Our People

As a large centre we operate under a standard business structure with key medical and non-medical roles in place.


Our directors come from Bendigo’s health and business communities and
we are fortunate to have their guidance and expertise.


A talented leader, experienced and engaging communicator with considerable experience in developing innovative products and programs that deliver considerable value to customers, communities and businesses. Whilst Leigh is recognised as a business and community leader, many will also recognise him as an accomplished motorsport professional with a national title to his name. Leigh's involvement in motor sports also encompasses event organising, promotion, track and Television commentary.

Business Experience:

  • Woombye Community Bank Branch: 3 years, Director
  • Bendigo Primary Care Centre 7 years, Director and Chairman
  • Bendigo and Adelaide Bank: 15 years, Senior Manager Innovation and Implementation, Manager Community Enterprise Foundation.
  • Sustainable Regional Australia: 9 years, Director Chairman, Chairman of the Central Vic Solar City project.
  • Bendigo Community Health Services: 9 years, Director and Chairman, Life Member.
  • Essential Service Commission Victoria: 7 years, Customer Consultative Committee Member
  • Race Driving Instructor: Fastrack Racing 14 years
  • Business Owner: 20 years
  • Principle Technical Officer: Telstra 26 years

Board Member


  • Graduate Diploma in Business Management of MBA [Local Government] at RMIT
  • Associate Diploma in Welfare Studies at Phillip Institute of Technology

Gerard has undertaken courses in IAP2 ; Applying Futures Thinking at Mt Eliza Business School and is an Alumni of the Cranlana Program in Toorak. Gerard has significant experience in community engagement, change management, organisation development, policy facilitation and program evaluation. He has had an extensive career in Local Government, community and not-for-profit sectors and was privileged to join Bendigo Community Health Services as CEO in February 2019, and previously served as CEO with Mildura Rural City Council from 2014. Gerard is a people-oriented leader committed to ethical stewardship and social justice with outstanding contemporary team-based leadership, communication, analytical and creative problem-solving skills.

Prior to joining Mildura Rural City Council, Gerard was CEO of Greater Taree City Council on the mid-north coast of New South Wales for over seven years. Gerard’s career also includes time as Director of Health and Community Services at Ringwood and Heidelberg Councils, Director of Community Services and Acting CEO at the Shire of Campaspe and Director of Community Services at the City of Knox. Gerard has also worked for the Municipal Association of Victoria, Spastic Society of Victoria (now known as Scope); the Outer East Regional Housing Association, STAY Youth Refuge and the YMCA of Victoria.

Gerard is currently a Board Member of Haven Home Safe; and was previously a Board Member of Zoe Support Inc in Mildura; a Board Member of the Murray Regional Tourism Board and served as a Board member of Chances for Children in Mildura.

Board Member


  • Bachelor of Science
  • Masters of Business Administration
  • Member of Australian Institute of Company Directors

Regional Partnerships Manager, La Trobe University. Member Victoria Minister of Health's Poisons Advisory Committee, City of Greater Bendigo Advisory Committee for Waste Resources. Member for various other local management committees.

Board Member


  • MBA
  • CPA

Shaun commenced in the role of Executive Director Finance and Resources at Bendigo Health in September 2018.
Shaun grew up in Bendigo and worked at Bendigo Health early in his career. Shaun has a wealth of finance knowledge and experience in executive and leadership roles within public health, aged care, hospitality and banking industries spanning over 23 years.

Most recently Shaun was the CFO at Central Adelaide Local Health Network. Prior to this he was CFO at Townsville Hospital and Health Service and has held roles in the Victorian Public Health Sector at Goulburn Valley Health, Wimmera Health Care Group, Stawell Regional Health and Echuca Regional Health.

Shaun is a current Board Member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association of Australia.

Board Member

MBBS, FRACP, Master of Professional Health Education

Associate Professor Christian Holmes is Director of Monash Rural Health – Bendigo, and also Director of Nephrology at Bendigo Health.
He is a Bendigo resident, and holds a number of key education appointments with Monash University, the University of Melbourne and the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. He has extensive experience in teaching, curriculum development and clinical service expansion in both public and private medicine.


Our management team hold key medical and non-medical positions and are responsible for the daily operation of the centre.

Becc Cheers

Coordinated Care Services Manager

Becc Cheers is a our Coordinated Care Services Manager and looks after Chronic Disease Management, Allied Health and Aged Care at Bendigo Primary Care Centre.

Becc has developed a love of primary care nursing over her more than 20 year career, relishing the opportunity to get to know people and make a long term difference in their lives.

A registered nurse, division 1, Becc worked in emergency medicine at Bendigo Health for 13 years before moving to general practice. She also spent two years working for the Nurse on Call hotline and the Covid 19 hotline alongside her roles in clinic.

Steve Cooper

General Manager

Steve has worked in health for over 30 years, holding clinical, education and senior management roles in several states and territories as well as overseas. He has completed a Master’s degree in Health Professional Education and Management, as well as completing a PhD and has a long history in indigenous health. Steve has a passion for primary health care, health literacy and health pathways to prevent chronic disease. 

Dr Sheriden Emonson

Clinical Director

Dr Sheriden Emonson leads and supports our clinical staff. Working with them to ensure the highest standards of patient care are fostered and upheld and the clinical governance framework is maintained.

Dr Emonson has a passion for providing holistic general practice to our community. She works part time as a general practitioner, lectures medical students at Monash Medical School and works in outpatient cardiology. She has additional post graduate qualifications in areas of focused psychological strategies, Choice theory, ALS, ECG interpretation and Boston scientific pacemaker training.

Areas of clinical interest include chronic disease management, mental health and cardiology.

Jennifer Harris

Project, Program and Continual Quality Improvement Manager

A nurse for 20 years, Jennifer has worked across Australia and held a diverse range of roles, from Aboriginal health to acute and aged care and even a coordination role overseeing eye theatres in Darwin. Most recently she was employed as a nurse supervisor in a medical clinic.

Jennifer has a Bachelor of Nursing, a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology, a Diploma of Management and an Advanced Diploma in Business Management. She joined Bendigo Primary Care Centre in December 2020 to oversee our accreditation program, the roll out of the COVID 19 vaccine and quality improvement activities.

Jennifer’s focus is on improving patient experience at Bendigo Primary Care Centre, which she finds very rewarding.

Dr Dennis O’Connor

Director of Education and Research

Dr Dennis O’Connor is the current Year four academic lead and since 2010, the GP discipline lead for Monash Rural Health, Bendigo. He is a senior general practitioner and Director of Education and Research at Bendigo Primary Care Centre.

Dennis completed his undergraduate medical degree at the University of Melbourne in 1982 and subsequently returned to his home town to complete a Diploma of Obstetrics in 1985.

He has been in active general practice in the regional city of Bendigo for over 30 years and has a special interest in musculoskeletal medicine, stemming from his community involvement with local sporting clubs over the years. He completed a Diploma of Musculoskeletal Medicine at Flinders University in 2009.

Dennis’ other interest is in medical education. He has an active teaching role with both undergraduate and post graduate medical students, medical registrars and allied health students at Monash University, La Trobe University and as supervisor for students and GP registrars in clinical placements at Bendigo Primary Care Centre. He completed his Graduate Certificate in Health Professional Education in 2011.

Shannan Nally

Client Services Manager

Shannan oversees the large Bendigo Primary Care Centre reception team.
With many years experience managing all aspects of patient administration needs, she provides advice, guidance, support and training to team members and patients.

As a team leader Shannan makes a significant contribution to improvements in patient experience and best practice. Highly motived and ambitious, Shannan ensures our reception team achieves consistently high standards.