Welcome to new Board Member – Mr Wayne Rushton

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Mr. Wayne Rushton as our newest board member. Wayne brings a broad range of financial and strategic expertise that is of significant value to our board at a time when we are carving out a strong and sustainable future for Lishman Health Research.

Wayne Rushton is the Chief Financial Officer at Melchor and Firesafe.  Prior to taking up this role Wayne spent over 23 years working in a variety of practice roles including business/corporate advisory services, audit, corporate finance and restructuring, which included over 5 years as a partner at KPMG and Ferrier Hodgson.  Through his experience to date Wayne has developed a skill set that includes financial reporting/modelling, risk mitigation, working capital optimisation, strategic reviews and stakeholder management which has driven a passion for assisting businesses to pursue and optimise growth strategies and deliver outcomes that benefit all stakeholders.

Thank you to Mr William Cowan

On behalf of the Board of the Lishman Health Foundation, we would like to extend our sincere appreciation to outgoing Secretary, Mr William Cowan, for his outstanding service and dedication to the Foundation from 2016-2021.

Mr Cowan has previously held roles as an Executive Director, CFO and Country Manager for AngloGold Ashanti Australia Limited, as well as CFO and Company Secretary of Worsley Alumina Pty. Mr Cowan holds degrees in Economics and Finance and is an FCPA and FAICD. In addition, Mr Cowan has graduated with diplomas from the AICD Company Directors Course and also the Advanced Program ‘Mastering the Boardroom’.

The Foundation has benefited tremendously from Mr Cowan’s strong leadership, knowledge and expertise, ensuring a robust, high-level governance structure underpins our work. We are grateful for the many tireless hours that Bill has invested into building a structure that ensures transparency. This high-level of research governance ensures that key outcomes, or measurable benefits, are delivered directly to regional communities.

Mr Cowan has consistently demonstrated his passion to improve health care outcomes for individuals, families and communities living in regional and rural Australia.

Thank you Bill.

William Cowan and Margaret Mardon

Thank you to Dr Fionnuala Hannon

On behalf of the Board of the Lishman Health Foundation, we would like to extend our sincere appreciation to outgoing Chairperson, Dr Fionnuala Hannon, for the important work that she has led over the last three years.

Dr Hannon has served on the Board of the Lishman Health Foundation since October 2016 and was elected as Chairperson in September 2017. During this time, Dr Hannon has led a collegial and cohesive Board, demonstrating a high level of governance and forward-thinking vision for the Foundation.

In what has been a difficult year for many, Dr Hannon has been integral to ensuring the plans and progress made by the Foundation will continue our aspirations and commitment to the health and wellbeing of rural, regional and remote communities across Western Australia. These achievements would not have been possible without Dr Hannon at the helm.

The Foundation has benefited tremendously from Dr Hannon’s entrepreneurial energy, good ideas, practical support and drive to make things happen.

As a highly motivated and enthusiastic leader for the Foundation, Dr Hannon has consistently demonstrated her passion to improve health outcomes for individuals, families and communities living in rural, regional and remote Western Australia.

We are extremely grateful to Dr Hannon for her exceptional service to the Foundation.

Dr Fionnuala Hannon, John Tombleson and Dianne Ritson at the Voyager Estate Fundraising Dinner in 2019.


2020 Annual Report Snapshot

The Lishman Health Foundation has released its 2020 Annual Report Snapshot. This document provides a summary of how the Foundation has continued its work to improve the health and well-being of rural and regional communities both before and in response to COVID-19. Through what has been a challenging year, the Lishman Health Foundation undertook some serious reflection and objective analysis of its ongoing viability. The Foundation is working hard to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic as a stronger organisation that can continue to deliver on research that results in positive health outcomes for the regional communities of Western Australia.

2020 Annual Report Snapshot

H&F Weekend Fundraiser

Thank you to everyone who supported the Lishman Health Foundation’s H&F Weekend. A special thanks to Margaret Paterson for organising a fantastic array of activities, providing several opportunities to socialise, enjoy great company, fabulous food and exercise.

Supporters of this wonderful event raised vital funds for regional cancer research and had such fun along the way. There were even some brave enough to tackle the walks, despite wild weather that saw parts of the Cape to Cape closed. Thank you to all who supported raffles including The Goose and Caves House and to all donated to this wonderful cause, especially those who donated even when unable to attend.

Resilience or Risk? Exploring the Impact of Rurality on Youth Mental Health

Funding has been secured through Lishman Health Research by Dr Sarah Youngson at RCSWA to research the impact of living in a rural area on the mental health of young people. The study seeks to explore the risk and protective factors of a rural address on youth mental health.

Risk factors for mental illness are magnified in rural communities, with stigma, lack of anonymity, and access to services being dominant factors. In contrast, a rural residence confers a number of protective factors which warrant further exploration. The strengthening of these factors has the potential to mitigate the risks of rurality on youth mental health.

The study will utilise qualitative methods, based on a phenomenological world view which will attempt to understand the lived experienced of young people in rural communities. The study will be guided by the principles of participatory action research, in which the group being researched – rural young people – will be actively involved in the research process (Baum, MacDougall, & Smith, 2006). Participatory Action Research (PAR) includes involving those most affected by the issue under investigation, being directly involved in the development of the inquiry process as well as the implementation of any actions that arise from the process (Crane & O’Regan, 2010).

South Regional Health Research Collaborative

Lishman Health Research, in partnership with Rural Health West, St John of God Bunbury, Edith Cowan University, WA Country Health Service, WA Primary Health Alliance and WA Health Translation Network, initiated the South Regional Health Research Collaborative in 2019. The key objectives of the SRHRC are:

  • Form a collaborative South Regional community of health professionals, researchers, universities and research organisations to optimise the opportunity for health research in the South West region.
  • Identify current health research and translational health research activity.
  • Determine future health research and translational health research priorities relevant to, health practice, health outcomes and health professional development.
  • Grow health research and translational health research activity.
  • Develop strategies for research implementation and translational research projects.
  • Identify resources to support research.
  • Facilitate the South Regional Health Research Collaborative in guiding and directing research projects in accordance with identified health research needs and priorities.

The SRHRC held the inaugural South West Health Research Forum on the 26 November 2020, bringing together over 90 health professionals, researchers, universities and research organisations to guide and direct future research projects in accordance with identified health research needs and priorities.



Regional and Rural Health Research Activity Update – May 2020

Regional and Rural Health Research Activity Update – August 2020

Regional and Rural Health Research Activity Update – March 2021


The South West Health Research Collaborative will also host a series of webinars.

Webinar 1: The ORCHID Study

Training Opportunities AIM WA – Apply Now

Are you:

  • Employed in health care, preferably by a non-government or not for profit organisation?
  • Located in the South West region of WA?
  • Able to attend a course at AIM WA before 31 March 2021?

You are invited to apply for a sponsored training opportunity with the Australian Institute of Management WA (AIM WA).

How to apply:

Visit www.aimwa.com to search the courses that are available. Some courses are excluded, as listed in the attached application form.

Complete the attached application form and forward to WACHSResearchandInnovation@health.wa.gov.au by 5pm on 30 September 2020.

Applications are now open and close at 5.00pm on the 30 September 2020. For more information, please see the attached flyer and application form.

Invitation to Apply – Sponsored Training Opportunities

Application Form











2019 AGM & Presentation of the Annual Report

The 2019 Annual General Meeting was held on Monday 28th October at the St John of God Bunbury Hospital.

At this meeting, Fionnuala Hannon was elected as Chair, Debra Bakker as Vice-Chair, Bill Cowan as Secretary and Peter Wright as Treasurer. Brenda Murrison, Kelly Hick, Stephen Carmody, Peter Heyworth and Jeffrey Williams were elected as Board Members.

The Board also thanked Margaret Paterson, who stepped down after serving as a long term Board member. Margaret has been an active, long-term supporter of the Foundation dedicating countless hours to support the work of the Foundation. We are very grateful that Margaret will continue to volunteer her time to support future Foundation events and fundraisers.

Mental Health & Wellbeing in Augusta Margaret River

Lishman Health Research has engaged the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health from the University of Newcastle to explore mental health and wellbeing approaches in Augusta Margaret River.

The Project Advisory Committee, established by the Lishman Health Foundation with representatives from across the Shire of Augusta Margaret River, have guided and supported this project. The consultation process has only been possible because of the commitment of people from the Shire of Augusta Margaret River to address mental health and wellbeing in their community. Their willingness to provide their views openly and frankly has provided a solid foundation for moving forward to promote mental health and wellbeing across the community. The Final Report is now available for the community to view. 

This report describes the results of a project to explore options for addressing mental health and wellbeing in the Shire of Augusta Margaret River. The project was undertaken to identify the key issues and explore community views about mental health and wellbeing in the area. The project represents a commitment to address mental health and wellbeing in the area.

Mental Health and Wellbeing: Final Report