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Allied Health Reference Group

Since late 2020 the Allied Health Reference Group has provided multidisciplinary input and advice to guide the implementation of The PHNs Allied Health Strategy. The Strategy consists of four workstreams each with their own objectives and include: Health Information, Education, Telehealth and Advocacy.

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Damian Gough

Podiatrist, Co-Chair of the PHN Allied Health Reference Group

Damian started his podiatry career before the internet existed. With over 30 years of broad experience spanning NHS High Risk Foot clinic in London to business ownership on the Central Coast he has always embraced innovation. From digital photography to 3D scanning and printing, using emerging technologies and being an "early adopter" helped Umina Podiatry to grow and stand out.

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Aimee Prosser

Clinical Manager, Occupational Therapist, Mental Health Occupational Therapist

Aimee currently works for a large multidisciplinary private practice providing clinical leadership for Occupational Therapists, Mental Health Social Workers, Physiotherapists, Exercise Physiologists, Speech Pathologists, Dieticians and Allied Health Assistance staff across the Hunter, Central Coast, and Sydney. As an Occupational Therapist over the last 20 years Aimee has worked in acute care, rehabilitation, community, aged care, and primary care sectors and now enjoys working primarily with NDIS clients. Aimee is a member of the OT Australia NDIS National Reference Group, and is passionate about achieving the best quality of life for her clients, and advocating for the role of allied health in disability and community care.

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David Newby

Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy

David Newby Associate Professor School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy (Pharmacy and Experimental Pharmacology) at Newcastle University. Professor David Newby teaches into both the medical and pharmacy courses in evidence-based practice, pharmacoepidemiology, pharmacoeconomics and clinical pharmacology.

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Elizabeth Ward

Elizabeth Ward is a Physiotherapist, AHTA Accredited Hand Therapist and President of the NSW Physiotherapy Council (HPCA). She is a PHN Board member, a member of the PHN Central Coast Clinical Council and of the Central Coast LHD Clinical Council. She is a member of the PHN Allied Health Reference Group and holds positions in other PHN committees..

Elizabeth has completed a Bachelor of Science (UNSW), Post Graduate Diploma of Physiotherapy (USyd), Master of Public Health (USyd) majoring in health care management and health promotion, Master of Health Science (Physiotherapy) (USyd), and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Elizabeth is Practice Principal and Director of Coastal Physiotherapy Group Pty Ltd and Coastal Hand Clinic. She is a Director of Core Health Pty Ltd, and Partner, Erina Sports and Spinal Physiotherapy.

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Jake Gillies

Aboriginal Health Practitioner

Yaama my names Jake Gillies, I’m a proud Ngiyampaa man who has strong family ties to the Yawaalayaay and Gomeroi/Gamilaraay people. I am an Aboriginal Health Practitioner who is passionate about providing holistic care within the community. I look forward to helping out the mob with the health Journey.

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John Stevens

Managing Director and Exercise Physiologist

John is an Exercise Physiologist and Managing Director of Kinetic Medicine, an allied health practice based in Taree with clinics across regional NSW. John’s clinical special interest is in persistent and complex pain presentations and has a passion for clinical governance and innovation in allied health.

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Kylie Bailey

Senior Clinical Psychologist

Kylie is a Senior Clinical Psychologist who is a practising clinician, service director and a researcher clinician specialising in addiction, mental health, and chronic pain. Kylie has worked for the University of Newcastle as an academic, as well as for Local Health Districts, not-for profit organisations and in private practice.

She has written treatment manuals, conducted translational research, has been an invited speaker, and published over 30 journal articles. Kylie has also developed training and mentoring programs for health professionals and is also a member of the PHN’s Allied Health Reference Group.

Kylie joined the Clinical Council in 2019 to support the community by advocating for opportunities to improve access to health treatments and is passionate about improving health outcomes.

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Linda Foskey

Speech Pathologist

Linda Foskey has been a Speech Pathologist for over 35 years and has worked in the New England area for most of her career. For the past 14 years she has been based in Inverell. She currently owns a private practice but also works for HealthWISE part-time. Linda is highly experienced in providing speech pathology services for children. Linda is a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist and a Member of Speech Pathology Australia.

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Pollyemma Antees

APD Dietitian and Diabetes Educator CDE

Pollyemma has been working in rural and remote communities in NSW and QLD for the last 20 years as a Dietitian with a focus on chronic conditions and food security. Pollyemma became a Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE) in 2016 to provide people with diabetes the skills to self manage their condition. She has written two pictorial cookbooks with recipes for inexpensive meals, the first 'Cheaper than Chips' and the second 'Less than a Latte'. She also worked with Charles Sturt University in completing the Food Access and Availability Survey 2014 for Western NSW, which included all health services west of the great diving range and involved surveying over 300 grocery stores to assess the food security of the region. Pollyemma's dream is to retire because there is no need for her services anymore.

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Dr Trent Watson

Deputy Chairperson

Dr Trent Watson is CEO of Ethos Health, a multidisciplinary health and safety business based in Newcastle and the Hunter region. Trent combines this work with a number of appointments including Conjoint Senior Lecturer in the School of Health Sciences, University of Newcastle, Chair of the NSW Mineral Council Obesity subcommittee and media spokesperson with the Dietitians Association of Australia.

Trent was a former Director (2012 – 2015) and Chairperson (2014 – 2015) of the Hunter Medicare Local. Trent completed his undergraduate studies and PhD in nutrition and dietetics at the University of Newcastle, and has continued his research interests in workplace health, with a special interest in obesity, obesity-related lifestyle disease, and fatigue.

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Peter Comino

Social Worker (Mental Health)

Peter Comino has worked in New Zealand, UK and Australia as a Social Worker (Mental Health). He has gathered a wealth of experience working in the demanding fields of foster care, youth detention centres, child protection, disabilities and relationship counselling.

Peter is a group facilitator and has delivered workshops, conference papers and training sessions in relationships and change management. Currently Peter also delivers socio-education group sessions to residents and staff of Aged Care Facilities. He is a trained experienced mediator and currently works as a private practice counsellor.

Peter has been a previous director and chair of the board of Fairhaven Services and is deeply involved in community development and overseas aid through his position as District Chairperson for Rotary Australia World Community Service.

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