Meet Our Staff

Gail O’Donnell

Executive Officer

Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy); Master of Public Health

Career summary: I joined HealthWest Partnership as the Executive Officer in July 2011. Previous employment included five years at Quality Improvement & Community Services Accreditation (QICSA) as the Operations Manager and Deputy CEO. During this period I undertook over 60 accreditation reviews of health and community services. Prior to this I was an Executive Manager of Community Care in a large rural community health service, with organisational responsibility for quality.

Professional interests: My strongly held belief is that a shared commitment to quality systems can deliver positive outcomes for individuals and organisations.

Something you didn’t know: I continue to work as an auditor for Quality Improvement Performance (QIP) in my spare time.


Kate Baker

Evaluation Project Manager

Bachelor of Social Science (Human Services); Diploma of Counselling

Career summary: My background centres around 20+ years working in the non-profit space spanning environmental, educational and humanitarian organisations. During this time I have held both operational and leadership roles facilitating a range of health promotion, capacity building and social inclusion programs and projects. I have joined HealthWest following some recent contract work with Banyule City Council and prior to that, many years working within Community Programs at Australian Red Cross. The opportunities I have had, have afforded me the chance to work across a wide range of areas including volunteer management; food security; health literacy; mentoring; consumer participation; justice and inclusive employment (to name a few).

Professional interests: I am really passionate about community inclusion; human-centred / co-design; empowerment through capacity building; working in a strengths-based way; consumer participation and the power of evaluation to influence how we work and what we do. I’m very committed to work in the prevention space and ideas around systemic change.

Something you didn’t know: I am a rare species of individual who enjoys meetings and loves writing reports. I have a cat called Couscous and my new year’s resolution is to spend more time being creative and making art.


Tanya Sofra

Strategic Projects Manager

Bachelor of Arts (Aboriginal Studies)/ Bachelor of Health Sciences (Public Health) with Honours

Career summary: I started my career in health promotion, working in a hospital and community health. I then transferred my project management skills into volunteer management and community development within the aged and disability sectors. A stint as a complex case manager gave me invaluable insight into the complexities of the service system, leading me to join the systems integration team at HealthWest in 2012. I have managed a number of projects and teams at HealthWest covering a range of topics spanning the public health spectrum such as Aboriginal health, paediatric pathways and workforce mutuality. Over the years I have also worked casually for research teams at Universities in Victoria and NSW.

Professional interests: I am drawn to the bigger picture and working together with community to get better outcomes. I am particularly passionate about projects which extend beyond the traditional health and community sectors, such as the workforce mutuality project.

Something you didn’t know: I spent half my life and career working in rural areas around Victoria.


Deb Tan

Communications Project Manager

Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours); Master of Arts (Intercultural Studies).

Career summary: Before joining HealthWest I worked at a not-for-profit organisation that supported minority language communities in language development and related matters. My various roles there included communications, event management and administration. I previously worked as a pharmacist at a public hospital in Adelaide, and particularly enjoyed connecting with and supporting patients and families on the ward.

Professional interests: I have an ongoing interest in the integral role language and cultural identity plays in a person and a community’s wellbeing.

Something you didn’t know: My ideal holiday is turning off my phone/email/Facebook/etc and finding a quiet nook to read. I really enjoy fantasy, particularly Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series.


Anna Vu

Prevention Manager

Bachelor of Asian Studies (Vietnamese); Graduate Diploma of Asia and The Pacific Studies (Community Development Stream); Graduate Certificate of Science (Applied Statistics)

Career summary: After starting my career working for local and international NGOs in Vietnam, I’ve been working in the local prevention sector Since 2009. Largely in Melbourne’s west, I’ve worked in health promotion and prevention roles for community health, women’s health and now at HealthWest since 2018. Along the way I’ve loved meeting and working with a huge variety of people. I’m always amazed at the skills people offer and enjoy the opportunity to learn something from everyone.

Professional interests: I have a keen interest in equity and social justice and how these relate to health outcomes. I’m excited to be part of the prevention sector as we continue to learn how we can make an impact at a systems level, and show the outcomes of what we do.

Something you didn’t know: I am very interested in data and statistics and how these can help to tell a story about equity, health and how the world works. I also really enjoy making graphs!