The Board of Directors is dedicated to supporting the work that Rural Health West undertakes to improve health outcomes across Western Australia.

Rural Health West is governed by an eight member Board, made up of elected and appointed Directors. Members of the Board have a wide range of experience in the health sector, Government relations, tertiary education and the financial services.

Mr Grant Woodhams

BA, GradCertTerAdEd, GradDipRecPlan

A former Speaker of the Western Australian Parliament, Grant retired from politics in early 2013 after two terms in the Legislative Assembly. Prior to that he had a long career with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation working in most States of Australia on both radio and television.

He has a great interest in motor racing having published several books on speedway sedans, is actively involved with football currently being the President of the Chapman Valley Football Club and is known for his interest in long distance running, having completed ten marathons.

Grant is also a passionate advocate for tertiary education in Geraldton and is a Board member of the Geraldton University Centre.

Adjunct Associate Professor Robyn Collins
Deputy Chair

Robyn is the WA State Manager of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. Prior to this Robyn was the Chief Executive Officer and Registrar of the Nurses and Midwives Board of WA.In recognition of her leadership skills, Robyn was awarded an Adjunct Associate Professor title by Curtin University for leadership in Nursing and Midwifery. In 2008 she also won the Women’s Hospitals Australasia Medal of Distinction.

Robyn has been a member on a number of local, national and international Boards. Some of these include the Women’s Hospitals Australasia and the Women and Infants Research Foundation. She has previously held the position of Director of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council and has been a surveyor with the Australian Council of Healthcare Standards. Robyn is currently the Deputy Chair of the South Metropolitan Health Service. She is also an inaugural Board Member of the Curtin University School of Nursing and Midwifery.

John Martin
Company Secretary


John has been a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia since 1973 as well as a member of the Taxation Institute of Australia for 30 years. His professional experience includes advice on accounting, taxation and finance to small and medium businesses and individuals. John has acted as a Company Secretary for both private companies and pre-listing. He was a former partner with a large, worldwide accounting firm (now KPMG) before starting his own accounting practice in 1990.

Karen Brown

BA, Dip Ed

Karen has a background in Government relations, communications and media. She spent 16 years as a print journalist at The West Australian newspaper where she reported on a broad range of issues, edited several feature sections and became the newspaper’s first female Chief of Staff and then Deputy Editor. Karen also served as the Western Australian Editor of The Australian newspaper and worked with commercial clients as Principal Consultant at Halden Burns.

Karen has worked in politics at both the State and Federal level and most recently served as Chief of Staff to the Leader of the Government in the Senate and Federal Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research.

Lynette Baker

Lynette is the current President of the Shire of Corrigin and has been a councilor in the Shire since 2003. She represents the Shire on the WALGA Central Country Zone and the Local Health Advisory Committee and is the Chair of the Regional Road Group Wheatbelt South, Small Business Centre Eastern Wheatbelt and Roe Regional Organisation of Council. She also represents the Zone on the Wheatbelt Health MOU Group.

The Shire of Corrigin is one of the Shires that developed the Eastern Wheatbelt Primary Care Project and Lynette is the Chair of the Eastern Wheatbelt Primary Care Project Shire Governance Committee. Having firsthand experience of the challenges of recruiting and retaining rural health practitioners, Lynette is committed to working towards improved primary health care provision, particularly in the regions of Western Australia.

Dr Petronella (Elly) Slootmans

Elly is currently a rural procedural general practitioner working in Geraldton. She has previously been a board member of the Midwest GP Network, and has spent five years as a Director on the Board of Panaceum Group Geraldton, serving two years as Chair. She is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Elly, as an overseas trained rural general practitioner, is particularly interested in support and education of overseas trained doctors, as well as keeping general practice relevant and sustainable in the current economic climate. She is passionate about providing a voice for rural general practitioners in relation to policy and programs that affect rural practice.

Sally Edmonds
Dr Sally Edmonds


Sally is currently the Deputy Director of Medical Services at Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Western Operations and has a 20 year association with RFDS working in various roles. She has previously spent time working as a rural doctor in Port Hedland and Broome, and has gained a deep understanding of the clinical and logistic challenges faced by health services throughout rural and remote WA, through her own experiences, as well as through regular contact with a far-reaching network of colleagues across the state.

Sally has participated in several committees representing RFDS and private general practice. These include WA State Trauma Committee, Aeromedical Society of Australasia, Kimberley Division of General Practice, WA Divisions of General Practice, and Pilbara Aboriginal Health Planning Forum.

Dr Andrew Kirke
Dr Andrew Kirke


Dr Kirke is a Procedural GP with an interest in obstetrics.  He holds a Diploma in Obstetrics from the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Dr Kirke is involved in teaching and is a Medical Coordinator with the Rural Clinical School of Western Australia with the title of Associate Professor. He is president of the Rural Doctors’ Association of Western Australia. Dr Kirke also is the principal Investigator of research projects.