Palliative Care WA is a member-based, not for profit organisation governed by a voluntary Board of Management according to the PCWA Constitution.
Elissa Campbell – President
Elissa Campbell is a medical doctor who graduated from the University of Western Australia in 2004 and trained as a geriatrician and palliative care physician. Since 2016 she has worked as a geriatrician at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. In 2015 she undertook a Research Fellowship in Advance Care Planning at Fiona Stanley Hospital, via the WA Health Cancer and Palliative Care Network.
She is President of Palliative Care WA and is Chair of the ANZ Society of Palliative Medicine’s Special Interest Group in Palliative Care for Older People. She was trainee representative on the Royal Australasian College of Physicians Palliative Medicine Education Committee from 2011-2016. She co-founded Palliverse, an online community of practice for palliative care clinicians, researchers and community members.
Shannon Calvert – Vice President
A passionate advocate for consumers, carers and families, Shannon is a Lived Experience Educator and Advisor. Her expertise lies in collaborating alongside clinicians, researchers, and organisations to increase the understanding, insight and perspective of lived experience, including consumer and carer engagement in the design of policy and education.
She identifies as a lived experience professional, having experienced a severe and enduring illness for many years. Shannon has volunteered in Palliative Care, working on a Palliative Care Ward, as a Cancer Council Peer support and in a private capacity where she provided consultancy, mentoring and lived experience education to promote compassion, dignity, and respect in treatment for individuals, their carers and services involved during a person’s end of life care.
Shannon has worked for both government and non-government organisations as a consumer consultant, peer mentor and trainer. She sits on a range of state and national boards, committees and working groups (mental health, eating disorder and palliative care-specific), advocating for person-centred and integrated best practice.
Hiren Mehta – Treasurer
Hiren is a dedicated and experienced finance professional who is passionate about developing the not for profit sector. Hiren joined PCWA Board as a Treasurer in December 2017. He is an accomplished chartered accountant and holds a Master of Business Administration from Curtin University, Western Australia. Hiren brings to the Board a wide variety of skills and experience in financial and commercial leadership, corporate governance and strategic thinking.
Hiren has worked in various industries that include audit and consultancy, manufacturing and not for profit during his career. His current position is Chief Financial Officer with Silver Chain Group, a ’for purpose’ organisation with the vision to provide the world’s best heath and aged care in the home so Australians can confidently live their lives as they choose. At Silver Chain, Hiren has been involved in the growth and expansion of palliative care services in Western Australia and across Australia including setting up the world-first successful social impact investment bond.
He is passionate about giving back to the community, and palliative care is very close to his heart, as one of his family member received this service. That experience has made him realise how important palliative care is to patients, families and their carers. He strongly believes in the Vision and Mission of Palliative Care WA.
Yasmin Naglazas – Secretary
Yasmin has a background in nursing and has held senior positions in the health and aged care environments. Her most recent three positions at an executive level have been ones that have seen her leading teams that have resulted in those organisations achieving sustainable business growth – Brightwater, Bethanie and most recently Bethesda Health Care. She has extensive experience in business restructuring and large-scale organisational reform with a focus on business growth/diversification as well as ongoing viability and sustainability.
Yasmin has a long history of management and planning for services in the palliative care area, dating back to the establishment of a step-down unit at Brightwater in the mid 1990s, working closely with Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Hollywood Hospital and the Cottage Hospice. She was an associate investigator developing the guidelines for palliative care in residential care facilities. In her role as Chief Operating Officer at Bethanie, she established a comprehensive palliative care program to assist with end-of-life care and was seen as a leading organisation in this endeavour.
In her most recent role at Bethesda Health Care she oversaw the growth of their Palliative Care Program to a metropolitan-wide capacity building service that visits residential facilities (aged care, mental health, correctional, disability), teaching staff to care for those who are in the last stages of life.
Samar Aoun – Member
Samar Aoun is the Perron Institute Research Chair in Palliative Care at University of Western Australia and Professor of Palliative Care Research at La Trobe University. She adopts a public health approach to models of care and advocates for a person-centred health and social care.
Simon Towler – Member
Simon Towler is a staff specialist in intensive care at Fiona Stanley Hospital. He was a Medical Co-Director during the commissioning of the hospital before being appointed as the Clinical Lead to the Futures Program in the South Metropolitan Health Service. This role has included development of Clinician Engagement Strategy, establishing the first Institute for Health Care Improvement Chapter in WA and championing the implementation of new approaches to end of life care and sepsis management.
He has served on the Ministerial Expert Panel for the development of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Legislation in WA and is currently the Clinical Lead for a project between WA Health and the Australian Digital Health Agency to increase the use of the My Health Record for keeping a range of end-of-life planning documents.
Simon has particular interests in technology in health care, patient blood management, evidence into practice in hospital services and approaches to End-of-Life Care. From his personal experience of being a patient with a life-threatening illness Simon gained a much deeper appreciation of the challenges patients face and the importance of a true patient-focused approach to the delivery of health services and healthcare.
Paul Rogers – Member
Paul Rogers has worked in the Human and Community Services industry for the last 20 years in both Australia and the UK. Previously he worked in the University sector in England undertaking research in a diverse range of disciplines from Chemical Engineering to Archeological Science. Studying part time for a Bachelor of Science in Social Science ignited a passion for social change and the importance of a more fair and equitable future.
Having fulfilled a range of management roles primarily in the disability services field, Paul presently heads up the Business Development and Disability Services team at Carers WA and has since completed a Graduate Certificate in Business.
Combining his passion for community and connection with a lifelong interest in the systemic barriers to access and inclusion, Paul is a member of multiple community engagement networks. He has lived experience of being a carer and supporting someone through the palliative care process. Paul is a strong advocate for the wider adoption of ‘ownership of voice’ within all human service delivery environments, particularly for those facing additional barriers to inclusion.
Ruth Wei – Member
Dr Ruth Wei has more than 30 years experience in nursing practice, education and research with expertise in cross-cultural care and quality improvement in nursing. Currently, she is the Interim Academic
Chair of HCM and Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Nursing at Murdoch University, teaching and supervising undergraduate and postgraduate students in a variety of subjects.
Ruth’s research focuses on palliative care, end-of-life care and quality improvement. She has a special interest in palliative care for migrants including: the provision of equitable care; death education; strategies to support carers of migrant family members, friends and loved ones with life-limiting illness; Advance Care Planning and end-of-life decision-making; support and education for healthcare professionals dealing with end-of-life care in acute care and residential aged care facilities; and training related to the provision of culturally appropriate care to migrants.
Karen Proctor – Member
Karen Proctor is a dedicated Registered Nurse and patient advocate who is a graduate of the University of Sheffield. She currently works as the Palliative Care Clinical Nurse Consultant at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.
Over her career Karen has taken opportunities to work in a variety of palliative care settings including inpatient hospice and more recently in the Kimberley. Working closely with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services broadened her understanding of the needs of patients and families living in remote Western Australia. Karen engages in a broad range of palliative care issues including clinical leadership for end-of-life care in acute care, pain management, education and ethics. She takes pride in providing clinical leadership, supporting patients and families as they navigate the health care system.
Karen is motivated by the ability to change attitudes and perceptions to the care of those living with a terminal illness.
Hannah Leslie – Member
Hannah Leslie is a qualified lawyer with a background in litigation. She has spent the last 25 years working as a tribunal member on the Guardianship and Administration Board and subsequently on the State Administrative Tribunal. This work has been predominantly determining guardianship and administration matters as well as dealing with disputes regarding Enduring Powers of Attorney, Enduring Powers of Guardianship and Advance Health Directives.
For over seven years Hannah also worked as a member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal determining questions relating to the rights of involuntary psychiatric patients in the context of compulsory treatment and hospitalisation.
Hannah is currently the Chairperson for the Albany Community Hospice, a role that enables her to fulfil a personal commitment to give back to an organisation that cared so compassionately for her mother during her last weeks.
Susanna Panaia – Member
Susanna Panaia is an experienced government professional with extensive experience in advisory, public affairs and stakeholder relations and expertise in policy analysis and legislative compliance. Currently the Senior Communications Consultant at HBF, she has strong skills in leveraging strategic and proactive thinking to deliver complex communication strategies, policy advice and political advice to key stakeholders and organisations.
Susanna was awarded a community commitment award in 2017 for her work supporting people living with chronic illness in Western Australia through community advocacy.
From her lived experience caring for her mother while she was receiving palliative care, she is passionate about increasing understanding of palliative care, how to successfully integrate it your life, and how it can empower individuals, their carers and families. Susanna is committed to helping the WA community to understand how palliative care enhances the quality of life and creating awareness about the importance of advanced care planning.
Colleen McLevie – Member
Colleen McLevie is currently the Chaplain at both Kalamunda Hospital and Glengarry Hospital. She has also served as Chaplain with Catholic Homes, working in palliative residential age care and with Silver Chain Group in community based palliative care. In 2018 Colleen won the Compassionate Care Award at the Health Consumers Excellence Awards.
Her role is often to help those who are confronted with life, death and dying to come to terms with their situation. Colleen is always interested in hearing a patient’s story, in learning about their lives, and in that moment as their life is narrowing down – providing companionship and trust so that they can tell their story to someone.
Karina Bowden – Member
Karina Bowden is a Senior Occupational Therapist working at the Kalamunda Hospital inpatient palliative care unit. Passionate about palliative care since graduating from university, Karina is currently an East Metropolitan Health Service Palliative Care Champion and has consistently sought out opportunities to work in palliative care in both Australia and England.
She has experience throughout the WA hospital system and has completed numerous project positions. For the last 10 years Karina has been on the Cancer and Chronic Conditions interest group committee to provide opportunities for further education for Occupational Therapists in Western Australia.