CEO Message - January 2024

31 January 2024

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Welcome to 2024! I hope you had a restful break over the Christmas New Year holidays. It's important to acknowledge the challenges faced by many communities due to extreme weather events during December and January. Our thoughts go out to communities in Northern Queensland who are still grappling with the aftermath of the cyclone and ongoing weather events. We recognize the resilience required during these trying times and wish you well with the recovery journey.

It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of our esteemed friend and colleague, Professor Dennis Pashen, on 23 November 2023. Professor Pashen's unwavering commitment to rural medicine and education significantly shaped the development and delivery of innovative care in Queensland. We honour and remember Dennis’ remarkable legacy and the profound impact he had on remote and rural Queensland communities. Dennis had a pivotal role in founding HWQ as a rural workforce agency and his valuable contributions as a director during 2011-2012 have left an indelible mark on our agency. The HWQ Board and Staff, extend our deepest sympathies to his partner Vicki Sheedy and family during this difficult time.

HWQ’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), was held on 25 November 2023. The AGM was a significant event, providing us an opportunity to reflect on our past year's achievements. At the AGM members voted to re-elect Stella Taylor-Johnson, Robert Stable, John Cain and Kristine Battye. Following the AGM members conducted an Election of Office Bearers for 2024 and Dr Ross Maxwell was appointed the Board Chair, Naomi Blake was appointed the Chair of the Risk Management Committee and Dr Natasha Coventry was appointed Chair of the Governance Committee.

Directors accepted the 2022-2023 Annual Report which offers an in-depth look at our agency's performance, initiatives, and the impact of our work across remote and rural Queensland communities. We extend our gratitude to the remote and rural health workforce and our stakeholders for their unwavering support and contribution to our success. Your collaboration and dedication have been instrumental in the accomplishments highlighted in the report.

2022-2023 Annual Report

The HWQ Board and Leadership Team met on 24 November 2023 to consider our 5-year strategic plan as we face the health workforce challenges with remote and rural Queensland communities. This plan will be developed over coming months to guide the 2024/2025 financial year and beyond.

We finished the year with a lot of time and effort focused on a grant application for Innovative Models of Care (IMOC) Program Funding Community Supported Rural Primary Care Trials - Round 5 which is aimed at place-based multidisciplinary models that empower communities with the trial of sustainable, and locally endorsed multidisciplinary primary care service models. HWQ supported at least five other grant applications across Queensland, and we look forward to the outcome of the Round 5 application process.