Our committed and talented team of Board Members and Executive Directors are fundamental to bringing our strategic plan to life and changing the healthcare story with our community.
The members of the Board of Directors oversee the strategic direction of Maryborough District Health Service. Members are appointed for one, two, or three-year terms by the Governor in Council and are responsible for the provision of agreed services within the resources available.
The Board is the governance body of MDHS, which includes monitoring the financial management, risk management, care standards and compliance with regulations and legislation.
Kelly Mason – Board Chair
Kelly Mason brings extensive commercial, industry and public sector experience to the board of MDHS. A leader and expert in the employment services sector, she has more than 20 years’ experience in senior management roles in employment and training companies. With an MBA in Business Administration and Management and Bachelor of Commerce, she is General Manager at Bounce Global, successfully growing the business internationally and online. She is also Chair of MDHS since 2021, Vice Chair from 2018-2021 and a board director since 2015. Kelly is skilled in strategic thinking and leadership in large complex organisations and brings strong financial, people management and communication skills as well as knowledge of industry, region, employment and training. With specific knowledge of Victorian regional employment, labour hire and compliance, Kelly is highly skilled and passionate about building positive culture, training and motivating staff to achieve performance targets through significant organisational change. Highly skilled at stakeholder engagement, she also brings welcome perspectives on inclusion and employee well-being.
Dr Judy Lowthian – Board Vice-Chair
Dr Judy Lowthian is an internationally-recognised researcher and expert in the health services required for an ageing population. As Head of Research and Principal Research Fellow at Bolton Clarke, Australia’s largest not-for-profit aged and community care provider, Judy leads a multidisciplinary research team, working closely with government, health services, universities and community, translating research into practice, informing policy and new approaches to the delivery of health and social care. Judy is also an Adjunct Professor in The University of Queensland’s Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences and Associate Professor with Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. A recipient of many competitive grants and awards, she has presented at more than 100 conferences and serves on national and international committees that focus on improving care for older people. She is also Advisory Group Member of Ending Loneliness Together. In 2016 she was appointed as the Principal Research Fellow at the RSL Care + Royal District Nursing Service Research Institute, following the completion of her PhD and NHMRC postdoctoral Fellowship at Monash University’s School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine, where she made significant contributions to understanding health services use by an ageing population. Her research is underpinned by a clinical background in speech pathology rehabilitation and health services management.
Elizabeth Chatham – Board Member
Elizabeth Chatham is an executive leader in the Australian health services sector, with C-suite and board director roles at significant health institutions, recognised for her service to maternity care, women’s and children’s health. She brings more than 25 years’ experience in driving operational efficiencies and innovation, health governance and running multi-million-dollar budgets, improving health services across ACT, NSW and Victoria. As Chief Operating Officer at Canberra Health Services, she was in charge of day-to-day operations at Canberra Hospital, University of Canberra Hospital and community health centres and services. Other senior roles have included Executive Director, Women’s Youth and Children Division, Canberra Health Service and CEO, Women’s and Children’s Hospitals Australasia. Prior, she spent 13 years in senior roles at the Royal Women’s Hospital (Melbourne) including as Clinical Director and received the Chairman’s Medal for outstanding contribution. Current board directorships include Maryborough District Health Service and she previously chaired Women’s Health Victoria. She has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Canberra and was enrolled on the ACT Women’s Honour Roll in recognition of her contribution to maternity care and women’s and children’s health. Elizabeth is an MAICD, has a Graduate Diploma of Business and remains a registered nurse and midwife.
Robert Camm – Board Member
Known for decisive and inclusive leadership, Robert Camm is a highly-skilled executive and board director with broad experience across senior roles in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, helping drive transformation, financial sustainability, best practice and governance. A qualified CPA and MAICD, Robert brings extensive fiscal management ability and strong commercial acumen when directing and delivering large scale and complex change projects. He has delivered major reforms in the Victorian health sector including voluntary amalgamations at NCN Health in July 2019 and Grampians Health in November 2021 and developed clinical service plans at a regional, service and health service level. Robert has also successfully developed strategic plans for Euroa Health, Mansfield District Hospital, NCN Health, Indigo North Health and Yarrawonga Health. A highly skilled negotiator, he has secured funding for many infrastructure projects including $169 million GV Health Redevelopment, $59 million Orygen Youth Health Redevelopment, $217 million Latrobe Regional Hospital Stage 3A, and $35 million per annum for the Medical Equipment Replacement Program. Currently Robert is director and principal consultant at Boroko Consulting, providing commercial and financial advisory services to the public sector, for-purpose leaders and boards. He is also a board director at Nillumbik Community Health Service and of Melbourne Fringe.
Shea Stewart – Board Member
Born and raised in Maryborough, Shea Stewart is a board director, lawyer and local leader, committed to providing value through service to her local community and is passionate about changing its health care story. Shea has eight years’ experience working as a lawyer in regional and community focused law firms, understanding the particular circumstances and needs of regional people and businesses. Shea currently works as an associate lawyer at Nevett Wilkinson Frawley Lawyers in Ballarat. She has versatile experience in a broad range of legal matters including wills, powers of attorney and estate planning, estate administration and litigation, commercial law, conveyancing, victims of crime assistance work, personal injury, superannuation claims and general litigation matters. Shea has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in International Relations and Criminology) from Deakin University, a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, Victorian Supreme Court legal practicing certificate and is currently completing a Masters in Applied Law. Shea completed LEAD Loddon Murray’s Leading Excellence Maryborough Leadership Program and has a Certificate III and IV in Business. Shea is also a board member for the Committee for Maryborough and the Ballarat District Law Association and a member of Commerce Ballarat and the Law Institute of Victoria.
Ron Eason – Board Member
Ron Eason is an experienced local businessman, councillor and well-connected community leader, bringing commercial acumen, local knowledge and engagement and a passionate desire to help the people in the Pyrenees Shire. Ron is Mayor of Pyrenees and Avoca Ward Councillor. He was first elected to Pyrenees Shire Council in 2012 and re-elected in 2016 and 2020. He nominates a desire to help people in the Pyrenees Shire as his inspiration to join Council and when elected to his third term as Mayor, he cited the impacts of COVID 19 and the spring floods as a key focus.
Ron plays a key role in connecting community to services and ensuring community participation is representative and effective. He is well networked across community groups and energetic in his support for initiatives that help community. From 2009, Ron has run the Avoca newsagency with his wife Jenny as well as being involved in local events and community life. He has more than 30 years’ experience in small business and manufacturing including working for Tatura Milk Industries from 1988 to 2009 and for Maribyrnong Ordnance Factory from 1973 to 1988.
Courtney Noonan – Board Member
Courtney Noonan has specialist knowledge on the health and wellbeing of families and children and the high-quality care women need throughout pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum period. She has 20 years’ experience as a nurse, midwife, maternal and child health nurse, coordinator and manager and provides valuable first-hand experience and high-level advice to help guide organisations to improve services and care. Formerly the Coordinator at Maternal and Child Health within local government, Courtney has also worked at metro hospitals, including the Royal Women’s Hospital in Maternity Services and for the City of Yarra as a Maternal and Child Health Nurse. She has made a strong contribution to the redevelopment of MDHS including roles as Clinical Advisor to the hospital master plan, Clinical Risk Coordinator and at Avoca Hostel and Nursing Home. Earlier in her career, she was a registered nurse at Dunolly Hospital. Courtney has a Masters of Nursing Science from La Trobe University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Midwifery Science, a Bachelor of Nursing and is a qualified nurse immuniser. She is passionate about contributing to local regional communities and has previous and current membership of a number of governance committees in the health and early years sector.
Peter Le Lievre – Board Member
Peter Le Lievre is a highly experienced Chair, Non-Executive Director, Committee Chair, Member and CEO, making a significant contribution to regional boards, enterprise and communities. He has more than 30 years of board level experience with particular expertise in disability, business advisory, local government and public accounting industries as well as water, agriculture and construction. At board level he is known for driving business improvement, leveraging audit, risk, financial and broad commercial experience across many industries to ensure governance provides foundations for outcomes. Peter is currently Board Vice-Chair and on several committees including the Audit and Risk Committee at Central Highlands Water. Prior, he was Chair of the Audit Advisory Committee for City of Ballarat and the first CFO at S.J. Weir, the first CEO at Stephen Pasture Seeds, and the first CFO at Conservation Volunteers. He was also CFO and CEO (acting) at Ballarat Regional Industries, an Australian Disability Enterprise providing meaningful training and employment opportunities where he turned the organisation from loss making to profit in 18 months. He also mentors Business Owners, CEOs and CFOs, is a Graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and a Fellow CPA Australia (FCPA).
Our Executive team is committed to working collaboratively to help people better manage their health according to legislation and government requirements. Delivering person-centred goals and developing a working environment that promotes a sense of well-being, and creating opportunities for education and understanding are the foundation on which the team operates.
Nickola Allan – Chief Executive Officer
Nickola Allan is a highly experienced executive and leader in public health with more than 20 years’ experience in senior roles, driving positive regional healthcare outcomes. She is known for strategic development, improving health care services delivery, leading large cultural change and exceptional governance skills including clinical, quality and risk management. As CEO of MDHS, Nickola has strategic leadership of over 450 staff members across three campuses and successfully launched a new strategic plan, which includes the completion of the $100 million hospital build to service a growing population. The transformational plan puts its staff and community at the centre and also includes student accommodation and a new maternity services model of care. Nickola has exceptional stakeholder engagement skills and identifies partnership opportunities with GP clinics, partner health services and volunteers to collaborate on building healthy communities. Her development of the MDHS Community Participation and Engagement Framework connecting community to services is held up as an example by other regional services. Nickola launched the MDHS Reconciliation Action Plan in 2021 and appointed a Director of People, Culture and Wellbeing to reflect her commitment to staff health and wellbeing. With an MBA and experience in nursing, Nickola is Chair, Board of Management at Highview College, MDHS representative in the Grampians region Health Services Partnership and is a member of Go Goldfields.
David Edwards – Deputy CEO, Executive Director Infrastructure, Technology and Experience
David is a CPA and a strategic leader in regional health, delivering large scale transformation through consumer and employee collaboration. He has deep expertise in finance, governance and experience-driven systems and introduces world-leading systems and processes to drive improvement in health services and infrastructure. As Deputy CEO of MDHS, he leads the delivery of the strategic plan and is implementing new ways to use patient, client and staff experience stories and data to drive change in clinical and non-clinical systems. As Director of Infrastructure, Technology and Experience, David introduced health-tech and digital capability and is leading the delivery of the $100 million Maryborough Hospital redevelopment, providing the growing population with world-class leading urgent care, inpatient, birthing, theatre, ambulatory care, medical imaging and pathology facilities. Prior positions included Director of Finance and Corporate Services at MDHS, Interim CEO and Director of Corporate Services at Kyabram District Health Service and Director of Business Services at Heathcote Health. An authentic, emotionally intelligent and honest leader, he builds organisational and regional resilience through supporting team members in new skill development and opportunities. David completed an executive leadership course at Melbourne Business School in 2017 and is a Wirrate CFA firefighter and Tabilk Group secretary/treasurer.
Kris Payne – Executive Director of People, Culture and Wellbeing
Kris Payne is a strategic leader with 15 years’ experience in senior roles in the health and community sector within regional communities. He is highly skilled at leading large change agendas, running multi-million budgets and increasing operational efficiencies, while building a culture of excellence. Kris is a member of the MDHS executive team and responsible for the development and implementation of strategies that contribute to the success of MDHS strategic vision. As MDHS embarks on its next chapter, led by the $100 million hospital redevelopment and service redesign, Kris is building trusted teams and future skill sets to contribute to a culture of excellence, organisational sustainability and resilience. Kris champions inclusion in the workplace and access for all to healthcare and opportunity regardless of circumstance. Prior, Kris was Director of People and Culture at East Wimmera Health Service where he was a key member of the executive team, responsible for developing and championing a collaborative culture, as well as HR, organisation development, support services, payroll and Occupational Health and Safety. Other roles have included Manager People and Culture Hepburn Health Service and Manager, People and Quality, BDHN Group. Kris is completing an MBA at Deakin University and was a former board member of the Southern Mallee Primary Care Partnership.
Robyn Wilson – Executive Director, Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health
Robyn Wilson is a senior health executive and program leader with more than 20 years’ experience in leadership roles in metro and regional hospitals and community health care, improving policy, service delivery and the health of Victorians. As Executive Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health at MDHS, Robyn brings a unique set of clinical, business and executive expertise including a strong focus on governance and health service accreditation. With deep expertise in home-based care, oncology and public health, she is a results-driven leader, upholding the highest level of accountability and integrity. Prior, Robyn was Operations Director, Chief Medical Office at Grampians Health where she established and led the Grampians Public Health Unit, oversaw the management of the COVID pandemic regional response and acted as spokesperson. Robyn was Senior Project Officer at the Department of Health and Human Services, with leadership of a state-wide project and was author of a framework outlining governance, policies and practices for Home-Based Cancer Care in Victoria. She also held managerial roles at Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre, Cabrini and Peter McCallum Cancer Centre. With national experience in the home-based sector, Robyn established therapies in the home including chemo and clinical trials. Robyn has qualifications in nursing and has undertaken professional development including the Australian Institute of Company Directors course.
Marcus Sherwell – Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Services
Marc Sherwell has more than 15 years’ experience overseeing financial, corporate and support services in organisations in the health and finance industries in regional Victoria. He brings deep expertise in leading the provision of financial and statistical information to inform better decision making and build long-term sustainability. As Executive Director, Finance and Corporate Services at MDHS, Marc is a key member of the executive team, providing financial management, advice and guidance to the CEO and Board on finance, procurement, health Information and hospitality services. Prior, as Financial Controller at Dhelkaya Health, Marc played a key role in reviewing financial processes and controls to ensure they remained effective, efficient and compliant while leading the finance team through amalgamations with two other regional health services. Marc was also the Operations Support Services Manager and Acting Director of Finance and Corporate Services at St John of God Hospital Bendigo, working with department managers to improve revenue, productivity, cost control and helping guide the organisation through the COVID pandemic peak. Marc moved into the health sector after almost ten years in various roles including Senior Treasury Analyst and Manager Corporate Services at Rural Finance/Rural Bank in Bendigo. Marc is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and completed a Bachelor Business (Accounting and IT) at La Trobe University.