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Our Board

The Hunter New England Health Board consists of 13 members from a range of backgrounds and with local ties to the Hunter, New England and Lower Mid North Coast regions. Together, the Board and Chief Executive are responsible for:

  • Ensuring effective governance and risk management processes are in place to guarantee compliance with the NSW Public Sector Accountability Framework.
  • Improving local patient outcomes and responding to issues that arise.
  • Monitoring Hunter New England Health's performance against measures outlined in the Service Agreement.
  • Delivering services and performance standards based on annual strategic and operating plans within an agreed budget. This forms the basis of our Service Agreement.
  • Ensuring Hunter New England Health provides services efficiently and accountably.
  • Producing Annual Reports that are subject to State financial accountability and audit frameworks.
  • Maintaining effective communication with local and State public health stakeholders.

Martin Cohen

Associate Professor Martin Cohen, from Newcastle (Chair). Dr Cohen is a former Executive Director of Hunter New England Mental Health Service and Director of Specialist Training. Dr Cohen's current appointments include Deputy Commissioner for the NSW Mental Health Commission, senior consulting psychiatrist at Procare, Managing Director of Asclepius Health - Health Transition Systems. Martin completed medicine at Sydney University, and his PhD at Newcastle University, and is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.

Stephen Pryde

Dr Stephen Pryde, from Newcastle, is a Paediatrician and former Director of Paediatric Ambulatory Care at the Central Coast Local Health District. Dr Pryde completed his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery at Sydney University, and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, as well as being a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. With over 30 years of clinical experience in Paediatrics and child health in NSW, Stephen has a particular interest in clinical improvement and patient safety, child and adolescent behavioural and mental health issues, and the health of our indigenous children.

Kirsten Molloy

Dr Kirsten Molloy, from Newcastle, is a business leader, company director and chair, sitting on a range of Boards of commercial, Government and not-for-profit organisations. Her extensive executive career was in resources, manufacturing, supply chain and logistics and included being CEO of Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator and executive and management positions at Orica. Dr Molloy’s passion and value for community health and wellbeing is a key motivation to join the HNELHD Board. Dr Molloy brings a range of skills to the Board, having an in-depth knowledge of governance processes, strategy development, enterprise risk, stakeholder engagement, creation of constructive cultures and working collaboratively. Dr Molloy is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion, and she is President of the Hunter’s Equal Futures Project, a not-for-profit focussed on equity and diversity. She also founded Verity Leadership, to support leaders who want to transform their organisations, cultures and leadership. Dr Molloy has a love of learning, with an MBA from Deakin, PhD and an honours degree in Science from the University of Newcastle and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Liz Nicol

Liz Nicol, from Newcastle, has strong executive and non-executive experience, with particular expertise across leadership, culture change, governance and risk management. Liz is the Co-founder, and former Executive Director of SafetyWorks Group, a leading Australian provider of safety culture change solutions for performance improvement. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors as well as the Governance Institute of Australia. Her qualifications include Master Business Administration, Graduate Australian Institute of Company Directors 2012, Graduate Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety and Diploma Applied Science (Nursing). Liz holds a number of Board and Advisory Board directorships across the not for profit, education and governance sectors. Liz has a particular interest in creating a safety and wellbeing excellence culture, resulting in quality outcomes for patients and enhanced safety, mental health and wellbeing for employees.

Kevin Dupé

Mr Kevin Dupé's experience includes development of economic and socio-economic policy in Government. Kevin has also held leadership roles in the banking and finance sector. He has a connection to rural and regional NSW where he led the New England Credit Union (now Regional Australia Bank) through a period of significant growth. He has strong corporate governance experience sitting on a number of Boards and has a strong interest in regional mental health.

Peter O'Mara

Professor Peter O’Mara is from the Wiradjuri people of New South Wales. He is a Fellow with the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and Associate Professor, Indigenous Medical Education and Head of Discipline – Indigenous Health at the University of Newcastle. He has significant experience in the area of Aboriginal health and has sat on a number of Boards including as the Chair of RACGP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and on the RACGP Board. Peter describes himself as an Aboriginal man who loves being a doctor. Peter loves working one on one with his patients and finds a source of satisfaction in the knowledge that in his own small way, the work that he does contributes toward closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous health outcomes. Peter has been a member of the AIDA Board for eight years and was President of AIDA from 2009 – 2012.

Bob Hawes

Mr Bob Hawes, from Newcastle, is Chief Executive of Business Hunter where Bob is responsible for driving the organisation strategy and program of thought leadership, policy development, advocacy and executing delivery of events and member development programs. Bob has extensive experience and knowledge in the realm of urban and regional development and expertise in infrastructure planning, location analysis, economic and social impact assessment, project feasibility and land use strategy. Bob has an Economics degree and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has extensive experience working on and reporting to boards and has a strong community focus with volunteer leadership and board responsibilities across a number of NFP, Charity and sporting organisations.

Meagan Hudson

Ms Meagan Hudson of Emmaville, has more than 20 years’ experience in nursing, clinical governance, accreditation programs, policy development and risk management.  Prior to establishing a consultancy in 2020, Ms Hudson was the Clinical Quality and Safety Manager for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (South Eastern Section) and has performed quality and assurance roles for public and private health services.

Anita Kauffmann

Ms Anita Kauffmann is a Chartered Accountant with mediation and governance qualifications, and has executive experience across a broad section of industries and roles including aviation, education, agribusiness and government. Ms Kauffmann is a qualified mediator, has a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) and Bachelor of Science (Psychology) and is passionate about strategic planning, risk and change management.

Penelope Paliadelis

Professor Penelope (Penny) Paliadelis of Uralla has more than 20 years’ experience in nursing and education, and currently owns and operates her own higher education and leadership consultancy company. Alongside managing her own consultancy, Prof Paliadelis is also an Adjunct Professor with Federation University Australia and Deakin Co (a division of Deakin University).  Widely published, Prof Paliadelis is also a registered nurse with extensive knowledge in entry-to-practice education and clinical leadership in both metropolitan and rural facilities, including previously for Hunter New England Health.

Wendy Wilks

From Inverell, Mrs Wendy Wilks has lived in the area for more than 40 years. As a former business owner, Mrs Wilks is currently a Councillor on Inverell Shire Council and is a strong community advocate for Northern New South Wales. Having worked across financial services, telecommunications and local government. Mrs Wilks has owned several local businesses and specialises in communications, growth and operations.

Board meeting minutes - 2024

The Hunter New England Health Board meets each month, alternating their meetings at towns throughout the district.

Minutes 2024 meetings

Board meeting minutes - 2023

The Hunter New England Health Board meets each month, alternating their meetings at towns throughout the district.

Minutes 2023 meetings

Board meeting minutes - 2020-22

Minutes 2022 meetings

Minutes 2021 meetings

Minutes 2020 meetings

Board meeting minutes - 2011-19

Minutes 2019 meetings

Minutes 2018 meetings

Minutes 2017 meetings

Minutes 2016 meetings

Minutes 2015 meetings

Minutes 2014 meetings

Minutes 2013 meetings

Minutes 2012 meetings

Minutes 2011 meetings

Board Resources