Working Groups

Strategic Planning Working Group

The Illawarra and Southern Practice Research Network Strategic Planning Working Group is a skills based group comprising of representatives from ISPRN’s stakeholders. The Strategic Planning Working Group assists ISPRN in terms of: strategic and policy advice regarding overall research direction, strategic advice regarding network growth and positioning, as well as goal setting and evaluation advice.

Professor Liz Halcomb

Prof Halcomb plays a leadership role developing Primary Health Care (PHC) nursing research, as well as engaging multidisciplinary academics within Primary Health Care to address the growing challenges in providing health care within the community. Her PHC research expertise relates to the nursing workforce in primary care, chronic and complex disease and lifestyle risk factor reduction. Additionally, Prof Halcomb has undertaken research around the nursing academic workforce, research training and teaching and learning in nursing. She has extensive experience in mixed methods research, as well as having led several systematic reviews. She is an international award-winning nurse academic and in 2020 was named in the top 100 Outstanding women nurse and midwife leaders by the Women in Global Health.

Professor Christine Phillips

Professor Phillips MBBS MA MPH MD FRACGP has worked for 25 years in areas of urban disadvantage, including in the prison sector and in substance use.  She is the medical director of Companion House Refugee Medical Service, and a cofounder of the national Refugee Health Network of Australia.  She is the Associated Dean of Health Social Science at the Australian National University. 

Associate Professor Rowena Ivers

Associate Professor Rowena Ivers is the Chair of Phase 3 at the Graduate School of Medicine, UOW, where she supports medical students in their placements in primary care across the Illawarra/ Shoalhaven and rural sites across NSW.  Her main research interests include alcohol, tobacco, nutrition and health prevention and cancer care for Aboriginal people. She has received over $8m in grants from the NHMRC, MRFF, ARC and other agencies. She is also RACGP NSW Council representative for the Illawarra/Shoalhaven, on the RACGP National Research Ethics Committee and Quality Committee, and on the Coordinare Clinical Council.

Michelle Guppy

Michelle Guppy is Associate Professor of General Practice at the School of Rural Medicine, University of New England, and Conjoint with the University of Newcastle. She has 18 years’ experience as a clinical and academic GP in Armidale. Her academic roles include teaching rural undergraduate medical students, curriculum development, undergraduate and GP research supervision, and medical education governance.

Ms Dianne Kitcher
As Chief Executive Officer of Coordinare, Ms Kitcher brings a wealth of leadership experience and capability to the role, including previous roles as Chief Operating Officer of the Victor Change Cardiac Research Institute and Chief Executive of a large employment and training provider working in regional Australia.

Dr Melinda Williams
Dr Williams is the CEO at Peoplecare and a Director of the Cram Foundation. She has extensive experience in the design and evaluation of health management programs for health insurance members, as well as clinical nursing experience in both hospital and community sectors.

Dr Susan Furber
Dr Susan Furber is the Manager of Research and Evaluation in the Health Promotion Service at Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District and has held this position since 2003. She has a conjoint Senior Lecturer position with the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of NSW. Susan’s degrees include a BSc Hons1, MPH and PhD; and Applied Graduate Diploma of Applied Epidemiology (NSW Ministry of Health). Susan has had over 25 years of experience in population health research using both quantitative and qualitative methodology.

Advisory Working Group

The Advisory Working Group comprises GP and practice manager and nursing representatives from the ISPRN network as well as community representatives. The aim of this working group is to provide stakeholder feedback and input into ISPRN’s future projects including project development, design and proposals.

Associate Professor Rowena Ivers

Associate Professor Rowena Ivers is a long term member of ISPRN and long term Illawarra based GP, who also trained as a public health physician. She has transitioned from full-time clinical work  to general practice academic at UOW, supporting medical students in their placements in primary care across the Illawarra/ Shoalhaven and rural sites across NSW. She still works one day a week in clinical practice and as a VMO. She has been a medical educator for students and registrars for many years. 

Mrs Gail Lloyd
Gail is the practice manager at Junction Street Family Practice. She enjoys travelling overseas and spending time with her large extended family. She enjoys walking, cooking and reading.

Professor Liz Halcomb
Liz is the Professor of Primary Health Care Nursing at the University of Wollongong. Her research interests relate to general practice nursing, nursing workforce, nurse education and chronic disease. She has methodological expertise in mixed methods research and systematic reviews.

Ms Sue Rejske
Sue is a community representative of the ISPRN advisory working group. Formerly a UOW staff member for 25 years, she continues her mentorship role with EnactusUOW and with the Simulated Patient Program. She counts fine wine, travel and healthcare trends among her many interests.

Mr Ray Clarke
Ray was a high school mathematics teacher until his retirement in 2005. He has volunteered at the Graduate School of Medicine since it’s inception. His interests include family history, exercise & fitness, travel and his large rose garden.

Mrs Gail Lloyd
Gail is the practice manager at Junction Street Family Practice. She enjoys travelling overseas and spending time with her large extended family. She enjoys walking, cooking and reading.

Mr Stephen Byrnes

Steve is a graduate from Wollongong University and Completed 33 years as a New South Wales Police Officer.  He has been with the Graduate school of Medicine as a simulated patient for the past 8 years.  He enjoys family, fitness and travel throughout Australia in there motorhome

Mr Justin Norris

Justin is a community representative who worked for 25 years at UOW in the Faculty of Business the last 10 years as a Senior Manager. He is a UOW alumni and continues his association with UOW in the Simulated Patient Program. He enjoys swimming, bike riding and travel.

Dr Tim Jones

Ms Mary Tatton

Mr Laurie Duffy