Grampians Health is led by Chief Executive Officer Dale Fraser. The Executive team reports to the CEO. Members of the Executive team are:
Dale Fraser – Chief Executive Officer, Grampians Health
MBA FCPA BBus FHSM
Dale has worked exclusively with regional health services for the past 26 years, including time within the Hume, Barwon and Grampians region.
Dale holds a number of external directorships associated with education, research, community engagement, and health workforce, and is an active contributor to the development of State health policy.
Bringing world-class public health care to the most needy in our community, regardless of their social status or capacity to pay, is at the cornerstone of Dale’s belief system.
Outside of work, Dale is a keen collector of Australian art and he is an avid traveller, with a goal to visit all seven continents.
Dr Rob Grenfell – Chief Strategy and Regions Officer
MBBS, MPH, FAFPHM
Rob has lived in the Grampians region for most of his life, having grown up in Horsham and returning to Natimuk where he practiced as a rural General Practitioner in the early days of his career.
Rob’s career has focused on public health with extensive experience in government, not-for-profit and private sectors. After a stint in Melbourne – where he held roles at CSIRO as Director of Health and Biosecurity, National Director of Cardiovascular Health at the Heart Foundation, and Senior Medical Advisor at the Department of Health Victoria – he returned to Natimuk in 2020 and shortly after commenced as Public Health Physician Specialist in the Grampians Public Health Unit.
Rob has specialist expertise in health system analysis, strategic planning, governance, health risk management, and equity-focused care. He is passionate about access to healthcare in rural communities and bringing innovative systems to improve equity in regional settings.
“Grampians Health will enable much needed service delivery, locally. Equity of health care, regardless of where you live should be top of the agenda across Australia; I am thrilled to be part of the team who will be working to make that a reality across the Grampians.
“Planning for and managing the complex requirements to successfully achieve our strategic goals will be challenging, and I couldn’t be more ready.”
Leanne Shea – Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer
RN Dip PMAN AdvDip BUS MGT
As Board Director for the Nursing and Midwifery Health Program, Leanne is passionate about the health and wellbeing of nurses and midwives, and the need for ongoing investment in this space. Her advocacy makes her a role model and mentor to junior and senior teams, who respect her down-to-earth and caring nature, and her understanding of the significant challenges faced by those who care for the community.
Leanne grew up on a dairy farm at Bacchus Marsh, and spent significant time with family and ‘hanging out’ with cousins in Minyip and Manangatang during the school holidays before commencing training in 1984 at the Royal Children’s Hospital. Country born and city trained, Leanne recognised early on the unique differences between regional and metropolitan healthcare.
While she was able to specialise in paediatric and adolescent medicine, the breadth of clinical skill required by regional nurses and midwives was – and is – quite extraordinary. She is excited to continue development of health care in the Grampians region, and believes health funding discussions need regional representation at the table.
Leanne has continued her professional development through the Australasian Institute of Clinical Governance, and the Governance Institute of Australia, and has more than 20 years’ experience in managing and coaching public health sector teams.
Those who know her, describe Leanne as a great listener who empowers teams to focus and get on with the job at hand; she brings out the best in others, and recognises that all people carry degrees of complexity in both their professional and personal lives.
“In working closely with our nurses and midwives across the region, we can ensure patients, residents, and staff experience the exceptional, contemporary care expected by those who come to us. I strongly believe in empowering teams, and nurturing local talent to pursue careers in health so communities can thrive well into the future. I still live where I was born – on the family farm – but it is the community all around me that makes it ‘home’.”
Matthew Hadfield – Chief Medical Officer
MB ChB (Hons), FRCS (England), FRACS (Vascular), AFRACMA Adjunct Professor, Deakin University
Originally from the United Kingdom, Matthew attended medical school at St Andrews in Manchester and completed training as a vascular surgeon through the North of England Training scheme. He was appointed as consultant vascular surgeon at Pennine Acute NHS Trust in Oldham (his home town) and later, Clinical Director of General Surgery before relocating to Australia.
Matthew and his family moved to Ballarat in 2012, to take up the position of vascular surgeon and Clinical Director at Ballarat Health Services, and covered management of all aspects of surgery, anesthetics and perioperative services.
His interest in training and medical administration started early on in his career, and he has been actively involved in health service development across a number of projects, including the complex merger of four separate hospitals into a large multi-campus service in the northwest of England; an area that was identified as being most in need of improved heath outcomes, which that project ultimately delivered.
Alongside his clinical work, Matthew has been actively involved with: the Victorian Clinical Council (as the inaugural deputy chair), the Victorian Perioperative Consultative Council; and is the current chair of the Victorian State Committee of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.
The step into the role of Chief Medical Officer is a natural one for Matthew, and will harness the many years of accumulated experience he has to offer.
“My first 10 years working as a consultant in my hometown, amongst friends and family, gave me the unique view of healthcare as part of the community, and that what we provide is far more than an impersonal service.
“I can feel the same sense of community and trust here, ever since moving to Australia and to this region, and the chance to give back to a community that has welcomed me and my family is really exciting.”
“My experience in England, helping to guide the merger of four hospitals was a huge experience. The opportunity to use that knowledge to help guide a similar amalgamation was not something I ever thought would happen – but it is really exciting – and I have seen firsthand how such changes can benefit the whole community. I have no doubt we can achieve just as much success here in Grampians Health.
“I think we have the opportunity to build a health service that can provide the health care that our communities truly deserve.”
Ben Kelly – Chief Operating Officer Hospitals
GradDipBus Leadership, Bachelor Psych Nursing
Ben enjoys the many benefits regional living provides. Having grown up in the Goulburn Valley, a life with his family in a regional environment was always a priority following many years of working in metropolitan-based health networks.
Since moving to Ballarat in 2005, Ben hasn’t looked back. Ben’s career commenced in mental health, and subsequently progressed to acute and sub-acute public health. His experience as a registered nurse (mental health) in clinical settings has made him a much-respected leader of the Ballarat clinical teams. He understands first-hand many of the challenges staff face each day – and if he doesn’t know, he takes time to learn by listening to those at the coalface.
Ben’s personal leadership philosophy centers around harnessing his skills and the abilities of those around him, to ensure service delivery excellence continually grows and improves. He is known for fostering a work environment of respect, pride, nurturing, and professional development for all staff, to the benefit of the broader community.
“Grampians Health is a fantastic evolution in regional public health services. Together, with shared vision and goals Grampians Health has a unique opportunity to enhance the availability of appropriate and effective services closer to home.”
Craig Wilding – Chief Operating Officer Community and Aged Care
MBA BAppSc (Medical Radiation), GradDipBusMgt
Craig was born and raised in Ararat, and his career in healthcare spans 23 years, during which he has been an active advocate for progress within healthcare.
Craig initially trained as a radiographer in 1991, and over the years has held a number of senior management roles, including a secondment to Rural North West Health in Warracknabeal as interim CEO.
In his most recent role as Executive Director Primary and Community Care with Ballarat Health Services (BHS), he was instrumental in leading and supporting a number of essential teams and organisations including: the Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA) staff through the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse; the Ballarat Health Services Aboriginal Health Liaison Team; and the Grampians Public Health Unit.
Craig is recognised for his approachable, thoughtful and professional manner, and his empathetic nature and significant expertise in both executive management and clinical settings make him an excellent fit for the Community and Aged Care portfolio.
The Mental Health and Residential Aged Care Royal Commissions offer significant opportunities for reform and change in the way Grampians Health will do things, notably providing the required support to our teams to meet these changes and the increasing demands of today and into the future.
“I have great memories of growing up in Ararat – and still have strong connections there, with many great friends and relatives living in the Grampians region. My local upbringing and life in Ballarat generated countless opportunities in both my personal and professional life, and I’m very grateful for that. I look forward to working with my new colleagues across the region, and investing in our people by offering supportive environments for training, participating in research, and career advancement. Although there will be many challenges and much work to be undertaken to assure success of our amalgamation, I am enthusiastic about our direction and the provision of greater resources for teams, clients, patients and residents, closer to home.”
Claire Woods – Chief People Officer
BAppSc (AppChem), LLB GDipEd
Those who know Claire will attest to her passion for – and dedication to – fostering an engaged and safe workplace, where communication is encouraged and the desire to learn is supported.
With more than 15 years of leadership experience in human resources, Claire has worked in both public and private healthcare, and has a particular interest in linking strategic organisational objectives with the necessary day-to-day work practices. She loves the challenge that comes with working in healthcare, and the wonderful diversity of the people she works with – she finds the growing of a culture of equity, diversity and inclusion as rewarding as it is necessary.
“Development of a large workforce (Grampians Health currently sits at more than 6000), requires a strategic long-term vision. There is no healthcare without the healthcare workforce. Individual personalities and skill sets are woven together to form an organisation, and how we foster relationships, enable education, and support change management determines how we move forward together.
“As a child I grew up visiting my Grandparents in Miram (near Kaniva) during the Christmas holidays. In recent visits, I’ve realised I’m quite sentimental about that time and that part of the world, and I feel very strongly about nurturing and growing the local workforce in the regions.
“As Grampians Health, we will collectively look at how we can work together, to grow and improve. That’s the unique thing about healthcare – people want to deliver the best possible outcomes at an individual, team and organisation level.
“The formation of Grampians Health is exciting, we have enormous opportunity and I look forward to continuing to build relationships with my colleagues across the Grampians region.”
Melanie Robertson – Chief Redevelopment and Infrastructure Officer
MBA, M Eng Mgt, BSc
Building a better brighter future is Melanie’s passion. Having travelled extensively within Australia and living abroad, Melanie calls regional Victoria home. She has forged an exciting and varied career across multi disciplines including health, government, energy, and advocacy.
Initially studying Medicine at University of Tasmania, Melanie then moved across to Applied Science with Western Sydney, before completing her Masters of Environmental Engineering Management. A passionate advocate for sustainable regional development, she spent more than a decade focusing on renewable energy development and management before taking up the position of CEO at Committee for Ballarat.
Those who are fortunate to work with Melanie describe her as motivated, caring and inclusive. She is someone who will listen, and truly believes that people who live and work in the region should be provided with infrastructure equal to those living in the major cities – and her return to healthcare is due to a determination to contribute to providing world-class facilities and health care to regional Victoria.
“I fully believe in giving back to the communities which provide so much to me and my family and I don’t think there is any better way to do this than improving the accessibility and quality of health care, and ultimately providing the health outcomes of our community. It is very exciting to be part of a team that is truly committed to transforming how we provide health care to our communities.
“Grampians Health is a major step forward and we can begin building the structure that will allow us to deliver on the amalgamation promises.
“I’m thrilled to be part of a talented and multidisciplinary team which is committed to the health of our community.”
Rod Hansen – Chief Corporate Services Officer
MBA, BBus CPA
Rod grew up in regional Queensland, and his career commenced in financial agribusiness before travelling the world, and eventually settling in Victoria. Living on a few acres with his family on the outskirts of Ballarat, Rod has called this part of the world ‘home’ for more than 20 years now, and has extensive experience across both public and private health systems.
Rod consistently demonstrates his passion for the delivery of sustainable health services, collaborating with others in an articulate and considered way. He is known for his genuine, open approach, and his willingness to engage – he takes the time to understand the needs of others at all levels.
The financial strength of the organisation, and what that means for the broader community is always front of mind, and Rod aims to proactively enable all staff to develop their strengths, thereby building strong and positive teams, excellent work practices, and improved patient outcomes.
“I am an advocate for transparent decision making and resource improvement, so I’m excited by the opportunity to create improved systems which will enable our communities to have a positive experience when receiving health care – we all need healthcare at some point, and being able to contribute in a significant way to delivering that is a great source of pride and accomplishment.
“The environmental impacts of improved health services can’t be understated either. Health and environmental sustainability are not two things that people always put together, but when you live in a region that spans close to 300 kms, and people are able to reduce their travel, or if we can introduce systems that reduce landfill and paper waste, then these have significant environmental benefits.”
Kate Pryde – Regional Director Hospitals – East
RN, RM, CCN, B.Ed, MBA
Kate has a long-standing career in healthcare, with more than 30 years combined clinical and management experience in the public and private sector, of which the last 12 years have been at Executive level both nationally and internationally.
Most recently, Kate has held the position of Lead Executive Officer, Grampians Health – Stawell and Edenhope. Having been one of the senior executives involved in the Grampians Health partnership formation, she has in-depth knowledge of the region’s aspirations for improved, sustainable services at a local level, and understands the inherent concerns of the communities.
In previous positions she has advocated for, developed, and implemented valuable healthcare initiatives including: a partnership with Austin Health to develop Victoria’s first rural public superficial radiation treatment unit; and procurement of grant funding to support capital improvement projects and educational development programs for clinical staff at Stawell Regional Health.
Kate brings with her a unique skill set – as a critical care nurse, midwife and executive – working across regional and metropolitan healthcare settings, in Australia and overseas.
“I have been fortunate to work in a broad range of healthcare settings in Australia, and across the world in China, Saudia Arabia and England. No matter where you go, there are challenges in healthcare, but more importantly, there are really diverse and creative ways of addressing those challenges, and that’s what I hope to bring to this role. Being able to participate in the realization of what we initially set out to do (with the Grampians Health amalgamation) is very important to me, and I look forward to continuing to advocate for creative and inclusive solutions to long-standing issues.”
Carolyn Robertson – Regional Director Hospitals – West
RN, RM, DipAppSc (Nursing), BN, Post Grad.Dip (Midwifery), Master (Clinical Midwifery)
Born and raised on a farm near Hopetoun, Carolyn has dedicated her career to regional health. She is a passionate advocate for equity of health care for all and is a current member of the joint Aboriginal Taskforce (comprising Grampians Health Ballarat and Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative) and until recently was a longstanding member of Women and Children’s Healthcare Australasia.
The first 10 years of Carolyn’s career were spent living and working in the Wimmera and the Mallee (working at the Hopetoun Bush Nursing Hospital and St Arnaud District Hospital) and her connection to the Grampians Region runs deep, with strong ties to the Horsham community, and a first-hand understanding of the challenges faced by rural health services, and the communities they serve.
Carolyn has more than 10 years’ experience in health leadership, and her ability to work collaboratively to achieve strategic goals has been evidenced through the successful development and implementation of services, including: securing funding for a Grampians Regional Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurse; and recruitment of a Regional Clinical Midwife Consultant for the Grampians Region (and plans to enhance this model with a regional obstetrician).
Carolyn believes that clear strategic leadership, and clear change-management processes ultimately affect staff culture and patient outcomes, and she is excited to be supporting the west campuses to manage the challenges that lay ahead.
“I am so excited to return to the area that has given me so much. Growing up, living, and working in a small regional town is an exceptional privilege. You make connections that are rare in larger towns and cities, and you genuinely feel part of the community. The opportunity to support Edenhope, Dimboola, Horsham and Stawell campuses to grow and thrive well into the future is a a real honor. I look forward to meeting people, hearing about what makes them tick, what they need in healthcare, and what they might be worried about going forward; and I look forward to helping enact meaningful change.”