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Our Board

Mike Horan

Mr Mike Horan AM

Board Chair, Darling Downs Health Board

Mike was the Member for Toowoomba South in the Queensland Parliament from 1991 to 2012. During his political career Mike served as the leader of the National Party, leader of the Opposition, Shadow Attorney-General and Shadow Minister for Police, Health, and Primary Industries respectively. Mike regards his time as Minister for Health (1996-1998) as a highlight of his political career.

Mike has considerable experience in the development and construction of small and large health facilities. More than 100 health construction projects varying from rural hospitals to major metropolitan hospitals occurred under his health ministry. During his time as Health Minister, the Surgery on Time System was established, a ten year Mental Health Plan introduced, and targets for breast screening and children’s immunisation were set and achieved.

Mike was the general manager of The Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland (Toowoomba Showgrounds) from 1978 to 1991 and was a driving force in the sale of the old inner city Toowoomba Showgrounds and the development of the new Toowoomba Showgrounds on a 98 hectare site. Mike has also served as secretary of the Darling Downs sub-chamber of Agricultural Societies, a number of Breed Societies, Downs Harness Racing and Toowoomba Greyhound Racing Club.

In June 2013 Mike was awarded a Member of the Order (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for significant service to the Parliament of Queensland and to the community of the Darling Downs.

Mike was appointed as Board Chair of the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service in May 2012 and is the Chair of the Board Executive Committee. He was the inaugural Chair of the Queensland Hospital and Health Board Chairs’ Forum from 2012 to 2014. Mike is the Queensland Hospital and Health Board Chairs’ Forum representative for the Investment Assessment Committee.

Mike is former Board Chair of Downs Rugby Ltd and current Director, covering rugby union from Gatton to St George and a Board Member of the Toowoomba Hospital Foundation. Mike was a former Board Member of the Toowoomba Police Citizens Youth Club, Icon Cancer Care and Village on the Downs.

Mike is a great believer in working with the community to achieve results.

Dr Dennis Campbell

Dr Dennis Campbell


Board Member, Darling Downs Health (Toowoomba)

Dr Dennis Campbell has been a Chief Executive Officer in both the public and private health sectors, during which he held the positions of Assistant and Acting Regional Director in the Queensland Department of Health as well as CEO at St Vincent’s Hospital, Toowoomba for ten years. He also served as Corporate Director with Legal Aid, Queensland for ten years as well as other Executive positions within the Department of Education and Department of Aboriginal and Islander Advancement.

In 2007, he was awarded an Australia Day Achievement Medallion for services to the Australian College of Health Service Executives. In 2008, he was awarded the Gold Medal for Leadership and Achievement in Health Services Management recognising his contribution and professional achievements in shaping healthcare policy at the institutional, state and national levels. He is involved in the college’s mentoring programme and on a number of national committees and is committed to making a contribution to the college and its members.

Dennis serves as a member of numerous Boards and Advisory Committees, representing both public and private health sectors, has legal and health qualifications and is involved in organisational health consulting. He is Deputy Chairman of the Board of Heritage Bank, trustee of the Queensland Museum Foundation, and Chairperson of the Management Advisory Committee of the Cobb & Co Museum Toowoomba.

Dennis is Deputy Chair of the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service, Chair of the Board Finance Committee and a member of the Board Executive and Board Audit and Risk Committees.

Dr Ross Hetherington

Dr Ross Hetherington


Board Member, Darling Downs Health (Southern Downs)

Dr Ross Hetherington is a medical practitioner and a Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (DAME). Ross also co-founded the Central Queensland Rural Division of General Practitioners and holds a number of aviation and medical memberships.

Ross has extensive experience in rural medicine and has been in private practice as a General Practitioner (GP) in Warwick since 1996. He is a board member of Health Workforce Queensland, which supports the regional, rural and remote health workforce in Queensland. Ross is Board Chair of RHealth and was a foundation member of Regional Health Board, Longreach. He has held previous Directorships with Australian General Practice Network (AGPN) and the Australian Rural and Remote Workforce Agency Group.

Ross is the Chair of Rural Health Workforce Australia, a member of the Department of Health’s Workforce Distribution group, a board member of Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited, a member of the Aviation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand and was a foundation member of the Menopause Society of Australasia.

Ross is a member of the Board Executive and Board Safety and Quality Committees.

Trish Leddington-Hill

Trish Leddington-Hill


Board Member, Darling Downs Health (Western Downs)

Ms Patricia (Trish) Leddington-Hill worked for more than 10 years with RHealth, a primary healthcare organisation servicing the Darling Downs and South West Queensland, before being appointed to the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service Board in November 2012.  In addition to her Board role, Trish is also currently back working as a part-time Executive Manager for RHealth, and in a part time Coordinator role supporting the Western Qld Primary Health Network (WQPHN).

Trish grew up on a rural property near Millmerran, Queensland, and was educated in Millmerran, Toowoomba and Brisbane. She completed a Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Laws at the University of Queensland (UQ) in 2000.

Trish worked in the rural sector in a number of roles, before joining RHealth (then known as Southern Queensland Rural Division of General Practice) in early 2002 where she coordinated and managed projects across the areas of allied health, mental health, aged care, quality use of medicines, health promotion and integration.

Trish’s work became focused on promoting improvements to the health and community services sectors through partnerships and workforce planning and development. She completed studies in the internationally recognised Partnership Brokering Accreditation Scheme (PBAS) and is an internationally accredited Partnership Broker. More recently with RHealth, Trish has been managing teams supporting the mental health needs of Darling Downs residents, and with the WQPHN, supporting their Business & Commissioning Support Unit.

As a resident of Chinchilla, on the Western Downs, Trish is a keen supporter of her local community and region and has been heavily involved in various local committees and clubs, and recently, especially in support of her primary school aged children.

Trish is Chair of the Board Safety and Quality Committee and a member of the Board Audit and Risk Committee.

Marie Pietsch

Marie Pietsch


Board Member, Darling Downs Health (Southern Downs)

Ms Marie Pietsch brings to the Board her passion and advocacy for public health services in rural and remote communities. She has extensive healthcare experience across the Darling Downs region and has held positions on numerous councils and committees, including Chair of the Minister’s Rural Health Advisory Council and Chair of the Southern Downs Health Community Council.  Marie is a well-respected community member who is committed to achieving sustainable and sound outcomes for people who live outside major cities.

Marie has a professional background working in the Darling Downs region and comes with a strong emphasis on community leadership both in agricultural and health related committees which has given her extensive exposure to local community needs.

Marie brings significant skills and expertise in community engagement from her  involvement in the area. She is a member of Inglewood Multipurpose Health Service Management Committee and Chair of the Inglewood Community Advisory Network for over 20 years.

Her leadership and networking skills were acknowledged in 2003 with a Centenary Medal for distinguished service to the community. Marie also received an Australia Day Achievement Medallion for outstanding service to Queensland Health and in 2014 Marie was awarded Citizen of the Year by the Goondiwindi Regional Council for services to the community, especially in health. She is a member of Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

Marie is a member of the Board Audit and Risk and Board Finance Committees and is a representative on the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service Consumer Consultative Committee.

Dr Ruth Terwijn

Dr Ruth Terwijn

RN, MNurs (Hons), PhD

Board Member, Darling Downs Health (Toowoomba)

Dr Ruth Terwijn is a registered nurse and academic who started her nursing career at St Vincent’s Hospital, Toowoomba. Ruth worked with Family Planning Queensland in clinical, educational and managerial roles. During this time she completed an Advanced Practice Nursing in Sexual and Reproductive Health course and a Master of Nursing (Hons) through University of Southern Queensland (USQ).

After many years at Family Planning Queensland (FPQ), she changed her focus to become a lecturer of nursing at USQ. Her teaching priority during this time was introducing student nurses to the profession of nursing, post graduate rural and remote nursing courses, and part of the team that introduced flexible learning through online nursing courses. Ruth worked closely with nursing students who held a Permanent Humanitarian Visa. In 2015, she completed her PhD with a critical research study of the experiences of English as an additional language (EAL) and international nursing students.

Ruth is a member of the Board Executive and Finance Committees.

Dr Ruth Terwijn

Professor Julie Cotter

PhD, BCom(Hons), FCPA, CA, GAICD

Board Member, Darling Downs Health (Toowoomba)

Professor (Emeritus) Julie Cotter is a respected academic with a wealth of experience in business and governance. Between 2013 and 2017 she was the Director of the Australian Centre for Sustainable Business and Development, a research centre of the University of Southern Queensland (USQ). Professor Cotter’s areas of expertise include finance, governance and agribusiness. Julie is a Chartered Accountant and a Fellow of CPA Australia.

Professor Cotter is the Chair of the Australian Institute of Company Director’s (AICD) Toowoomba Regional Committee, a member of Exercise and Sports Science Australia’s (ESSA) National Board and an independent member the Department of Education Audit and Risk Management Committee. Julie previously served as a member of the neighbouring West Moreton Hospital and Health Board between September 2012 and March 2015, where she also chaired the Audit and Risk Committee.

Other previous non-executive board roles include Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise (TSBE). Professor Cotter’s roles with the AICD, TSBE and USQ have allowed her to build strong relationships with the Toowoomba and Darling Downs business communities.

Professor Cotter held senior management positions at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) between 2006 and 2017, including Head of School and Research Centre Director roles. In these positions she has been responsible for strategic and business management and leadership of large teams. During Julie’s time at USQ she was a member of many university-wide management boards and committees contributing to strategic and operational management of the University.

Julie is Chair of the Board Audit and Risk Committee and a member of the Board Finance Committee.

Ms Cheryl Dalton

Cheryl Dalton

Board Member, Darling Downs Health (South Burnett)

Ms Cheryl Dalton has extensive governance experience gained in her sixteen years as a local government Councillor in the South Burnett as well as through a long-standing membership on a Department of Natural Resources and Mines Panel. She is currently the Chief Executive of SBcare, a not for profit aged and disability service and works closely with and advocates for the community and social service sector.

Cheryl has in excess of thirty years business management experience through her family agribusiness ventures where she is active as a Managing Director in a variety of agricultural enterprises and works primarily in the financial and quality assurance aspects of the business.

Cheryl’s community involvement has and continues to encompass a wide range of interests including water planning and management, the arts, disability employment, social service and advisory committee roles to government.

Cheryl is a member of the Board Audit and Risk and Board Safety and Quality Committees.

Associate Professor Maree Toombs

Associate Professor Maree Toombs


Board Member, Darling Downs Health (Toowoomba)

Associate Professor Maree Toombs is the Associate Dean (Indigenous Engagement) for the Faculty of Medicine at The University of Queensland, where her focus is on implementing their Reconciliation Action Plan as well as ensuring the continued support of Indigenous students at the University. Dr Toombs is an Aboriginal woman with cultural linage to the Kooma people of Western Queensland and Euahlayi People of North Western New South Wales. She was the first Aboriginal person to be awarded a PhD from the University of Southern Queensland.

Maree is recognised nationally and internationally for her research work around mental health outcomes for Aboriginal people with multiple comorbidities, in particular managing chronic physical illness and mental health in a holistic way and building resilience.

Maree is a Churchill Fellowship recipient with over 20 years’ experience teaching and developing curriculum relating to Indigenous education and health. She has published several journal articles related to improving the way people culturally work with Indigenous Australians in regional and remote areas and is the co-author of ‘Indigenous Australians and Health’ published by Oxford Press.

Maree’s focus and expertise lie in the areas of mental health, suicide prevention and chronic disease. She has dedicated her career to serving the community through improving access to primary health care and developing culturally tailored training designed to address the increasing rates of suicide among Indigenous people living in rural and remote areas.

Dr Toombs is a member of the expert advisory committee for Indigenous Health to the Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand and is Chair of the Board of Directors at Carbal Medical Services.

Maree is a member of the Board Safety and Quality Committee.

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Last updated: 15 July 2021