Board Members - Wesley Research Institute
Wesley Research Institute

Chairman’s Message

I am grateful for the ongoing support from my fellow directors, from our Patrons, management team and volunteers, all of whom play a role in helping to create positive change and improve the health of many through medical and health services research. Together with my Board colleagues I look forward to continuing to work together and further extending our partnerships beyond UnitingCare Hospitals into other areas with research needs.

We have several major, corporate and individual donors without whose generosity it would simply be impossible for our institute to function. In particular I would like to thank the tremendous enduring support of Mitsubishi Development, BHP, the Brazil Family Foundation, Wendy and Allan Grummit, the Vidyajey and Albrecht Family Foundations, Hugh Sheardown, Helen Barnard, Donald & Joan Wilson Foundation and Alex and Mary Peden. Of course, the contributions from all of our financial and in kind sponsors are gratefully received and my thanks extend across our whole network.

The Wesley Research Institute Board is responsible for the overall governance of the Institute, including approving fundraising, investment and research strategies and adopting appropriate policies and procedures designed to provide corporate oversight and to deliver against our mission.

During the year we welcomed the following new Board members to the Institute: Mr Craig Wildermuth; Ms Karen Read; and Dr Shanthi Kanagarajah. We are so fortunate to be able to attract such talented people to give their time selflessly to our Board. We are also deeply appreciative of the service provided by long-serving retiring Board member Dr Ian Dickinson AM, and of Board member Mr Peter Crowley, both of whom left the Board during the year. Their commitment and involvement over the years has been invaluable.

As the official research institute for UnitingCare, the Board and its committees regularly review Wesley Research Institutes governance arrangements and practices to maintain compliance with regulatory requirements and sector practice and to ensure organisational objectives are supported.

Our Board Members

Mr Charlie Sartain

Mr Charlie Sartain


Mr Sartain joined the Wesley Research Institute Board

in 2009, and was elected Board Chair in 2020. Mr Sartain has had more than 30 years of international mining experience as a mining engineer and senior corporate executive. Over the past seven years he has also served as an independent non-executive director on several Australian and international listed corporate boards. Mr Sartain was a two-term member of the Senate of The University of Queensland (UQ) and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Sustainable Minerals Institute at UQ.

Andrew Barron

Mr Andrew Barron

Chief Executive Officer

Mr Barron is highly experienced and has worked as a senior executive within the UnitingCare Queensland network since 2008. With experience as COO within the Royal Flying Doctor Service (QLD) for nearly five years, he is a strong transformational executive leader. Mr. Barron has delivered sustained financial and cultural benefits across health, community services, aviation and financial services industries. Mr Barron has successfully shaped and implemented business development strategies with a patient / customer centered context.

Craig Wildermuth

Mr Craig Wildermuth

Mr Wildermuth is the Chief Financial Officer for UnitingCare Queensland and is an integral member of the senior leadership team. He joined the Wesley Research Institute in 2021.

Mr Michael Krieg

Mr Michael Krieg

Mr Krieg has over 30 years experience commencing his career as a nurse before embarking on executive roles in a number of hospitals across Australia. He was appointed General Manager of The Wesley Hospital in 2017 and in 2019 became the Group Executive Hospitals of UCQ.

Professor Mary-Louise Fleming

Prof Mary-Louise Fleming

Professor Fleming is the Head of School of Public Health and Social Work at the Queensland University of Technology. Professor Fleming has over 25 years of experience in public health and health promotion.

Dr James Aylward

Dr James Aylward AM

Dr Aylward is an innovative researcher and an active mentor for tech start-ups in heath sciences. Dr Aylward was awarded the 2018 Clunies Ross Innovation Award for developing Picato, and anti-skin cancer drug.

Dr John Lumley

Dr John Lumley

Dr Lumely is a colorectal surgeon practicing at The Wesley Hospital. Dr Lumely has served on the executives of the Gastroenterological Society of Australia, and the colorectal Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Dr Mairi McNeill

Ms Mairi McNeill

Ms McNeill is the General Manager of St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital. Ms McNeill is an experienced healthcare executive who has worked in the private industry for over 25 years.

John Rivers

Dr John Rivers

Dr Rivers is a practicing cardiologist and founding member of the Queensland Cardiovascular Group. Dr Rivers has extensive experience in business development and governance in the healthcare industry.

Mr David Hairsine

Mr David Hairsine

Mr Hairsine is a highly experienced business leader with many years of driving growth strategy as General Manager, Finance and Treasury at mining company PanAust Limited and now works in a consultant role to the same.

Mr Neal O'Connor

Mr Neal O’Connor

Mr O’Connor was appointed a Non-Executive Director in 2020. He holds a Bachelor of Law degree and has extensive experience in the resource industry with experience in Corporate Governance and Risk Management.

Karen Read

Ms Karen Read

Ms Read joined the Wesley Research Institute Board in 2021. She holds a Bachelor of Business, is an FCPA, GAICD and MAMI. Ms Read is a senior finance and commercial executive and has extensive experience within the mining and resources sector with a career spanning 30 years.

Shanthi Kanagarajah

Dr Shanthi Kanagarajah

Dr Shanthi Kanagarajah is a practising Geriatrician and General Physician in both private and public hospitals. She is the Clinical Director of the Geriatric Evaluation and Management unit at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and is a founding Director of Queensland Physician Care.

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