Current SARRAH Board members

SARRAH President - 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.

Chair, Finance and Audit Committee - Steve Patterson

Stephen has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of NSW  and is a Fellow of the Society of Certified Practicing Accountants (FCPA) and a qualified Company Secretary. He has completed the Global Strategic Management Program at Harvard Business School. Stephen was the Chief Financial Officer for the Australian Medical Association - NSW and a member of the NSW Government Audit Committee for the Land Service Council.  Stephen has significant corporate finance and secretarial experience both in Australian and in the Asia Pacific region. He has held senior finance roles with a number of large Australian listed organisations such as Australian  National Industries, Optus Communications and Goodman Fielder. This experience has been both at corporate head office level and on an Australian and international divisional basis with considerable involvement in aquisitions and restructuring covering a broad range of industry segments such as media and communications, heavy engineering and the food and beverage industries.

Stephen has further government and not-for-profit experiences, initially working for Australian Hearing as Chief Financial Officer and a winner of the Australian Financial Review CFO award for the Government sector. Stephen was then promoted to Chief Operating Officer directly responsible for a number of large scale projects including the National Support Office relocation to the Australian Hearing Hub at Macquarie University, as well as the negotiation and tendering of the Hearing Aid and Earmould contracts, which are the largest tenders of their type in the Southern Hemisphere and recognised as one of the largest tenders globally.

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 - Lisa Baker

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.

Director - Jeremy Carr

Jeremy Carr is a Charles Sturt University (Albury) Physiotherapy graduate (2005, a Physiotherapist for 15 years with greater than 12 years working in rural and regional Australia.  His wife Carly is also a Physiotherapist and have predominantly worked in Private practice. They opened their own private practice in 2011. Their service now operates in the Southern Murrumbidgee region of NSW which includes locations such as Corowa, Albury, Finley, Berrigan, Urana and Jerilderie.

Jeremy has been fortunate to be involved in a public/private partnership with both the Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network and Murrumbidgee Local Health District, to develop innovative ways to deliver Physiotherapy and other Allied Health services in locations that struggle to have access to Allied Health Services.

Our experience in these partnerships and communities has focused our attention and reinforced our commitment to do our part to bring services to people in regional and rural Australia.

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 - Alison Dymmott

AlI Dymotte Image 1

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.