Our structure

The WA Country Health Service is currently organised into seven regions to deliver quality healthcare to residents and visitors in country Western Australia.

Organisational structure

The WA Country Health Service (WACHS) is a State Government statutory authority under the Health Services Act 2016. The legislation, which came into effect on 1 July 2016, replaced the Hospitals and Health Services Act 1927 and involved the establishment of boards that are legally responsible and accountable for delivering safe, high-quality, efficient and economical health services to their local communities.

From 1 July 2016, the WACHS Board commenced as the governing body for WACHS. It comprises highly capable and committed professionals with a diverse range of experience across the fields of medicine and health care, finance, law and community and consumer engagement. The board works closely with the CEO, who manages the day-to-day organisational operations to deliver safe, high-quality and efficient health services to local communities.

Board Chair

Dr Neale Fong
Dr Neale Fong

Dr Neale Fong

Neale Fong is a registered medical practitioner with over 30 years’ experience in medical and health care delivery and leadership roles. His strengths lie in reform and change management, developing strategic direction for healthcare organisations and leading over the entire spectrum of health policy and operational issues.

In addition to his role as Chair of the WA Country Health Service Board, Neale is also Chairman of Bethesda Health Care, and Chairman of the Ministerial Council for Suicide Prevention. He consults to Curtin University in the establishment of WA’s third medical school and holds a Professor in Healthcare Leadership. He runs his own management consulting firm and has engagements with a number of government and health-related companies.

Neale is a former Director General of the Department of Health (WA) and CEO of St John of God Hospital Subiaco. He holds Masters degrees in Business Administration and Theological Studies, and Bachelor degrees in Medicine and Surgery. He is the National and WA President of the Australasian College of Health Service Management.

Neale was the Chairman of the WA Football Commission for 10 years, responsible for managing and growing Australian Rules Football in WA.

Deputy Board Chair

Ms Wendy Newman
Ms Wendy Newman

Ms Wendy Newman

Wendy Newman has most recently been CEO of the Wheatbelt Development Commission. She has extensive experience in individual, organisational and regional development and in addition to her role as Deputy Chair of the WACHS Board, is on the Board of Regional Development Australia, Wheatbelt and Deputy Chair of Directions Workforce Solutions.

Wendy has extensive experience in working at all levels of government to develop strategy and drive reform. More recently, this effort has been applied to driving collaboration across local government boundaries on priority development issues, assisting in the development of sustainable child care services and developing and delivering innovative models for aged care in regional settings.

Wendy has a Masters in Commerce (Management), a Bachelor of Education and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors Program.

 

Board Member

Alan Ferris
Alan Ferris

Alan Ferris

Alan Ferris currently leads the consulting team at BDO, a large accounting firm. He has significant experience in Government and not-for-profit sectors. He has worked in the Senior Executive Service of the State Government in positions including General Manager of the Perth Theatre Trust and Director General of the Department of Culture and the Arts. He also held the position of Chief Financial Officer in Culture and the Arts for seven years.

Alan sits on the Board of the Palmerston Association and is also a member of the WA Planning Commission’s Executive Finance and Property Committee.  Alan also has significant local government experience having been Mayor of the Town of East Fremantle for six years and a Councillor for eight years. Alan holds Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Information Systems), is a Certified Practising Accountant and also a Fellow of Leadership WA.

Outside of the finance industry, Alan enjoys all sports, especially soccer and golf, and spending time with his wife and two daughters.

Board Member

Michael Hardy
Michael Hardy

Michael Hardy

Michael is a lawyer who practised for some 40 years in a large national firm, a boutique firm and as a sole practitioner. Michael’s principal areas of practice were administrative, contract, planning, environmental and property law.

In addition to his position on the Board of WA Country Health, he is a member of the Contaminated Sites Committee and an a member of the Metropolitan Central Joint Development Assessment Panel. Michael is a former chairman and non-executive director of Fleetwood Limited and Senior Vice President of the Law Society of Western Australia.

In addition to the roles above, Michael enjoys music, film and cycling.

Board Member

Dr Daniel Heredia
Dr Daniel Heredia

Dr Daniel Heredia

Dr Daniel Heredia is the Medical Director at Hollywood Private Hospital, the largest private hospital in WA. He has previously worked as a Medical Advisor to Medicare Australia and prior to this, worked in clinical medicine at various hospitals in WA. Daniel sits on the WA Board of the Medical Board of Australia and was a Director of the Australian Medical Association (WA) for six years.

Daniel has completed a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery with Honours, an MBA with Distinction, and a Diploma of Public Health. He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators and Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Service Management. 

Daniel is passionate about developing the next generation of leaders in the healthcare system. Outside of work Daniel enjoys traveling and spending time with his young family.

Board Member

Dr Kim Isaacs
Dr Kim Isaacs

Dr Kim Isaacs

Dr Kim Isaacs is a GP practising at the Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Service and previously has held medical roles at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Royal Perth Hospital, Princess Margaret Hospital, Broome Regional Hospital and Alice Springs Hospital.

A Yaruwu, Karajarri and Noongar woman, Dr Isaacs has a strong background in rural and remote medicine and Aboriginal primary health care since completing her medical degree at the University of Western Australia. She has previously been a board member of Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service. She is also a lecturer in Aboriginal Health at Notre Dame University, a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and a Fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation. Prior to entering medical school, Kim completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree at UWA with a major in Accounting and Finance.

Kim is passionate about developing young people and has a particularly strong interest in child and maternal health, and mental health and wellbeing. She brings to the board a particular understanding of the issues and challenges around rural and remote health service delivery.

 

Board Member

Joshua Nisbet
Joshua Nisbet

Joshua Nisbet

Mr Joshua Nisbet is the Manager of Aboriginal Economic Participation with Rio Tinto, responsible for the employment and contracting obligations Rio Tinto Iron Ore has with the Traditional Owners of the Pilbara, arising from the commercial agreements and Indigenous Land Use Agreements. Joshua’s previous roles with Rio Tinto included Expansions Studies Manager where he was responsible for Order of Magnitude through to Bankable Feasibility Studies for expansions of mines and ports, with capital budgets in excess of US$1 billion. He was also Manager Next Generation Operations Centre where he co-led a review of Iron Ore’s Operating Model which identified ways to extract greater value through improved integration.

Joshua has post graduate qualifications in Psychology and Commerce from UWA, Murdoch and UNSW and commenced his career working for WA’s specialist psychiatric disability employment agency, Workright (WA). During this time he championed evidence-based practices on a national level and helped establish a national consortium of mental health employment agencies, for which he was the inaugural Vice-Chair. Following the successful merger of Workright with Ruah Community Service, Joshua worked in Strategy and Operations consulting and Oil and Gas construction before joining Rio Tinto.

Joshua is married to a health promotion and health policy specialist from Busselton and together they are raising two boys.

Board Member

Mary Anne Stephens
Mary Anne Stephens

Mary Anne Stephens

Mary Anne is a senior executive and non-executive director with more than 25 years’ experience leading teams within the financial services, IT and not-for-profit sectors in Australia and the United States. She has extensive experience in strategy, finance, risk management, audit and governance. Mary Anne is currently the Chief Financial Officer for Amana Living.

Mary Anne is a Non-Executive Director of Diabetes WA, a Board Member of VenuesWest, and an external member of the Football West Finance and Audit Sub-committee.

She holds a Master of Accounting degree, is a Fellow of CPA Australia, a Fellow of the Institute of Public Accountants, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mary Anne is passionate about the need to continually improve health outcomes within the WA community. Her goal is to leverage her skills and experience to contribute in a positive way to the WA Country Health Service.

Board Member

Meredith Waters
Meredith Waters

Meredith Waters

Meredith Waters arrived in the Esperance region 18 years ago from Melbourne, and quickly grew to love life in this regional community. With a background in the justice system as a Clerk of Courts in Victoria, Meredith commenced with the Esperance Court House in 2000.

Loving a new challenge and still with the Department of Justice, Meredith later took up work as an adult corrections officer. Following a gap in paid work to spend time caring for her three sons, Meredith held the role of coordinator with the adult literacy program Read Write Now.

Since 2010, Meredith has held a variety of roles in the community and volunteer sector including: Service Manager of BOICO, a local not-for-profit organisation supporting people with mental illness and their carers, Project Officer with the Esperance Volunteer Resource Centre writing policies and procedures, and Area Chaplain with YouthCARE in the Kalgoorlie-Esperance region. 

Meredith is currently a member of Esperance Local Drug Action Group, board member for 103.9HopeFM community radio and Esperance Community Arts, and the Chairperson of the South East District Health Advisory Council with WACHS.

Meredith has a strong interest in social justice, community advocacy and creating change through providing information, training and education to people living in remote and regional Western Australia.

Board Communique

View the highlights, key discussions and considerations from our Board meetings.

2017 Board Meetings

September Board Meeting

July Board Meeting

June Board Meeting

May Board Meeting

April Board Meeting

March Board Meeting

February Board Meeting 

2016 Board meetings

 

How we operate

The WA Country Health Service (WACHS) delivers acute and primary health services to regional Western Australia (WA), operating within a Regional Network Model and providing an integrated service delivery system that has earned broad community acceptance. The model includes Regional Resource Centres, Integrated District Health Services, and flexible services with a primary health care focus for small towns and isolated communities. Services are managed and adapted to address local need and circumstance with input from a wide range of community representatives and key stakeholders.

The breadth and scope of the WACHS organisation is enormous, with services being planned and delivered for a particularly diverse and sprawling population with widely varying health needs. A high transient population of tourists also exists in many areas and has to be taken into account.

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