An executive group provide strategic direction and oversight of the Network’s activities. The group has rotating membership supporting sustainability and succession planning within the sector.
Jacquie McBride (co-chair)
- Area of expertise: Health service system
Jacqueline McBride has a background in allied health, practicing as a speech pathologist before moving into health management. Jacqueline is currently the Manager of Monash Health Refugee Health and Wellbeing. Within this role, Jacqueline has demonstrated a commitment to service and program development that incorporates principles of co-design to improve service access, care delivery, and patient experience outcomes. Jacqueline has extensive knowledge and experience in all areas of refugee health and wellbeing, including health and social issues, barriers to care and community integration, and policy. As such, Jacqueline has been instrumental in the establishment of strategic regional partnerships to enhance the coordination of services to best meet community need. This has included holding the position of Deputy Chair of the Victorian Refugee Health Network, and participating in the Migrant and Refugee Women’s Health Partnership. Jacqueline has also actively contributed to education and research in the field of refugee health.
Dr Joanne Gardiner
- Area of expertise: Health practitioner
Dr Joanne Gardiner is a GP who has worked with refugees and asylum seekers since 1995. Joanne currently works at Foundation House in the Refugee Mental Health Clinic two days per week, at cohealth two days per week, and runs a GP clinic for refugees and asylum seekers at the Royal Melbourne Hospital one day per week, where she is also a Refugee Health Fellow part time. Her primary interests are in refugee health assessment, refugee mental health and chronic pain. Joanne was the Chair of the Victorian Refugee Health Network 2015-2017.
- Area of expertise: Rural and regional
Kaye Graves is the manager of Cultural Diversity and Relationships at Bendigo Community Health Services. Her current role involves representing the rural voice in all aspects of refugee settlement and for those seeking asylum, advocating for existing refugee communities to optimise their community participation, settlement achievements, service and health literacy. Kaye is the chair of the Bendigo Settlement Network and has over 25 years’ experience working in public and community health.
- Areas of expertise: Primary care, health policy and strategy for people seeking asylum.
Dr Gillian Singleton MBBS (Hons) FRACGP FARGP MPH is a general practitioner who has worked in health service provision to people seeking asylum since 2005. She has specific interests in mental health and preventive health including effective health screening and medical education. She is actively involved in collaborating with other agencies and advocating for strategic ways to address health inequity for people seeking asylum in Australia. She has been involved in provision of advice on health service provision and policy in detention and immigration health to the federal Department of Home Affairs (formerly DIAC and DIBP), both in Australia and overseas since 2007 and has been the medical director of the Cabrini Outreach Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub since 2016 where she also works as a pro bono clinician.
- Areas of expertise: Health and community engagement
Maymun Mohamud is a Refugee Health Nurse/Practice Nurse, with over 13 years of health sector practice, eight of those in Community Health settings. Maymun holds a Bachelor of Nursing and a Master of Public Health. Born in Somalia and migrating to Australia as a child following the civil war, she is acutely aware of the challenges faced by people from refugee backgrounds both as a health practitioner and through the experiences of her own family and community and is specifically interested in health promotion and health literacy.
Dr Suresh Sundram
- Areas of expertise: Health, mental health, strategy, research and policy
Professor Suresh Sundram is Head, Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Sciences, Monash University, Director of Research, Mental Health Program Monash Health and consultant psychiatrist to the Monash Health Refugee Health and Well-Being service. He is an expert consultant on asylum seeker and refugee mental health to the UNHCR and has provided expert advice to the Australian Human Rights Commission.
He initiated and ran the psychiatry clinic at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre for over a decade providing pro bono psychiatric services to asylum seekers and in 2016 with Cabrini established, the Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub. He has published and presented widely nationally and internationally in this area has conducted numerous research projects examining the mental health of asylum seekers and refugees.
- Areas of expertise: Refugee and forced migration, strategy research and policy
Jessica has experience working in refugee health service provision and previously the Refugee and Migrant Project Services Manager at Ballarat Community Health Service. Beyond this she has experience working in forced migration research and public policy in The Netherlands, USA and Australia.
Jessica has worked in the corporate, community and government sectors and undertaken strategic work in areas of: Migrant and Refugee Health; holding Community Engagement portfolios with Local Government Authorities. She recently entered as a PhD candidate at Monash University in Refugee and Migration studies.
- Area of expertise: Community engagement
Sophie has worked as a project and program manager in refugee and community health and development for over 20 years and currently works for the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health (CEH). Sophie has worked for the ASRC, Centre Multicultural Youth, Jesuit Social Services and the Brotherhood St Laurence and through CEH has worked with Interpreters in Health Service training. She chairs the board of a small Not for Profit working with women from Afghanistan in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne.
Permanent executive group members
Department of Health representative
Graciela Lopez, Foundation House (Auspicing agency)
Graciela Lopez is a Practice Lead (Mental Health Portfolio) at Foundation House where she has been employed since 1999. She is a registered psychologist, MAPS and Psychology Board Approved Supervisor with over 26 years’ experience working in clinical settings. She has provided specialised counselling to asylum seekers in the community and in detention centre settings as well as other refugees and humanitarian entrants who have survived torture and trauma. In previous roles at Foundation House, she has worked as Counsellor/Advocate and in Coordination and Team Leader positions. Graciela has worked in private practice where she specialized in post-traumatic stress disorder, including family violence. She has also served 5 years in community mental health where she provided assessment and counselling support to people with severe and chronic mental illness
Kath Desmyth, Statewide Facilitator Refugee Health Program
Kath is the Statewide Facilitator of the Refugee Health Program. In her role she provides support and training to nurses and allied health staff working in the program as well as advising local, state and national agencies that provide services to people from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds.
She has over 10 years’ experience in international development and public health working in Africa, Asia and the Northern Territory. Kath is a registered nurse and holds a Master’s in Public Health. She sits on the executive committee for Refugee Nurses Australia and RHeaNA.