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Our People

David Farlow

Dr David Farlow

Executive Director Research & Innovation, Mackay Hospital and Health Service

Associate Professor and Clinical Dean, Mackay Clinical School

James Cook University School of Medicine and Dentistry


David first arrived in the MHHS in 1984. David was Executive Director Clinical Services for MHHS from 2007-2015. Prior to that, he provided a broad range clinical service and leadership roles within the Whitsunday Health Service.

He reduced direct patient care over the last 5 years and now has no hands on clinical practice. After taking a 12 month sabbatical in New Zealand with his family in 2015, he moved into a joint role between MHHS focusing on Education and Research development in building the Mackay Institute of Research and Innovation. His conjoint role also includes Clinical Dean role at James Cook University.

In addition to his medical qualifications, David recently became a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is the editor and co-author of a self-published children’s first aid book “Freya The First Aider”.

His expertise and experience includes undertaking a range of investigations, Service reviews and consultancies for QH. His community achievements include an Australia Day Shire Award in 2008 for his outstanding contribution to the community and a Queensland Health Leadership in Health Services Award in 2007.

David has an Associate Professorial role with James Cook University School of Medicine and Dentistry. In addition to his executive, clinical and community work, David is foremost a family man who enjoys fishing and golfing.

Kylie Oliver

Kylie Oliver

nursing director

Kylie is the Nursing Director Research and Innovation, who provides professional and operational leadership and expertise to MIRI including implementation, evidence into practice and building understanding and capability in research and implementation.  

Kylie maintains and fosters network links across Queensland and Australia to attract and manage opportunities to host research within Mackay HHS, ensures appropriate ethical and professional monitoring and reporting on the safety and efficacy of research and trials conducted and ensures Mackay HHS procedures and operating procedures relating to research are aligned with national and state guidelines and legislation.

Katrina Lamb

Katrina Lamb

Research governance & grants officer

Katrina is the Research Governance Officer, her role is to deliver high level review and advice on research projects and ensure governance activities and requirements are met.   A key aspect of the role is to make sure that researchers doing research in our HHS meet all the HHS, legal and regulatory obligations.

Katrina can provide advice and support on the research process including ethics, project review and more specifically the Site Specific Assessment (SSA) applications which includes legal review in most cases. and will be able to support and assist with regards to research applications and governance.

Matthew Hiskens

A/Research Fellow

Matt has a PhD in neuroscience, with expertise in the molecular pathways of inflammation and excitotoxicity underpinning the pathology of neurodegenerative diseases. His primary research interest is in the development of biofluid diagnostic/prognostic tests of traumatic brain injury and dementia, and in the identification of therapeutic agents to mitigate the neurodegenerative cascade. He has a clinical background in dietetics and has lectured into medical science courses at CQU.

Matt’s role in MIRI is to develop a strong infrastructure for research, enhancing and embedding research culture and capability within MHHS. He provides practical support of clinician researchers by giving guidance throughout the course of a research project and providing research skills where required.

Nikki Booth


Nikki has had extensive experience in Marketing and Business Development in both Australia and the UK. Holding a Bachelor of Business (Marketing & International Business), Nikki continues to undertake a range of studies to continue her professional development. 

Her role is to provide communications management and deliver high level coordination and assistance in the operational management of business functions.   Nikki loves the varied role that allows interaction with staff across the Health Service.

Tracy Hess

Tracy Hess

Clinical trials nurse

Tracy Hess has been a Clinical Trials Nurse with MIRI since early 2019. She has a background in both Paediatric and Emergency Nursing and with the Implementation of Digital Hospital Release 4. She is also an endorsed Immuniser working with the School Based Immunisation Program and recently completed her Master of Nursing degree.

Her role in MIRI is to assist Principal Investigators with initial site specific assessment and ongoing trial management. Familiarising herself with trial protocols and providing ongoing education to staff involved in clinical trials, data collection and patient follow up.

Leesa Philip

Leesa Philip

Information and Knowledge Officer

Leesa is the Information and Knowledge Officer/Library Manager. Leesa is a qualified Librarian and Educator, and her role is to manage the MHHS Library Service. This includes delivering training to MHHS staff on using Library resources for improving patient care; undertaking literature searches, evaluating resources, and getting published; assisting MHHS staff with formal education and continuing professional development; providing literature support to researchers and clinicians undertaking patient care and policy development; and assisting with research project development.