Board of Directors


Karen Booth

President

Karen has worked as a primary health care nurse and manager in general practice since 1998. Her roles include acute and preventative health care, chronic disease management, care coordination, data management, accreditation, administration, staff training and mentoring.

Karen’s true passion is preventative health care, utilising surveillance and health checks to identify health problems early, and intervention to prevent damage to a person’s health and wellbeing. Key to this is the development of systems to utilise the skills of the whole general practice team working to the best of their ability.

Karen has participated in numerous Australian Government Department of Health national health policy advisory groups, including several Ministerial appointments, providing advice to the Primary Health Care Advisory Group, the MBS review and Primary Health Reform Steering Group for the National Primary Health Care 10 Year Plan.

Karen has more than 10 years’ experience in corporate governance and has held several board director positions. Karen is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

 

Melissa Cromarty 

Board Director

Melissa has worked in nursing for the majority of her career, with qualifications and experience in emergency, intensive care, general practice and aged care. 

Mel’s passions include promoting the positive impact of nurses in improving health outcomes and the important role they play in chronic disease management and preventative health. She also has a thorough understanding of the challenges faced by primary health care nurses in both urban and rural settings.

Currently Mel is involved in the aged care sector as a residential aged care nurse.  Previously, Mel has worked as a Team Leader with the Hunter New England and Central Coast Primary Health Network where she worked in the Practice Support and Development Team to increase the profile of Primary Health Networks (PHNs), and to ensure that general practices understood and appreciated the value of nurses in the primary care setting. Mel has also educated PHNs in their role implementing alternate models of care. 

Prior to joining APNA’s Board, Mel has been involved with APNA’s Education Endorsement Program, APNA’s Conference Advisory Committee and represents APNA on the Decision Assist Advisory Group on Palliative Care.

 

Jo Lewis

Board Director

Jo is a nurse practitioner with over 20 years’ experience as a registered nurse. She has a wealth of experience and post graduate qualifications in both acute and primary health care, and significant management and leadership capabilities.

Jo has a passion for learning and personal development, loves working with people to deliver tangible outcomes and has an in depth understanding of Australia’s primary health care system. During her diverse career, she has developed expertise in chronic disease management, cardiac and coronary care, triage, immunisation, wound care and preventative health care.

Jo started her career in the hospital setting, working in a number of roles including coronary care units, infectious diseases wards and intensive care units. She then transitioned to primary health care in 2001 and since then has occupied a number of advanced practice roles. Throughout her career she has obtained post-graduate certificates and diplomas in primary health care, cardiovascular nursing, management, and business, and in 2018 gained endorsement as a nurse practitioner.

A true expert in the field, and someone who knows the ins-and-outs of the primary health care industry, Jo has a profound understanding and appreciation of the value primary health care nurses provide to the Australian healthcare system, as well as the type of support and representation that’s needed in the sector.

 

Maurice Wrightson

Co-opted Board Director

Maurice held senior executive positions within Australia Post, at both a State and National level for over 15 years. During this time he successfully applied a broad range of leadership and change management skills to a variety of senior positions including Deputy General Manager Retail NSW/ACT, Manager Delivery NSW/ACT and Manager Workforce Capability Unit Mail & Networks Division. He particularly utilised his strengths in Change Management, People Development and Profit Centre Management.

Maurice is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has 24 years’ experience as a Director and over 20 years’ experience as a Board Chairman. Maurice is a member and Chairs various Board Committees including Governance, Finance Audit and Risk, Property and Human Resources. He has a keen interest in Governance, Strategy Development and Stakeholder Management. Other Boards include API Leisure & Lifestyle and headspace Gosford/Lake Haven.

 

 

Dr Anthony Hobbs

Co-opted Board Director

Dr Anthony (Tony) Hobbs is a former Deputy Chief Medical Officer of the Commonwealth Department of Health. Tony was previously the Principal Medical Adviser at the Therapeutic Goods Administration from Feb 2013 – May 2015.

He was a General Practitioner in rural New South Wales for nearly 20 years, delivering comprehensive coordinated care to the local community. He is a former Chair of the Australian General Practice Network. He has also worked in remote health services in the Northern Territory and in Swaziland, southern Africa and in the NHS in the United Kingdom.

Tony has made a significant contribution to Australia’s health system as Chair of the External Reference Group which developed Australia’s first national Primary Health Care Strategy in 2009. He was also part of a group that provided expert clinical advice to the National Chronic Disease Strategy in 2005. Tony has had extensive experience on boards, committees and advisory councils including the National Health and Medical Research Council, cancer, diabetes and kidney health advisory groups, and has worked with the National Prescribing Service on its diagnostic evaluation advisory group.

Tony has a First Class Honours Medical degree from the University of Sydney and postgraduate qualifications in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Child Health and Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from Australia and the United Kingdom. Tony is also a graduate of the Australia Institute of Company Directors.

 

Lisa Chalmers

Board Director

Lisa is currently the Director of Health and Wellbeing at Barker College. She has over 30 years of nursing experience in a range primary health care settings. She brings a deep commitment to the significance and value of primary health care for all Australians but also a strongly shared vision and values of APNA for the future of Primary Health Care as the key to addressing many of the healthcare challenges for Australia into the future.

Lisa has a Masters in Public Health and a strong commitment to champion the work of primary health nurses in Australia, APNA's recent amalgamation with School Nurses Australia brings new opportunities for School Nurses across Australia to be recognised for the incredible work they do and to be supported as they seek to care for, educate and promote positive health behaviours on the future generations.

 

 

Sharon James

Board Director

Sharon works for Monash University as a Research Fellow and Project Manager for an NHMRC funded project supporting women's reproductive care in general practice. This role involves managing research and stakeholder participation in the multilevel governance of the project's implementation.

In 2020 Sharon completed her PhD exploring lifestyle risk factor communication between General Practice Nurses and patients during chronic disease management consultations. This work has been published and presented internationally. Sharon's other research has included exploration of primary health care nurses' experiences during COVID-19, interconception care, and supporting bushfire recovery.

She is an experienced primary health care nurse having worked in rural communities in occupational health, employee health and wellbeing, general practice nursing and academic roles. Her qualifications include immunisation, project management, public health and occupational health and safety nursing. The diversity in primary health care practice has informed her research and interests in behaviour change communication, preventive care, chronic disease management, women's health and nursing roles.

 

Christine Fuller

Board Director

Christine is the Deputy CEO / Chief Nursing Officer at Correct Care Australasia (CCA), a private healthcare provider delivering primary health care to approximately 6,000 prisoners across 16 prisons and 2 Youth Justice sites in Victoria. Christine is a registered nurse with 35 years’ experience working in diverse roles in the public and private healthcare sector, including executive positions, managing major departments, leading multidisciplinary organisation-wide projects, and line responsibility. She holds a Diploma of Nursing, a Bachelor of Nursing Administration, and a Master of Health Administration. Christine has completed the AICD Board Directors Course to enhance her knowledge, skills and contributions to the APNA Board.

Christine has been working in correctional health for the last ten years and has responsibility for clinical operations and policies, quality and professional conduct of nurses and Chairs CCA's Clinical Governance Committee. Her areas of interest and experience are consultative leadership, developing the professional role of nurses and facilitating quality care to patients.

Christine admires the commitment, resourcefulness, and autonomy of the primary health care nurses' role and as a Vice President is committed to ensuring the ongoing respect, recognition, and a broad career pathway for primary health care nurses. She will continue to contribute to, and influence, the significant and rapidly growing area of primary health care nursing and the ongoing good governance of APNA.

The Australian Primary Health Care Nurses Association acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.


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