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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.

Peter Johnston

Peter Johnston, from Tamworth (Deputy Chair). Mr Johnston has worked in the community services sector in Tamworth for the past 10 years. Peter too has worked in both the public and private sectors and has a range of experience in corporate governance and business and financial management.

Patrick Farrell

Dr Patrick T. Farrell, from Newcastle, is a Senior Staff Specialist Anaesthetist based at John Hunter Hospital. He was the Director of Anaesthesia at John Hunter Hospital for 10 years. His sub-specialty interest is in paediatric and neonatal anaesthesia and he is a past President of the Society for Paediatric Anaesthesia in New Zealand and Australia. He was a Councillor of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists for 9 years and served the College in a variety of other roles including Chair of Examinations. Dr Farrell is a conjoint lecturer for the University of Newcastle and also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Lyn Raines

Lyn Raines, from Forster. Ms Raines is a private practitioner Occupational Therapist who has an extensive service in health both in nursing and occupational therapy. Her work experience has encompassed diverse areas of health as well as work in rural and remote centres including the Torres Straits and Far North Western Queensland. She remains committed to quality client care and advocacy with specific focus to those individuals with disabilities to remain independent within their own environment.

Ben Wilkins

Ben Wilkins, from Newcastle, has a background in pharmacy having been a registered pharmacist since 1994 and an accredited pharmacist providing Medicare services in collaboration with GPs. He is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). Ben's current appointments include roles in the regulatory, not-for-profit, for-profit and government service sectors including as a member-elected non-executive Director with Hunter Primary Care; a NSW practitioner member on the Pharmacy Board of Australia; and a Digital Health Officer in collaboration with the Australian Digital Health Agency via the Hunter New England Central Coast Primary Health Network (HNECC PHN). Outside his focus on medicine and information technology, Ben has a particular passion for preventative lifestyle measures to improve the community's health and wellbeing.

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.

Board Meeting Minutes 2020-21

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

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