The Queensland Association for Healthy Communities (QAHC) today announced the appointment of the organisation’s first female president in its 28-year history. Following the departure of former president Mark Morein, QAHC’s Board of Directors chose nurse and active member of the Cairns LGBTI community Joanne Leamy (pictured) to take over the presidency.

Leamy has been the vice-president and QAHC Northern Region board member and is a registered nurse working in sexual and reproductive health.

“I am honoured to be chosen to lead the organisation and look forward to continuing to work with our volunteers, staff, communities, donors, partner organisations and funders. I would like to pay tribute to Mark Morein’s leadership and inspiration through recent difficult months,” Leamy said.

Morein tendered his resignation after close consultation with the board about QAHC’s future direction and plans.

“The time is right for me to step aside as president and for Healthy Communities to bring in new talent to take the organisation forward. I am proud of the work that I and the Board have achieved for Healthy Communities over the past six years,” Morein said

Morein praised his replacement and the board on their decision, saying that QAHC needed strong leadership to face the challenges it faces after being defunded earlier this year.

“Joanne’s experience and that of the rest of the board leaves me confident that they will rise to the occasion and see the organisation continue to offer the best services to the LGBT communities of Queensland.”

He also said he was grateful that the community that has stuck by and supported QAHC throughout the year.

“The support we have received from our communities over the past six months has been inspirational.”

The board also received notices of resignation from treasurer Ross Wilson and board general member Dr Robert Laidlaw. They stepped down due to personal and work reasons and were both thanked by the board for their years of dedication and work for the LGBTI community.

QAHC will soon be accepting expressions of interest to fill positions on the board including general members and a new Northern Region member. Applications can be made to executive director Paul Martin on (07) 3017 1777 or

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