Our team

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.

General Manager

Ellen Whittaker

Ellen Whittaker joined Hummingbird House as the General Manager in February 2023, bringing with her more than four decades of invaluable experience in the health sector. Throughout her career, Ellen has held diverse roles in both public and private settings. For the past 16 years, she served as the Director of Clinical Services in a 150-bed acute medical and surgical private hospital. This role provided her with extensive expertise in human resource management, clinical governance, and financial management.

Ellen considers it a privilege to lead the highly skilled and compassionate team at Hummingbird House. Her dedication to the wellbeing of children and families is evident in her commitment to sustaining and expanding the vital services offered by the organisation throughout Queensland.

Her vision is to ensure that the specialised skills of the dedicated team are shared with children and families across Queensland, making a lasting impact on their lives.

Elham Day, Family Support Manager
Family Support Manager

Elham Day

Elham is the Manager of the Family and Community Support team and joined Hummingbird House shortly before the service opened in 2016.

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, along with post-graduate qualifications in counselling and management.

Elham’s professional experience and passion for participatory approaches to after death and grief care especially 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.

Elham leads an interdisciplinary team of staff including Art Therapy, Community Development, Family Support and Volunteer Coordinator, who are all committed to working with families across the state of Queensland.

When he is not at work, Elham can usually be found on bush walks with his family or drinking tea while reminiscing about the nostalgic (pre-pandemic) joys of watching intensely loud and abrasive live music that mandated ear-plugs. He wonders if perhaps his ear-drums are equally appreciating the quieter surrounds these days.

Medical Lead

Alyssa Courtney

Alyssa Courtney, Medical Lead of Hummingbird House, is a General Paediatrician with a Clinical Diploma of Palliative Medicine. Alyssa also works within the Statewide Paediatric Palliative Care Service of Children’s Health Queensland.

Alyssa enjoys providing supportive multi-disciplinary care tailored specifically to children and family needs. Alyssa has worked within Paediatrics throughout the last 10 years and is excited to work within this passionate and dedicated team who enrich and celebrate life in a home-like space full of precious moments.

Alyssa has completed a Bachelor of Science (Biomedical and Marine), Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. She was also the Principal Investigator for an inter-disciplinary randomised control trial investigating fluid supplementation for infants hospitalised with bronchiolitis at the Queensland Children’s Hospital.

Outside of work Alyssa enjoys spending time at home with her family, travelling, and bushwalking. Alyssa feels incredibly privileged to meet and support Hummingbird House families.

Kelly Oldham, Hummingbird House @ Home Lead
Hummingbird House @ Home Lead

Kelly Oldham

Kelly has worked in children’s hospices for most of her nursing career, mainly in the UK, and moved to Brisbane in 2014 to be involved in the development and build of Hummingbird House. The role at Hummingbird House has enabled Kelly to bring worldwide best practice to the vision of Hummingbird House, while fostering a professional and skilled yet mindful culture within the clinical team to reflect the 'warm embrace' of care delivery. Her role at the moment is Nurse Practitioner and lead for the developing Hummingbird House @ Home service, which will ensure Hummingbird House can reach children and their families across the state.

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).