​​​​​​The role of the advisory panel

A Regional Health Ministerial Advisory Panel was announced in October 2023 to strengthen community engagement and foster genuine co-design principles in the development of healthcare in regional NSW.

Regional Health Ministerial Advisory Panel members


Chair - Richard Colbran PhD

Dr Richard Colbran is Chief Executive Officer of NSW Rural Doctors Network. He is an experienced executive officer of non-profit and charity organisations that specialise in health and social services. His professional interest is building contemporary business practices of non-profits so that the sector can enhance its impact and benefit for communities. His doctorate explored organisational performance of health charities. Dr Colbran is an advocate for social leadership and is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Social Leadership Australia.


Mrs Anna Barwick

Mrs Anna Barwick is a clinical pharmacist, working on her PhD at the University of Queensland in telehealth. She is a senior lecturer at the University of New England, a diabetes educator, asthma educator, researcher, and pharmacist immuniser. Mrs Barwick was the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia 2021 NSW Pharmacist of the Year, and the 2022 Regional Woman and NSW Premier’s Woman of the Year. Her research interests focus on rural health and women’s health and is recognised as a consultant in these areas by the Australian and New Zealand College of Advanced Pharmacy (ANZCAP). Mrs Barwick has supported a number of young women in the Country to Canberra leadership initiative. She has served on a number of boards and committees, many in senior leadership or Chair positions.


Ms Karen Booth

Ms Karen Booth is a Registered Nurse working as primary healthcare nurse and manager in general practice for 25 years.  Ms Booth is the current President of Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association. She has held multiple ministerial appointments to federal government health policy groups including: the Primary Health Care Advisory Group, Health Care Homes, the Medicare Benefits Schedule review for Primary Care, Allied Health and Nurse Practitioners, the Nurse Practitioner 10 Year Plan Steering Committee, the National Nursing Workforce Plan, National Rural and Remote Nurse Generalist Framework, and the Strengthening Medicare Taskforce.


Cr Rick Firman OAM

Councillor Rick Firman OAM, a small businessman, has a passion for rural and regional health. Involved with local government for 19 years (in his 11th term as Mayor) he has immersed himself in enhancing the health service offerings from both a Council and Local Health Advisory Committee (LHAC) perspective. Cr Firman was Chairman of the Temora LHAC from 2006 to 2012 and took up the role again in 2019 and continues to serve in that role. He continues as Board Chairman of both the Riverina Eastern Regional Organisation of Councils (REROC) and Riverina Joint Organisation. Cr Firman also serves on the Executive Committee of Country Mayors Association of NSW and is the current Deputy Chairman.


Mrs Louise Fox

Mrs Louise Fox has worked in regional and rural health for 18 years focussing on improving integrated and community-based care. Ms Fox is a Director of Integrated Care and has a background in Allied Health.  Mrs Fox holds a Bachelor of Health Science (Occupational Therapy), a Graduate Diploma of Education, a Diploma of Management, and an Executive Master of Public Administration.


Ms Laura Hand-Ross

Ms Laura Hand-Ross holds a Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health) and has 15 years’ experience working in the Mental Health Drug and Alcohol (MHDA) landscape. She has worked across several levels of management and clinical leadership during that time, including district roles. Laura is currently the District Clinical Lead, Drug and Alcohol for Aboriginal People for Murrumbidgee Local Health District.


Professor Jennifer May AM

Professor Jennifer May AM is a practising rural GP in Tamworth NSW. She graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine (Hons) from Newcastle in 1984 and has both a Fellowship of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and a Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. Professor May works as a General Practitioner Visiting Medical Officer at Tamworth and Tamara Hospitals and supervises medical students, Junior Medical Officers and registrars. Professor May has worked in rural general practice in remote, rural and regional locations including rural British Columbia (2003 and 2016). She is the Director of the University of Newcastle Department of Rural Health based in Tamworth and supports allied health, nursing and medical student placements and research across a wide rural footprint. In 2016, she was awarded a PhD (Monash) for work on regional medical workforce. Medical workforce and its implications are a strong policy interest, and she is currently Co-chair of the Commonwealth Medical Workforce Reform Advisory Committee.


Mrs Christine Corby AM

Mrs Christine Corby AM is the Chief Executive Officer of Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service and Brewarrina Aboriginal Medical Service. She is also a member of the Western NSW Local Health District/Northern Sub-regional Health Planning Committee, the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AH&MRC), the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Walgett Local Aboriginal Lands Council and the Walgett Aboriginal Education Consultative Group. Mrs Corby has a Diploma of Health Sciences, Diploma of Business Management and a Graduate Diploma in Health Management.


Ms Kelly Foran

Ms Kelly Foran is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Friendly Faces Helping Hands Foundation. She co-chairs several committees including, Primary Integrated and Community Health Executive Committee and the Sydney Health Partners, Consumer Voices in Clinical Trials NSW (ConViCTioN)​. She also is a Board Member of the NSW Health Virtual Care Taskforce, and until 2022 was on both the Clinical Excellence Commission and Agency for Clinical Innovation Advisory Councils, The Beryl Institute Nashville Tennessee, NSW Health Consumers, The Consumer leaders Collective and two local Hospital Health Boards. Ms Foran has several academic achievements including a Diploma Community Service Coordination, Associate Diploma of Applied Science, Diploma Community Service Case Management, Diploma of Project Management and is currently studying with a scholarship from the Ministry of Health for the Academy of Emerging Leaders in Patient Safety program through The Beryl Institute.


Ms Shana Quayle

Ms Shana Quayle is the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AH&MRC). Shana is an experienced leader who has upheld many roles within the AH&MRC. She has a strong focus in the improvement of health for Aboriginal people through policy and research and is a member of the Regional Health Ministerial Advisory Panel and has been involved in several activities that involve Aboriginal affairs. Shana’s academic achievements include undergraduate studies in Indigenous Health Promotion, and she is currently pursuing a Master of Research.

Advisory panel meetings

Refer to Previous advisory panel meetings for communiques of the previous Regional Health Ministerial Advisory Panel.

Contact us

To find out more about the advisory panel, please email: MOH-ODS-Regional@health.nsw.gov.au

Current as at: Friday 5 April 2024
Contact page owner: Regional Health Division