Our People

The Sandpiper Australia team all have common goals - to advocate for Sandpiper Australia, and to reduce the rural and remote trauma gap through a National Rural Responder Network.

The Sandpiper Australia Board consists of people who are passionate about providing equity of emergency health care to all Australians, especially in pre-hospital settings, regardless of their geographical location. Our team is composed of passionate clinicians from various backgrounds in addition to incredibly knowledgeable business professionals. 

Our Board


A/Prof Tim Leeuwenburg

Board Chair

Tim is based on Kangaroo Island in South Australia. He has been an active member of the South Australian Rural Emergency Responder Network since 2008, with ongoing experience as a Rural Generalist providing primary care and anaesthesia services to rural Australia. He is a credentialled specialist in prehospital and retrieval medicine in QLD and the NT.

He is an active educator in the domains of airway management, trauma and rural medicine, with experience in simulation and debriefing. Tim is involved in medical education, acting as a Course Director for ETMcourse, EMST and RERN updates, as well as invited Faculty for the Critically Ill Airway course, smaccAIRWAY, Safe Airway Society workshops etc. Most recently a co-author of the consensus guidelines for airway management of COVID19 patients.

Tim facilitates on the ACRRM Prehospital & Emergency Care (PHEC) course as well as other bespoke prehospital courses and retrieval term induction programs.


Dr Claire Arundell

Board Deputy Chair

Claire is a Rural Generalist Anaesthetist from country Victoria. She works in many primary care and hospital settings, and not infrequently provides pre-hospital care in the communities she works in. 

Outside of her clinical work, Claire has many years of practical experience in rural health advocacy roles for various state and national organisations. 

She is passionate about promoting rural health opportunities to future health professionals and doing what she can to ensure equity of health access. 

Claire facilitates on multiple ACRRM courses, including Advanced Life Support (ALS2), Rural Anaesthetic Crisis Management (RACM) and Prehospital & Emergency Care (PHEC). 

Claire is an active member of the community, clocking up over 10 years of service with the CFA


Dr Scott Lewis


Scott is an active member of the SA RERN scheme and was a Rural Generalist in solo practice in Wudinna, SA for 15 years, before re-locating to the Adelaide Hills. He has held positions as a former President of the Rural Doctors Association of SA, convenor of airway workshops for the RDASA Masterclass and is an APLS instructor. 

Scott facilitates on the ACRRM PHEC course and other prehospital courses.


He is a passionate pilot and has an active interest in motorsport medicine.



Fran Avon


Fran brings her experience in governance and fundraising to support our plans for growth.

Fran has over twenty year’s experience working for non-profit community service organisations. She is an incredibly experienced CEO, fundraiser, and marketer. Fran is inspired by the commitment, compassion and resilience of those who live and work in our rural communities.  Fran’s vision is to help those living remotely enjoy a long and healthy life.

Fran’s passion for remote communities was ignited having spent two years in the Northern Territory and in her role as Chief Executive Officer for the Rural Doctors Foundation.


Sean Mutchmor

Board Member

Sean is a highly capable educator and clinician who has specialised in Quality & Safety for many years; bridging clinical quality improvement with contemporary education development systems. He has spent the last 15+ years working in this realm at the Executive Director and Executive Manager level in safety & quality, clinical governance and professional development roles with state and provincial ambulance services, emergency retrieval services, and with the Australian College for Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM).

Sean has over twenty years experience as a former Critical Care Flight Paramedic and has previously been the Director of Clinical Services for two university paramedic faculties. He has consulted with the Australian Federal Police, numerous medical schools and many other entities on clinical governance, clinical care and clinical education. He holds post graduate qualifications in Prehospital Critical Care and is soon to complete a Master’s in Health Service Management with a specialisation in Safety and Quality. 

Sean is the originator of the ACRRM PHEC course and keen to support the role of rural generalists in providing prehospital and immediate care to their communities.


Dr Helen Grimsmo-Powney

Board Member

Helen is an emergency specialist, endurance sportswoman and extreme medicine pioneer.

Helen has a passion for remote medicine, which has led her to work in over 31 countries through her career, including in various locations in rural and remote Australia. She has a breadth of experience in the pre-hospital setting through her work with retrieval services, motorsports and expeditions. She has the rare experience of having dealt with remote trauma in the challenging environments of Everest and Namibia, which has given her unique views to bring to her associations as a Professor with the MSc in Extreme Medicine at the University of Exeter.

Helen is rarely found without a coffee in her hand, spends all her spare time riding her beloved mountain bike and is a fierce advocate for chasing down adventures that life brings your way.


Dr Andrew Cronin

Board Member

Andrew is a Rural Generalist. He has worked on Thursday Island in Far North Queensland, Busselton in Western Australia, and everywhere in between. Most recently, Andrew has been working for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) providing medical services to the most remote Australians.


Andrew is passionate about enabling local services to supplement existing services to provide the best possible care available.

Dr Edi Albert

Board Member

Edi is a Tasmanian based Rural Generalist and was founding director of the Health Care in Remote and Extreme Environments program at the University of Tasmania from 2014 to 2023. He developed an innovative suite of intensive courses in Expedition Medicine, Maritime Medicine and Extreme Sports Medicine.

Edi juggled this with a continuing clinical career that has included aero-medical retrieval with RFDS in Western and Central Australia, working as a doctor at Perisher Ski Resort and in Antarctica with the Australian Antarctic Divisions as well as locums all across remote Australia. He is currently working casually at the Mersey Community Hospital.

When not working, Edi can be found climbing, hiking, skiing,  kayaking and sailing


Dr John Hall

Board Member

 John graduated from UQ in 2000 and completed his junior doctor years in Rockhampton and Mackay, achieving an Advanced Diploma in Obstetrics in 2003. He began his rural medical career in Stanthorpe, working as a Rural Generalist, GP-Obstetrician, where he completed his dual fellowships as well as a diploma in skin cancer medicine. He then moved to Oakey to become the Medical Superintendent at the Oakey Hospital.

He has worked in medicine both in clinical and administrative roles for over 20 years. Working across the public and private sectors, John has a strong interest in clinical governance, business innovation and digital transformation.

John has always been active in the medico-political space, and is a past President of the Rural Doctors Association of Australia. He has been board director on the RDAA and AMAQ boards for many years. He served as RDAQ President in 2008.

John has published research on and “The important role of RGs in pre-hospital medicine” and is currently studying towards an MBA & MPH at JCU. John has a keen interest in rural and remote public health and has been a passionate advocate for private general practice, rural hospitals and maternity services in particular. John is a firm believer in the notion of a national rural responder network for Australia.

Our State Champions

Coming soon…