(03) 9349 7800

What We Offer

Celebrating the Extraordinary Women of Rural Health

In celebration of International Women’s Day, RWAV honours the many extraordinary women of rural health who form the pillars of their communities. Thank you to all of the hard working women who have made a difference for countless people living in the country.

We have put together a list of some of the outstanding women who have been acknowledged for their commitments to rural communities in Victoria. Do you know an exceptional health professional who should be recognised for their contributions? Final days to submit nominations for the 2020 Victorian Rural Health Awards: www.rwav.com.au/victorian-rural-health-awards-2020.

Dr Katherine Davey, Benalla

Dr Katherine Davey has served the community of Benalla for over 35 years. She moved into rural general practice in 1983, then joined the Ovens Medical Group in Benalla.

Dr Davey commenced part-time general practice working in isolated community health centres until 1997, and was a clinical supervisor to a number of medical students.
In 1997, she re-joined the Ovens Medical Group as a full-time partner. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a joy for teaching in positions such as Senior Lecturer within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Melbourne.

Eileen Alberts, Heywood

Eileen was born and raised in Gunditjmara country near Heywood, and has resided in the area for most of her life where she has imparted her Aboriginal heritage and knowledge to hundreds of GP registrar trainees placed in the South West of Victoria. Her work with the MCCC has included running a Cultural Awareness Day for each new intake of registrars, helping to support the Medical Education Team to deliver GP training, and provided context around the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander GP Training Program.

Eileen’s passion is the sharing of cultural knowledge, and she is thankful for the support provided by the Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation and the Winda-Mara Budj Bim Rangers to help her promote reconciliation and the sharing of knowledge to coordinate the cultural awareness programs. Eileen says “if it helps to make the world a better place then I’m all for it.”

Dr Helen Dewhurst, Kerang

Dr Helen Dewhurst has been practising medicine in country Victoria for 38 years. She moved to Kerang in 1982, where she lived for 25 years mostly working at the Fitzroy Street Medical Clinic and the Kerang Hospital.

In 2007, Dr Dewhurst moved to the Castlemaine area where she continues to practise. She has been involved with GP divisions and with teaching medical students and registrars.
On reflection of the support she has received, she says “I have thoroughly enjoyed being involved with two very different rural communities. I have had a great deal of support in both places from friends and colleagues as well as family.”

Gayle Bloch, Wonthaggi

Gayle Bloch is the Practice Manager at Wonthaggi Medical Group (WMG). Since 1995, Gayle has worked at WMG, first as a medical receptionist before being promoted through the levels of senior receptionist, team leader, assistant practice manager and then practice manager.

Gayle’s day-to-day workload includes managing 33 staff members, 15 nurses and 25 doctors across three clinics as well as servicing Bass Coast Health as the exclusive provider of visiting general medical officers, obstetricians and anaesthetists to the hospital. Gayle’s interest in rural health has been driven by her commitment to helping people in her community.

Dr Suzanne George

Dr George graduated from Monash in 1973, worked in Hobart, Adelaide, London, and in city general practice in Parkdale and Mt. Waverley, before moving to Gippsland in 1983.

In light of the increasing demands to teach medical students, interns and registrars, in 2009 she undertook a Graduate Diploma of Clinical Education. She also worked for the Royal Flying Doctor Service for several years providing a female GP service to Orbost.

Dr George is currently an examiner for Monash University’s third and fourth year medical students, and also an interviewer for the GP Registrar selection to the training program.

She retired from rural general practice in December 2018 and moved to Melbourne to be closer to her family.

Dr Lalani Udalamatta, Edenhope

Dr Lalani Udalamatta worked in Sri Lanka as a GP and an emergency doctor. She migrated with her family to New Zealand 22 years ago and started working in rural New Zealand and then emergency departments in Auckland hospitals.

She qualified with a Fellowship in Community Emergency Medicine and later began working as a part-time GP and completed GP Fellowship in both New Zealand and Australia.
After a short period of locum work in Melbourne, Dr Udalamatta moved to Edenhope in 2012.

Dr Udalamatta takes pride in “serving the hard-working farming community in the rural Victorian town of Edenhope and enjoys living in a friendly and helpful local community.”
She lives with her husband in Edenhope and loves the “calm simple and closer to nature” lifestyle.

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.

Send this to a friend