Health Service Chief Executive

Dr Anthony Brown

Dr Anthony Brown

Dr Anthony Brown joined South West Hospital and Health Service (South West HHS) in August 2021. Previous to this he practiced as a rural generalist doctor for more than 30 years.

Anthony is a highly regarded senior executive with outstanding health sector knowledge and brings a wealth of experience in delivering quality healthcare. He has significant skills in primary health care, in Queensland, Victoria and the Northern Territory.

Throughout his career he has improved access to care in the rural and remote communities. He has done this by using his highly developed skills in strategy, collaboration and advocacy to build trusting relationships that deliver necessary outcomes. He has a genuine passion and commitment to address the gap in health outcomes for remote and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Executive Director Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Engagement

Shelley Lawton

Shelley is a proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman born in Charleville, a descendant of the Bidjara and Nwaigi people. She is proud to been born and educated in the heart of South West, and she counts herself lucky to have raised her children on Country, to which she has a profound spiritual connection.

Shelley will coordinate health reporting, investment and programs towards Closing the Gap, in addition to supporting the rollout of the South West HHS First Nations Health Equity Implementation Plan, the project she has been leading for the past 18 months, as well as providing leadership to our First Nation colleagues.

She has a strong connection with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the South West and is looking forward to building these relationships further in her new role.

Shelley is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the whole of the South West communities in general, her passion to transform the security of our communities and build health equity and prosperity for future generations through targeted actions.

Shelley’s desired commitment to working collaboratively to achieve these actions has already been evident by the way she has worked closely with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, communities, service providers and stakeholders across Queensland in particular South West where she has formed strong, trusting relationships.

Shelley has a keen interest and personal dedication to helping make a positive difference in the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and all those who live in rural and remote communities.

Shelley’s motto is “Our communities are at the heart of our ability to live safe, happy and healthy lives, even if we do live in rural and remote Queensland”.

Executive Director
Finance, Infrastructure and Corporate Services

Linda Patmore

Linda joined the South West in May 2023. She brings to the great South West HHS 22 years’ experience in senior roles within the Queensland public health system having had a variety of leadership, management, and technical skills across the full range of financial services.

Linda has worked in several other Hospital and Health Services including Metro North and South, Clinical and Statewide Services, and most recently as the Director, Financial Business Partnering Finance Branch for the Department of Health (former Health Support Queensland and eHealth).

Her extensive experience at these organisations includes key activities in departmental and hospital funding, activity reporting, meeting KPIs and financial governance, compliance and assurance.

Executive Director
Medical Services and Clinical Governance

Dr Carl de Wet

Dr de Wet comes to us with over 22 years of extensive healthcare experience, having held a variety of roles in the field.

He has demonstrated a strong commitment to patient safety, clinical governance, and collaboration, making him a valuable addition to our team.

His impressive background includes leadership as the Clinical Director of Specialist Medical Services for the Gold Coast HHS where he played a pivotal role in medical leadership and patient care.

During the COVID-19 pandemic he was the Primary Care Lead for Queensland’s state-wide response and liaised between Queensland Health,

various committees, the State Health Emergency Co-ordination Centre and primary care stakeholders.

Carl has a passion for patient safety and has led the design, implementation, and evaluation of a wide range of initiatives, tools, and resources to improve clinical governance and care quality.

His goals align with our South West values and he is looking forward to inspiring, innovating and improving the quality of healthcare to increase the wellness of consumers, communities and clinicians and to contribute towards sustainable excellence as a clinical leader.

Executive Director
Nursing and Midwifery Services

Chris Small

Chris Small

Chris joined the Executive Leadership Team in 2009. Previous to this he was the Director of Nursing and Facility Manager of Mitchell Multipurpose Health Service from 2001.

Chris holds the function of the Chief Operating Officer for South West HHS facilities and as the Executive Director Nursing and Midwifery Services provides professional leadership for all nurses and midwives for the HHS .

Chris is a passionate rural and remote nurse. He has dedicated his time in the South West to improving the nursing and midwifery profession,

improving facility design and person centred services that support our team’s role in the consumer’s health journey.

Hospital trained before achieving a Bachelor of Nursing, Chris holds 4 Graduate Certificates and has completed a Masters in Business Administration.

Chris is driven to:

  • improve person-centred care
  • improve access to services
  • applying improvement science to ensure that services are codesigned with consumers to meet the highest quality.

Executive Director, People and Culture

Katie Eckersley

Katie Eckersley

Katie joined South West HHS in October 2022. She brings significant leadership experience working in organisations with a focus on enabling the delivery of exceptional health care and service performance.

Katie is a dedicated leader focused on enabling performance and continuous improvement with expertise in:

  • strategy development
  • operational execution
  • workforce and leadership development
  • managing complex change.

Katie is committed to meaningful stakeholder engagement and collaboration with an ability to create and strengthen positive and effective teaming environments.

An experienced leader, Katie:

  • supports the achievement of organisational and service key performance indicators
  • strengthens workforce and stakeholder engagement
  • builds collaborative processes and shared success.

Executive Director
Primary and Community Care

Rebecca Greenway

Rebecca Greenway

Rebecca has a passion for rural and remote nursing having lived and worked in these areas for over twenty years.

Growing up on a sheep and cattle property in the Augathella District, and being educated through the School of Distance Education in conjunction with School of The Air Charleville, the welfare and sustainability of rural communities has always been a priority and passion for Rebecca.

The untimely death of her Father, from a potentially preventable condition, has inspired her to build a career in health, and ensure the health and wellbeing of rural people, is equitable and contemporary.

Rebecca has held various nursing positions across the South West including the Director of Nursing at Morven and Augathella and more recently, the Service Director of Primary and Community Care in Charleville.

Rebecca also enjoyed a sabbatical in the United Kingdom, working in stem cell transplant at the University College Hospital in London and as a Medic in the Shetland Islands.

Most recently, Rebecca has performed the role of Health Incident Controller for the South West HHS. This role has been pivotal in managing both the strategic and operational response for Covid-19 in the South West Region.

Executive Director Allied Health

Helen Wassman

Helen Wassman

Helen is a highly skilled healthcare leader and a senior occupational therapist with more than 30 years’ experience. She has vast hands-on clinical experience across acute, sub-acute and community healthcare in both the private and public sectors, and has worked extensively in tertiary hospitals and in regional healthcare settings.

Helen is also an experienced leader with a strong track record in developing, implementing and managing innovative models of care to improve access to timely and effective health services. She is an agile and strategic leader, frequently applying her high-level project management and analytical skills to inspire teams, and evaluate and streamline service delivery.

Helen is especially interested in the evolution of digital capability in healthcare.

She recognises the direct benefits of leveraging virtual care technology such as telehealth to augment face-to-face client centred healthcare to allow inclusive care closer to home , particularly for those in regional areas. She is unwavering in her passion for ensuring rural and remote healthcare is multidisciplinary, innovative and sustainable, and that the patient experience is always at the centre of quality healthcare.

Helen also believes in partnering with consumers to co-design service delivery and prevention models of care and programs that support overall health and wellbeing of rural and remote communities.

Helen joined South West HHS in 2011 and for the past five years has represented the health service on the Queensland Clinical Senate and Statewide Rural and Remote Clinical Network.

Executive Director Governance, Strategy and Performance

Leigh Burton

Leigh  Burton

Leigh is a highly experienced Physiotherapist who has spent the majority of his career focussed on delivering and improving care to Rural communities across Queensland, having worked both clinically and in management roles across 4 Rural & Remote HHSs.

With extensive experience across the care continuum from acute and sub-acute care to chronic disease management and Aged Care, he has great knowledge of legislation, policy and contemporary governance to support Allied Health Clinicians deliver safe and effective care to our communities.

Leigh is also a Board Director with Services for Australian Rural & Remote Allied Health (SARRAH) and has spent much of the past 6 years working to develop and implement sustainable workforce models. In 2019 Leigh completed a Fellowship in Heathcare Improvement and this has fuelled his passion for thinking outside the box to improve healthcare quality, safety and equity for our communities.

As the Allied Health professional lead for South West HHS, Leigh is committed to ongoing professional development, collaboration with our community providers and consumers, and empowering Allied Health clinicians to be at the cutting edge of health service delivery.

Chief Information Officer

Helen Murray

Helen Murray

Helen has had a passion for all things health and IT for over 25 years. With a solid track record in delivery from her first project role implementing HBCIS through to delivering innovative technologies in rural and remote Queensland.

Helen led the highly successful, ‘The Viewer’ program which has won awards such as the 2015 Excellence in eGovernment Award for the Gov2.0 category, 2013 and 2014 Australia Day Award, and 2012 Queensland iAwards State Merit Recipient.

As one of the founding members of the National E-Health Transition Authority (now Australian Digital Health Agency), Helen was instrumental in establishing many of the key building blocks necessary for My Health Record and has held senior roles in private industry delivering some of Australia and New Zealand’s first nurse-led triage call centres after spending several years with NHS Scotland.

In recognition of her commitment to better healthcare through innovative technology she was the recipient of the 2011 Women in Technology Professional Award and in 2014 Women in Technology Outstanding ICT Achievement award and named as the Women in Technology ICT Ambassador for 2014.

Originally from the Darling Downs, Helen is a practising Registered Nurse of over 30 years with both hospital-based and tertiary qualifications, including a Bachelor of Nursing and a Graduate Certificate of Information Technology. Helen brings extensive experience as a Company Director serving on several not-for-profit Boards and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Last updated: March 2024