Board of Directors


Emeritus Professor Ian Wronski AO

Chair, Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre

Emeritus Professor Ian Wronski AO has over 40 years’ experience in rural, remote, tropical, public and Indigenous health. His career has been focused on the health needs of underserved populations. The main dimensions of activity have included health policy development at local, national and international levels, the development of health workforce capability through the expansion of health professional programs and building health and medical research capacity relevant to tropical, Indigenous, and rural and remote populations, particularly in northern Australia and Australia’s neighbours. He was the first Director of Health Services, Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council and Medical Director of the Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Service.

Having held senior management positions within the university sector, health system and Aboriginal Medical Service settings, Professor Wronski retired as Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University (JCU), in late 2020. Whilst at JCU he led the development of research, education and training programs designed to develop regional research and ameliorate health workforce shortages in regional communities. He was a strong advocate for the foundation of the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM) and for the establishment of the Tropical Australian Academic Health Centre. Professor Wronski also provided intellectual leadership, nationally and internationally, in focusing attention on health issues of importance to rural, remote, regional, Indigenous and tropical populations.

Ian has Fellowship status in public health, tropical and rural and remote medicine through the relevant Australian specialist colleges. In 2014 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to higher education, particularly in the areas of tropical and rural health and the health of Indigenous Australians. A recipient of the Australasian College of Tropical Medicine Medal and the Life Sciences Queensland Industry Excellence Award, he was invested as a Life Fellow of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ms Beverley Hamerton

Chief Executive, Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service

Bev has a long history of working in the Torres and Cape region, most recently as Executive General Manager (South) based first in Weipa and then in Cooktown.

She also previously worked as the Executive Director of Nursing Services for the former Torres Strait–Northern Peninsula Area Health Service District from 2009 to 2013 and before that as a Clinical Nurse Consultant in the Torres Strait and NPA from 2002 to 2009.

From 2013 to 2017 she worked in Western Australia as a Health Operations Manager and then Regional Nursing and Midwifery Director for the Western Australian Country Health Service in the wheatbelt region.

Bev has a strong interest in focussing on the patient experience, workforce planning and management, advancing robust models of care, and resource allocation and service planning in remote areas.

Mr Tony Mooney AM

Board Chair, Townsville Hospital and Health Service

Tony Mooney was a Councillor and Deputy Mayor of the Townsville City Council and was elected Mayor in 1989. He held the position of Mayor of Townsville until 2008. In 2008, Tony was made a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In 2011, Tony was awarded an Order of Australia (AM) for services to local government and the community.

Tony served on the boards of numerous government and community entities, including Ergon Energy, LG Super, Townsville Entertainment Centre Board of Management (Chair) until 2008, and as the inaugural Chair of the Willows Stadium Joint Board (currently 1300 Smiles Stadium). In 2011, Tony was appointed by the Federal Government to the Board of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority where he served until 2016.

Ms Elthies (Ella) Kris

Board Chair, Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service Board

Ms Kris was appointed Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Service Board Chair in May 2019. She is a proud Torres Strait Islander woman, with cultural connection to the land and sea from her father from the Mabuiag, Saibai and St Pauls and her mother from Mer and Erub. She carries and lives by her mother’s totem Serar (tern bird). Ms Kris brings more than 20 years of experience within the health industry, including corporate, primary health care and public health and through volunteering with Torres Shire Council to lead, support and empower health changes within her community of Thursday Island. Her current role with Torres Strait Island Regional Council includes developing, planning and implementing sustainable health related activities within council communities. Ms Kris has a Graduate Diploma in Indigenous Health Promotion, a Masters of Public Health and is an Adjunct Associate Professor within James Cook University’s College of Public Health, Medicine and Veterinary Science.

Mr Kieran Keyes

Chief Executive, Townsville Hospital and Health Service

Kieran joined the Townsville HHS as Chief Operating Officer in December 2012. Before taking up the role as COO in Townsville in 2012, Mr Keyes was previously interim HSCE at the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service. He has also held senior executive roles with Metro North Hospital and Health Service and the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

He holds a Masters of Business Administration, a Bachelor of Nursing Science, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Professor Richard Murray

Professor Richard Murray

rofessor Richard Murray is the Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Division of Tropical Health and Medicine at James Cook University and member of the board of Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand.

His career focus has been in rural and remote medicine, Aboriginal health, public health, tropical medicine, medical and health professional education and the healthcare needs of underserved populations. He has a national and international profile in rural medical education and rural medicine and has held a range of leadership positions.

Professor Murray is also a Director on the Board of the Mackay Hospital and Health Service and is a past President of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine.

Prior to joining JCU as Planning Director of the Rural Clinical School in 2005, Professor Murray spent 14 years in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia, including 12 years as the Medical Director of the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Council, a position in which he had broad-ranging clinical, population health, teaching, research and medical leadership and management roles.

Distinguished Professor Louis Schofield

Director, Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University

Distinguished Professor Schofield is inaugural Director of the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM) and the Queensland Tropical Health Alliance (QTHA). He was for 24 years an NH&MRC Research Fellow at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, has twice held an International Research Scholarship of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and was co-founder of Ancora Pharmaceuticals Inc. A recognised authority in the immunology and pathogenesis of infectious diseases, his research programs cover basic molecular sciences, product development and commercialisation, epidemiology and public health. His approach to malaria has resulted in promising vaccine development programs, and clinical trials in Papua New Guinea and Africa. He has published key articles in the highest ranked international journals and received over 6,500 citations to date.

Mr Clive Skarott AM

Board Chair, Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service

Mr Skarott is Board Chair, Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service, Chair of James Cook University Dental and President of the Cairns Historical Society and Museum. He was Chair of Ergon Energy and a director of Energy Queensland Ltd as well as being Chair of the Cairns Port Authority until June 2010. Mr Skarott has also served in a number of other positions including as a director of Advance Cairns; Treasurer of the Regional Development Australia Committee (Far North Queensland and Torres Strait); and director and Chief Executive Officer of the Electricity Credit Union.

Ms Cate Whalan

Member, Northern Queensland Primary Health Network Board

In her early career, Cate graduated with a Bachelor of Pharmacy from the University of Queensland, interned at Mater Hospital Pharmacies in Brisbane, and registered in 1995 to be appointed as a pharmacist in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps. She had postings in charge of barracks Medical Centre dispensaries, medication supply warehouses, and saw operational service with the Combined Health Element of the Peace Monitoring Group in Bougainville in 1998.

Cate retired from the army to locum and part time pharmacist in charge positions. In 2006 she purchased her first pharmacy in Townsville, and rebranded it ‘Cate’s Chemist’ with a shopping centre development in 2007. In May 2017, Cate purchased another pharmacy in a Townsville GP Superclinic, and rebranded it to Cate’s Chemist Hyde Park with a junior partner. In October 2018, Cate opened her third pharmacy at the Townsville Aboriginal and Islander Health Service.

Cate maintains a clinical interest in chronic disease management for the elderly, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In practise, she emphasises continuity of care, building health care teams across acute, primary, and specialist care, and between community and hospital pharmacy. Cate is a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia, Townsville Chamber of Commerce, Townsville Enterprise, Committee Member for the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (Queensland Branch), and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ms Cheryl Vardon

Board Chair, North West Hospital and Health Service

Cheryl Vardon led the creation of a contemporary Children’s Commission as the inaugural Chief Executive and Principal Commissioner of the Queensland Family and Child Commission (QFCC). She left the role in December 2021 after more than six years.

Cheryl has a distinguished career in education, community and children’s services developing complex public policy, with a sound track record of leadership and expertise in policy implementation. In 2018 Griffith University awarded Cheryl an Honorary Doctorate of the University for her community work. Cheryl is also lead ambassador for Children’s Rights Queensland.

She is an experienced reviewer of systems and services using case studies and stories to influence and change system and policy directions.

She has held Chief Executive, Director-General and senior leadership positions in a variety of private, public and not-for-profit organisations across several states.

Currently Cheryl is Chair of the Queensland Child Death Review Board which reviews the deaths of Queensland’s vulnerable children.

Cheryl has held board and university council positions and statutory roles on tribunals and commissions including the Social Security Appeals Tribunal and the Commonwealth Safety and Rehabilitation Compensation Commission.

She has been a member of an expert advisory group for the Australian Institute of Family Studies and a member of the Teachers’ Disciplinary Appeals Board for the Victorian Education and Early Childhood Development Department.

Cheryl is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a Fellow of the Australian College of Education. She also is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Her work in Indigenous education and services for Indigenous children and young people has received a Prime Minister’s Reconciliation Award.

In 2017 Cheryl participated in an executive education course at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, studying case teaching and case writing for public policy. She has degree level qualifications in Arts and Education.

Ms Renee Williams

General Manager - Policy & Research, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Council

Renee Williams is a proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman who’s paternal linkages are Bindal and Juru and maternal linkages to Wakka Wakka and Mer and Erub Islands. Renee is the General Manager - Policy & Research for hte Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council (QAIHC).

Renee’s career has seen her hold multiple senior and executive level roles in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs, focusing particularly in the community-controlled health sector, research and not-for-profit.

Prior to commencing with QAIHC, Renee was the consulting CEO of Boorndawan Aboriginal Healing Service in Victoria. She has also worked for VACCHO, NACCHO and Apunipima Cape York Health Council.