Chair & CEO Summary

Welcome to the WQPHN 2021-2022 Annual Report Highlights. For a printable version of the report, please click here.

Dallas LeonI am pleased to provide this report as Chair of the Western Queensland Primary Health Network (WQPHN). This past year has been another busy period and I would like to recognise and thank all our commissioned service providers and stakeholders for their continued efforts in supporting the people of western Queensland. 
Dallas Leon : Chair
As a collective, we continue to provide a range of critical primary health care services across a remote and diverse landscape. The COVID-19 pandemic continued to be a priority, however it is pleasing to see significant efforts focused around maintaining business as usual, whilst also balancing an intensive and complex COVID response. As we move into a new phase of the pandemic, WQPHN will continue to work collaboratively with our communities and stakeholders to support the people of western Queensland.
In December 2021, WQPHN officially launched its inaugural Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). The development of the RAP was led by our Reconciliation Working Group, which included several stakeholders from across the region. Alongside our Nukal Murra Alliance and the respective Hospital and Health Service health equity strategies, the RAP outlines our commitment to improve our internal mechanisms and external approaches to continue to support improved health and wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.   
Good governance continues to be priority for the Board, and this year we established a new sub-committee to the Board. The People, Engagement and Culture Committee (PECC) replaces the previous Governance and Nominations Committee and provides a more contemporary approach to support the implementation of the Strategic Plan.
This year we farewelled two retiring directors, Dr. Christopher Appleby and Dr. David Rimmer. Both Christopher and David were founding Directors with WQPHN and made significant contributions to the establishment and development of the WQPHN. With their departure, we welcomed Dr. Clare Walker and Elisabeth Fraser to the Board. I’d like to thank my fellow Board directors for their ongoing efforts and support. I would also like to acknowledge WQPHN CEO, Sandy Gillies, the executive team and all staff for their continued commitment over the past twelve months.
I look forward to the future and am confident the organization is well placed to continue to work with our communities, providers and stakeholders towards an integrated and high quality primary care system across western Queensland.

Dallas Leon
Board Chair

Sandy Gillies I am proud of our achievements over the past year. We continued to progress our core mandate across the region through our place-based commissioning approaches and ongoing advocacy work on behalf of our communities, commissioned service providers, health professionals and General Practices.
Sandy Gillies : CEO

In our ever-changing environment, we focused on strengthening our people and partnerships. We responded swiftly to our region’s first COVID-19 cases in December 2021, thanks to our strong community relationships and local knowledge.

We came together with our stakeholders to ensure the timely, coordinated roll out of vaccinations and resources, as well as intense, place-based support to meet the diverse needs of our communities.  

I am particularly proud of several key activities and initiatives during the COVID rollout including the successful Jibber Jabber Campaign, a joint initiative between WQPHN and members of the Nukal Murra Alliance. Other achievements included our high COVID vaccination rates and preparedness activities across our residential aged care facilities, and effective collaboration between the Hospital and Health Services in relation to place-based vaccination clinics.

Addressing health and medical workforce shortages remained a key challenge for our region in FY22, placing continued pressure on our fragile General Practice networks and other health service providers. Unlike other parts of Australia, I am very pleased to report no health service closures to date. This is a credit to the strength and resilience of our Western Queensland network of health professionals, who have kept their doors open for the people and families they serve.

Thank you to all of our partners and providers for your dedication to our communities and your ongoing support and collaboration throughout the year.

I also acknowledge the support of our WQPHN team in embracing the outcomes of our independent functional review in late 2021. A critical step in our ‘Paving our Way to 2025’ journey, the review introduced several improvements to our team structure, capabilities and culture to prepare our organisation for the future.  

As we work towards our vision of Western Queenslanders experiencing better health, our team looks forward to building on our strong relationships with our community and primary health care sector to address the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

Together, we’re paving the way to better health.

Sandy Gillies
Chief Executive Officer  

Our Stories...

headspace Roma 1st birthday

headspace Roma celebrated their first birthday on Wednesday May 4, 2022, with local crew and staff enjoying the celebrations, which included a great BBQ, cake, art workshops, games and a chill out zone.

Nukal Murra Virtual Home Monitoring

Chronic diseases are long-lasting, and while most are preventable and treatable, they cause approximately 64% of the disease burden among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and approximately 80% of the mortality gap.

COVID-19 and Aged Care

The steady achievers in 2021/22 have once again been the committed staff working in residential and community aged care.

Telehealth and Digital Health

Nearly 23 per cent of homes in Western Queensland have no access to the internet - we need to invest in the digital infrastructure to support access to telehealth, online supports, and community, aged care and disability services.

Healthy Ageing Aged Care Roadshow

WQPHN collaborated with Mable to visit regional communities throughout Western Queensland to discuss options for community-led aged care services and provide workforce solutions for rural and remote areas.

​WiSE Mental Health & Telehealth

WQPHN has commissioned headspace National to provide the Wellbeing in Schools Early Intervention Telepsychiatry program (WiSE).