Chief Executive

Annette Scott

Annette Scott has an extensive history across the health system both private and public.

Annette is an Executive Leader and Board Director recognised for progressing innovative models of allied health practice within the region.

She recently managed the planning and preparedness for the COVID-19 response and was the executive lead for the COVID vaccination program roll out.

In addition to being our Chief Executive, Annette also holds the following roles:

  • Executive Director Allied Health, Darling Downs Health
  • operational lead for the allied health workforce – under the role of Executive Director Allied Health, Darling Downs Health
  • professional lead for the Health Practitioner workforce – under the role of Executive Director Allied Health, Darling Downs Health
  • Darling Downs Health senior representative on the Advisory Board of Southern Queensland Rural Health
  • Lead of the Darling Downs Health Research Team
  • Chair of the Darling Downs Health Innovation and Research Collaborative
  • State representative for allied health on the Executive Committee of the Queensland Clinical Senate.
  • She is a strong advocate for the allied health professions and was a key contributor to the design and implementation of Southern Queensland Rural Health.

    In June 2021 she received:

    • a Public Service Medal for her services to health
    • a Queens Birthday Honours award for her lead role in the COVID response across the Darling Downs and South Burnett region.

    Executive Director Toowoomba Hospital

    Shirley-Anne Gardiner

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    Ms Shirley-Anne Gardiner has been the Executive Director for Toowoomba Hospital since August 2016.

    She provides single point accountability for Toowoomba Hospital, the region’s largest hospital and main provider of services in the Darling Downs region.

    Shirley-Anne has previously held leadership roles including Operations Manager of Palmerston North Hospital, a 350 bed regional hospital in New Zealand.

    She was also Executive Director, Population Health and Engagement for the Darling Downs South West Queensland Medicare Local.

    Shirley-Anne holds a Master’s in Management (Health Services), Bachelor of Business Studies (Finance) and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Anthropology.

    Shirley-Anne has a passion for the social determinants of health. In February 2021, she was awarded the Australia Day Citizen of the Year award in Toowoomba for her work with vulnerable communities.

    Executive Director Mental Health

    Greg Neilson

    Mr Greg Neilson was appointed Executive Director, Mental Health in June 2016.

    Greg leads mental health, and alcohol and other drugs services which includes acute and extended inpatient and ambulatory services.

    He has over 25 years’ experience in senior nursing and management positions in Darling Downs Health, Division of Mental Health, Alcohol and Other Drugs.

    Hospital trained in general and psychiatric nursing, he completed additional post-basic qualifications in gerontic nursing, advanced psychiatric nursing and community mental health.

    He has a Bachelor of Health Science (Nursing) and Masters Degrees in Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, Advanced Practice Nursing and a Masters Degree in Health Service Management.

    Greg is a Fellow of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses and Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

    He is also currently engaged in the development of a comprehensive regional mental health plan with partners throughout the Darling Downs and West Moreton Regions.

    Executive Director Queensland Rural Medical Service Acting Executive Director Medical Services

    Dr Hwee Sin Chong

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    Dr Hwee Sin Chong was selected as the new Executive Director of the Queensland Rural Medical Service in 2017.

    She leads and is responsible for the development of strategies to enhance the delivery of rural and remote medical workforce services across Queensland. This includes the Queensland Rural Generalist Program.

    Hwee Sin is also responsible for 5 other state wide vocational training pathways. These include Basic and Advanced General Adult Medicine, Basic and Advanced Paediatrics, and Intensive Care Medicine, and other relieving services.

    She joined Darling Downs Health in 2011 as the Deputy Director of Medical Services in Toowoomba, and in 2014 as Executive Director Medical Services.

    Hwee Sin is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators and has a Master of Health Management and Master of International Public Health.

    Executive Director Rural

    Dr Christopher Cowling

    Dr Christopher Cowling first commenced with Darling Downs Health as a member of the Clinical Governance Unit in 2020. In October of 2020 Dr Cowling then commenced in the role of Director of Medical Services – Western Cluster. In this role Dr Cowling provided medical leadership to support staff across the cluster. Dr Cowling continued in this role until his appointment to his current position of Executive Director of Rural.

    Prior to this Dr Cowling trained and worked as a Rural Generalist with an advanced skill in Anaesthetics. He studied Medicine at James Cook University in his home town of Townsville.

    He commenced his medical career as an Intern at the Townsville University Hospital prior to undertaking his Rural Generalist training across locations including Roma, Bundaberg, Innisfail and Charleville. This included time working for many years with the Royal Flying Doctors Service based out of Charleville.

    Dr Cowling is a Fellow of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and has a Master of Health Leadership and Management from the University of New South Wales.

    Executive Director Nursing and Midwifery Services

    Andrea Nagle

    Ms Andrea Nagle is a career nurse who has worked in the public and private health sectors as well as non-government health organisations.

    Andrea was appointed as the Darling Downs Health Director of Nursing Rural (Western Cluster), before stepping into the Darling Downs Health EDNMS role in July 2017.

    Andrea leads nursing and midwifery services across Darling Downs Health to maximise the potential of nursing to enhance health outcomes for the health service.

    She was a Senior Flight Nurse for the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia.

    Andrea was also the first nurse involved in aeromedical retrievals in the Nambour Department of Emergency Medicine.

    Her other roles include Clinical Nurse Manager at Wesley Emergency Centre, Toowoomba Hospital Nursing Director and Service Manager (Women’s and Children’s and Emergency Department).

    Andrea has a Bachelor of Nursing and Masters of Health Management (Health Administration) and is a Global Nurse Leaders Institute 2020 Scholar.

    Acting Executive Director Allied Health

    Angela O'Shea

    Angela is currently acting as the Executive Director Allied Health for the Division of Allied Health. Angela is a Psychologist by background and holds a Master of Psychology (Health).

    She spent her early career working in a range of clinical roles within the Darling Downs Health Mental Health Service working with both the adult and older person’s populations in Extended Inpatient and Acute and Community Services.

    In addition to her clinical roles, Angela has also been employed in educator and project management positions.

    Angela’s substantive position is as the Director of Psychology where she is responsible for the professional management of Psychologists working across the various services of Darling Downs Health as well as operationally managing the Psychologists providing services to Toowoomba Hospital.

    She is currently the Chair of the Darling Downs Health Human Research and Ethics Committee.  Angela is a Board Approved Supervisor with the Psychology Board of Australia and has keen interest in the development and growth of the psychology workforce and other professions and services within the Division.

    Chief Finance Officer

    Jane Ranger

    In this role, Jane provides single point accountability for the Finance Division including Financial Control, Commercial Management and Procurement, Health Information Services and the Business Analysis and Development areas ensuring the prudent financial management for Darling Downs Health.

    Jane has extensive experience at a senior level in the banking, hospitality, public transport, manufacturing and building industries.

    She also has senior level experience in both public and private health care. This includes 5 years as the State Commercial Manager, Queensland, Northern Territory and New South Wales for Healthscope, the second largest private healthcare provider in Australia.

    Jane has a Bachelor of Business from Griffith University Gold Coast, where she graduated as dux of the year.

    Jane gained her CPA status in 2002 and was awarded a Fellowship in 2019.

    In 2018 she gained a Graduate Australian Institute of Company Directors and completed the Queensland Health Change Leadership Program in association with KPMG and Harvard University.

    Executive Director Infrastructure

    Dr Paul Clayton

    Dr Paul Clayton is our Executive Director, Infrastructure and leads the Infrastructure Division and ensures the coordinated delivery of Darling Downs Health infrastructure and maintenance projects.

    Paul joined Darling Downs Health in 2016 after more than 20 years in project management and technical services delivery.

    He has a technical background in the aquatic sciences but has worked in senior management and major project oversight roles for the past decade.

    Before joining our executive team, Paul contributed to the Darling Downs Health Strategic Plan 2016-2020.

    He was also responsible for progressing arrangements for coordinated infrastructure and asset management across the health service.

    His career includes direct experience in research, government, and the private sector.

    Before joining Darling Downs Health, Paul was General Manager for an international consultancy and contractor company.

    His role included working with clients on infrastructure projects for resources, transport, urban development, agricultural sectors and for all 3 tiers of government in Australia.

    Acting Executive Director Workforce

    Jude Wills

    Ms Jude Wills is a career podiatrist who, throughout her 20 year career, has worked across Australian public, private and university health sectors in both clinical and non-clinical roles.

    Jude joined Darling Downs Health in 2013 and has since occupied leadership roles largely orientated towards workforce planning and sustainability and workforce capacity building.

    Jude is currently acting Executive Director Workforce, overseeing learning and development, culture and engagement, workforce planning, workforce relations, recruitment, and workplace health and safety.

    Last updated: August 2022