Meet Our Board

Neil

Mr Neil Greenaway, Board Chair
FCA FCPA FGIA FCG FAICD

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Neil was appointed a Director and Chair of EVGPT in 2015. He is also Chair of the Nominations and Remuneration Committee and a member of the Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee.

Neil is a consultant with extensive governance, finance and risk experience in the not-for-profit and commercial sectors – principally healthcare. He brings to EVGPT a strong background and understanding of general practice, medical training and healthcare delivery. His experience working with governments and other funders has achieved above average outcomes including in limited resource environments. He is an advocate of open and transparent governance and continuous improvement with a customer focus. His experience in the rural sector has given him an understanding and appreciation of the opportunities and challenges of that sector. A recent independent review assessed EVGPT has having a very strong corporate governance framework and environment – an achievement Neil and the Board are very proud.

In 2015 Neil was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) for service to general practice and the RACGP – a high and rare honour.

Dr Laura Chen

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Laura Chen is a current GP registrar with an active interest in community health and wellbeing. Her roles include a variety of clinical, educational and advocacy work. As a University of Melbourne student ambassador and junior doctor, she helped develop educational programs for high school and university students increasing awareness of issues including mental health and global health inequity. 

As the PMCV Wellbeing officer in 2017-2018, she advocated for junior doctors in Victoria and led the creation of the mobile app ‘JMO WeLL’, along with other wellbeing resources for junior doctors. Her work as director and later board member of charitable organization the Community Based Health Project, helped drive grassroots community development in India, bringing free health and education services to remote village communities in Maharashtra. 

Laura brings her passion for community engagement, wellbeing, and advocacy to her role as EVGPT board member. 

She aims to support EVGPT in the continued enhancement and delivery of quality education and support for GP registrars, supervisors, and the communities they serve.

Dr Letitia Clark

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Letitia is a GP Anaesthetist based in West Gippsland and a fellow of the RACGP. Her clinical work is a combination of hospital anaesthetics and general practice with a focus on providing quality acute care within rural communities.

Letitia’s governance experience includes Board roles with SGPT and now EV, first as a GP registrar and now as a fellow. She currently chairs the Latrobe Baw Baw Clinical council for the Gippsland PHN, the Medical Staff Association of West Gippsland Hospital and sits on the Clinical Governance committee for West Gippsland Hospital. She is also on the Joint Consultative Committee of Anaesthesia (JCCA) which is the governing body of GP anaesthetics in Australia.

Letitia strongly believes in providing local doctors with the skills they need to provide the services required by their community, and as a part of this has completed advanced skills in paediatrics, anaesthetics and has worked as a senior doctor in emergency.

Letitia’s vision is for rural communities to access quality healthcare locally and believes EV is ideally placed to support this. Through her broad networks across hospital and primary health care within Gippsland and across Australia, her focus is on collaboration between organisations to improve outcomes for rural patients.

Dr Grant Connoley
MBBS, BA, dip.RACOG, FRACGP, GAICD

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Grant has been a GP for over 30 years and is a principal at Blackburn Clinic, a large Melbourne metropolitan practice. He has a career long interest in medical education and particularly General Practice education.

Grant has a practical knowledge of general practice training at all levels drawn from his experience being a GP registrar (then known as a ‘trainee’) with the RACGP, time as a medical educator with the RACGP, working in the Department of Family Medicine at Monash University and having been a GP supervisor for over 20 years. Grant has served as a Board Director for EVGPT and also for VMA, a previous training provider in Metropolitan Melbourne.

Grant believes a vibrant general practice community is the foundation of great health care. It is his belief that the apprenticeship model of general practice teaching is the most appropriate model for developing high quality general practitioners.

Grant is a passionate GP and brings practical clinical experience to the board and can champion registrars, supervisors and practices in a changing environment.

Dr Sanka Dias
MBBS, M Physio, BSc

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Dr Sanka Dias, a graduate from The University of Warwick, United Kingdom currently works as a GP registrar in rural Victoria.

Sanka is a GP registrar representative on EV’ Board.

His ongoing passion to support and enhance clinical training for upcoming medical professionals began during his time mentoring both medical students and junior doctors whilst working at Oxford University Hospital in the UK.

Sanka has a strong interest in dermatology and is constantly upskilling to ensure he continues to deliver relevant and required services to the local community in rural Victoria.

In addition to his clinical pursuits, Sanka has an interest in financial management and is currently a member of the EV Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee.

Sanka is committed to practicing high quality medicine throughout his training and post-Fellowship. Through is involvement with EV’s Board he makes a positive contribution to EV. He advocates on behalf of registrars and training practices to ensure they receive support that is in line with EV’s vision.

Dr Tilak Dissanayake

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Dr Tilak Dissanayake graduated from Monash University in 1994 and then embarked on a surgical career at Alfred and Austin Hospitals, before making the decision to move into rural medicine in 2001.

Tilak practiced as a solo general practitioner in rural NSW for 12 years, managing both the community and a 21 bed District Hospital. In 2004, undertook the first of many governance roles and was elected an executive committee member of the Rural Doctors Association of NSW, becoming vice president (2009) and president in (2011). Other roles included executive board member for The Rural Doctor Network (NSW) and executive councillor with the Australian Medical Association (AMA) of NSW.

After a move to Victoria, Tilak was elected Victorian Director of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine in 2013, where he was appointed to the Victorian Board of the Medical Board of Australia from 2014 to 2018.

Tilak has made a significant contribution to rural communities and is committed to supporting disadvantaged populations through his professional and volunteer work.

Dr Fred Edwards
MB ChB

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Dr Fred Edwards has worked as a GP in the Latrobe Valley continuously since 1990. Fred was an original founder of the Hazelwood Health Group, a current EV training practice. As a long-term resident and GP, Fred has a comprehensive working knowledge of the local district and an excellent understand of its demography.

An important part of his role at Hazelwood Health Group has been the training of both vocationally registered trainees and overseas trained doctors. He has supervised and guided more than 30 doctors during their training. Fred has been involved in supervisor advocacy and been a Supervisor Liaison Officer in both EV and its predecessor Southern GP Training. This work involved representing the other supervisors and assisting them with any issues and also to represent their views at Board level.

Fred has over 20 years’ experience working at Board level including the former Divisions of General practice. His current focus on EV’s board is to provide a medical professional’s perspective, a supervisor perspective and governance oversight.

Fred was recognised in 2015 by Rural Workforce of Victoria with an award for Services to Medicine in rural Victoria.

Dr John Furler

Dr John Furler

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John is a senior GP at North Richmond Community Health Centre and has worked as Research Fellow and Associate Professor at the Department of General Practice at the University of Melbourne for 24 years. His research into health equity and chronic illness care was based on his desire to make a difference for GPs and their patients.

He is passionate about General Practice as the champion of the foundation of medical practice, a long-term commitment to an equal, just, mutual and learning relationship with patients. General Practice is where the art and science of medical practice come together, linking evidence and science with ethical and egalitarian relational practice. GPs nurture the “iatros” tradition of medicine. GPs can be the revolutionary pedagogues of the medical community!

Through his commitment to research, academic excellence and evidence matched by his deep commitment to egalitarian and reflective practice, John hopes to sustain and further strengthen EV’s excellence in GP Training for the community and contribute to productive and strong organisational governance for EV.

Dr Nola Maxfield, EV Board Vice-Chair
MBBS, FACRRM

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Dr Nola Maxfield is a general practitioner in Wonthaggi, a town with about 8000 people. She is a principle of the Wonthaggi practice which has branch general practices in Inverloch and Granville and employs 23 doctors. Her practice is a large teaching practice and which has been involved in training GPs for over 20 years. Nola was a procedural GP for 34 years and has been in Wonthaggi for 35 years. Nola is a current EV Supervisor.

Nola also has more than 20 years’ experience in a wide range of health-related organisations from local, state and national levels. Her roles include President of the Rural Doctor’s Association of Australia (RDAA), Director RDAV, Chair of Gippsland Medicare local and her involvement with Gippsland PHN as Chair (2015-2019) and Director (2019-current).

Working closely with rural nursing, allied health and consumer groups, Nola shares her extensive and valuable knowledge of the issues facing a diverse region such as Gippsland within her various roles.

Ms Lea Pope

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Lea’s career of more than 30 years has been mainly within the public health care system and has involved both clinical and executive management roles.

She originally trained as a Physiotherapist and has a Graduate Diploma in Gerontology, Master of Business and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Her interest and further education in business led to her taking on roles including Chief Executive of a rural health service and General Manager of a Melbourne tertiary teaching hospital. Lea has developed a comprehensive understanding of both rural and metropolitan communities’ health needs and, in particular, the workforce issues in rural communities. Lea understands the importance of well qualified and credentialed General Practitioners and their connections with other health providers in caring for community and optimising overall health. Ensuring that EV can provide quality education and training in the context of community health care needs is a priority.

Lea has considerable experience on risk and audit committees for not-for-profit organisations, and currently chairs the EV Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee.

Ms Sophie Valkan
LLB, B.Com, GradDipCSP, CPA, GAICD

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Starting her career as a lawyer, Sophie quickly moved into management roles and has held business leadership roles including Corporate Services, General Management and CEO positions for around 30 years.

Her qualifications include Bachelor of Law, Bachelor of Commerce, CPA, GAICD and Governance Institute – Corporate Governance.

Sophie brings a strong business focus and governance perspective to the board. She understands that EV’s services are delivered in a business context and performance will be judged by business standards and quantifiable outcomes, within a not for profit structure. Her qualifications and experience bring an understanding of the challenges presented to the organisation in meeting its objectives at all levels, from management through to risk and governance as well as board strategic perspectives.

Sophie currently holds board and board committee roles in two other organisations in the medical sector and provides interim management and consulting services across a range of organisations both within and outside the medical industry. In the board roles, she brings the business, financial, risk, governance and legal perspectives to contribute to appropriate decision-making in the boardroom.