Governance

The organisation is governed by a voluntary council made up of business and health care experts who work alongside the organisation’s CEO to provide strategic direction, financial management and practical support to the organisation’s teams. The council meets regularly, while individual members mentor staff and help promote the organisation at community events.

The current council is made up of nine members including the posts of Chairperson, Deputy-Chairperson and Honorary Treasurer. Sharing a common desire to promote the health and wellbeing of children and families living in Queensland’s regional, rural and remote communities, BUSHkids’ council members give their time freely without recompense.

Dr Neil Bartels

Chairperson

Dr Neil Bartels

Dr Neil Bartels has been a member of the Royal Queensland Bush Children’s Health Scheme council since 1991 and served as the organisation’s Deputy-Chairperson before becoming Chairperson in 2007.  Neil is a medical practitioner with a keen interest in children’s health issues. He is a fellow of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and also holds a Masters Degree in Law.  Neil’s family has a long and auspicious association with the organisation: Neil’s father joined the organisation’s council in 1966, became Deputy–Chairperson in 1970, and served as Chairperson from 1973 until 1991.

Gloria Ryan

Deputy-Chairperson

Ms Gloria Ryan

Gloria has been a council member since 2009 and the organisation’s Deputy-Chairperson since 2014. Gloria is legally trained and provides the organisation with expert legal advice and guidance on the Scheme’s policies and procedures.

Honorary Treasurer

Ms Allison McLean 

Allison has been a council member since 2005 and the organisation’s Honorary Treasurer since 2007. From a farming family, Allison has a particular affinity with rural communities, first becoming involved with the Royal Queensland Bush Children’s Health Scheme as a volunteer at the Redcliffe Home in the 1980s. Allison has a Bachelor of Business from QUT, a Post Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia. Allison supports the Scheme’s accountant and provides expert advice on all financial matters.

Julian Martin

Councillor

Mr Julian Martin 

Julian has been a council member since 2009. Having grown up in the bush, he is very aware of the contribution BUSHkids makes to the health of rural communities. A graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors with over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry, Julian provides expert advice on BUSHkids’ IT infrastructure and the increasing use of technology and communications in the organisation’s service provision.

David Ham

Councillor

Mr David Ham OAM

David has been a council member since 2012. He spent his working life with Education Queensland; as a teacher, principal and school inspector before becoming the department’s Director of Human Resources. As an outback teacher and school principal, David saw firsthand the benefits the Royal Queensland Bush Children’s Health Scheme made to the lives of children in rural communities. Now retired, David provides invaluable advice to the organisation on all aspects of the business, particularly human resources and administration.

Carolyn Searle

Councillor

Ms Carolyn Searle

Carolyn has been a council member since 2012. Having grown up in Mackay, she understands the needs of children and families in regional communities. With a Bachelor of Commerce and a Law degree from The University of Queensland, Carolyn worked in both the accounting and legal professions before establishing her own recruitment agency which has provided valuable support to the organisation. Carolyn provides expert business advice and has done much to raise BUSHkids’ profile amongst Queensland’s business community.

Gail Huggins

Councillor

Mrs Gail Huggins 

Gail has been a council member since 2012. With a degree in Speech Pathology from The University of Queensland, Gail has a wealth of experience gained from a range of positions in government and non-government health and education organisations throughout Australia. Prior to retirement, Gail was Director of Speech Pathology, Paediatric Services for Queensland Health on the Gold Coast. With expert clinical knowledge, Gail provides invaluable advice to BUSHkids on the provision of its services.

Jan Boys

Councillor

Ms Jan Boys 

A recent addition to BUSHkids’ council, Jan has dedicated her working life to education—as a teacher, 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. Jan understands that good health and wellbeing are vital to effective learning, particularly in rural areas, and brings her expertise to BUSHkids’ growing list of educational programs.

Margaret Lavery

Councillor

Mrs Margaret Lavery 

Margaret joined BUSHkids’ council in 2017. After graduating from The University of Queensland and spending two years in the Public Service, Margaret returned to UQ, spending nearly 30 years in a variety of planning, policy and decision support roles with the University. Margaret started working as a volunteer at BUSHkids Brisbane office during 2014, contributing her vast experience in business administration and planning to the organisation.

BUSHchat