Strengthening primary care providers and harnessing the capacity of locals to improve the health of their own communities will be key priorities of the new CEO of the Western Queensland Primary Health Network (WQPHN), the commissioning body that funds primary health care services across Western Queensland.
Born and bred in outback Queensland, Sandy Gillies will lead the WQPHN from January 2021, making her the first Indigenous person to be appointed CEO to the 31 Primary Health Networks across Australia.
“There is a deep willingness in the West for people to work together and make things happen, regardless of their titles or their job description,” Ms Gillies said.
“What we can tap into as the WQPHN are the strengths of the region and willingness of Western Queenslanders to stay engaged, and adapt to changing and challenging circumstances, in order to achieve the health outcomes everyone wants for their communities.”
Schooled in Winton and Charleville, Sandy completed her enrolled nurses’ qualification which ignited her passion for primary health care and fostered a hands-on approach to her work.
“Outback nursing back then was a great introduction to the challenge of getting the most out of yourself as a clinician, and doing your best with the resources around you, which were often limited,” Sandy recalls.
“I think that experience, and my journey through the health system since, has helped me understand how to get the best out of local communities by empowering them to care for their own, through collaboration, co-design and a place-based approach to primary health care, because each community is unique.”
An Executive Manager with the WQPHN for the past 3 years, Sandy has over 25 years’ experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, starting as an Aboriginal Health Worker through to senior management roles in Indigenous health.

The full media release can be found here.

Media Liaison:

Paul Stone (WQPHN)  M: 0414 326 848  E:  

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