Healthy North Coast

Former NCAHA Directors

robRobert Curry

(Executive Officer) – Ellenborough

Rob has lived the past 9 years in semi-retirement at Ellenborough in the Mid-North Coast hinterland. He spent most of his working life in the Top End of the NT where he practiced as a physiotherapist and health programs manager, mainly in the context of remote Aboriginal health care. His skills and experience lie in the areas of cross-cultural primary care planning, program management, and remote workforce planning. Rob is the past Chairperson of Services for Australian Rural & Remote Allied Health (SARRAH).

Rob has a vision that Allied Health Professionals on the North Coast will provide high-quality, evidence-based and accessible services to the residents of the North Coast based on equity and service need. His hope is that AHP services will be patient-centred and evaluated and that they will be champions of multi-disciplinary team-based approaches for achieving the best possible health outcomes via the most efficient models of care.

susanProfessor Susan Nancarrow 

(Deputy) – Ocean Shores
BAppSc (Pod)(QUT), MAppSc(QUT), PhD(ANU)

  • Deputy Vice Chancellor – Research Southern Cross University
  • Director Northern NSW Local Health District Board
  • Podiatrist

Susan Nancarrow is Professor of Health Sciences and Director of Research in the School of Health and Human Sciences at Southern Cross University. She originally trained as a podiatrist, but has been working across disciplines as a health services researcher for nearly 15 years. She has a particular interest in health workforce research and reform, service delivery and organisation. Her research is underpinned by the principles of capacity building and user-focussed engagement to ensure that the findings are relevant and meaningful to the end users; and contribute to organisational capacity and skill development where it fits the objectives of the project.

Susan says: “I bring strengths in allied health research, particularly around health workforce, strong regional connections in allied health and beyond, connections with the Northern NSW Local Health District and education and training relevance for allied health. My vision is for the provision of the best quality, and best access to allied health services for any people in Australia. I strive to prepare the workforce to be resilient and future proofed and that systems are aligned so that they work efficiently to provide the best services possible.”

Anne Norman


  • Child Protection and Wellbeing Coordinator, Mid North Coast Local Health District
  • Psychologist

Anne Norman has been a director on a variety of boards for the past twenty four years and has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ Graduate Diploma Course. She has a clear vision of how the government and non-government sectors need to work together in an integrated manner to provide quality allied health services to the residents of the north coast.

Anne says: “I would like to see all allied health clinicians working from a trauma informed practise base which will increase the efficacy of their interventions.”

Luisa Eckhardt

luisaLuisa is an Occupational Therapist, with her degree completed though the University of Western Sydney. Luisa’s area of greatest clinical experience – and her greatest passion – is Oncology, Lymphoedema and Palliative Care. The involvement within a cohesive, multidisciplinary team with a pure client focus is what drew Luisa to this clinical area. More recently, Luisa has worked with NSW Health in the capacity of Deputy Head of Department in OT (Liverpool Hospital). This involved managing a range of clinical specialties, advocating for Allied Health within the greater health organizational structure, and facilitating best practice and clinical excellence with clinicians.

Luisa moved to the Mid North Coast three years ago for a sea change. She is currently working clinically within aged care, and teaching Allied Health Assistants. Her motivation behind the NCAHA Board of Directors role is to facilitate Allied Health networks within MNC, to help establish supervision and mentoring relationships to promote best practice and clinical leadership for clients accessing Allied Health services in the MNC.

Nick Neville

Nick Neville is a NSW Registered Occupational Therapist working in private practice. Nick’s rooms are based at the Work Life Centre in Port Macquarie. Nick services the North, Mid North and Far North Coast of NSW.

Nick competed a Graduate Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety in 1998 and a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy in 1999. He moved to the Mid North Coast in 2000 and commenced nickprivate practice in 2001, offering Occupational Therapy services such as:

  • Medico Legal Expert Witness Reports
  • On Road/Off Road Driver Assessment
  • Home Modification and ADL Equipment Assessments
  • Ergonomic and Workplace Assessments
  • Case management
  • Functional Capacity Assessments

In 2015, Nick qualified as a NSW Driving Instructor, a useful qualification in his work as an OT driver assessor.

Nick is keen to promote Occupational Therapy as a fulfilling career and is actively engaged with the profession at a local and national level. He is a member of the Australian and British Associations of Occupational Therapists and a member of the Safety Institute of Australia.

Nick is the Co-Convenor of the OT United Hastings Macleay Network Group and the Rural Liaison Person for the OT NSW Driving Interest Group. Nick is a member of the North Coast Occupational Therapy Driving Assessors Group.

Nick has always enjoyed working in multidisciplinary teams. The opportunity to contribute to the board of the NCAHA was a great chance to influence service provision at a planning level. Nick is concerned about the inadequacy of the current EPC scheme as it applies to the whole Allied Health group, considering it underfunded and unable to meet community expectations. Nick hopes to be able to improve access to Allied Health practitioners and for practitioners to be appropriately recompensed for their services.

Nick is married to Fiona, a local dentist. They have two children aged 20 and 17 years. He enjoys staying active and when he isn’t working he is playing squash, camping and walking in his favourite spots in New Zealand.

Lindy Susan SWAIN

lindyLindy is a registered pharmacist who works as an academic at the University Centre for Rural Health, based in Lismore. Until recently Lindy also worked as a clinical pharmacist at Bullinah Aboriginal health service in Ballina and as the Director of Rural Policy for the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. In February 2016 Lindy gave up these part time roles to take on a full time position at the University Centre for Rural Health (UCRH)as the Allied Health Academic Lead, now looking after all allied health disciplines, not just pharmacy.

The UCRH, in 2015, organised and supported clinical placements for over 600 allied health students from 22 different universities for over 2000 weeks per year. The UCRH this year will receive extra funding to double clinical placement capacity in the region. Lindy hopes that this funding will enable the establishment of more innovative clinical placements which may provide student led services in areas of the Northern Rivers where currently little or no services exist.

Lindy works with students to increase their understanding of rural health and social inequity, improve their communication and patient engagement skills and avail inter-professional learning opportunities. Lindy grew up and studied in Sydney, but in 2001 she and her family moved to the NSW Central west for a couple of years and then to the NSW North Coast. Since leaving Sydney, Lindy has become a tireless advocate for rural and Aboriginal Health.

Lindy‘s particular area of interest is working with Aboriginal people to assist with medication management, optimising treatment and outcomes. She is a PhD scholar researching “Strategies to Increase Home Medicines Review in Aboriginal communities.”

Lindy and Peter have 2 children aged 19 and 22 who have now flown the coup and are studying in Queensland. As empty nesters Lindy and Pete have relocated to the beach where they can be found most mornings enjoying the sunrise and walking the dog.

Here are a couple of Lindy’s favourite quotes:

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

“The ocean stirs the heart, inspires the imagination and brings eternal joy to the soul.”
Robert Wyland


  • 2014 – Pharmacist of the Year, Pharmaceutical Society of Australia