The Alliance has a small number of internal staff. We take care of the day-to-day running of the Alliance and the various projects that the Alliance is working on.
Manager of Ageing and Aged Care Projects
Sam joined the Alliance in July 2014. Prior to that Sam worked predominantly in the health and human rights fields and was part of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Team that conducted the Same-Sex: Same Entitlements Inquiry. Sam has worked at NCOSS as the Health Policy Officer and then as the Deputy Director of Policy and Communications. Sam has also worked in the disability sector, mental health employment, early childhood education and care and across a variety of policy portfolio areas including transport, domestic violence and criminal-justice. In addition to her work at the Alliance and her involvement in a number of national ageing and aged care forums she has been appointed to the Lay Members Panel of the Health Professionals Council Authority, is a member of the Alzheimer’s Australia NSW Consumer Advisory Group and a palliative care volunteer.
Sam holds a BA from Macquarie University, Master of Social Administration (University of Western Sydney), Master of Politics and Public Policy (Macquarie University) and Master of International Relations (Macquarie University). She also completed the Macquarie University Global Leadership Program.
Sam has a strong commitment to social justice and applies this in all areas of her professional and personal life.
Ageing and Aged Care Project Officer
Ollie Hand is the LGBTI Ageing and Aged Care Training Project Officer for the Health Alliance. Ollie has a long history of service delivery in the community sector in a variety of services including crisis accommodation services, drug and alcohol support services, drop-in services, and most recently as a teacher in an alternative education program.
Ollie’s career trajectory began in health promotion as a swimming instructor, she then moved on to become a personal trainer after which she catapulted into a science degree in human biology. During the course of her studies Ollie started working in the community sector where she discovered her passion for working in fields that promote social justice. This lead Ollie to undertake a number of teaching qualifications which has landed her safely at the National LGBTI Health Alliance working with interesting and dynamic project partners across the country.
National Clinical Director, Qlife Australia
Ross Jacobs is the National Clinical Director of QLife, Australia’s first specialist nationwide LGBTI mental health provider. QLife Australia operates a phone and web chat counselling service between the hours of 3.00pm and 12.00am 356 days a year, bringing together the skills of six partner organisations across the country. Prior to the QLife project, Ross was a member of the LBGTI Health Alliance Board as NSW Representative and Senior Counsellor at Twenty10, a NSW wide agency working with gender diverse and same sex attracted youth. Ross trained at the University of Melbourne and the Australian College of Applied Psychology, and is currently undertaking a Masters of Public Health with the University of Sydney. Ross has been involved in community action and mental health since 1999.
Finance and Admin Officer
Chris joined the Alliance in December 2013 as the Finance and Admin Officer. Chris has worked in the community sector for the past 6+ years and previously in the child care and hospitality fields. She has an interest in ageing and mental health.
Deputy Executive Director
Health in Difference 2015 Project Manager
Andrew, a qualified social worker, has extensive personal and professional experience in the Australian and UK HIV sector and the Disability sector in UK. While in England he spent over seven years directing a large partnership of HIV organisations providing back to work support for PWHIV (and for employers).
One of Andrew’s proudest experiences was setting up and running Inclusion London – a second tier pan London organisation which provided policy, campaigning and capacity building support for Deaf and disabled people’s organisations in London and which continues to thrive.
In his spare time Andrew is a community board member of Hepatitis Australia, a role which has recently been extended for a further two years until end 2016.
Andrew’s key skill is partnership work bringing multiple stakeholders together to achieve common goals.
National MindOUT! Project Coordinator
Sally Morris is the National MindOUT! Project Coordinator, the first national LGBTI mental health and suicide prevention project in Australia that has been delivered by the Alliance since March 2011. Previously to facilitating MindOUT! nationally, Sally was the MindOUT! coordinator in Queensland with the Queensland AIDS Council. With a background in human services and experience in the mental health and LGBTI sectors Sally has also been the Client Support Coordinator at QuAC, Coordinator of Open Doors Youth Service where she was also the Suicide Prevention Project Officer. With a commitment to volunteerism she has also been a long time telephone counsellor with GLWA and Co-Chair of the Lesbian Health Action Group, and has recently founded Wendybird, a community group providing spaces for LGBTI people to experience meaning connection. Sally is currently undertaking a Masters of Development Practice (Community Development) through the University of Queensland to further her goal of creating opportunities for LGBTI people to find a sense of belonging through building community.
Rebecca Reynolds is the Executive Director of the National LGBTI Health Alliance – the peak body in Australia for organisations and individuals working to improve health outcomes for LGBTI people and their communities.
Working across the full lifespan, Rebecca’s career in the community health sector includes international work on HIV and maternal health, extensive experience in youth & disability services, and now the Alliance’s mental health and ageing & aged care projects.
Rebecca has a passion for promoting innovative partnerships between communities, services, and government – working together for positive health outcomes.
Membership and Communications Coordinator
Warren Summers joined the Alliance towards the end of 2011 as our Membership and Information Services Officer. During that that time he has had the opportunity to watch the Alliance grow from a staff of just three people, to the organisation that it is today.
Warren’s work at the Alliance seeks to bring together the Alliance’s many contributing voices and stakeholders – helping to facilitate inclusive conversations that support the development of policy and positive health outcomes. He works with all of the Alliance’s projects. Warren develops language, systems and branding for our website and publications.
Warren is currently studying for a Masters in Counselling & Psychotherapy. He is a volunteer telephone support worker for the QLife project.
Tarnia “Tarn” Thompson
Qlife Capacity Building Manager
Tarnia joined the Alliance in July 2013 as the QLife capacity building manager.
Tarnia has worked in the alcohol and other drugs field for approximately 8 years. In her previous role Tarnia developed and managed an innovative consumer participation project involving both clients and staff in pharmacotherapy clinics across Australia.
Prior to this project Tarnia worked in ACON’s drug and alcohol project. In this role Tarnia recognised the need for improved and easily accessible mental health initiatives to support and improve the health of the LGBTI communities.
National MindOUT! project officer
Charlie Willbridge joined the Alliance in 2015 as the National MindOUT! project officer. Prior to this they worked at Twenty10 as a counsellor.
Charlie has studied at the Australian college of applied psychology and is currently doing post graduate studies in Health Promotion through Curtin University. Charlie’s passion is working with young people in early intervention and suicide prevention.
QLife National Project Manager
Stella joined the National LGBTI Health Alliance in November 2015 as National Project Manager for QLife: a national LGBTI-specialist telephone and web counselling service.
Stella is a registered nurse, having graduated from Canberra Hospital in 1984 and also holds a Graduate Diploma in Health Counseling (South Australian Institute of Technology 1987), a Certificate in Sexual and Reproductive Health (Family Planning SA 1991 and updated at Family Planning NSW 2015) and a Masters in Health Policy (Sydney University 2015).
Her previous work roles have included direct nursing care, policy work and management, in both Adelaide and Sydney, with roles across feminist health, youth housing, sexual health, HIV, lesbian health, aged care, and professional and industrial rights for nurses and midwives.
Stella is out and active in LGBTIQ communities, with experience in organising community events, speaking on panels, performing, and contributing to community events and publications.
QLife National Coordinator – Systems & Data
Chris joined the National LGBTI Health Alliance in August 2016. QLife is a national LGBTI specialist telephone and web counselling service. The role ensures that the QLife phones, computers and software platforms are well managed, monitored and improved. Chris also provides critical reporting to key stakeholders, including partners, government and external.
Chris has spent over 25 years in the Information & Communications Technology (ICT) industry and brings a wealth of diverse experience in technology, systems, process and communications.
Chris has been an long-time volunteer phone counsellor, most recently for QLife itself. Chris is also completing the Diploma of Counselling at the Australian College of Applied Psychology.