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Jemma King


Jemma holds a Masters of Public Health (Health Promotion) and a joint Bachelor’s in Business and Psychology (Hons). As an undergraduate, she was interested in how marketing principles could be applied to something beneficent, which led her in the direction of social marketing. Jemma is currently engaged in public health research with the occasional dabble into tertiary teaching at James Cook University. She is interested in health literacy, power relationships, the research and practice nexus and the application of behaviour change principles to health enhancement. She is currently a member of the Townsville Health Promotion Network and the Active Transport in the Tropics Network.

Carlie Smith

Vice President

Carlie holds a Bachelor in Health Science with a Major in Health Promotion and is currently undertaking a Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership. Having been a member of the Qld Branch in various roles since 2017, Carlie is continuing in her second year as Vice President and looking forward to the opportunity to work with the 2022 committee. Carlie is passionate about advocating for upstream approaches to health promotion, and enjoys working on projects that allows individuals and communities to take an active role in their health and wellbeing. Carlie currently works for the Heart Foundation on the design and delivery of a patient support program for those affected by heart disease in rural and remote locations.

Melanie Cook

Chair Communications and Advocacy Sub Committee

Melanie Cook is a passionate Health Promotion Practitioner with a proactive interest in suicide prevention and the health impacts of large-scale environmental degradation including the inequitable impacts to already vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.  She significantly contributes as a committee member for raising the profile of the health promotion workforce in Queensland and shares the capacity building and advocacy work on public health issues.  Melanie’s main interest areas are in addressing the determinants of health in achieving health equity.  Her research focuses on recognising and integrating a ‘Health in All’ Policies approach in local policy processes as an integral part of planning and creating healthier communities, workplaces and environments.  Melanie currently engages in community health promotion through a multi-sectoral and multi disciplinary approach for collaborative efforts to implement, develop and strengthen an evidence-based male suicide prevention program.

Laura Leyden

Chair Professional Development, Events and Scholarship Sub Committee

Laura holds a Masters of Public Health and a Bachelor of Food and Nutrition. Laura currently works at Northern Queensland Primary Health Network as a Senior Program Officer, primarily focussing on health services planning, continued quality improvement in primary health care and health literacy. Laura has worked as a casual academic at James Cook University in the field of public health, which she enjoys enormously. Prior to moving in to public health, Laura worked in ecommerce and as an editor, both of which supported an appreciation of the importance of communication in health care, leading to a passion for health promotion and health literacy. Laura is interested in nutrition, particularly nutrigenomics and how individualised nutrition might be accessed by and targeted to communities. Laura is passionate about women’s health and looks forward to participating in research in the future.

Anne Bartuschat

General Member

Anne holds a Bachelor of Health Science with a major in Health Promotion and is currently completing a Master of Public Health through James Cook University.  She is currently working in the Older Persons Health and Palliative Care space. Anne’s passion is to build capacity, strengthen relationships and to collaborate. Advocating for regional, rural and remote areas is close to her heart.

Sue Devine

General Member

Sue holds a Graduate Diploma in Health Promotion, Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and a DrPH. Sue has worked in the health promotion field since the early 1990’s and is passionate about building health promotion capacity in both within and outside the health sector. She currently works at James Cook University where she teaches health promotion subjects to postgraduate Public Health students and undergraduate allied health students.

Serena Booy

General Member

Serena holds Postgraduate studies in International Health and Development, a Postgraduate Certificate in Public Health and a Bachelor in Complementary Medicine.

Serena has over twenty years experience working cross-culturally in International Health and Development. Passionate about disease prevention, advocacy and community engagement, Serena continues to work cross-culturally to improve health outcomes for First Nations people and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) populations in northern Australia and Asia Pacific.

Rachel Castillo

General Member

Rachel holds a Bachelor in Public Health, with majors in Nutrition and Health Promotion. Since 2014 she has worked in various health promotion roles across Queensland. She is passionate about empowering communities to lead positive change, by increasing knowledge and awareness of protective factors. She has extensive experience in developing community partnerships and working with diverse communities, including many regional and remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Susan Breckenridge

General Member

Susan holds a Master of Health Promotion, a Bachelor of Science with a double major in Psychology, Anatomy and a Graduate Diploma in Education. She has been a registered health promotion practitioner with the IUHPE since 2019. Susan has always been passionate about health, from health education to health promotion with a purpose to enable everyone to have the best possible health to live their best life. Susan has worked in programs encompassing people at all stages of life, in primary and secondary schools, community-based programs, private business and now in the Primary Health Network. Susan is particularly interested in a preventative, early intervention approach to health including an awareness of health as holistic and dependant on the environment in which we live.

Julia Henseleit

General Member

Julia currently Operationally Manages the Community Connection & Belonging Project; a project aimed at supporting people experiencing housing insecurity through social inclusion and community connection. Julia is passionate about innovative and big-picture-focused program planning for healthy communities, particularly building structural and social determinants of health into program planning and outcomes. She has a rich history of experimental and evaluative research practice through the academy and continues to pursue high quality data and analysis in all projects. She holds a Masters in Public Health (health promotion) and a Bachelors of Health Science (Public Health).

Anita Cowlishaw

General Member

Anita is the past President of the AHPA Queensland Branch, and has been an Executive Committee member for several years, as well as previously involved in the New South Wales Branch. Currently, Anita works as a Senior Policy Advisor addressing whole-of-government strategic reform in relation to mental health, alcohol and other drugs, and suicide prevention. Previously, Anita has managed various statewide childhood obesity prevention and nutrition initiatives across Queensland and New South Wales, through roles at Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service and the NSW Ministry of Health. Prior to her statewide roles, Anita managed a number of health promotion initiatives at a local level throughout a range of different metropolitan, rural and remote community settings including Western Sydney and Far Western NSW Local Health Districts. Anita has both clinical nutrition and academic experiences with a focus on prevention and child health. She has completed a Masters of Public Health and a Masters of Human Nutrition.

Kalie Green

General Member

Kalie Green is the Senior Project Officer of the 10000Lives Smoking Cessation project at the Central Qld Public Health Unit, Queensland Health. She is passionate about living and working regionally, an advocate for rural and regional public health, and increasing the local health promotion workforce. For over 25 years Kalie has worked in government and non-government health promotion programs ranging from young women’s support, alcohol, tobacco, injecting drug use, hepatitis C prevention and BreastScreen. After living in Central Queensland for over 40 years she has seen the region’s families robbed of much-loved community members who have died early from preventable chronic disease and aims to create change by promoting smoke free homes and healthier communities.
In 2020, thinking that her children’s after school activities would be ceased during the COVID pandemic, she embarked on postgraduate study, only for all activities to resume. In December 2021 Kalie graduated with a Graduate Certificate in Research and a Graduate Certificate in Public Health.

Kath McFarlane

General Member

Kath has been a previous President of the AHPA Queensland Branch and involved as a general member of the committee on-and-off since 2008. Kath has worked in the field of health promotion for over 20 years and has completed a PhD focused on building health promotion and research capacity in an Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service. Kath is passionate about improving health outcomes in disadvantaged settings and has a strong interest in how organisational systems can be strengthened to increase health promotion capacity. Kath has dual roles in leading sexual health promotion approaches in north Queensland and supporting Allied Health staff to undertake research activities.

Cathie Gillan

General Member

Cathie holds a Masters of Public Health and has a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Nutrition and a Bachelor of Arts in English. Cathie has worked in the health promotion field since the late 1990’s and led the mental health promotion program in Sydney South West before relocating to Queensland in 2007. She is particularly interested in power relationships, intersectoral approaches to preventive health, systems thinking and place-based approaches. Cathie currently works for Health and Wellbeing Queensland where she is part of the Communities team and is working on developing a community learning platform to help connect and support the prevention network in Queensland

Nasim Salehi

General Member

Dr. Nasim Salehi has qualifications in Health Promotion, and Healthcare leadership. Currently, she is a senior lecturer and course coordinator at the Master of Healthcare Leadership, and an adjunct research fellow at Griffith University. She has started her work in healthcare settings/universities in 2004 and has held positions as program director, lecturer, education manager, research fellow, and hospital administrator. Across these roles, she has developed expertise in both the theoretical and practical areas of health, social, and community care system. She has made strong contributions to international science, addressed challenges in the health, social, and community care system. She has diverse ranges of publications in health promotion and healthcare leadership within high-ranking journals.

Her specific areas of research that formed a research-led improved practice are: holistic health; family-inclusive models; effective and efficient care provision; consumer engagement in research and healthcare provision (Citizen Science); young individuals as agents of change; digital health; and online education.

James Wong

General Member

Before gaining his master’s degrees in public health and business administration, James’ career had spanned several countries & sectors. Shortly after graduating, the monsoonal event of 2019 occurred. He has been working in disaster recovery ever since, putting his public health and stakeholder engagement skills to good use. First, as a Disaster Recovery Coordinator for the NQPHN and then as a Recovery & Resilience Officer in community development for Townsville City Council. Coupling social determinants of health with disaster recovery principles, his recent projects have involved refugee communities, mapping, people with disabilities, social isolation, mental health, & suicide prevention, amongst others. James is also a consumer rep at both the local HHS and state level, where he advocates for person-centred care on behalf of the community as a member of various health service councils and committees.