Current SARRAH Board members

SARRAH President - Lisa Baker

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Lisa is a rural speech pathologist rural allied and community health team leader living in Gayndah, Queensland. Lisa takes great pride in representing the rural allied health workforce and needs for rural consumers in her everyday role and sees a role in the SARRAH board member would extend this opportunity. Lisa has taken a leadership role from an early career stage as rural representative for QLD Speech Pathology Australia Branch and completion of a Masters in Remote Health management. She has been involved in telehealth research and managing allied health rural generalists. In Lisa’s current role she manages allied health professions including dietetics, exercise physiology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, psychology, podiatry, social work and speech pathologists, as well as allied health assistants, nursing, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workers. With this brings a solid understanding of challenges and opportunities faced across various professions.

SARRAH Vice President- Alison Dymmott

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Alison Dymmott is an occupational therapy lecturer, placement education coordinator and researcher at Flinders University. She has predominantly worked clinically in rural areas of South Australia in a range of leadership roles including state-wide project management and policy development.  She has specialist skills in rural generalism, paediatrics, rehabilitation and acute care.  Alison’s research interests are in rural health workforce and occupational therapy evidence-based practice.  She is currently undertaking her PhD in conjunction with SA Health around rural allied health workforce strategies, specifically the impact of the rural generalist pathway. She has extensive experience educating occupational therapy students and supporting students and educators on placement, she is particularly passionate about co-designing clinical placements that are mutually beneficial for all stakeholders.

Director  - Edward Johnson

Ed is a speech pathologist who has a variety of experience working in public and private practice, mental health, and disability. Ed is co-founder and clinical innovation advisor at Umbo (an online allied health service).

After serving on the SARRAH Advisory Committee, he has now sat as a director on the SARRAH Board for four years. Ed’s a passionate cricketer, animal lover, and advocate for innovative public policy in the bush that gives everyone the same opportunities regardless of their postcode.

Director - Julie Hulcombe

Julie Hulcombe PSM is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD), and a part-time doctoral student at the University of Queensland. She had an extensive career with Queensland Health (QH) and was the Chief Allied Health Officer, Department of Health, Queensland for 11 years until September 2018. During her time in this position Julie led workforce projects to improve rural and remote services including the Allied Health Rural Generalist Pathway in QH and has been a long-time supporter of SARRAH. She is a past President of the Dietetic Association of Australia (DAA) and has been the Chair of the DAA Dietetic Credentialing Council and the National Allied Health Advisors Committee. Julie has been a SARRAH Board Director since January 2019. She is presently the jurisdictional representative on the National Disability Insurance Agency, Pricing Reference Group.

Director - Lauren Gale

Having grown up in rural NSW, Lauren has a long held passion for rural health matters. Lauren believes that the improvement in the distribution, support for allied health professionals and innovation in service delivery is a critical element in seeking to improve the health of rural Australians.

Lauren is currently the Director of Policy & Programs for the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, a position she has held since 2013. She previously held a range of policy adviser positions, primarily in the health portfolio, in the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet. From these professional roles Lauren established a sound understanding of government processes, the role of not-for-profit organisations and the challenges of delivering health services in rural and remote areas.

Lauren’s recent experience in the governance of not-for-profit organisations includes as the Chair of the Board of the Women's Centre for Health Matters (ACT) and as President of the Board of Netball ACT. She is also a current member of the ACT Ministerial Advisory Council on Women.

Director - Leigh Burton


Leigh has worked in the public sector as a Rural Physiotherapist for 8 years, and now represents a diverse professional and geographically challenged team of Rural Allied Health clinicians in QLD Health. Leigh works productively with Government, Private sector, PHN and other NGO agencies to collaborate and develop contemporary solutions to local service delivery and workforce challenges.

During his professional career Leigh has always worked to improve outcomes for Rural communities, by supporting and advocating for the amazing teams and professionals that deliver care to them.

Leigh is highly experienced in the development and implementation of initiatives to support and improve outcomes (such as Rural generalist training) and drives the adoption of innovative practices and concepts. His current focus is on resilient leadership in the Rural setting.

Director - Scott Gibbings

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Scott is a Physiotherapist with 12 years of professional experience, predominantly spent in the acute hospital setting in Perth, WA. He is now based in Launceston, working with the Tasmanian Health Service as the Statewide Consultant – Allied Health Workforce Recruitment & Development. The role acknowledges that having skilled and supported staff in situ is a critical factor in improving healthcare accessibility and outcomes for our rural and remote populations. In the role he works with the Allied Health leaders across the state public health services to improve Allied Health services through the optimisation of position occupancy and staff growth and development. Prior to this, he served as the Physiotherapy Services Manager at a large sub-tertiary hospital in Perth’s Northern Suburbs.

Scott was born and raised in a small dairy and beef farming community in South-West WA, where his parents are still based. Never short on advice, they provide additional perspectives on the contemporary issues faced by the rural population, and what should be done about them! Scott seeks out that connection to community in both his professional and personal life and strives to improve the lives of those around him, especially those who experience disadvantage. He has completed a Master of Health Management at UNSW, and a Graduate Certificate in Mental Health at Monash University.