Improvement Foundation delivers the Australian Primary Care Collaboratives (APCC) Program. The APCC consists of a team of managers and support staff who work within the wider IF team. The Australian Medicare Local Alliance is the fundholder for the APCC Program and works closely with the Improvement Foundation.

To contact the APCC team, please click here

Use the links below to take you to each of the sections:

APCC Clinical Director and Clinical Chairs

Quality Improvement Partnership Advisory Group

Expert Reference Panel (ERP) members


APCC Program Clinical Director and Clinical Chairs

APCC Clinical Director

Dr Tony Lembke, Alstonville Clinic, NSW

Tony has been a partner at the Alstonville Clinic in NSW for 12 years. He is Chairman of the Northern Rivers Division of General Practice & GP Advisor to the Information Management & Parenting Support projects within the Division. He is editor of the online journal ‘MedicineAu’ and a regular columnist in ‘GP Speak’ and is a Board Member for the Australian General Practice Network.

Clinical Chairs

NSW, QLD, ACT wave

Dr David Richardson, Royston Clinic, VIC

David has been a doctor for more than 20 years. Special interests include minor procedures, preventative medicine, mental health and anti ageing medicine. He has developed special interest and knowledge in Natural (Bio-identical) Hormone Replacement Therapy and has an interest in "Life Extension" therapies. David is currently completing a Nutrition Course at Swinburne University.

WA, SA & NT wave

Dr Mike Civil, Stirk Medical Group, WA

Mike has been a GP at the Stirk Medical Group for the past eight years. Prior to this he ran his own practice in Kalgoorlie for six years, with his wife Cathy (who is also a GP). Originally trained in the UK, they moved to Australia in 1992.

He has a keen interest in computers, having been on the GP Computing Group and has worked in a paperless surgery for nearly 10 years now. He has furthered his interest in computing by obtaining a Graduate Diploma in Computing. Mike also works as an AGPAL surveyor and has been involved with the orientation of overseas trained doctors with WACRRM in WA.

VIC & TAS wave & Virtual wave 1

Dr Richard Bills, Brooke Street Medical Centre, VIC

Richard has been a rural GP in Victoria's Central Highlands for 18 years, and is one of three owners of the Brooke Street Medical Centre - a purpose built, multidisciplinary centre which is strongly focussed on team-based care. His practice was involved in the Collaborative Program during the initial wave that went on to take the RACGP Victorian Practice of the Year in 2006. Richard was a presenter at subsequent waves during the first phase of the Program.

National Wave 4 and Diabetes Prevention & Management wave (NSW)

Dr Charlotte Hespe, Glebe Family Medical Practice, NSW

Charlotte is the GP principal and teaches medical students in a group Family Medical Practice in Glebe, Sydney. She is also the Co-assessment Panel Chair for the NSW Faculty of the RACGP and sits on the RACGP National Fellowship Sub Committee and NSW Faculty Education Committee. She has recently been appointed a Senior Lecturer position for the Notre Dame Post Graduate Medical Program in Sydney. Charlotte is also the Director and Chair for SIGPET (Sydney Institute of General Practice Education and Training) and has been involved in medical education for the SIGPET GP Re entry Program.


Dr John Kastrissios, Springwood Group General Practice, QLD

Dr John Kastrissios was a foundation board member of SouthEast Primary HealthCare Network in 1993. He is also the current Chair for 2009. John has been a General Practice Queensland (and QDGP) board member since 2001 and is also currently the Chair. He was the recipient of the Australian General Practice Network's 2008 John Aloizos Medal for outstanding contribution to the Divisions Network. John is also the Principal in a group general practice in Springwood and has worked there since 1986. He is a general practice supervisor / mentor, involved in the training and supervision of GP registrars and medical students in general practice, on behalf of CSQTC and Griffith University Medical School. He is also a Member of the NeHTA Clinical Leads Program.


QIP Advisory Group

A Quality Improvement Program Advisory Group has been formed to ensure the Program is responsive to the needs of the Medicare Local network as it matures and promote continuous quality improvement as an integral part of the way Medicare Locals address priority areas.

Consisting of members from the Medicare Local network, Aboriginal health sector, Australian Medicare Local Alliance, Improvement Foundation and the Department of Health and Ageing, an inaugural meeting is planned for August 2013, and it is expected that the group will meet regularly over the funding term.

Expert Reference Panels (ERP)

An Expert Reference Panel is a group of experts and key professionals with experience in the key topic areas. Each panel has worked together to: 

  • Identify key principles that underlie any improvement in each topic area 
  • Identify, where possible, successful strategies for change in each area 
  • Suggest practical ideas for change in each area that will generate significant improvement 
  • Suggest simple measures that would assist teams in assessing progress 

The APCC Program began in Australia with three topic areas, Coronary Heart Disease, Diabetes, and Access and Care Redesign. In July 2009 two additional ERPs were created to work together on the new topics of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and Chronic Disease Prevention and Self Management.

The APCC has Expert Reference Panels in the five topic areas of: 

Last Updated 28 August 2014