In-depth experience and diversity on new Board of National Rural Health Alliance

03 December 2020

The diversity of health professionals working across the rural sector is reflected in the new Board of the National Rural Health Alliance (the Alliance), elected at the 29th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Canberra this week.

The Alliance of 44 national rural and health-related organisations advocates for sustainable and affordable health services for the 7 million people in rural and remote Australia. Our membership includes representation from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health sector, health professional organisations, health service providers, health educators and students, as well as consumer groups.

At the AGM on Monday 30 November 2020, the representative for Allied Health Professions Australia, Nicole O’Reilly, was elected Chair, having served periodically on the Board, including as Treasurer and Secretary, since 2010. A former occupational therapy clinician and health manager from the Northern Territory, Ms O’Reilly has comprehensive skills and knowledge, and strong relationships across the allied health sector.

Ms O’Reilly thanked Tanya Lehmann for her service as Chair of the Alliance for the past three years and as a Director for 10 years.

“Tanya has been a highly personable and professional leader, and her passion for rural health has fortified the Alliance during a prolonged period of hardship in rural, regional and remote Australia,” Ms O’Reilly said.

“Tanya has carefully steered the organisation throughout the year, which has required new and agile organisational responses to support people in the current conditions, while also making strong headway in outcomes identified in the Alliance’s 2019–2022 Strategic Plan.”  

Ms O’Reilly acknowledged and thanked outgoing Treasurer Julianne Bryce, and outgoing Directors Daniel Mahony, Peter O’Meara and Lynne Strathie. Five new Directors have been appointed to the Alliance Board.

“This year the Alliance has adjusted its Constitution to widen the scope of nominees with different skills, experience and backgrounds, and this has led to a highly diverse cohort of Directors elected to the Board,” Ms O’Reilly said. 

National Rural Health Alliance Board

(Effective 30 November 2020)

Nicole O’Reilly, Chair
Allied Health Professions Australia (AHPA)

Stephen Gourley, Deputy Chair (re-elected)
Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM)

Monica Barolits-McCabe, Treasurer
Australian Indigenous Doctors' Association (AIDA)

Katherine Isbister

Amanda O’Keefe
Speech Pathology Australia (SPA)

Heather Keighley
Australian College of Nursing (ACN)

Geoff Argus
Australian Rural Health Education Network (ARHEN)

Viney Joshi
Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM)


Media Enquiries:  Clare Ross, Manager Media and Communications, 0437 445 201 [email protected]