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Kym Strachan


Kym is thrilled to be joining the AHPA Qld Branch Committee as the President and is excited to be working with such an experienced group of health promotion professionals. Kym holds a Master of Public Health (Health Promotion), Graduate Certificate in Health Promotion, Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Education (Applied Learning), and a Diploma in Project Management. She is passionate about health promoting settings and older people’s health. Kym currently works at the Brisbane North Primary Health Network as the Manager of Care Coordination in the Aged and Community Care Team. Throughout her 30-year career in health she has had a strong focus on wellbeing, collaboration, partnerships, quality improvement, clinical governance, and supporting people with chronic disease. Kym is looking forward to serving the AHPA QLD Branch members over the coming 12 months.

Jemma King


Jemma is the past President of the AHPA Queensland Branch. Jemma holds a Master of Public Health (Health Promotion) and a joint degree in Bachelor in Business and Psychology (Hons). Jemma is employed as a Lecturer in Public Health with a focus on teaching future health professionals about research. She is interested in health literacy, injury prevention, 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

General Member

Carlie holds a Bachelor in Health Science with a Major in Health Promotion and is a registered health promotion practitioner with the IUHPE. She has been a member of the Queensland Branch Committee since 2017, holding various roles including Secretary and Vice President. Carlie has always taken a holistic approach to health and during University became interested in salutogenesis, an approach to wellbeing that focuses on health rather than disease. Carlie has worked on a wide range of health promotion and prevention programs and currently works for the Heart Foundation on the design and delivery of a patient support program for people living in rural and remote locations who have been impacted by heart disease. She particularly enjoys working on projects that address the social determinants of health, encourage multisectoral collaboration, and empower individuals and communities to take an active role in their health and wellbeing.

Melanie Cook

General Member

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.

Eva James

General Member

Eva James holds a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Health Promotion and is currently completing a graduate diploma in Planetary Health. Eva has worked on a range preventive health programs, projects and policy developments across regional, state and national portfolios. She is super passionate about the intersection of climate change and health, and interested in place based approaches to prevention. Eva loves supporting early career professionals in their transition from student to workforce and was previously a tutor in the School of Public Health, UQ. Eva currently works at Healthy North Coast (Primary Health Network) leading initiatives focused on supporting wellbeing and resilience, particularly in communities impacted by recent natural disasters.

Laura Leyden

General Member

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.

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.

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.

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.