Meet our Leadership Team
The Hummingbird House team is made up of a diverse team of professionals with a wide-range of experience. These include paediatric palliative care nurse practitioners and nurses, paediatric palliative care consultants and medical professionals, a pharmacist, personal care workers, family support workers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, art therapists, NDIS support workers, pharmacists, administrative officers, fundraisers, marketers, chefs, cooks and housekeepers. We even have a Chief Officer of Fun! Our Leadership Team is responsible for the day to day operation of the House and ensures we meet National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards and NDIS Practice Standards.
In 2006, Fiona completed a PhD examining the construction of risk and sources of influence when contemplating pre-natal screening. From this work, Fiona was awarded the Bob and June Prickett Churchill Fellowship to undertake an extensive study tour of the UK and USA investigating how a perinatal palliative care service may be developed for Australia.
Fiona has worked as the Clinical Ethicist for a large metropolitan Australian hospital and in the healthcare context in Queensland, primarily in open disclosure, adverse events and clinical incident management. She is also Chair of the Metro Arts Board; a specialist member of the Queensland Regional Selection Committee – Winston Churchill Trust; and a member of the Statewide Palliative Care Clinical Network, Queensland Health.
Currently, Fiona is the General Manager, Palliative Care Services at Wesley Mission Queensland. In this role she manages Hopewell Hospice, the Gold Coast’s only adult hospice, and Hummingbird House, Queensland’s only children’s hospice.
Fiona has two adult children, loves to sing loudly in her car and is learning to love personal training. Her favourite part of her job is being a part of a team that provides a world-class palliative care service for children and young people.
Since 2006, Jacqui has worked as part of diverse paediatric teams and communities in New Zealand, Canada, Haiti and rural/remote, Indigenous and metropolitan Australia. Jacqui first started working in paediatric palliative care in 2012 at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, and has been fortunate to work with extraordinary mentors and clinicians both nationally and abroad since. In 2013/14, she completed a Paediatric Palliative Care Research Fellowship at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, and the Harvard Medical School’s Palliative Care Education and Practice Program in Boston, USA.
Jacqui is passionate about paediatric palliative care education, compassion/empathy training and communication skills training. She also has a strong interest in advocacy, safety and quality assurance initiatives, family-centred care and clinical bioethics. Jacqui has been a member of both the NDIS Clinical Advisory Working Group Committee for Children’s Health Queensland and Queensland Health’s Clinical Ethics Consultation Service (CECS) for the Centre for Children’s Health Ethics and Law (CCHEL). She is also Deputy Chair of the Statewide Paediatric Palliative Care Working Group for the Queensland Child and Youth Clinical Network, and a founding member of Children’s Health Queensland’s interprofessionnel Schwartz Rounds.
Wherever she is, Jacqui loves advocating for her patients and families, working alongside incredibly supportive, hardworking and inspiring teams of healthcare professionals to care for children with life-limiting conditions and their families.
Jacqui’s favourite thing about working at Hummingbird House is seeing children and families in this unique, home-like environment – a veritable ‘home away from home.’ Paediatric palliative care really is about adding life to a child’s days, not merely days to a child’s life – and this is exactly what Hummingbird House aims to do, as a safe third space outside hospital and the family’s home.
A Victoria Erickson quote sums up what Jacqui likes to do in her spare time – “I just want to live in a world of mountains, coffee, campfires, cabins and golden trees, and run around with a camera and notebook, learning the inner workings of everything real.” In reality, there probably won’t be any cameras or notebooks (as she will be chasing her two cheeky toddlers), but everything will be stored in her head, enjoying all that nature and the beauty of our world provides us.
She has over two decades of experience in paediatrics spanning various specialties including oncology, community and emergency care, and has been a part of the holistic team at Hummingbird House since 2017.
As a Nurse Practitioner in a hospice environment, Andrea leads the provision of expert care to children, young people and their families, with a particular interest in end of life care and care of children and their families who have had an oncology diagnosis.
Andrea is currently studying for her PhD with the University of Queensland. She moved to Australia from the UK with her husband and kids in 2007 and has lived in Brisbane since.
Andrea is a mum to two young adult children and two dogs, two cats and two blue tongue lizards! In her spare time she can be found Dragon Boating – a new found passion! Her favourite part of her job is walking alongside families when they need care and support, which she considers a privilege and an honour.
Kelly is passionate about the development and sustainability of paediatric palliative care services and aims to support the development of Hummingbird House so that every child and family can be supported in their own community and have equal access to symptom management and end of life care, wherever they live.
Her favourite part of her job is developing new services and supporting the growth of the Hummingbird House team, so they can deliver essential hospice care to children and families into the future. Kelly is also interested in research and working on her PHD ‘finding meaning in the family experiences of participatory after death care within a children’s hospice’.
Kelly enjoys being at home with her family in her spare time. She also likes to practice yoga and has recently qualified as a yoga teacher. You can sometimes find Kelly delivering yoga classes to staff and families on the rooftop garden at Hummingbird House. Being from the UK, she also loves a cup of Yorkshire tea with a biscuit (or two).
Elham has held a key role in developing and shaping Hummingbird House’s approach to family-centred and community focused care. With over two decades of experience supporting children and families across healthcare, crisis intervention, community, education, and palliative care contexts, he brings a blended skillset to the team at Hummingbird House.
Elham’s professional training, experience and particular passion for participatory approaches to after death and bereavement care have helped to set Hummingbird House apart as a unique service that equips families to lead community-based approaches to death, funeral and bereavement care with the additional layers of support our inter-disciplinary team can provide.
As a qualified counsellor, clinical supervisor and community educator, Elham works from an integrative perspective, incorporating phenomenological, strengths and depth-based approaches to therapeutic practice, and broader family support. Elham’s practice has been deeply influenced by families he has met over the years as well as by passionate and skilled colleagues (who would be annoyed if he mentioned them by name). In addition, key mentors and teachers in the fields of grief and death care including Francis Weller, Zenith Virago, Ram Dass, Joan Halifax, Dr. Joanne Cacciatore and Frank Ostaseski have all been foundational influences in shaping his practice.
When Elham is not at work, he can usually be found on bush walks with his family or drinking tea and reminiscing about the nostalgic (pre-pandemic) joy of watching intensely loud and abrasive live music that usually mandated ear-plugs. He wonders if perhaps his ear-drums are equally appreciating the quieter surroundings these days.
James joined the Hummingbird House team prior to the official opening in 2016 and has a personal interest in philanthropic business practice which requires a suite of financial, logistical, and human engagement competencies that are not primary considerations in commercial business practice.
James’s efforts at Hummingbird House focus on maintaining operational practices which ensure the long term viability of the facility and the services provided, which are designed to meet the needs of children and their families facing some of the most difficult personal challenges imaginable.