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The North West Hospital and Health Board is responsible for the governance activities of the North West Hospital and Health Service, deriving its authority from the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011 and the Hospital and Health Boards Regulation 2012. The Board, through the Chair, reports to the Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services.
There is a clear distinction between the strategic role of the Board and the operational role of the Executive. The Board oversees the service for which it is established, whilst the Chief Executive and leadership team are responsible for implementing the Board’s directions and for the day-to-day management of the service.
The North West Hospital and Health Board comprises nine independent members who draw upon their individual skills and experience to set the strategic direction of the health service and deliver on key priorities for our communities.
Cheryl Vardon AO
Board Chair, Executive Committee ChairRead Bio
Professor Eleanor Milligan
Board Deputy Chair, Safety and Quality Committee Chair, Executive Committee MemberRead Bio
Board Member, Finance and Performance Committee Chair, Audit and Risk Committee Member, Stakeholder Engagement Committee MemberRead Bio
Board Member, Stakeholder Engagement Committee Chair, Executive Committee Member, Finance and Performance Committee MemberRead Bio
Board Member, Safety, Quality and Clinician Engagement Committee Member, Audit and Risk Committee Member, Stakeholder Engagement Committee MemberRead Bio
Dr Marco Giuseppin
Board Member, Audit and Risk Committee Chair, Safety, Quality and Clinician Engagement Committee Member, Executive Committee MemberRead Bio
Board Member, Stakeholder Engagement Committee MemberRead Bio
Board Member, Executive Committee Member, Finance and Performance Committee MemberRead Bio
Board Member, Finance and Performance Committee Member, Safety, Quality and Clinician Engagement Committee Member, Audit and Risk MemberRead Bio
Dr Mellissa Naidoo
Board Member, Safety, Quality and Clinician Engagement Committee Member, Audit and Risk Committee MemberRead Bio
Cheryl Vardon AO
Board Chair, Executive Committee Chair
Cheryl Vardon AO led the creation of a contemporary Children’s Commission as the inaugural Chief Executive and Principal Commissioner of the Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC). She left the role in December 2021 after more than six years.
Cheryl has a distinguished career in education, community and children’s services developing complex public policy, with a sound track record of leadership and expertise in policy implementation. In 2018 Griffith University awarded Cheryl an Honorary Doctorate of the University for her community work. Cheryl is also lead ambassador for Children’s Rights Queensland.
She is an experienced reviewer of systems and services using case studies and stories to influence and change system and policy directions.
She has held Chief Executive, Director-General and senior leadership positions in a variety of private, public and not-for-profit organisations across several states.
Currently Cheryl is Chair of the Queensland Child Death Review Board which reviews the deaths of Queensland’s vulnerable children.
Cheryl has held board and university council positions and statutory roles on tribunals and commissions including the Social Security Appeals Tribunal and the Commonwealth Safety and Rehabilitation Compensation Commission.
She has been a member of an expert advisory group for the Australian Institute of Family Studies and a member of the Teachers’ Disciplinary Appeals Board for the Victorian Education and Early Childhood Development Department.
Cheryl is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a Fellow of the Australian College of Education. She also is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Her work in Indigenous education and services for Indigenous children and young people has received a Prime Minister’s Reconciliation Award.
In 2017 Cheryl participated in an executive education course at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, studying case teaching and case writing for public policy. She has degree level qualifications in Arts and Education.
Professor Eleanor Milligan
Board Deputy Chair, Safety and Quality Committee Chair, Executive Committee Member
Professor Eleanor Milligan is an experienced, solution focused leader with recognised local, state, and national outcomes in health practitioner regulation/education, organisational governance/culture, healthcare and research ethics, health program and facility accreditation. Her multidisciplinary background in Humanities (Ethics - PhD, BA-Hons 1st), Education (Grad Dip Ed) and Biomedical Science (BSc-Micro/Biochemistry), coupled with Fellowship of the Australian College of Health Service Managers ( FCHSM CHE) and GAICD qualifications bring diverse and comprehensive skills in strategic leadership and stakeholder engagement across the education, health and government sectors.
A collaborative and innovative thinker with a strong commitment to accountability, she brings broad experience to NWHHB through her multiple statutory appointments including the Medical Board of Australia, the Australian Medical Council, NHMRC Australian Health Ethics and Audit Committees and most recently Metro South Hospital and Health Board.
Board Member, Finance and Performance Committee Chair, Audit and Risk Committee Member, Stakeholder Engagement Committee Member
Bill is an experienced non-executive director, senior executive and chartered accountant. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
His current roles include:
- Director Railways Credit Union Limited trading as MOVE Bank
- Director CEnet Limited
- Director EmpireTheatres Pty Ltd
- Chair Heritage Charitable Foundation Limited
- Independent Chair Inner Darling Downs Community Consultative Committee for Inland Rail.
The board roles have included membership of and chair of board committees including finance, audit, risk, compliance and remuneration and succession.
Other board roles have included a private P to 12 girls school, a small Lenders’ Mortgage Insurer and committees of various not-for-profit entities.
His executive roles have included Company Secretary/Assistant CEO of Heritage Bank (16 years), Company Secretary of the Ergon Energy group (5 years). Prior to the executive roles he was with KPMG for over 18 including 7.5 years as a partner in the Tax Consulting division. These roles have had a broad remit and have included governance, risk management, compliance, internal audit, lending, facilities, taxation and corporate regulation.
Board Member, Stakeholder Engagement Committee Chair, Executive Committee Member, Finance and Performance Committee Member
Cath is a proud Wiradjuri First Nations woman, born on Dharug Country and now living and working on Quandamooka Country, Southern Moreton Bay Islands, Queensland.
Cath is the Chair of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre; Chair of the Dhawura Ngilan Business and Investor Initiative; Chair of NSW Treasury First Nations Advisory Council; and a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
She is also the Executive Lead for First Nations engagement at Lendlease where she has led the development of three Reconciliation Action Plans, including their current Elevate RAP. Cath has more than 30 years of property, infrastructure and construction industry management experience at both project and corporate level.
Board Member, Safety, Quality and Clinician Engagement Committee Member, Audit and Risk Committee Member, Stakeholder Engagement Committee Member
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 more recently tertiary education.
Linda has previously presented to national and international conferences in the area of Aboriginal Health and Mental Health. In May 2021, Linda was appointed Senior Academic Lead, Allied Health at the Centre for Rural and Remote Health at James Cook University, Mount Isa. She is the current Vice President of the Australian Association of Social Work and in January 2021 was appointed as the Australia representative for the International Federation of Social Work (IFSW) Indigenous Commission.
Dr Marco Giuseppin
Board Member, Audit and Risk Committee Chair, Safety, Quality and Clinician Engagement Committee Member, Executive Committee Member
Dr Marco Giuseppin is a Rural Generalist with a passion for Rural Health. Originally trained at the University of Queensland, Marco’s career has taken him throughout Rural and Regional Queensland in roles encompassing General Practice, Emergency Medicine, Retrieval Medicine and Anaesthesia. As Fellow of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and an advocate for primary health care on the national stage, Marco’s interests now lie in primary care strategy and governance.
Board Member, Stakeholder Engagement Committee Member
Fiona Hill is a proud First Nations woman of the Waluwarra, Alyawarra, Yirendali and Ngawun peoples of Australia.
Fiona has worked over 30 years in Government and the social and community services sector. Managing and delivering social programs and services with the community-controlled sector, the not-for-profit sector and government both in Mount Isa and Gulf communities of Doomadgee, Mornington Island and Normanton.
Fiona is currently living on Kalkadoon Country and is a recognised elder and well-respected person who is heavily involved in the local community. Her focus is largely on the social and community services sector, this has involved managing programs aimed at improving the lives of the social disadvantaged, their families, extended families and community.
Fiona continues to advocate for those experiencing homelessness, domestic and family violence and youth justice concerns in addition to the areas of Human Rights, Native Title, disability services, early years and health.
Board Member, Executive Committee Member, Finance and Performance Committee Member
David Keenan has worked in local government for over twenty-five years. David was previously the Chief Executive Officer at Mount Isa City Council and is the current Chief Executive Officer of Scenic Rim Regional Council. He has also had similar roles at Southern Downs Regional Council, Tweed Shire Council and Mitchell Shire Council. David holds a Masters of Business, as well as qualifications in town planning and environmental science.
David has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course and has been on the boards of peak bodies, such as the Local Government Managers Association (Queensland) as Vice President and the equivalent in Victoria, as well as Ministerial Advisory Committees and State Committees.
Board Member, Finance and Performance Committee Member, Safety, Quality and Clinician Engagement Committee Member, Audit and Risk Member
A Registered Nurse who has over 28 years service working in Rural and Remote Health in the North West Region, Jane McMillan brings to the Board a valuable connection to frontline healthcare service delivery and knowledge, experiencing first hand the community needs of rural and remote Queenslanders.
Jane and her husband are partners in a large scale beef cattle operation across the North West region, with experience in private business operations, finance and planning.
Jane knows the importance that availability to health services plays in maintaining a strong, sustainable region and has represented her community in local government and private business.
She has held numerous leadership roles which have enabled her to provide direction, be focused, efficient and economical whilst being accountable and understanding risk and compliance to manage business both in private and public sectors.
Jane loves living and working in the North West Region and is looking forward to the challenges ahead in providing a health service that works to improve health care outcomes for everyone in the North West of Queensland.
Dr Mellissa Naidoo
Board Member, Safety, Quality and Clinician Engagement Committee Member, Audit and Risk Committee Member
Dr Mellissa Naidoo is a specialist medical administrator with more than 20 years’ experience working in clinical, health leadership and medical executive roles across both the public and private sector. Mellissa holds a Masters in Health Management, dual fellowships with the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators and Australasian College of Health Service Management and certification in health informatics.
Having experienced healthcare from the perspectives of doctor, patient and carer, Mellissa is passionate about person partnered care and health innovation to support improved access and outcomes for all communities. An advocate for equity and inclusion, she is actively mentoring and training the next generation of diverse medical leaders through her college and university roles.