Our Staff

The NSWODGP is fortunate to have a professional team of staff who are committed to the provision of culturally responsive Primary Health Care services aimed at delivering better health outcomes to the communities we serve.  Our team also works hard to support General Practice, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and other health care providers to improve provider experience and effectiveness in delivering care to our rural and remote communities.  We have a competent, hardworking team that strives to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities.

David Mathews

David Mathews is the Manager of Health Information Systems for NSW Outback Division of General Practice based in Bourke.

David has worked for NSW Outback Division of General Practice and Far West Medicare Local for the past 5 years. With over 15 years’ experience in clinical systems administration David is responsible for all IT administration requirements for both ODGP and the Cobar Primary Health Care Centre along with CDMPP Team.

Dawn Howlett

Aboriginal Health Worker

I have work in health for a few good years, starting my journey as AIN at the Bourke District Hospital where I then trained as an enrolled nurse.  After completing my training, I worked in the community with aged care and disabilities for 5yrs before returning to work at BDH for a short time.  I then worked at Walgett Hospital as an EN and in Lightning Ridge as an Aboriginal Health Worker in community health.

I have since worked at Tamworth Aboriginal Medical Service as an Aboriginal Health Worker, Bourke Aboriginal Health Service as a Practice Nurse before returning to work at community Health in Lightning Ridge as an Aboriginal Health worker and back to Bourke Aboriginal Health Service as a Practice Nurse. 

I commenced working with NSWODGP as an Aboriginal Health Worker at Cobar, Lightning Ridge and Bourke.

I Have completed my training in Aboriginal Health and will register as a Aboriginal Health Practitioner in November 2017. 

Denise Gordon

Executive Manager of Clinical Services

I have worked as a Registered Nurse in North West NSW for 25 years, primarily in the hospital setting, but more recently in General Practice. This experience involved both clinical and nursing management positions and I understand the unique challenges we face in effecting positive change to health outcomes.

Since joining the NSWODGP in 2017, my role is to effectively manage and supervise primary care teams and programs to deliver high quality, safe, timely, coordinated and integrative primary health care.




Mental Health Nurse

I am new to both Cobar as a resident and the clinic as the new mental health nurse. I come from metro Melbourne where I have worked across both the public and private health sectors as a mental health nurse. My mental health clinical experience ranges from high dependency nursing to acute inpatient services as well as psycho-geriatric acute mental health nursing and community mental health.

As a new member of the multidisciplinary team here at the Primary Health Care Centre in Cobar, my primary role is to take a holistic approach based in both the recovery and strengths based model of mental healthcare. I am working collaboratively with clients who have mental illness' towards recovery as defined by the individual/client. The clients that are suitable for referral vary in acuity and reason and I am open to discuss and assess anyone that is deemed suitable by the clinicians within the Health Care centre.

I am available 5 days a week. Feel free to come and have a chat, discuss referrals or any other questions you may have

Heidi Kitchin

Speech Pathologist

Heidi graduated from the University of Newcastle in 2013 with a Bachelor of Speech Pathology. After two and a half years of working in a different industry, Heidi began her Speech Pathology career in the Outback in 2016. Heidi visits the towns of Bourke, Brewarrina, Enngonia, Walgett and Lightning Ridge working with children to achieve their speech, language and literacy goals. She also enjoys working within local hospitals and aged care facilities to support adults with swallowing difficulties.

Heidi has a passion for helping children communicate their wants and needs and aims to assist families to access local services in rural and remote communities. Heidi loves making therapy fun and engaging for children and enjoys working with parents and families to support their little one’s communication at home.

Ianto De Vries

Podiatrist, Chronic Disease Management Program.

I graduated from the University of East London in 2010 with a BSc (Hons) in Podiatry.  After that, I returned to Australia and started working in the Western Sydney chronic disease program. That involved dealing with a lot of foot ulcers. I really enjoyed the team effort and the problem solving needed to get them healed, and hopefully, stayed healed.

After 4.5 years of that I got less interested in the big city life but was still very much interested in how I can help manage the impact of chronic disease on the feet. I wanted to broaden my horizons by experiencing life in rural and remote Australia. Since making the change, I have been fortunate enough to work in rural and remote communities in the NT, QLD, SA and NSW.

With the ODGP I work out of Bourke, Walgett, Lightning Ridge and Nyngan. There is a lot of need within these communities for a service that helps keep people in good foot health and mobile. It has been great getting to know the services users and engaging with them to bring about the best outcome for them. 

Jenelle Hambrook

Finance Officer/Administration Support

I have worked with the ODGP and Far West Medicare Local for over 4 years.  My role of Finance Officer / Clinical Administration Support sits within our corporate team at our Bourke Office 

I bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in Finance and General Practice administration.  

Jennifer Hawke

Mental Health Nurse, Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program.

I started working in Rural and Remote Community Mental Health in 2001 after completing a Nurse Practitioner Masters’ Degree in Mental Health at the University of South Australia in my home town Adelaide.

Since then I have worked in Mental Health in Rural S.A, Victoria and Remote W.A and N.S.W. I trained as a Narrative Therapist at the Dulwich Center in Adelaide and I am passionate about delivering Mental Health Services within a Primary Health Care philosophy.

My special interests include Narrative Therapy, Suicide prevention, Aboriginal Health, Co Morbid Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Treatment, Recovery from Trauma and Psychotropic Pharmacology.

I commenced working with the ODGP in July 2017 and prior to that I worked as a Mental Health Clinician for 18 months in Lightning Ridge, Bourke and Brewarrina with NSW Health.

Karl Zajac

Dietitian for the Chronic Disease Management and Prevention Program (covering the towns of Lightning Ridge, Walgett, Collarenebri, Goodooga, Coonamble, Gulargambone, Baradine).

I have worked for ODGP for 2 years doing face-to-face clinics and community programs providing general nutrition advice for the healthy and specific recommendations for those managing chronic diseases among other issues. I have also worked with children assessing growth and nutritional status.

I’m enthusiastic about motivating clients to make changes to their lifestyle and seeing improvements in their health. I’m lucky to be working with such a supportive organisation and friendly staff.

Karnie Walford

Project officer - Maternal and Infant Health “Did Ya Know”

I have worked across the Far West in rural and isolated communities for over 30 years, assisting families with parenting, disabilities/special needs, including those with a history of family violence, drug and alcohol, mental health and child protection issues.

I have been in my current position for 6.5 years, I have a passion for Aboriginal health and enjoy my role as team leader for a dedicated team of allied health and chronic disease staff.

Kim Thompson

Clinical Admin Officer

I’ve been working for ODGP for over 3 years, and enjoy working with such an enthusiastic bunch of people.

My role includes referral intake, patient engagement, booking in visiting clinics, day to day admin duties, corporate responsibilities and managing the visitors calendar for the IACFC .

Since the start of my employment I’ve completed cert IV in Business and Administration and Allied Health Assistance which has assisted me in building relationships, resources and understanding of our organisations goals.

Laura Bate

Dietitian (APD)

After graduating from Charles Sturt University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Nutrition & Dietetics) in 2014, Laura made the move out west and has now worked in her position for over 2 and a half years. Laura services the towns of Bourke, Brewarrina, Cobar, Nyngan and Warren, running clinics out of General Practices to help people manage their chronic health conditions through food.

Laura has a passion for rural and remote health, and aims to help those who live out in ‘the bush’ to live healthier lives. As a Dietitian, Laura’s other passion is food, and she believes that healthy balanced eating is all about moderation!

Lee Morgan

Aboriginal Health Worker (Trainee)

I have been employed by the NSW Outback Division of General Practice as an Aboriginal Health Assistant prior to a change in position as Aboriginal Health Worker (trainee).   I am eager to undergo further training and development as I have a keen interest in Health, particularly Aboriginal Health and the effects it has on the local and surrounding communities.  As a local, born and raised here, I see firsthand the issues that affect local Aboriginal people from this region so I have a passion to help bridge with Aboriginals in the healthcare system.Hh

Liam Rice

Contract Manager

I have worked across the Far West NSW and QLD in rural and isolated communities for the last 10 years as a Project Manager and Workplace Health and Safety Supervisor managing projects ranging from $300K to $2m in value.

I have been in my current position since December 2015 where I manage and negotiate all incoming and outgoing contracts, WHS issues, Quality Accreditation and management, Purchasing and maintenance of all fleet and Building Assets.

Olivia Hicks

Speech Pathologist (Certified Practicing)

Olivia graduated from Flinders University in South Australia with a Bachelor of Speech Pathology in 2016. Olivia has a passion for providing services to rural and remote communities, and currently visits the towns of Cobar, Bourke, Enngonia, Brewarrina and Lightning Ridge.

Olivia enjoys her role as a ‘rural generalist’ speech pathologist, working with people across the lifespan to support their communication and swallowing. Olivia has a particular passion for working with little ones to support their transition to school as well as working with adults with acquired brain injuries and their families to support their participation at home and in the community. Olivia enjoys making therapy fun and meaningful for the people she works with.

Trevor Player

Credentialed Mental Health Nurse -  Mental Health Nurse Incentive Program MHNIP

I have had a long career working in many areas of Mental Health both overseas and in Australia.  Some of the positions I have worked include Acute, Forensics.  Very Rural and Remote Mental Health Care in Western Australia, Care Coordination in Community Mental Health Teams. and MPHP, in Primary Mental Health Care. 

I am only new to the Bourke Area, however I have lived and worked in the Temora Regional for the previous eight years.  Over the years it seems that I am continually drawn back to health care in Rural Australia 

Tanya Jackson

General Manager

Tanya is the General Manager of the NSW Outback Division of General Practice (ODGP) and has worked for the Division and Medicare Local for more than 10 years. Tanya was born and raised in Bourke and has experience in both the not for profit health sector and in Indigenous Affairs working across the Murdi Paaki region including ATSIC, Commonwealth Attorney General’s Department and NSW Aboriginal Affairs. Tanya provides strategic advice to the Board and partner organisations, and is responsible for the overall management and compliance of the organisation including programs, membership, quality, reporting, financial, and HR.



Clinical Administration Support Officer

I have worked for Outback Division and Far West Medicare Local for over 3 years now, working with such an Amazing and Supportive Team.

My Role includes: of  General Day to Day Admin Duties, Support to the Allied Health Staff, Referral Intake, Booking of Clinics and Assisting in the CDMPP program.