Upcoming events


FoBK Bundaberg Meeting
Tuesday, 24th October 2017
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FoBK Warwick Meeting
Wednesday, 15th November 2017
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Our Council

The BUSHkids Council is responsible for the general management of the Organisation.  This includes (but is not limited to) short and long term strategic planning, the direction and the financial health of the organisation.

Our Council members meet regularly and participate in many community events in which BUSHkids is involved.

Our Council members


Dr Neil Bartels Dr Neil Bartels

I am the Chairman of Royal Queensland Bush Children’s Health Scheme (aka BUSHkids). I’ve been on the committee for 20 years and have been chairman for the last 4 years.

I am a medical practitioner and with a keen interest in children’s health issues. Also I hold a masters degree in Law which has given me a further interest in equity of access to health services to more remote or disadvantaged children, particularly those with behavioral, learning or social disadvantage.



 Ms Gloria Ryan
Gloria Ryan

When I was asked to join the Council, I had no real knowledge of what the organisation did, how it did it, nor how it was funded.  To my surprise,

I discovered that funding
was self-raised, the organisation directly employed specialist health workers and the work they provided was designed specifically for remotely located children.  As I am legally trained, I thought I would be able to contribute to this wonderful work and accepted the invitation to join the Council with enthusiasm.

My time on the Council has seen me develop my knowledge of the organisation and its work and appreciate the efforts made by its specialist employees, who work in regional/remote parts of Queensland with resources that are sometimes less than plentiful.  I hope to continue to learn from my involvement with the organisation and to give whatever I can as Council member to further its work and assist its dedicated employees.

Hon. Treasurer

 Ms Allison McLean 

I have a Bachelor of Business from QUT; Post Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting; and, a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.

I’ve worked predominately with SME’s for many years in the areas of business advisory, accounting and taxation.

I had involvement with RQBCHS at the Redcliffe Centre on its original site at Scarborough though community groups organising games nights and activities and outings for children who had been brought from remote areas for treatment.

I was very pleased and honoured to accept an invitation from the then treasurer David Tanner in 2004 to consider joining the Council and then to subsequently accept the role as Treasurer.  I grew up on a farm which was worked by my father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather so I feel some affinity for families in rural and remote areas.  It is very rewarding to be part of an organisation which assists in the very foundations of a child’s life.


 Mr Julian Martin  Julian Martin

I have over 20 years of experience in the Information Systems industry and a background of providing business enabling solutions to organisations. Currently I’m the General Manager Information Systems at Gallagher Bassett (one of the largest multi-line Third Party Claims Administrators in the world.)  Previously I’ve held senior roles at WorkCover Qld, Kinetica, Computer Associates, and Platinum Technology. I am a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

I joined the BUSHkids Council because - growing up in the bush I have a high regard for what BUSHkids are contributing to the children of rural and regional Queensland. It was a chance to contribute...so I jumped at it.


 Mr David Ham OAM

From the age of eighteen until my retirement I worked for Education Queensland – as a staff teacher, principal and inspector. For the final five years I held the post of Director of Human Resources. As a young teacher and principal in outback Queensland, I was very impressed by the care given to bush children by the Royal Queensland Bush Children’s Health Scheme. I always felt that we, as teaching professionals, owed a debt of gratitude to the ‘Bushies’ as they were affectionately known.

For the last eleven years, since my retirement, I have worked as a volunteer with Volunteering Queensland, where I have come to form a real admiration for the work done by Not-For-Profit organisations. It seemed, therefore, to be almost willed by fate, that I should be asked to provide some assistance to BUSHkids, first as a volunteer, then, later on, as a member of the Council. I deem it a great honour.


 Ms Carolyn Searle

I am one of the newer council members of BUSHkids and am proud to be a part of this organisation.  BUSHkids is such a worthy cause and gives a voice to children and their families who live outside of the city.  Growing up in Mackay, I understand how the needs of regional areas are often overlooked. In many areas BUSHkids provides the only health service of its type. 

I possess a Bachelor of Commerce and a Law degree from the University of Queensland and worked in both the accounting and legal professions before establishing Career Path, a recruitment agency, which services the Queensland market.  I do not have a medical or health background but would like to increase the profile of this organisation amongst the business community to ensure that the valuable services offered reach the children most in need.


 Mrs Gail Huggins 

I was raised and educated in Townsville and Port Moresby prior to attending the University of Queensland. On graduation as a Speech Pathologist my first Position was at The Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children, Sydney. Whilst in this position and in particular my involvement in the hospital's Child Development Unit increased my awareness of the challenges faced by many families and the value of a multi disciplinary approach to the asessment and care of children developed. It shaped my ongoing belief in and commitment to the provision of equitable and accessible high quality multi disciplinary intervention and support.

My career has taken me to metropolitan and regional towns throughout eastern Australia where I have gained experience from a range of psitions in government and non-government health and education organisations and private practice. Prior to my retirement I was Director of Speech Pathology, Paediatric Services for Queensland Health on the Gold Coast. During this time, significant aspects of this service were integrated into the multi disciplinary Child Development and Behaviour Service (CDABS), a comprehensive developmental and behavioural paediatric service delivery model.

I am honoured to join the Council of BUSHkids and be able to use my knowledge and experience to assist the organisation to provide quality, evidence based intervention for children and families living in regional and remote areas of Queensland.


Margaret Lavery 

I retired from the paid workforce in December 2010 after a near-30 year career at The University of Queensland in roles that involved secretariat and working party support, FOI decision-making, special and change projects, policy review and development, and executive and strategic planning support.  I also spent 1.5 years as the Executive Officer in an allied health professional organisation and 2.5 years in the Commonwealth Public Service in Canberra, my first employment on graduating in Economics from UQ.

On retirement, I began volunteering at a local primary school helping prep to year 3 children with their reading on a one-to-one basis.  I joined BUSHkids’ Brisbane Office as a volunteer in August 2014, assisting with administrative tasks where my background and experience could add value.  I have learned much about the organisation during this period, in particular through assisting with production of BUSHkids’ history bookThere is still more to learn and appreciate about the invaluable services provided by the dedicated teams at BUSHkids.

I was honoured to be invited to nominate for Council for 2017/2018. 



Jan Boys 

Jan Boys

While I was aware of the wonderful work of BUSHkids, I really became interested when I attended the opening of the new Warwick facility.  There, I met some of the parents of children whose lives have been changed because of the services BUSHkids offers in rural areas.  I was honoured when asked to join the Council, and hope that I can assist this fabulous organisation in a meaningful way.

My formal qualifications are in education, and my working life was focussed upon school education – as a teacher, a curriculum developer, policy developer, school support centre coordinator, and most recently as an Executive Director and Regional Director of Education in Chinchilla, Darling Downs, Toowoomba and Ipswich.  I firmly believe that education changes lives, and that all children deserve the best chance to grow, learn and succeed.  Good health and wellbeing are vital building blocks for good learning – and BUSHkids provides those foundations.

I am also involved in the Council of the University of Southern Queensland – being a Council member for the last sixteen years, and Deputy-Chancellor for the last four.








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