Our People

SQRH Advisory Board

SQRH is governed by an Advisory Board that meets regularly 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 immediate past 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 Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs), University of Southern Queensland

Professor Glen Coleman is the University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ) Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic Affairs).

Glen took up his UniSQ role after holding a variety of senior leadership positions at the University of Queensland (UQ). Glen’s research has focused on parasitic diseases of domestic animals and the scholarship of teaching and learning. He is a recipient of a national award for university teaching excellence in biological sciences, health, and related fields.

In his various roles, Glen has been called upon to conduct major program reviews, lead significant change management initiatives, investigate recruitment pathways, and implement student experience enhancements. At UniSQ, Glen has led the expansion of the University’s Allied Health programs and the establishment of inter-disciplinary student-led clinics, and the introduction of an end-to-end nursing program at Charleville.

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

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Dr Tony Brown


Dr Tony Brown Health Service Chief Executive, South West Hospital and Health Service

Dr Tony Brown has practiced as a rural generalist doctor in rural and remote Australia for more than 30 years.

Tony is a highly regarded senior executive with outstanding health sector knowledge and brings a wealth of experience in delivering quality healthcare including significant skills in primary health care.

He is passionate about the equity of resourcing and the delivery of excellent health care to rural and remote Australians and improving the health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and strives to improve quality and safety of care in primary and secondary health care domains. He believes that improvements will only occur through empowering our communities and stakeholders to be partners in the delivery of the services that affect them.

His life’s mission has been to address the inequity of health outcomes for rural and remote Australians and for 32 years, he has served in various rural communities in Queensland, Victoria, and the Northern Territory.

Tony was the Chair of the Queensland State-wide Rural and Remote Clinical Network and has served as a Rural Generalist with advanced skills in obstetrics and has been influential in the creation of several board-led organisations for rural medical education and training and also for the delivery of primary healthcare.

Throughout his career he has improved access to care in the rural and remote communities through using his highly developed skills in strategy, collaboration, and advocacy to build trusting relationships that deliver the necessary outcomes. He has a genuine passion and commitment to address the gap in health outcomes for remote and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

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Annette Scott


Annette Scott Health Service Chief Executive, Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service

Annette Scott is the Health Service Chief Executive at Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service and has an extensive history across the health system both private and public. 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.

Annette is an Executive Leader and Board Director recognised for progressing innovative models of allied health practice within the region. She recently managed the planning and preparedness for the COVID-19 response and was the executive lead for the COVID vaccination program roll out.

In June 2021 Annette received a Public Service Medal for her services to health and a Queens Birthday Honours award for her lead role in the COVID response across the Darling Downs and South Burnett region.

She is a strong advocate for the allied health professions and has played a key role in championing health research across the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service. Annette was a key contributor to the design and implementation of Southern Queensland Rural Health.

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