Who is NQPHN?

Board and Governance

Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) has a commitment to strong, effective governance. We are an independent not-for-profit company limited by guarantee. A membership-based organisation, NQPHN is registered as a charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for Profits Commission.

The NQPHN Board is a skills-based Board, which has four key committees:

  • Nomination and Remuneration Committee
  • People and Performance Committee
  • Finance, Audit, and Risk Management (FARM) Committee
  • Clinical Governance Committee.

View the Board and Committees attendance for the 2022-23 financial year at the link below.

2022-23 Board attendance

Nomination and Remuneration

This committee makes recommendations to the Members for Director appointments and re-elections, and assists the Board to fulfill its corporate governance responsibilities regarding performance, induction programs, and continuing professional development for directors and remuneration of Directors.

People and Performance

This committee provides oversight of organisational culture and other aspects of human resources. The committee makes recommendations to the Board regarding Senior Executive succession planning, remuneration and performance evaluation, reviewing compliance with the Corporate Code of Ethical Conduct, and overseeing any investigation of improper conduct initiated under NQPHN’s Protective Disclosure (Whistle-blower) Program.

Finance, Audit, and Risk Management (FARM)

This committee assists the Board in fulfilling its responsibility to exercise due care, diligence, and skill in relation to budget planning process and monitoring of performance. It also focuses on financial investment strategy, contracting arrangements, the integrity of NQPHN’s financial reports and statements, adequacy, and performance of NQPHN’s internal control framework, external and internal audit processes, and the framework established by management to identify, assess, and manage risk.

Clinical Governance

This committee provides the Board with contemporary advice and recommendations on matters of clinical governance, commissioning (specifically, planning and design of services), stakeholder engagement, and continuing development and refinement of the Health Needs Assessment (HNA) and related strategic planning documents.  All committees have levels of delegated authority for core decision making.

Terry Mehan
Board Chair

Terry Mehan has more than 40 years of experience working in the health sector across the Torres and Cape, Cairns, and Brisbane regions, in addition to three Australian states and overseas locations including Papua New Guinea and Tonga.

Mr Mehan was acting Chief Executive Officer of NQPHN for several months in 2020-21, and has also served as interim Chief Executive Officer of Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service (TCHHS) and the North West Hospital and Health Service (NWHHS), and as an administrator of the Cairns and Hinterland Health Service (CHHHS).

Tara Diversi
Deputy Chair

Tara Diversi is the CEO of Sophus Nutrition, a digital nutrition platform that improves accessibility and affordability of expert nutrition and dietetic care through the combination of evidence-based nutrition with psychology, behavioural economics, and technology. She also holds current roles as the President and Chair of Dietitians Australia, National Dietetic Adviser to the Department of Veterans Affairs, and Entrepreneurship Facilitator for Cairns.

Tara is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Advanced Sports Dietitian starting her career in Cairns in private practice in 2003 and working in almost all areas of dietetics. To complement her dietetic studies (MND, BHSc), Tara holds an MBA, two post-graduate psychology qualifications (GDipPsyc; PGDipPsyc) and Graduate Certificate in Higher Education. She is the author of four books, nine textbook chapters, and six peer-reviewed papers.

After growing up in Kunnunurra and Cairns, Tara’s initial passion and work focused on Indigenous health in Australia and Papua New Guinea which drives her continued interest in improving health and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. She has also worked extensively in sports nutrition, mental health, and incorporating behavioural economics into healthcare.

Outside of work, Tara enjoys seeing people stretch their comfort zones – whether it is her daughter learning something new, clients swimming over insane distances or in extreme temperatures, or a new health professional seeing their first client. She believes in the power of individual contribution to make significant positive impact on individuals, groups, and communities.

Suzanne Andrews
Board Director

Sue is the Chief Executive of Gurriny Yealamucka Health Service, a community-based health organisation that delivers holistic primary health care to the people of Yarrabah, an Aboriginal community near Cairns.

During her time as CEO, Sue has led the drive for the transfer of responsibility for delivering primary healthcare services from the Queensland Government to Gurriny Yealamucka, a first in Queensland, with Gurriny now looking after all primary healthcare services in the community, including women’s and maternal health, sexual health, chronic disease, and social and emotional wellbeing.

In 2016, Sue was also a key driver for the establishment of the first pharmacy to open in Yarrabah in nearly 20 years, ensuring the Yarrabah community had a wider range of primary and allied health services.

Prior to her appointment as CEO in 2012, Sue was the Finance Manager at Gurriny Yealamucka for more than five years, leading and managing the day-to-day financials of the organisation with a budget of $8 million.

Sue has also previously worked with Cape York Digital Network, implementing and rolling out projects within each Cape community around the use of technology, and Gindaja Treatment and Healing Centre in Yarrabah, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residential rehabilitation service which caters for both men and women with drug and alcohol-related problems.

A proud Aboriginal woman who grew up in Yarrabah, Sue is passionate about closing the gap in Indigenous health disadvantage. Sue was appointed a director of Northern Queensland Primary Health Network in 2017.

Dr Konrad Kangru
Board Director

Dr Konrad Kangru B.App Sci, MBBS, FRACGP gained his MBBS from the University of Queensland in 2000, has been in private rural General Practice in the Whitsundays region of Queensland since 2005, where he has been a GP Supervisor and Medical Educator since 2009. He has remained a very active advocate for improving the support of rural doctors, currently as Co-Chair of the Queensland Rural and Remote Clinical Network, and Medical Advisor to the Office of Rural and Remote Health, together with prior roles as President and prior Conference Convenor of the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland.

Dr Kangru has also undertaken and presented his research on the self-care of rural doctors, and has special interests in medical education and diabetes management, particularly in up-skilling colleagues about this important condition. He is passionate about reducing the disparity in outcomes for patients living in rural and remote communities, and ensuring that every clinician providing care to these areas is as well supported as they possibly can be.

Topaz McAuliffe
Board Director

Topaz McAuliffe is the founder and CEO of 15 Times Better, a 100% Indigenous owned company focused on empowering every organisation in Australia to make their greatest contribution to Indigenous engagement.

Topaz was the driving force behind Coles Group’s award-winning Indigenous participation program, assisting Coles to become the largest corporate sector employer of Indigenous Australians and one of Australia’s largest supporters of Indigenous businesses, gaining recognition from Fortune, the Australian Human Rights Commission, and UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Topaz has a proven track record of delivering significant social and business benefits through some of Australia’s largest corporate sector partnerships, including Bunnings, Coles Group, Wesfarmers, and Qantas. She also has significant experience working closely with Indigenous businesses to build capability and capacity, including a particular focus on supporting the growth of Indigenous suppliers as part of the aquaculture, agriculture, and bush food supply chain.

Topaz is highly regarded and extremely passionate about her work. She appreciates what it takes to build voice, equity, and mutual benefit at the partnership table and brings these skills to all her work in Indigenous affairs.

Luckbir Singh
Board Director

Luckbir is a Director at MacDonnells Law, one of the leading Queensland law firms. He has been recognised for his legal skills and client outcomes by Lawyer’s Weekly as a finalist in the 2016 Australian Partner of the Year Awards.

Luckbir has over the last 20 years been involved in many of the most significant, highly publicised and complex corporate law matters in North Queensland. His areas of expertise are corporate advisory, governance and mergers and transactions.

Mr Singh is also the Deputy Chair Cairns and Hinterland and Hospital Health Service and Queensland State Council member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Luckbir was born and raised in North Queensland, with his family having lived in the region since the late 1890s.

Dr Chris Stelmaschuk
Board Director

Dr Chris Stelmaschuk is an experienced General Practitioner who has a strong passion for improving the health of all North Queenslanders. He is Practice Principal and Director at North Shore General Practice and has established the North Shore Men's Health Clinic in Townsville. Along with being a strong advocate in Men's Health, Dr Stelmaschuk's experience extends to child and adolescent mental health, aged care, refugee health, indigenous health and he is heavily involved in GP training.

Born in Canada, Dr Stelmaschuk has lived in North Queensland since a young child. He completed medical school with the first cohort of medical students at James Cook University in 2005, before spending his junior hospital years at the Townsville Hospital (now Townsville University Hospital). After a short hiatus travelling through South America, Dr Stelmaschuk began GP training through Tropical Medical Training in 2009, finishing his fellowship with RACGP in 2011. Dr Stelmaschuk is completing a project with the NQPHN and Townsville Hospital and Health Service to help improve primary care in residential aged care facilities with the use of innovative and collaborative practices.

Ben Tooth
Board Director

Ben is an Executive Manager with over 15 years of experience in executive management, finance, and accounting roles. Ben is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Ramsay Health Care’s Cairns facilities; the Cairns Private hospital, the Cairns Day Surgery, and The Cairns Clinic (inpatient mental health facility).

Ben is currently a company director of Cairns Penny Bank Limited, and is Chair of the Audit Committee. Ben is also a director of the Cairns Catholic Diocese Development Fund and has previously held board roles including Far North Queensland Regional Development Australia.

Ben is a chartered accountant having gained many years of experience at KPMG.

Ben’s primary interest outside of work is spending time with his wife and two children.

Cate Whalan
Board Director

In her early career, Cate graduated with a Bachelor of Pharmacy from the University of Queensland, interned at Mater Hospital Pharmacies in Brisbane, and registered in 1995 to be appointed as a pharmacist in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps. She had postings in charge of barracks Medical Centre dispensaries, medication supply warehouses, and saw operational service with the Combined Health Element of the Peace Monitoring Group in Bougainville in 1998.

Cate retired from the army to locum and part-time pharmacist in charge positions. In 2006 she purchased her first pharmacy in Townsville, and rebranded it ‘Cate’s Chemist’ with a shopping centre development in 2007. In 2017, Cate purchased another pharmacy in a Townsville GP Superclinic, and rebranded it to Cate’s Chemist Hyde Park with a junior partner. In 2018, Cate opened her third pharmacy at the Townsville Aboriginal & Islander Health Service.

Cate maintains a clinical interest in chronic disease management for the elderly, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In practise, she emphasises continuity of care, building health care teams across acute, primary, and specialist care, and between community and hospital pharmacy. Cate is a director of the Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre, a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Townsville Chamber of Commerce, Townsville Enterprise, Committee Member for the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (Queensland Branch), a member of the JCU Pharmacy Advisory Committee and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

NQPHN highlights