Our Governance

Our Legislation

Health and Wellbeing Queensland was established on 1 July 2019, as an independent statutory body within the portfolio of the Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services to improve the health and wellbeing of the Queensland population.

The Health and Wellbeing Act 2019 is the governing legislation for Health and Wellbeing Queensland and identifies the main functions to be:

  • to facilitate and commission activities to prevent illness and promote health and wellbeing;
  • to develop partnerships and collaborate with other entities to further its objective or carry out its functions under the act;
  • to give grants for activities to further its objective or carry out its functions under the act;
  • to monitor and evaluate activities to prevent illness and promote health and wellbeing;
  • to develop policy and advise the Minister and government entities about preventing illness and promoting health and wellbeing;
  • to coordinate the exchange of information about activities to prevent illness and promote health and wellbeing.

Our Board

Health and Wellbeing Queensland is governed by a board appointed by the Governor in Council.

The board is appointed under the Health and Wellbeing Act 2019, which requires a member to have qualifications and experience in areas including law, business, public health, academia, community service organisations or the not-for-profit sector or other areas the Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services considers relevant.   The Act also requires that at least one board member must be an Aboriginal person or a Torres Strait Islander.

Mr Stephen Ryan is a professional board member, senior executive and educator with over 40 years’ experience in strategic leadership, governance and service delivery.

Mr Ryan has had extensive exposure across the public, union, superannuation and not-for-profit sectors in his various roles as a secondary school teacher, a Trustee of the QSuper Board and a Director of Qinvest. Mr Ryan is also the Chairperson and a Director of the Residential Tenancies Authority Queensland and an ex-officio member of its Risk and Audit Committee; he is also a Director of GROW, a national not-for-profit community-based organisation helping Australians recover from mental illness through programs of mutual support and personal development. Further, Mr Ryan was previously an executive member and President of the Queensland Teachers’ Union.

As Director-General, Department of Tourism and Sport, Mr Hopper is leading the Government’s objectives to drive economic growth and support jobs through strengthening and growing the state’s tourism and innovation sectors. Through grant funding, infrastructure and planning, major events, world-class venues, and support for the state’s elite athletes via the Queensland Academy of Sport, Mr Hopper is leading government support of Queensland’s success in sport and active recreation. Mr Hopper has enjoyed a highly successful career in government, tourism, sport and major events. He has extensive experience in sports administration, operations, governance, asset management and venue leasing, has a detailed understanding of the private and public sectors and is recognised for his leadership skills, strategic thinking, commercial acumen and communication skills.

Ms O’Connor was appointed as the Director-General, Department of Treaty, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Communities and the Arts on 18 May 2023. Ms O’Connor has previous experience in Director-General positions, having served in 3 other departments, including most recently, Communities, Housing and Digital Economy and also led the delivery of the National Disability Insurance Scheme to Queensland. Ms O’Connor has a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Public Sector Leadership and extensive experience in community and disability services as well as progressing other transformational social service reforms.

Director-General, Queensland Health

Michael is the Director-General, Queensland Health and was previously in this position from July 2015 to September 2019. Most recently, Michael was Chair of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority and Chair of the Western Australia Health, Health Support Service. Michael was the Administrator, North West Hospital and Health Service from June 2021 to April 2022.

Michael was Chair of the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC) providing advice to the COAG Health Council from 2016 to 2018. From 2019 to 2020, Michael was the inaugural Chair of the Australasian Institute of Digital Health and has previously been on Board of the Australian Digital Health Agency. From 2019 to 2022 Michael was Chair of the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre.

Michael holds a Master of Business Administration, Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Psychology, Bachelor of Science in Human Movement, and Bachelor of Education.

Michael has a passion for organisational excellence and leading value-based teams achieving outcomes that improve the lives of all Australians.

Emeritus Professor Lowe is a highly experienced, widely published and highly awarded expert on urban development, sustainability, environmental science and public health. One of Australia’s most respected environmental scientists, Emeritus Professor Lowe is an adjunct professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast and an emeritus professor of science, technology and society at Griffith University where he was previously Head of the School of Science.

Emeritus Professor Lowe holds earned degrees from the University of New South Wales and the University of York as well as honorary doctorates from Griffith University and the University of the Sunshine Coast. Emeritus Professor Lowe’s principal research interests are in the broad area of policy decisions influencing the use of science and technology, especially in the fields of energy and environment.

Mrs Taylor-Johnson has more than 40 years’ experience working in the health sector and studying in the fields of behavioural science and social welfare. Mrs Taylor-Johnson was instrumental in the development of the first Queensland Health Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health Policy and holds a range of senior advisory positions in government and the not-for-profit sector, and numerous board directorships including with the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH), Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council and Health Workforce Queensland.

Throughout her career Mrs Taylor-Johnson has held leadership roles and chair positions, which have provided the opportunity to build on the further establishment of the Murri Independent Community School in Brisbane, Queensland Trachoma and Eye Health and the development and implementation of the Queensland Police Service Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Recruitment Strategy.

Dr Spierings is a Gaangulu man and brings his expertise in Indigenous health, community health access, health research, academia, and the not-for-profit sector. Dr Spierings is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health at the University of Queensland, investigating COVID-19 health messaging in Indigenous communities, patient centred models of care, health governance and Aboriginal men’s health. Dr Spierings is also a non-Executive Director for the Central Queensland, Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast Primary Health Network. In 2015, Dr Spierings was appointed by the Australian Government to serve as the Australian Youth Delegate to the United Nations. He has previously worked in various policy and community development roles and the construction industry.

Ms Voloschenko is a health professional with more than 30 years’ experience encompassing public health, health promotion, health protection and population health. Ms Voloschenko is an independent consumer advisor and strategic planner on matters relating to the health of populations and communities who live in Queensland. Throughout her career, Ms Voloschenko has been involved in the development of major public health and health promotion campaigns, which included community education and associated workforce both nationally and at a state level. For many years, Ms Voloschenko has championed health issues including health literacy and challenges facing culturally and linguistically diverse Queenslanders. She also advocates for equity and inclusion for all. As a result of her efforts, Ms Voloschenko was awarded an Outstanding Individual Achiever Award by Multicultural Queensland in 2019.

Ms Jane Williams is an experienced registered nurse and holds qualifications in management, community service coordination and rural and remote health. Since 1992, Ms Williams has worked in rural and remote areas of Western Queensland and continues to practice as a wellness nurse at the Barcaldine Medical Centre and cares for people with chronic disease and mental illness. Living and working as part of a rural and remote community has provided Ms Williams with valuable insights to the issues and challenges facing these communities.

Ms Williams also holds a number of key board appointments including Chair of the Central West Hospital and Health Board, Queensland Music Festival, CheckUP, Royal Flying Doctors Service (Queensland) Foundation, Queensland Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Advisory Council and Central West Rural Wellness Network.

Our Executive Leadership Team

Chief Executive Officer

As leader of the state’s first dedicated prevention agency, Dr Littlewood believes every Queenslander has the right to better health and works relentlessly to achieve this.
An experienced leader, researcher, clinician, academic and educator, Dr Littlewood is an advocate for strong public health policy with more than 25 years’ experience working across paediatric obesity prevention, nutrition and dietetics.

Dr Littlewood holds a raft of formal qualifications in dietetics, business, research and executive leadership, including a PhD, GAICD and 2 Masters degrees including Medical Science and Business Administration.

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Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Ms Hodgetts joined Health and Wellbeing Queensland in February 2020, prior to which she held senior leadership, policy and governance roles within the Departments of Health, State Development and Community Safety. Through these roles, she has led the provision of strategic advice and service delivery options for government.

Gemma’s contributions centre on reforming engagement practices and system leadership in the delivery of policy and strategic advice. Ms Hodgetts holds qualifications in Policy Analysis, a Master of Business Administration, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Gemma is also an Adjunct Senior Fellow in the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences the University of Queensland.

Chief Operating Officer

Prior to his appointment as Chief Operating Officer in 2019, Mr Tuohy led the implementation team that established Health and Wellbeing Queensland, drawing upon his extensive managerial and governance experience across a variety of senior policy and governance roles in Queensland Health.

Mr Tuohy holds a Bachelor of Laws and practiced as a lawyer for 16 years in both private practice and in the public sector with Queensland Health. Mr Tuohy is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Visiting Fellow at the Queensland University of Technology, and a member of the Griffith Health Advisory Board.

Senior Director

Ms Nean is a public health expert with over 30 years of experience spanning state, regional, and local government. As the Senior Director of Health Promotion at Health and Wellbeing Queensland (HWQld), she oversees the Prevention Systems team in championing a comprehensive prevention agenda across the health and education systems. Her work aims to improve food and physical activity systems, create healthier communities, provide equitable access to effective prevention and supportive healthcare, and promote positive, inclusive and respectful health and weight-related messaging.

Judy holds a Master of Medical Science (Research) from The University of Queensland, a Graduate Diploma in Nutrition and Dietetics, and a Bachelor of Applied Science from Queensland University of Technology.

Last updated 11 June 2024