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2024 Victorian Rural Health Awards Finalists

Join us live on Thursday, 20 June 2024, 6 pm – 7 pm (AEST) to view the Victorian Rural Health Awards.

Announcing the Finalists for the Victorian Rural Health Awards 2024:

 Outstanding Contribution by a Rural Medical Specialist
  • Dr Peter Beggs, Mildura Base Public Hospital, Mildura
  • Dr Marlize Diederiks, Swan Hill District Health, Swan Hill
  • Dr Adam Straub, Grampians Health Service, Ballarat and Ballarat Community Health, Lucas
  • Dr Damien Cleeve, Bendigo Radiology, Castlemaine & Bendigo
  • Mr Adam Landau, Bairnsdale Regional Health Service, Bairnsdale
 Outstanding Contribution to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
  • Dr Stephen Tudge, East Gippsland Aboriginal Cooperative,  Bairnsdale & Ramahyuck Aboriginal Cooperative, Sale (visiting ENT surgeon)
  • Ms Shannon Balfour, Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative, Mooroopna
  • Ms Jaydene Burzacott, Bendigo District and Aboriginal Cooperative, Bendigo
  • Aboriginal Health Team, Grampians Health, Ballarat

Outstanding Contribution by a Rising Star 

  • Mr Ethan McGucken, Monash Rural Health Mildura & Mildura Base Public Hospital, Mildura
  • Miss Bethany Counsel, Uplift Therapy, Ballarat
  • Miss Kaitlyn Alfieri, Orbost Regional Health, Orbost
  • Mr Allan Marsh, Gateway Health, Wangaratta & Wodonga
  • Dr Ellie Bowditch, Great Ocean Road Health, Apollo Bay & Lorne Medical Centre, Lorne
  • Dr Felix Ritson, Lister House Clinic, Horsham

Outstanding Contribution by a Rural Multidisciplinary Health Team 

  • Ms Alison Lang and Team, Gippsland High Risk Foot Service (Latrobe Regional Health & Latrobe Community Health Service Victoria), Traralgon
  • Dr David Clark and Team, Mildura Base Public Hospital, Mildura
  • Mr Chandana Gangodagama and Team, Yarra Junction Medical Centre, Yarra Junction
  • Ms Ellie Flower and Team, Tallangatta Health Service, Tallangatta
  • Mrs Lorraine Coates and Team, Albury Wodonga Health – Pulmonary Rehabilitation Team, Wodonga Campus
  • Health and Wellbeing HUB, Grampians Health- Edenhope
  • PACE Team, Alpine Health, Alpine Shire and 3 partner private practices (Myrtleford, Bright, Mount Beauty)
Outstanding Contribution to Rural Allied Health
  • Mr Dean Mighell, The Path of the Horse, Trentham
  • Mrs Alice Liversidge, Nexus Primary Health, Broadford
  • Ms Ashleigh Maybery, Grampians Health, Edenhope
  • Ms Pamela Brown, Trauma Recovery Network, Gisborne
  • Miss Kaitlyn Alfieri, Orbost Regional Health, Orbost
  • Mr Tim Rayner, Grampians Health Horsham & Private services throughout Western Victoria
  • Mrs Rachel Rigbye, Neuro Spark Rehab, Shepparton
  • Ms Anna Lucchesi, Neuro Spark Rehab, Shepparton
  • Ms Georgina McLeod, Ambulatory Rehabilitation Team, Albury Wodonga Health – Wodonga Campus
  • Mrs Lorraine Coates, Albury Wodonga Health – Pulmonary Rehabilitation & Ambulatory Rehabilitation, Wodonga
  • Mrs Christa Chamberlain, Equip Physiotherapy and Pilates, Horsham
  • Mrs Sarah-Jayne Duryea, Happy Minds Psychology, Drysdale
  • Mrs Karen Tough, Lighthouse Mental Health, Bairnsdale
  • Ms Jessica Moller, Gippsland Lakes Complete Health, East Gippsland
  • Miss Jessica Southon, Active Podiatry, Echuca
  • Mr Shaun White, Active Podiatry, Echuca
  • Mr Mark Pavilach, Veteran’s Counselling Services, Mildura
  • Mrs Katrina Streatfeild, Streatfeild & Co Psychology, Lancefield

Outstanding Contribution to Rural Outreach Provision

  • Dr Stephen Tudge, East Gippsland Aboriginal Cooperative, Bairnsdale & Ramahyuck Aboriginal Cooperative, Sale
  • Dr David Evans, Centre for Excellence in Rural Sexual Health University of Melbourne, Shepparton
  • Mrs Deborah Hawthorne, Deborah Hawthorne Consultancy, Moorngag
  • Ms Anna Lucchesi, Neuro Spark Rehab, Shepparton

Outstanding Contribution to Rural Practice Management

  • Ms Merinda Harrison-Drake, Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative, Mooroopna
  • Mrs Alison Dajlan, Yarra Junction Medical Centre, Yarra Junction
  • Ms Mandy Farrelly, Great Ocean Road Health, Lorne
  • Ms Patricia (Pat) Ryder, Mount Beauty Medical Centre, Mount Beauty
  • Ms Suzanne Simpson, Inverloch Healthcare, Inverloch
  • Mrs Liz Dickson, Paynesville Medical Centre, Paynesville
  • Mrs Katrina Streatfeild, Streatfeild & Co Psychology, Lancefield

Outstanding Contribution by a Rural Health Consumer Advocate

  • Ms Sally Kendall, President of Ensay Bush Nursing Centre Committee of Management, Ensay Bush Nursing Centre, Ensay
  • Ms Nola Andrews, Volunteer Consumer Advocate, Mansfield District Hospital

Outstanding Contribution by a Rural Primary Care Nurse or Midwife

  • Mrs Lee-Anne Potter, Springs Medical Centre, Daylesford, Trentham & Kyneton
  • Mrs Tiarn Zanardo, Ambulatory rehabilitation team, Albury Wodonga Health Wodonga Campus, Wodonga
  • Ms Robyn Butler, Inverloch Healthcare, Inverloch

Outstanding Contribution by a Rural GP or Rural Generalist

  • Dr Sue Richardson, Western Regional Drug & Alcohol Centre (WRAD) Health, Warrnambool
  • Dr Margaret Garde, Active Health Portland, Portland
  • Dr Nadira Anis, Orbost Regional Health, Orbost
  • Dr Gamini Colombage, Yarra Junction Medical Centre, Yarra Junction
  • Dr Kingsley Rajasingham, Central Gippsland Family Practice, Moe
  • Dr Paul Molina Chavez, Wangaratta Medical Centre, Wangaratta
  • Dr Don Yapa, Mivo Park Medical Clinic, Cobram
  • Dr  David Wilson, Lister House Medical Clinic, Horsham
  • Dr Philip Worboys, Foster Medical Centre and South Gippsland Hospital, Foster
  • Dr Lucy Dobson, Anglesea Medical, Anglesea
  • Dr Kerryn Lownie, Tallangatta Health Service, Tallangatta
  • Dr Patrick Kinsella, Gippsland Lakes Complete Health, Lakes Entrance
  • Dr Sarah Smith, Inverloch Healthcare, Inverloch
  • Dr Hany Georgeos, Somerville Street Clinic, Flora Hill
  • Dr Timothy Fitzpatrick, Terang and Mortlake Health Services and Terang Medical Clinic, Terang
  • Dr Bala Kumar Pillai, Echuca Moama Family Medical Practice, Echuca
  • Dr Natasha Nogueira, Banksia Medical Centre, Torquay
  • Dr Jennifer Sanders, Tatura Medical Centre, Tatura
 Outstanding Contribution by a Mentor/Supervisor
  • Dr Dorothy Chua, Northeast Health, Wangaratta & Albury Wodonga Health, Wangaratta, Albury Wodonga Health, Wodonga
  • Dr Lee Chen Tay, Kyabram Regional Clinic, Kyabram
  • Dr Peter Hool, Kyabram Regional Clinic, Kyabram
  • Dr Peter Beggs, Mildura Base Public Hospital, Mildura
  • A/Prof Shabna Rajapaksa, Rural Clinical School, University of Melbourne, Ballarat, Grampians Health, Ballarat Base Hospital, St John of God Health Care, Paediatrics, Ballarat
  • Dr Margaret Garde, Active Health Portland, Portland
  • Ms Catherine Durant, Durant Occupational Therapy Services, Crossover
  • Ms Michalla Baumann, Headspace, Albury Wodonga& Headspace, Wangaratta
  • Ms Susan Scarr, Gippsland Lakes Complete Health, Lakes Entrance
  • Dr David Rodgers, Carrier Street Clinic, Benalla
  • Dr Paul Molina Chavez, Wangaratta Medical Centre, Wangaratta
  • Ms Susan Spehar, Northeast Health Wangaratta, Wangaratta
  • Dr Gamini Colombage, Yarra Junction Medical Centre, Yarra Junction
  • Dr Graham Toohill, Leongatha Healthcare, Leongatha
  • Mrs Lee-Anne Potter, Springs Medical Centre – Daylesford, Trentham, Kyneton
  • Dr David Wilson, Lister House Medical Clinic, Horsham
  • Dr Timothy Fitzpatrick, Terang Medical Clinic, Terang & Terang and Mortlake Health Service, Terang
  • Dr Phil Worboys, Foster Medical Centre, Foster
  • Dr Abiodun Alade Sulola, Alpha Medical Centre, Wodonga
  • Prof. Tom Callaly, Mildura Base Public Hospital, Mildura
  • Prof. Lisa Bourke, Department of Rural Health, The University of Melbourne, Shepparton
  • Mrs Katrina Streatfeild, Streatfeild & Co Psychology, Lancefield
  • Dr Jennifer Sanders, Tatura Medical Centre, Tatura
 Length of Service Award Recipients 35 + Years of Service
  • Dr Clare Mooney, Hopkins Medical Centre, Warrnambool              

  • Dr Michael Pring, Bellarine Medical Group

  • Dr Peter Stevens, Heyfield Medical Centre

  • Dr Robert Brun, Kyabram Regional Clinic

  • Dr Christopher Lourensz, Coster Street Medical Practice, Benalla

Snezana is a Human Resources leader with more than 15 years of experience in management, playing a pivotal role in driving team transformations across diverse industries, including FMCG, automotive, government, and non-profit sectors.

With a curiosity for business and its associated complexities, Snezana fosters collaborative partnerships to cultivate a highly motivated workforce that effectively executes strategic plans.

Msc (Fin), FCCA, FGIA, CA

Shay brings over 20 years of financial
management experience in commercial and not-for-profit organizations. He has a
rich and varied experience in multiple finance and leadership roles in the
United Kingdom and Australia, including CFO, GM Finance & IT, Commercial
Manager Operations, Finance Manager and Accountant.

His extensive leadership experience is
augmented by an FGIA, FCCA, CA, a Masters in Finance and an undergraduate degree in
accounting and finance.

RN, GradDip(Health Promotion), PRINCE2, Mini MBA

Kate is a Registered Nurse highly experienced in health promotion and project management. Her people and program management skills enable her to be agile and adaptable while maintaining an outcomes focus on improving quality access to primary healthcare.

Kate’s extensive experience working with all levels of government, the community and stakeholders across the sector have provided her with insights into the challenges rural communities and health professionals face. Kate has led the design and delivery of many innovative and strategic health promotion and grants programs, supporting better access to health services, health information and activities across communities. Whilst at RWAV, Kate has led the transformation of the RWAV grants program, enhanced the administration of a number of programs and developed the RWAV allied health portfolio. She has also led the development of the RWAV research program of activities.

Having worked at RWAV since 2020, Kate will continue positively influencing the rural healthcare workforce and access to services.

Social Work (BA Hons), DipSW

With a background in social work and a proven record in recruitment, project management, and business development, Jo brings strategic leadership and a wealth of experience in driving positive outcomes within the health, human services, and State Government sectors.

Jo specialises in managing health professional recruitment and outreach programs, including the More Doctors for Rural Australia and 3GA programs. Her focus is on implementing innovative workforce strategies and clinical governance to bolster RWAV’s mission of enhancing healthcare accessibility in rural and regional Victoria.

Having previously excelled at RWAV, Jo spearheaded successful internal change initiatives while fostering strong relationships with external stakeholders. Her efforts consistently align with RWAV’s strategic direction, ensuring a cohesive approach to driving impactful change.

Beyond her professional expertise, Jo’s passion lies in uniting communities and championing positive transformations in rural healthcare in Victoria.

Martin is a governance professional and lawyer with experience in private practice and in-house legal roles. He has been a company secretary for public and private sector organisations across a range of industries including VicTrack, Regis Healthcare Limited and Dairy Australia Limited. He holds Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce degrees from the University of Melbourne, a Graduate Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance from the Governance Institute of Australia (GIA) and is a fellow of the GIA.

With a rich background of consulting and in-house people and culture roles with the corporate, government and community sectors, Andrea is responsible for leading the implementation of RWAV’s People and Culture strategy, policies, processes, functions and team.

Andrea has significant experience in leading teams across culture, capability, diversity, equity, leadership, organisational development and learning programs as well as core human resources partnering.

With a strong focus on building and maintaining psychologically safe organisations, Andrea’s team is dedicated to ensuring that RWAV is a place where people can work well and be well at work.


Rosemary has had a varied career as an academic teaching economics, public policy and industrial relations, and as a consultant, advocate, health union official and as a director.

She brings strong governance and strategic skills to the Board, as well as knowledge and depth of experience in health policy, economics and investment.

Rosemary was a Director of Aware Super for nine years, and Chair of the Investment Committee for three years. She was also a member of the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee, the Governance Committee and the REM and HR Committee. Rosemary is currently a member of the Investment Committee of Cbus.

She was the Secretary of the Victorian Psychologists Association Inc for 20 years and knows first-hand the difficulties in attracting and retaining health professionals in rural and regional Victoria.

Dr Louise Manning is a rural GP Obstetrics trainee practising in Central Victoria where she delivers general practice, obstetric and sexual health services. Growing up in a small town she has lived experience of the difficulties accessing healthcare in rural and regional areas, and is dedicated to advocating for equitable health outcomes regardless of geography.

Louise is also a Board Director of the Rural Doctors’ Association of Victoria.

BAppSci GradDipBus MBus GAICD FIML

John Biviano is an experienced senior executive who has held many senior roles in government (Health Dept) and also in professional associations related to healthcare. Until recently, John was the CEO of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, where he oversaw the digitisation of a range of Member offerings, including aspects of training. 

BA (Politics/Philosophy) BEc GDipBus MBA GAICD FGIA

Roger is an accomplished CEO, Non-Executive Director and Chair with experience in the health, human services, law enforcement, education, transport, and environmental industries – across private, public sector and not-for-profit organisations

.He brings strong governance experience, commercial acumen, risk management and strategy skills combined with a passion for innovation and business development having also been Chair of numerous Finance, Audit, Risk, Investment and Community Advisory Committees.


Assoc Prof Phelps has practiced as a Gastroenterologist and Acute Physician in regional Victoria for more than 20 years.

He trained in safety and quality at Dr Brent James’ Institute at Intermountain Healthcare in the US and has held management and leadership roles in Victoria and Tasmania. More recently he completed a two-year project as Director of Clinical Governance for Central Adelaide Local Health Network.

Grant currently works as an independent consultant providing advice to hospitals and organisations on clinical leadership and safety and quality

LLB BSc MMgt (Strategic Foresight) GAICD

As a lawyer and business consultant Jane has worked with company boards and senior management across a range of areas including IP commercialisation, internet-based businesses, healthcare products/services, privacy and data/IT security. Jane is currently general counsel for .id Consulting – population demographers, economists and forecasters.

Jane served as a director of BreastScreen Victoria for 10 years, is a current director of Ballarat Health Services and chairs RWAV’s Governance Committee.

BMed MMedSci FRACGP FARGP FACRRM DipPractDerm DipMedHyp DipFP DipBusAdmin GAICD

Assoc Prof Rawlin is an experienced General Practitioner and medical educator. He is currently in clinical general practice in suburban Melbourne and previously practiced in rural Victoria for 10 years.

Assoc Prof Rawlin is Chair of the General Practice Mental Health Standards Collaborative and a past Chair of the Mental Health Professionals Association and is a board member of the Mental Health Professionals Network. He is also the Medical Director of the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Victoria.
He is a member of the RACGP Victoria Council.

Albert Giorgini is the Senior Advisor to CEO at RWAV.

As an experienced finance executive, with an extensive career in public transport and in the automotive and industrial gas sectors, Albert has honed his skills in driving financial performance improvements with a commercial and business transformation focus.

Through his strategic financial skills, Albert has demonstrated an exceptional capacity to lead and develop large teams in complex and changing environments to achieve the financial and regulatory requirements of the business. His extensive experience has given him a deep understanding of the industry and its challenges, equipping him with the expertise to drive impactful change.

Albert has highly developed communication and stakeholder management skills to support his strong planning, analytical and financial performance improvement acumen, always striving to create innovative solutions that drive growth and success.


Lauren commenced in the role of Manager People and Culture in August 2018 and is responsible for leading the implementation of RWAV’s People and Culture strategy, policies, processes, functions and team.

Lauren’s team is committed to implementing activities and initiatives to support the achievement of RWAV’s strategies and strengthen RWAV’s position as an ‘Employer of Choice’.

Lauren is an experienced Manager and HR professional, with a career spanning the professional services, automotive, defence, and not-for-profit sectors.

BHlthSci(Hons) MPH PostGradDipMgt GAICD AFCHSM

Lauren Cordwell commenced in the role of Chief Executive Officer in August 2023. She took on the role of Acting CEO in April 2023 and previously served as the General Manager since February 2020.
Lauren has leadership responsibilities for strategy, communications, data, stakeholder engagement and program delivery.

Lauren’s team is committed to supporting communities in rural and regional Victoria to have timely access to affordable and safe health care.

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