Our Board of Directors

Paul Stephen­son

Chair

Paul’s back­ground and qual­i­fi­ca­tions are in Iso­lat­ed Prac­tice Nurs­ing and health care man­age­ment. Begin­ning his career in health as a reg­is­tered nurse in the heart of Syd­ney, Paul has trained and worked across numer­ous spe­cial­ist areas includ­ing burns, pub­lic and sex­u­al health, com­mu­ni­ty health and inte­grat­ed health ser­vice devel­op­ment. He moved to Cairns in 1990 to begin work­ing with Queens­land Health and now has over two decades expe­ri­ence in the Far North Queens­land. These decades are made up of six years as a clin­i­cal nurse consultant/​program man­ag­er in sex­u­al health and HIV with com­mu­ni­ty health ser­vices work­ing from Cairns to the bor­der of PNG, pub­lic health nurs­ing on Palm Island and Direc­tor of Nursing/​Service Man­ag­er at Cook­town and Moss­man up till 2002, intro­duc­ing inte­grat­ed health ser­vices (acute, com­mu­ni­ty and aged) in both locations

Paul says his tran­si­tion to health man­age­ment streams meant the sat­is­fac­tion of mak­ing a dif­fer­ence at strate­gic and sys­tems lev­els, with an empha­sis on prac­ti­cal improve­ments in health care access and out­comes for peo­ple liv­ing in rur­al and remote communities”.

In 2002, Paul became Dis­trict Man­ag­er of the Cape York Health Ser­vice Dis­trict and remains proud of the progress made by the team in Cape York dur­ing the mid-2000s. He then went on to hold posi­tions of CEO for Mt Isa Health Dis­trict and lat­er the Tor­res Strait and NPA Health Dis­trict. Dur­ing these appoint­ments Paul con­tin­ued to advo­cate and advice on remote area nurs­ing prac­tice, rur­al and remote health care work­force devel­op­ment and the pri­ma­ry care prac­tice guidelines. 

In 2012 Paul left the pub­lic sec­tor health ser­vices and was appoint­ed Exec­u­tive Man­ag­er Pri­ma­ry Health Care with Apunip­i­ma Cape York Health Coun­cil which is the Com­mu­ni­ty Con­trol health ser­vice for the remote com­mu­ni­ties of Cape York. Dur­ing this time Paul co-chaired the edi­to­r­i­al com­mit­tee for Chron­ic Dis­ease Man­age­ment guide­lines in remote prac­tice for Qld. Dur­ing Pauls time with Apunip­i­ma he pro­vid­ed lead­er­ship for the organ­i­sa­tions move to have addi­tion­al ACCHO ser­vice cen­tres in Cape York. In 2015 Paul was appoint­ed the Gen­er­al Man­ag­er for Aus­tralian Region­al & Remote Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vices (ARRCS) NT. The organ­i­sa­tion pro­vides aged, dis­abil­i­ty and com­mu­ni­ty ser­vices, with 10 res­i­den­tial care and 11 com­mu­ni­ty ser­vices across the NT

Paul has been on the Board since 2010 and con­tin­ues to enjoy con­tribut­ing to rur­al and remote health prac­tice devel­op­ment in a mean­ing­ful way. 

Fiona Wake

Deputy Chair & Board Member

Fiona is the Pri­ma­ry Health Care (PHC) Safe­ty & Qual­i­ty Man­ag­er for Top End Health Ser­vice (TEHS) North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry. Since 2015 she has led TEHS PHC towards imple­men­ta­tion of the Nation­al Safe­ty and Qual­i­ty Health Ser­vice (NSQHS) stan­dards in prepa­ra­tion for accred­i­ta­tion. TEHS PHC includes 26 remote Pri­ma­ry Health Cen­tres, Prison Health and Urban Com­mu­ni­ty Health ser­vices, Hear­ing Health and Oral Health pro­grams and Can­cer Screen­ing Services.


Fiona’s qual­i­fi­ca­tions and expe­ri­ence as a Reg­is­tered Nurse and man­ag­er range across acute and pri­ma­ry health care for close to 30 years. For 10 of those years she worked in pri­ma­ry health in the NT with both gov­ern­ment and non-gov­ern­ment organ­i­sa­tions. This enabled her to devel­op a broad under­stand­ing of the chal­lenges and issues health pro­fes­sion­als face on a dai­ly basis in their prac­tice as well as the over­all chal­lenges of the remote clin­i­cal and cul­tur­al set­ting.

For 6 years Fiona worked as NT Clin­i­cal Man­ag­er for Remote Area Health Corps (RAHC). Dur­ing her tenure at RAHC, she suc­cess­ful­ly imple­ment­ed the RAHC Remote Edu­ca­tor (RE) pro­gram to pro­vide sup­port to clin­i­cians on their first place­ment.

Fiona was appoint­ed to the NT PHN Advi­so­ry Coun­cil in 2015 and elect­ed to the CRANAplus board the same year.

The obvi­ous com­mit­ment and pas­sion of CRANAplus to prepar­ing, sup­port­ing and speak­ing up for our rur­al and remote work­force has been an inspi­ra­tion to me as a Board mem­ber and a nurse.”

Dr Nicholas Williams

Sec­re­tary

Nick Williams was born in the mid-north of South Aus­tralia and trained at Ade­laide Uni­ver­si­ty, grad­u­at­ing in 1980. He has con­sid­er­able pub­lic health expe­ri­ence and has worked in Indige­nous health for over 24 years in Africa, north­ern Cana­da and Cen­tral Aus­tralia and rural/​remote South Aus­tralia. He was the Senior Dis­trict Med­ical Offi­cer in Alice Springs for sev­en years in the nineties, pro­vid­ing RFDS evac­u­a­tions and com­mu­ni­ty med­ical ser­vices to remote Abo­rig­i­nal communities.

He was exten­sive­ly involved in the ini­tial devel­op­ment of the CARPA Stan­dard Treat­ment Man­u­al and remains on the Edi­to­r­i­al com­mit­tee for the Remote Pri­ma­ry Health Care manuals.

He worked in gen­er­al practice/​public health at the Parks Com­mu­ni­ty Health Ser­vice for 12 years until 2011. He main­tained his emer­gency med­i­cine skills with week­ly ses­sions at Queen Eliz­a­beth Hos­pi­tal Emer­gency Depart­ment through­out this time.

In 2009 he under­took a three month ICRC human­i­tar­i­an mis­sion to the North West Fron­tier Provence of Pak­istan, and worked in an Emer­gency Response Unit in the Philip­pines in response to Tyh­poon Yolan­da in 2013. He con­tin­ues to be avail­able for ICRC Emer­gency relief duties.

He has been a facil­i­ta­tor for the CRANAplus Remote Emer­gency Care pro­gram for over 15 years.

He lec­tures in Abo­rig­i­nal Health/​Public Health at Ade­laide University.

Nick is cur­rent­ly work­ing with the Abo­rig­i­nal Health Coun­cil of South Aus­tralia as a GP Super­vi­sor, Abo­rig­i­nal Health. This involves sup­port­ing the GP work­force in rur­al and remote Com­mu­ni­ty Con­trolled Abo­rig­i­nal Health Ser­vices in SA and super­vis­ing GP Reg­is­trars. He spends more than six­ty per cent of his time work­ing in rur­al gen­er­al prac­tice, and loves it.

John Ryan

Trea­sur­er and Chair of the Audit & Risk Subcommittee

John is a lawyer liv­ing in New­cas­tle, focus­ing in recent years on med­ical neg­li­gence. As luck would have it, he says, his wife is a nurse.

As well as own­ing and oper­at­ing suc­cess­ful prac­tices, John has expe­ri­ence in a wide range of legal areas. He was the first pres­i­dent of the pro­fes­sion­al stan­dards pan­el of the New­cas­tle Angli­can Dio­cese; and is a past mem­ber of the Com­mu­ni­ty Aid Pro­gram through Bel­mont Local Court.

He has been a tutor at New­cas­tle Uni­ver­si­ty; a super­vi­sor at the New­cas­tle Legal Cen­tre; and a lawyer rep­re­sent­ing patients at Men­tal Health tribunals.

John has worked with rur­al, remote and Indige­nous clients and was drawn to CRANAplus, with its vision and ener­gy, as a way to con­tribute to improved outcomes.

Lyn­nette Byers

Board Mem­ber

Lyn Byers is a Nurse Prac­ti­tion­er in the spe­cial­ty of Remote Area Nurs­ing, a Mid­wife and a Men­tal Health Nurse. She has worked in remote com­mu­ni­ties in Cen­tral Aus­tralia since 2001 as a Remote Area Nurse and Mid­wife. She has also worked in small coun­try hos­pi­tals and bush clin­ics in Vic­to­ria. Lyn cur­rent­ly works as the Pri­ma­ry Health Cen­tre Man­ag­er at Aputula.

In 2010 she worked with Abo­rig­i­nal fam­i­lies at Kaltukat­jara on a qual­i­ta­tive research project look­ing at aspects of child rear­ing in the remote Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ty con­text. She is active­ly engaged in the edi­to­r­i­al process of the Remote Pri­ma­ry Health Care suite of man­u­als, used across remote Aus­tralia and con­tributes teach­ing ses­sions to post grad­u­ate cours­es offered by the Cen­tre for Remote Health in Alice Springs.

Lyn is pas­sion­ate about deliv­er­ing high qual­i­ty health care to remote areas and pro­mot­ing the work remote area clin­i­cians do in dif­fi­cult circumstances. 

John Wright

Board Mem­ber

John is a Remote Area Nurse liv­ing and work­ing in the North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry. He began his work­ing life as a farmer, shear­er, fenc­ing con­trac­tor and grain han­dler before attend­ing the Uni­ver­si­ty of South Aus­tralia and com­menc­ing a career in nurs­ing. After two years as a ward nurse and sev­en years as an emer­gency nurse in a major trau­ma cen­tre, John moved to the bush in 2003. Since grad­u­a­tion he has attained a Grad­u­ate Cer­tifi­cate in Emer­gency Nurs­ing, a Mas­ters Degree in Remote Health Prac­tice (Nurse Prac­ti­tion­er), and a Mas­ters Degree in Remote Health Man­age­ment, while work­ing in a vari­ety of remote and very remote set­tings. His cur­rent work­place is Ten­nant Creek Hos­pi­tal where he is Clin­i­cal Nurse Con­sul­tant for the Emer­gency Depart­ment but sec­ond­ed to the role of Clin­i­cal Nurse Edu­ca­tor for the Hos­pi­tal.. He enjoys being involved in clin­i­cal edu­ca­tion includ­ing sim­u­la­tion, hav­ing gained endorse­ment as a BLS and ALS instruc­tor and com­plet­ed sim­u­la­tion train­ing and a Cer­tifi­cate IV in Train­ing and Education.

John is a Fel­low of CRANAplus, a Fel­low of the Col­lege of Emer­gency Nurs­ing Aus­trala­sia, a grad­u­ate of the Aus­tralian Rur­al Lead­er­ship Pro­gram (Course 16), Trea­sur­er of the Cen­tral Aus­tralian Rur­al Prac­ti­tion­ers Asso­ci­a­tion and a mem­ber of the Aus­tralian Col­lege of Nurs­ing since 1991. He was instru­men­tal in cre­at­ing the South Aus­tralian Emer­gency Nurs­es Asso­ci­a­tion in 1997 and the Col­lege of Emer­gency Nurs­ing Aus­trala­sia in 2000, then joined the CRANAplus Board in 2005. In 2008, John took on and suc­cess­ful­ly com­plet­ed draft­ing the new con­sti­tu­tion that changed CRANAplus into CRANAplus. 

In his spare time’, John is the main car­er for his dis­abled wife Ani­ta and his father-in-law, he vol­un­teers as a facil­i­ta­tor for the CRANAplus REC pro­gram and ALS pro­gram, and he is a men­tor in CRANAplus’ men­tor­ing pro­gram. He is also a reg­is­tered vol­un­teer with the North­ern Ter­ri­to­ry Emer­gency Ser­vice, hav­ing com­plet­ed qual­i­fi­ca­tions in search and res­cue, and field trau­ma care. He is cur­rent­ly the Unit Offi­cer for the Ten­nant Creek Vol­un­teer Unit

Claire Board­man

Board Mem­ber

Claire has worked in both pub­lic and pri­vate health sec­tors and in Feb­ru­ary 2013 was appoint­ed as deputy direc­tor, RHDAus­tralia based at Men­zies School of Health Research in Dar­win where she works with juris­dic­tions and Indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties to improve health­care out­comes for those affect­ed by acute rheumat­ic fever (ARF) and rheumat­ic heart dis­ease (RHD). Pri­or to this appoint­ment Claire was priv­i­leged to be work­ing with Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait island com­mu­ni­ties in pub­lic health and infec­tion pre­ven­tion and con­trol in the Tor­res Strait, Far North Queensland.

In her pub­lic health capac­i­ty Claire has worked in com­plex dis­as­ter and devel­op­ing nation set­tings and has a strong ongo­ing inter­est in health­care eco­nom­ics, devel­op­ing nation and Indige­nous health issues. Claire has held a num­ber of State and Nation­al appoint­ments includ­ing Pres­i­dent of the Aus­tralasian Col­lege for Infec­tion Pre­ven­tion and Con­trol (ACIPC) and was a mem­ber of the Aus­tralian Health Pro­tec­tion Prin­ci­pal Com­mit­tee (AHPC) Anti-micro­bial Resis­tance. She is a senior lec­tur­er at Grif­fith University.

In 2013 she won one of four pres­ti­gious Coun­cil of Exec­u­tive Women schol­ar­ships to attend the Aus­tralian Grad­u­ate School of Man­age­ment Women in Lead­er­ship course at UNSW which has assist­ed her in devel­op­ing her lead­er­ship skills and exec­u­tive pres­ence and, in 2014 Claire was a NT final­ist for the Aus­tralian of the Year
Awards.

Belin­da Gibb

Board Mem­ber and Chair of the Gov­er­nance Sub­com­mit­tee

Belin­da, a proud Darug woman, dis­cov­ered her pas­sion as an edu­ca­tor while teach­ing at the Aus­tralian Nation­al University’s tech­nol­o­gy arm, ANUTECH.

After a num­ber of pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tor man­age­ment roles, Belin­da was recruit­ed as Direc­tor of Cor­po­rate Ser­vices at the Heal­ing Foun­da­tion in 2012.

Most recent­ly Belin­da has tak­en the role of CEO at Australia’s lead­ing Indige­nous edu­ca­tion provider, the Aus­tralian Indige­nous Lead­er­ship Cen­tre (AILC) in 2016.

Vanes­sa De Landelles

Board Mem­ber

For the past eight years Vanes­sa has been employed with Queens­land Health as the Direc­tor of Nurs­ing in Win­do­rah Pri­ma­ry Health Cen­tre. Vanes­sa is also a del­e­gate for the Queens­land Nurs­es and Mid­wives Union and an active mem­ber of their Rur­al and Remote Ref­er­ence Group, which gives strong focus to safety.

I am hon­oured and proud to have been select­ed as an Indige­nous Direc­tor of CRANAplus,” she says. I believe in equal­i­ty for all staff regard­less of their loca­tion of employ­ment. As a Board mem­ber I will work to ensure remote and iso­lat­ed nurs­es have a voice, to have access to train­ing and to have a voice on safe­ty issues. 

All Aus­tralians regard­less are enti­tled to access to the same good health care, no mat­ter where they live.”

Tele­health and the Inter­net have improved the sit­u­a­tion for those in remote loca­tions, Vanes­sa points out. Tele­health is forg­ing ahead, allow­ing patients to speak direct­ly to their spe­cial­ist, such as the endocri­nol­o­gist or der­ma­tol­o­gist, and fur­ther edu­ca­tion for nurs­es has start­ed to become more acces­si­ble through the Inter­net. I’d like to see these advances progress further.”