Rural Health Workforce Australia is the peak body for the state and territory Rural Workforce Agencies. Our not-for-profit Network attracts, recruits and supports health professionals for rural and remote communities.

making healthcare accessible

Our Board

The Rural Health Workforce Australia Board consists of an independent Chair and nominees of each Rural Workforce Agency. It oversees and monitors RHWA's performance in relation to strategic objectives, financial efficiency and risk management.

Dr Ross Maxwell (Chair)

RossMaxwellRoss is a GP in the Queensland town of Dalby, where he also practices anaesthetics and obstetrics at the local hospital.

He previously worked at the Princess Alexandra, QE2 and Redcliffe hospitals before commencing general practice in Dalby in 1989.

He is a former President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia, was a state branch councillor for the Australian Medical Association and has served on the boards of the National Prescribing Service and the local division of general practice.

Ross is a Life Member of the Rural Doctors Association of Queensland and was a member of the Queensland Rural Health Advisory Council.



Peter Barns

PeterBarnsPeter is the CEO of Health Recruitment PLUS, the Rural Workforce Agency for Tasmania. He has served in that role since 2006, leading a team dedicated to providing a skilled and sustainable workforce for Tasmanian communities.

Peter has a graduate diploma in corporate governance from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Before entering the health sector, he was a Baptist Minister. He has a degree in theology from the Melbourne College of Divinity.

Peter is an active member of the Launceston community, most recently having served as Treasurer of the Migrant Resource Centre Northern Tasmania.



Karen Brown

KarenBrownKaren has a background in government relations, communications and media.

She was Deputy Editor of The West Australian newspaper and WA Editor of The Australian. She later worked with commercial clients as Principal Consultant at Halden Burns, a strategic issues and communications management company. 

Karen has also worked in state and federal politics, most recently as Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Government in the Senate and then Federal Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research.

She is a board member of Rural Health West, the Rural Workforce Agency for Western Australia.


Anthony Graham

AnthonyGrahamAnthony has more than 20 years' experience in the health and community services sector in governance and senior management roles.

Sector experience includes acute health, youth, aged care, disability and mental health service provision at a state and regional level.

He is Chair of the Victorian Healthcare Association and a Director of Colac Area Health Service. He works as Community Services Manager at RMIT University in Melbourne.

Anthony chairs the RHWA Board Governance Committee and is a board member of RWAV, Victoria's Rural Workforce Agency.



Bill Hamill

BillHamillBill is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has managed national corporate and not-for-profit organisations.

He has lived and worked in rural and remote Australia most of his life, serving on a variety of community boards and organisations including the Hamilton and Alexandra College Foundation.

Bill chairs RHWA's Audit and Risk Committee and is a board member of RDWA, the Rural Workforce Agency for South Australia.

He holds a Bachelor of Business and a Master of Education.



Professor Robert Stable, AM

RobertStableRobert has had a distinguished career in medicine, education and public service. A former Director-General of Queensland Health, he was also a member and chair of the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council.

He has worked as a rural GP, hospital chief executive and medical superintendent.

Robert is a former Vice Chancellor and President of Bond University and was appointed Adjunct Professor by the University of Queensland in 1997 and James Cook University in 2001. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2013 for significant service to the Queensland community in education and health. 

He is the Chairman of Health Workforce Queensland as well as a board member of the Royal Flying Doctor Service - Queensland Section, and North and West Remote Health.


Diane Walsh

DianeWalshDiane is a strong advocate for community access to quality health services. She has had leading roles with the Consumers Health Forum, Health Consumers of Rural and Remote Australia and primary health care organisations in the Northern Territory.

She is Deputy Chair of Northern Territory PHN, the Primary Health Network for the NT. She is also Deputy Chair of the Top End Health Service Board and a member of the NT board of the Medical Board of Australia.

Diane chairs the NPS MedicineWise Consumer Advisory Group and is a member of the RACGP National Standing Committee on Standards for General Practice.

She is also a former community member of the NT Dental Board and belonged to Health Workforce Australia's Oral Health Workforce Project Advisory Group.


Dr Geoff White, OAM

GeoffWhiteGeoff has worked as a GP in Manilla, New South Wales, for more than 30 years. He is a former President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia, chaired the AMA NSW Council from 2011-2013 and was a director of Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited for 14 years. He also served for nine years from 2005-2014 on the AMA Council of General Practice.

Geoff has a strong interest in medical training, having been an RACGP supervisor in Manilla for 23 years as well as a RAMUS student mentor and John Flynn scholarship mentor. He was awarded an OAM in the 2003 Australia Day Honours for services to rural doctors, rural medicine and the town of Manilla.

Geoff is the nominee of the AMA NSW on the Board of the NSW Rural Doctors Network.