealthWISE Board is chaired by Ms Lia Mahony.

Ms Lia Mahony
Chair

BPharm (Hons), MClinPharm.
Ms Mahony is a Pharmacist based in Tamworth. She was appointed Chair in September 2015. She is also a Director on the Clinical Governance Committee.

Mr James Wallace

Bec. (ANU).
Mr Wallace is a business owner based in Tamworth. He was formerly a Partner with a large financial services firm and spent 25 years in the Finance industry. He was appointed a Director in January 2016 and is the Chair of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee.

Mr David Aber

BE, MLGM
Mr Aber has a background in local Council. He was appointed a Director in January 2016. He is a Director on the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee and Chair of the Corporate Governance Committee.

Dr Stephen Howle OAM

MBBS, FRACGP, DipPhysMed
Dr Howle is a recently retired GP based in Tamworth. He was appointed a Director in December 2014 and Chairs the Clinical & Cultural Governance Committee.

Ms Lynette Rickard

B.Sc, GradDipEd
Ms Rickard is the Executive Director Education and Skills - Digital at TAFE NSW and was appointed a Director in December 2014. She is a Director on the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee and Chair of Corporate Governance Committee.

Mr Stephen Doley

MBA, Member AICD, Adv Directors course
Mr Stephen Doley has an executive background working in large Not for Profit organisations. He was appointed a Director in June 2018. He is a Director on the Corporate Governance Committee and a Director on the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee.

Ms Ann Houston

MBA, GAICD, BEd
Ms Houston has an extensive background in management consultancy and is based in southern QLD. She was appointed a Director in February 2020 and is a Director on the Corporate Governance Committee.

Ms Nola Turner-Jensen

Ms Nola Turner-Jensenn is an Aboriginal Language Kinship historian from the Wiradjuri language group and Chair of 5 Bats Pty Ltd. A mother of 4 boys and 1 girl, Nola is a former Social Worker. Nola has been the lead researcher on the CultuRecode Project for the last six years– developing the Aboriginal IQ Training Program to reduce misunderstanding and Cognitive Bias between First Nation and Colonial Australian peoples. Nola is the content writer and e-learning designer over the last eight years for Crackerjack Education. Nola is one of only 6 Aboriginal people chosen across Australia to receive the Indigenous Knowledge Fellow in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education within the University of Melbourne for 2023/24 to continue her Language Pattern research with NSW Aboriginal communities. Nola is a director on the Clinical & Cultural Governance Sub-Committee.

Rachael Sowden

Board Trainee, PhD, Ed
Rachael joined our board as a trainee in 2022, she has held non-executive directors roles and state council membership of NSW P&C spokesperson, NSW Disability Council, and the NSW Carers Council as well as owning a training business on engagement and inclusive practices. She currently resides in Uralla but has lived across the HealthWISE footprint and has a particular interest in supporting mental health access and Aboriginal young adults in health crisis in our area. Her four adult children are Gamilaroi women and a young man.

Our Management Team​

Ms Fiona Strang, leads the executive team as Chief Executive Officer of the organisation. 

Ms Fiona Strang

Chief Executive Officer
Fiona leads the senior management team as Chief Executive Officer. She has over 30 years of experience in the primary health care field, and 20 years of experience in senior leadership positions including 13 years as CEO of the Barwon Division of General Practice. Ms Strang was appointed to the position of CEO of HealthWISE when it commenced operations in July 2015 and brings considerable knowledge and skills in governance, strategic and business planning, financial management, workforce development and program management.

Ms Sally Urquhart

Business Innovation Manager
Ms Sally Urquhart has extensive experience in project development and tender writing. With a background in Speech Pathology and an MBA Sally is experienced in communicating effectively with an audience and has a record of accomplishment in securing grant funding to deliver valuable initiatives to the local population. Sally leads the HealthWISE tender team and is responsible for establishing a fee-for-service offer of allied health services to the community.

Mr Jay Ramirez

Aboriginal Health Manager
Mr Jay Ramirez has a background in Health & Fitness and Project Management. Jay is committed to provide holistic and culturally appropriate services for and with Aboriginal communities. Through awareness, engagement and collaboration the Aboriginal Health team aim to deliver a unique and diverse lens that supports the Health and wellbeing of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Peoples through the Integrated Team Care Program, Indigenous Australians’ Health Programme and Indigenous Mental Health Program.

Ms Anne Williams

Integrated Care Manager
Ms Anne Williams has a background in Allied Health (Speech Pathology) and Project Management. Anne has the clinical knowledge, practical expertise and commitment to accountability to ensure effective delivery of the Mental Health, Allied Health, Primary Health Care Nursing, General Practice (GP) After Hours, Dementia assessment and carer support and Medical Specialist Outreach Services. She has 35 years of experience in allied health and primary and preventive health program management.

Ms Nicolette Randell

Finance Manager
Ms Nicolette Randell has had experience in the finance sector for 15 years in various roles. Since 2015 she has been responsible for the Finance Team. Nicolette plays a crucial role in our budget preparation, and is an integral part of the financial health of HealthWISE. Responsible to report the organisation’s financial position to the Finance Audit & Risk Committee, Nicolette mitigates any potential risks and also facilitates the annual financial audit and ensures compliance within the Company’s financial structure.

Ms Tanya Scales

Corporate Services Manager
Ms Tanya Scales has over 24 years’ experience in the operational management of both private businesses and non-government organisations. Tanya has led teams in Retail, Aboriginal Health and Allied Health, so comes with broad knowledge of business development and the diversity needed to thrive in an ever changing health environment. She has won a number of management awards in various businesses and has been a consultant in client service and management. Her strengths lie in business planning, training , change management , and risk management.

Mr Michael Gill

Information & Communication Technology Manager
Mr Michael Gill is a dedicated professional with 17 years of experience in the IT sector. With 10 years of experience supporting IT systems and processes within the Primary Health Care sector, he brings comprehensive Health IT knowledge to HealthWISE. Michael leads the IT team in developing and maintaining communication networks, infrastructure, and public and private cloud-based services utilised by HealthWISE, as well as integrating and adapting new and emerging technologies for use by the wider HealthWISE team. He has been instrumental in the start-up of our fee for service IT department, myTechWISE, which provides professional IT solutions to Primary Health Care providers in the HealthWISE footprint.

Ms Louise Ingall

Communications Manager
Ms Louise Ingall leads a geographically dispersed team. Louise has a background in client relations, economics and finance and is responsible for managing external and internal communications for teams across the organisation. In addition, Louise coordinates ‘The Exchange’ events across northern New South Wales and southern Queensland.

Ms Anne Galloway

Mental Health Manager
Ms Anne Galloway is a Credentialed Mental Health Nurse with a career in mental health which has spanned acute and primary mental health roles as well as incorporating education and evolving digital developments. Anne has fulfilled clinical and management roles and is passionate about equality of access to mental health support and rural mental health workforce development to provide services that match community needs. Anne in located in Tamworth, and manages a diverse mental health workforce providing services in the New England North West regions of NSW and the Darling Downs West Moreton regions in QLD.

Eurah – Medicine Tree

HealthWISE acknowledges the value, diversity and integrity of Aboriginal art, culture and expression as an integral part of Australian heritage. We respect the work of artists, their aspirations and expressions. Each HealthWISE office, displays a copy of “Eurah – Medicine Tree” by Rod McIntosh, an Aboriginal artist of the Kamilaroi tribe. This work was commissioned by HealthWISE as a visual representation of wellness and was inspired by the HealthWISE Vision “Healthy Communities”.

Company Information​

Company Name: New England North West Health Ltd. 

Trading Name: HealthWISE New England North West

Legal Status: Company Limited by Guarantee

Registered Address: 213 Peel Street TAMWORTH NSW 2340

Company Details: ABN 48 603 486 442   ACN 603 486 442
Registered for GST, Not for Profit and Charitable
Status, Gift Recipient Status