Our Team

Guiding Wheels of Wellness with Experience, Passion, and Vision for Holistic Community Care.

Yolonde Entsch

Chief Executive Officer

Dr Alister Keyser

SENIOR MEDICAL OFFICER

Chrissy Peters

PRACTICE MANAGER

Wayne Christian

Indigenous Health Practitioner

Lexy Carroll

CLINICAL NURSE

Sarah Vaggs

CLINICAL Nurse

Christine Strong

Mental Health Social Worker

Callum Blunden

Senior Podiatrist

Syan Koisen

Medical Receptionist / Coordinator

Callan Burkett

TEAM MEMBER

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Yolonde Entsch
Chief Executive Officer

Yolonde's diverse career in community, political, government, and entrepreneurial sectors reflects her commitment to empowering people. As the CEO of WoW, her primary focus is on creating a safe and inclusive environment for both her team and clients. She recognizes the importance of building strong relationships with funding partners, the homelessness sector, and the community at large. This collaborative approach ensures that WoW effectively adds value and achieves positive outcomes for the individuals who rely on its primary healthcare and wellbeing services. Yolonde's dedication to empowering others and fostering meaningful connections is central to WoW's mission.

“I feel humbled whenever trusted to hold space for a person who decides to share something about themselves that might be deeply personal or traumatic.

It’s in these moments, my determination grows even stronger to build a holistic organisation where people feel welcomed, cared for, appreciated, and encouraged to become actively engaged in managing their health and wellbeing.

At WoW, we believe health and wellbeing are critical to one’s journey towards stepping back on the ladder of life, which very much includes securing accommodation.”

Dr Alister Keyser
Senior Medical Officer

Alister started his medical career as a General Practitioner in South Africa before taking international postings providing primary and emergency care in remote regions around the world. Developing broad international experience in health systems management and occupation and public health medicine, Alister has continued to support the Cairns healthcare community since 2013. Alister comes to WOW after spending two years supporting a large local Aboriginal Community Control Health Service through the COVID-19 period.

Chrissy Peters
Practice Manager

Christine is the glue that binds us all together, whether that is supporting the team to ensure they can focus on our clients or coordinating staff employment, rosters, and payroll to good governance, managing operational requirements such as IT, software upgrades, Medicare, accounts, project management, streamlining processes by looking for efficiencies, and everything else that nobody else does!

The role of WoW’s Practice Manager is huge, and sees Christine constantly drawing on her wealth of business management knowledge and experience, gleaned from many years working within large corporations and most recently at a local cosmetic clinic.

With her caring, compassionate, and professional nature, Christine naturally gravitated toward the world of supporting and assisting the most vulnerable in the community.

“Working with WoW is truly meaningful work, knowing that my efforts contribute towards making a positive impact on the lives of the most vulnerable is deeply gratifying, and aligns with my values. I feel humbled, privileged and honoured to call so many of our WoW guests’ friends.”

Dr Irene Tjhung
Doctor

Commencing in 2015, Dr Irene is the longest serving GP at WoW. Dr Irene has vast experience working with First Nations people through her work in the Torres Straits, the Tablelands, Cairns and surrounding district, specialising in complex conditions and chronic diseases.

Dr Agufana Pepela
Doctor

Since joining WoW in July 2022, Dr Agu has been dedicated to delivering high-quality primary healthcare to the most vulnerable and marginalized individuals in Cairns. Dr Agu's regular Wednesday clinics and fortnightly after-hours clinics from the van ensure accessibility for those in need. With a focus on Indigenous Health, Tropical Health, Aged Care, Men's Health, and Sports Medicine, Dr. Agu brings valuable expertise to WoW. Furthermore, Dr Agu's ability to speak Spanish and Swahili is an asset that enhances WoW's ability to provide culturally sensitive care to a diverse range of patients.

"I have had a couple of very difficult patients, who were initially a dread to see. Then over time I got to know these clients better and they got to know me, and that is when we started making progress with their health. For most, if not all, of our clients continuity of care has probably never happened for them before because they would have never had the opportunity to see a GP regularly enough.

I like that we provide a community for people. People come here and get to know the staff, have a chat, have a feed, and find a sense of belonging somewhere."

Dr Julia Driscoll
Doctor

Dr Driscoll has been a GP for more than 30 years and has a passion for women’s health, mental health and as a mother of 3 has a keen interest in paediatrics. Dr Julia has undertaken further training in mental health, integrative medicine, and hormone health.

Wayne Christian
Indigenous Health Practitioner

With more than 20 years experience as an Indigenous Health Worker, Wayne’s expertise, knowledge, and experience was recognised in 2023 when he became an Indigenous Health Practitioner.

Wayne's position is not Indigenous specific, in fact it is way more diverse as only half of our clients identify as Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or both. Wayne cares for non-Indigenous and multi-cultural people, as well as those people who identify as being LGBTQIA, or identify as having a disability, mental health issues or an alcohol or drug addiction.

Wayne’s provides support to the General Practitioners by way of triage, case management, planning, outreach, and wound care. While triaging Wayne is also providing health education in a subtle way.

As an Indigenous man, Wayne also provides cultural safety, cultural protocols, cultural awareness and advocacy for First Nation peoples.

"Since working with WOW I have had the privilege of caring for clients who are now more like friends. It has made me appreciate myself and all that I do for these individuals. I have learnt a lot from our clients especially when they are sharing their stories of how life got them to where they are now.

I love counting smiles, shaking hands and the occasional joke. It makes this job well worth doing especially when I see the person opposite me is trying hard and against all odds to make changes, no matter how small that might be. I am very grateful to be included as part of their life journey – walking beside them - as their trust and respect is real."

Lexy Carroll
Clinical Nurse

Lexy is a registered nurse with a special interest in primary Indigenous health care. Lexy loves exploring which has seen her work in places like the Torres Strait, Yarrabah, and Samoa.

Working at WOW and within the Cairns community feels like coming home, as Lexy grew up in the area. Lexy is keen to learn what services are available in the region and how we can better link people to those services that they need. For Lexy, it is “all about connecting the dots.”

When not at work Lexy can be found in her garden or visiting family in her hometown of Kuranda.

Sarah Vaggs
Clinical Nurse

Sarah has a background working in remote communities in Arnhem Land NT, WA and QLD. Sarah’s passion for nursing stems from a belief in the importance of equitable healthcare access and a desire to make a positive difference in people’s lives. Her compassionate nature has allowed her to form deep connections and learn invaluable lessons from the clients she has had the privilege to work with over the years.

Sarah has worked both in clinics and hospitals as a nurse, midwife, child-health nurse and in mental health nursing.

In her role at WoW, Sarah says she is overwhelmed by the courage displayed by the clients she encounters and admires their ability to persevere and maintain strength in challenging circumstances and hopes to work together with people along their health journey.

Christine Strong
Mental Health Social Worker

Christine is a highly trained and experienced Mental Health Social Worker/Counsellor who runs our wellbeing service. This service includes counselling, case management, support and assistance which can mean a phone call to Centrelink, the bank, Q-Home or Anglicare's Homeless Hub, or helping someone complete a form for Housing, Access Housing or Douglas House (and others), and a myriad of other things that people need help with.

Christine also runs a weekly group for men subject to Domestic Violence Orders, to help them not breach orders and off-site counselling once a week at Amaroo Elders Justice Group.

WoW’s wellbeing service is organic and defined by what people using the service are telling us they need. As there is no day respite for rough sleepers or people who are homeless, this service has become a lifeline for many. Access to food, tea and coffee, fresh towels for showers, donated clothes, and a caring ear or shoulder when someone needs it, can be the difference between life and death for some of our clients.

“I believe everyone deserves a chance, even when they've had lots of chances and burned many bridges. I do this because the people who come here mostly have nowhere else to go - they are often seen by others as too difficult, too complex, not deserving enough and they haven't been able to get the support and assistance that we are able to provide. I can't imagine working anywhere else.”

Callum Blunden
Senior Podiatrist

Callum is a highly experienced Senior Podiatrist from FNQ Podiatry & Orthotics. Callum has been WoW’s foot doctor since 2019 and works one shift at our GP practice and the following week at Barlow Park with the team. Callum is committed to getting people back on their feet and partaking in the activities they love.

Syan Koisen
Medical Receptionist / Coordinator

Syan is the first point of contact for our clients and other service providers, whether that is answering the phone or greeting people when they arrive at WoW. Syan’s calm and friendly personality has seen her manage some of our more challenging clients in a respectful yet firm way.

As medical receptionist/coordinator, Syan manages WoW's appointment book, new client registrations, forwarding doctor referrals, responding to emails, maintaining all the medical records and reports, while providing exceptional customer service.

“I have always found it incredibly fulfilling helping others. Working at WoW has made it possible for me to help make a positive impact in people’s lives and provide support in any way I can. In my role I have met some of the kindest people who are determined to improve their lives despite any adversity they face

As a law student, working at WoW has really opened my eyes to the problems people in our community face. Working alongside a group of people that are genuinely passionate and committed to the work they do in the community has really helped solidify my aspirations and what I can do in my future career to help."

In the spirit of reconciliation, Wheels of Wellness acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as First Nations peoples of this Country, we acknowledge the elders past and present. We acknowledge and respect the importance of Indigenous cultures and traditions; we recognise and respect that First Nation peoples have a spiritual connection to land and sea. We recognise the importance of cultural and traditional knowledge and are committed to walking alongside our clients in their health and wellbeing journey.

We are committed to cultivating inclusive environments for our clients, and staff. We celebrate, value and include people of all backgrounds, genders, sexualities, cultures, bodies and abilities.