As I am writing this report, I am pleased to reflect on the progress our organisation has made over the first few months of 2019.

The CQ Suicide Prevention Program is moving forward, with community plans now at the implantation stage. As a separately financed sub-project, CQRH was able to secure funding from the Tackling Regional Adversity through Integrated Care program (TRAIC) to enable and enhance community wellbeing in the Banana Shire. The outcome of this was the training of fourteen Banana Shire residents to deliver CALM Suicide Prevention workshops. These trainers have committed to delivering suicide prevention training to the community. The first of these workshops took place on April 7th in Biloela. CQRH is now looking to train members of the Livingstone community to deliver training within that region. We have also been approved as a Suicide Prevention Training Provider by the PHN.

The Central Highlands Suicide Prevention Leadership Group and their community have managed to secure funding from the federal Government for a ‘Headspace Centre’ in Emerald. A ‘Headspace Centre’ will be an invaluable resource for the community, providing early intervention for 12 to 25year-old’s in four key areas – mental health, physical health, social and vocational support, and alcohol and other drug use. The passionate and successful campaign was certainly a credit to the community.

As part of our continuing support for community wellbeing, CQ Rural Health has been employing mental health clinicians to support people with severe and persistent mental illness for some time now. Earlier this year, one of our mental health clinicians, Gillian Hickey, resigned. Fortunately we were able to secure the services of a Mental Health Social Worker in Biloela and a Mental Health Social Worker in Rockhampton, both providing essential services to their towns and surrounding communities. This community project is now fully staffed; however we are still recruiting for a mental health clinician for Gladstone. We are also hoping to recruit a community midwife to the Whitsunday area.

RHMS has secured a contract for a community nurse in Rolleston for 6 hours per week, from the PHN, via the ‘Live Better’ program. This will provide an ongoing economic basis for services in Rolleston.

The Baralaba GP practice gained a second doctor in March. Dr Keshminder Singh is an experienced hospital doctor of 8 years and is training for GP via the ACRRM pathway. He is most welcome and will allow a more comprehensive service generally and regular outreach services to Wowan.

Flinders Medical centre in Cloncurry. Pictures from during the renovation are on the left, pictures taken after the renovation are on the right.

The renovations to Flinders Medical Centre in Cloncurry are now complete. This will allow the practice to increase Allied Health Services, procedural GPs and accommodate an Intern rotation. Our sincerest thanks to Glencore and the Ernest Henry Mine.

The disastrous floods which devastated parts of northern Queensland put stress on medical services in Julia Creek. Our doctors and staff stepped up to the mark. Whilst GP numbers where down due to the impassability of roads, psychological and counselling services were in demand. CQRH assisted two social workers, Szilvia Virag and Alice Hodges, to relocate temporarily to Julia Creek for the emergency and the aftermath of the floods. The volunteer social workers were from Victoria and New South Wales. All team members went above and beyond, coping admirably.

CQRH is delighted to announce the Rural Health Scholarships for 2019:

  • Alexander Belonogoff (Medicine)
  • Jacob Firth (Biomedical Science)
  • Samuel Romagnolo (Medicine)
  • Imogen Storey (Exercise Physiology)
  • Jane Surman (Physiotherapy)

We wish them all the very best in their studies and rural practice.

Finally, TOPICs, your portal to all things CQRH and RHMS is going online and we are administering a TOPICs blog. To find our blog, visit our website at There are a number of new sections on the blog, including a place where you can contact us. Please participate and tell us all things good & bad about CQRH and its subsidiary RHMS, and how we can improve our representation and services.

Continuing in our pursuit of excellence and sustainability in rural health.

John Evans
President CQRH