Our People

SQRH Advisory Board

SQRH is governed by an Advisory Board that meets monthly to provide SQRH strategic oversight, advice and leadership. The Board is comprised of an executive representative from each of SQRH's partner organisations and is led by an independent Chairperson.

Derek Tuffield OAM

Independent Chair

Derek Tuffield OAM

Derek is the Chief Executive Officer for Lifeline Darling Downs and South West and has extensive experience in community services and community recovery which stretches across more than 30 years.

He is very passionate about regional, rural and remote communities and advancing the wellbeing of communities across Southern Queensland.

With his knowledge and skills much sought after, Derek is currently appointed and sits on various Federal, State and Local Government boards and working parties.

Prior to entering the field of community services, Derek worked in the banking industry for more than 17 years.

Networking, mentoring and successful stakeholder engagement is extremely important to Derek and these qualities provide SQRH with an excellent independent Board Chair.

Derek looks forward to building and progressing SQRH and overseeing the development of a resilient and sustainable health workforce across Southern Queensland.

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Professor Bruce Abernethy


Professor Bruce Abernethy Executive Dean, Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, University of Queensland

Professor Bruce Abernethy is the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Queensland. In that role he has oversight of six academic schools (Dentistry; Health & Rehabilitation Sciences; Human Movement & Nutrition Sciences; Nursing, Midwifery & Social Work: Pharmacy; and Psychology) and five research centres (the Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences; the Recover Injury Research Centre; the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health; the Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research; and the Centre for the Business and Economics of Health). Prior to commencing this role in 2014 Bruce had previously served as Head of the School of Human Movement Studies and as Deputy Dean and Associate Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Health Sciences at UQ. For seven years he was the Director of the Institute for Human Performance at the University of Hong Kong.

His research expertise is in the control and learning of movement skills. Bruce is an alumnus of the University of Queensland, a PhD graduate from the University of Otago, an International Fellow of the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education, a Fellow of the Australian Sports Medicine Federation and a Fellow of Exercise and Sport Science Australia.

Bruce was born in Toowoomba and raised on a farm on the south-eastern Darling Downs and maintains a keen personal interest in supporting the development of a health workforce suited to rural needs through enriching student placement opportunities in rural settings. He co-authored the original submission to the Federal Government to establish SQRH and as an Advisory Board member brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to help inform the growth and development of the University Department of Rural Health.

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Professor Glen Coleman


Professor Glen Coleman Executive Dean, Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science, University of Southern Queensland

Professor Glen Coleman is the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) Executive Dean for the Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences.

Glen took up his USQ role after five years as the University of Queensland (UQ) Head of the School of Veterinary Science. He has held a number of senior UQ positions including Associate Dean, Academic in the Faculty of Science and Acting Head of the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences.

A strategic thinker and innovator, Glen has been called upon to conduct major program reviews, lead significant change management initiatives, investigate recruitment pathways and implement student experience enhancements.

He is a recipient of a national award for university teaching excellence in biological sciences, health and related fields.

Glen’s research has focused on parasitic diseases of domestic animals and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Having a strong emphasis on enhanced learning experiences for students as well as developing work ready graduates, Glen will contribute to the SQRH journey toward improved rural health workforce sustainability.

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Linda Patat


Linda Patat Chief Executive, South West Hospital and Health Service

South West Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Linda Patat has a passion for rural and remote healthcare and is dedicated to improving patient care across the vast South West region.

A highly experienced health executive, Linda has held senior executive positions with the Darling Downs, Children’s Health and West Moreton hospital and health services. Prior to her appointment with SWHHS, she worked at Metro North Hospital and Health Service in Brisbane where she was the Executive Director for Clinical Governance and the State-wide Clinical Skills Development Centre.

Linda spends a lot of time travelling and listening to people throughout the region about their health needs and works hard to help build capacity to meet those needs.

She is qualified as a Registered Nurse and is an Associate Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Service Management. Linda is well known for her capacity to engage with local communities and work with staff and partners to continue to deliver quality, sustainable healthcare for the South West.

This background provides a perfect fit for the SQRH Advisory Board as the new University Department of Rural Health sets up its main training sites at Toowoomba and Charleville.

A keen supporter of a sustainable rural health workforce, Linda is enthusiastic about SQRH helping to drive interprofessional collaboration and providing high quality students placements.

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Annette Scott


Annette Scott Executive Director, Allied Health, Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service

Annette is Executive Director Allied Health at Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service. She commenced her career in health as a physiotherapist. After spending her earlier career as a private practitioner in solo practice in Central Queensland, she joined the Queensland public health system where she subsequently fulfilled a number of roles including direct delivery of clinical services as a senior clinician, and non-clinical roles including project management and quality co-ordination.

In more recent years, Annette has focused her career on health service management and has extensive experience in managing multidisciplinary health services across a range of settings including acute inpatient, outpatient, community and rural outreach.

Her most notable achievements focus on the implementation of a number of successful telehealth-enabled clinical services across the southern region of Queensland including the award-winning Telehealth Pre-admission Clinic at the Toowoomba Hospital. In addition she was responsible for implementing a range of innovative Health Practitioner workforce redesign initiatives that attracted national and statewide attention for their ability to impact positively on patient flow and increase efficiency of health service delivery.

Through her health management roles, Annette has addressed many workforce issues and she is excited by the prospect of a University Department of Rural Health providing a co-ordination and collaboration point.

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