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Brightwell Health team

Our Team

At Brightwell Health, our committed team is here to provide support, assistance, and guidance to help you explore your options.

GP Specialists

Dr Kate Hagger

GP Specialist

Kate (she/her) is a GP Specialising in reproductive and sexual health. 

Kate is passionate about providing patient-centred, supportive, medical care across all areas of reproductive and sexual health and is a strong advocate for reproductive rights. Kate studied Medicine at Newcastle University, and since then has continued to follow her passion for women’s health care, sexual and reproductive health, and pregnancy care. Kate has worked across several GP clinics, and specialised sexual health clinics both in Newcastle, the Central coast and Sydney, before establishing her own independent Women’s Health Clinic in Port Macquarie. Through her patient advocacy work with the local health district, she helped establish a care pathway for women struggling with complications from terminations of pregnancy, and her own clinic became one of the first clinics to offer abortion care on the Mid North Coast. 

She recently returned to Newcastle with her family, and works across several roles including as a GP VMO at John Hunter Hospital in the Early Pregnancy Assessment Service/Acute Gynaecology Service and Antenatal Clinic, as well as a Forensic Medical examiner for the Newcastle Sexual Assault Service. 

Kate has undertaken extended training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, completing a Diploma in Obstetrics & Gynaecology (DRANZCOG) which incorporates the Women’s Health Certificate as well completing the FPAA National Certificate in Sexual & Reproductive Health. Kate is a trained and experienced IUD inserter (Hormonal and copper devices), as well as Implanon inserter. 

As such Kate can help with sexual health issues as well as reproductive health concerns for either men or women, and offer a full range of family planning services including shared antenatal care. 

Dr Phoebe Walsh

GP Specialist

Phoebe (she/her) grew up in Newcastle and is proud to call herself a Novocastrian. Phoebe studied Medical Science at UNSW and Medicine at the University of Sydney, before coming back to Newcastle to finish her GP training. 

Phoebe has a Diploma from the Royal Australian & New Zealand College of Obstetricians and gynaecologist (DRANZCOG), and holds a FPAA National Certificate in Reproductive and Sexual Health. 

These qualifications are in addition to her years of work as a GP both within a busy medical centre, and working at Family Planning NSW. 

She is a certified trainer and inserter for both hormonal and copper intrauterine devices, and contraceptive implants. 

Phoebe is a passionate supporter of reproductive rights and is currently leading a project with Family Planning NSW which focuses on improving access to Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARCs) and abortion care in regional NSW. 

Dr Sally Sweeney

GP Specialist

Sally graduated from University of NSW in 2003 and has over 20 years clinical experience. She has expertise in sexual and reproductive medicine and is heavily involved in clinical research. Sally can assist with a range of issues and healthcare including all pregnancy concerns, including pre-conception, antenatal care, and unplanned pregnancy management, contraception including IUD insertions, menopause healthcare, period control and management, sexual healthcare (including STI screening and treatment), as well as patient recruitment into various clinical trials and research studies.  

Sally additionally works in private General Practice, on the GP Access After Hours Clinic Roster and is a Visiting Medical Officer with the Hunter New England Voluntary Assisted Dying Service.  

Sally is Medical Lead at Family Planning Australia Research Centre and is a Conjoint Senior Lecturer with the School of Medicine & Public Health, University of Newcastle. She has been a past clinical examiner for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners and is a current RACGP Registrar supervisor. She has several peer reviewed publications in sexual and reproductive health and is currently a Chief Investigator on several NHMRC research grant projects. 

In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family and her cheeky labradoodle, running, cycling, reading good books, and enjoying good food and wine. 

Dr Gemma Halliday

GP Specialist

Gemma has a particular interest in reproductive and sexual health and approaches each patient in a holistic manner across the full range of life stages. She has extensive experience in managing sexually transmitted infections, sexual dysfunction, menstrual cycle issues and menopause along with offering tailored contraceptive advice. Gemma is also skilled in pregnancy options counselling and preconception counselling along with providing shared antenatal care. Gemma completed her medical degree at the University of Sydney in 2008 before moving to Newcastle in 2011 to attain her Fellowship in the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. She completed the Sexual Health and Family Planning Australia Certificate in Sexual and Reproductive Health in 2013. 

Gemma also works as a Forensic Medical Examiner for the Newcastle Sexual Assault Service and has specialised training in providing trauma informed care and responding to domestic and family violence.  

When not at work, Gemma loves spending time with her husband and two children and enjoys travelling, cooking and walking her giant dog Malo. 

Dr Georgina Girdler

GP Specialist

Georgina is a specialist GP with additional qualifications in paediatrics and women’s health including sexual health, pregnancy, breastfeeding and infant care. She completed her undergraduate and medical degrees at Wollongong University in 2015 and pursued medical specialisation working in and around Newcastle.

Georgina has spent several years in the NSW Snowy Mountains region working in both the hospital obstetric service and rural general practice. Family medicine is her passion and so Georgina enjoys managing children’s health, fertility and menopause. Georgina also enjoys the complexity of general medicine and chronic disease management. Outside of work Georgina enjoys spending time outdoors with her own young family adventuring around the national parks and coastal hideaways.

Dr Tim Berwick

vasectomist

Dr Tim Berwick is a Vasectomy Specialist and General Practitioner, with a Bachelor of medicine (BMed), FRACGP, DipCH, and proud Newcastle local. 

Specialising in no-scalpel vasectomies, Tim offers high quality care for his patients, in a supportive, professional environment – with a goal to minimise the anxiety associated with getting a vasectomy. 

“I really enjoy and take pride in my work. Vasectomy is an important service to provide – it’s low cost and low risk. I believe I provide a high standard of care, not only in the surgery itself but in ensuring my patients are appropriately informed and followed up with, while also making sure they feel as comfortable as possible throughout” 

Dr Tim is also an avid football player and fan alike, loves to cook (and enjoy eating his creations!) and is a valued member of the Brightwell Health team! 

We are trained specialists GPs in sexual, reproductive and gynaecological health ready to support you.
Whether it be one of the forementioned services, or related to: 

  • Period pain and management 
  • Mental health 
  • Pregnancy preparation or prevention 
  • Pregnancy services including antenatal Care & post natal care 
  •  Urinary incontinence and other bladder problems such as bladder pain and recurrent UTI’s 
  • Abnormal cervical screening and colposcopy 
  • Period management   
  • PCOS   
  • Hormonal mood disorders 
  • Genital skin infections or concerns 

Gynaecological Services

Dr Ashmita Desai

Obstetrician, Gynaecologist & Advanced LapAroscopic Surgeon

Dr Ashmita Desai is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with a special interest in minimally invasive and pelvic floor surgery, including excision of endometriosis and other complex gynaecological procedures. 

She is a caring, soft-spoken, and empathetic specialist with over a decade of experience in all areas of obstetric and gynaecological practice. She is dedicated to providing patient-centric, evidence-based care and advocates for a comprehensive approach to women’s health. 

She completed her FRANZCOG Training Program at John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle and the Hunter New England Health Network, Australia. She has done a year as the Gynaecological Oncology Fellow at Hunter Centre for Gynaecological Cancers at John Hunter Hospital and is continuing to further her skills in Advanced Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery through the Advanced Gynaecologic Endoscopic Surgical Fellowship in Newcastle. She has practised in several rural, regional, and tertiary hospitals across Australia. 

She completed her MBBS and specialist post-graduate training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute, and St Martha’s Hospital in Bangalore, providing her with extensive experience in open and vaginal surgery. 

Dr Desai consults privately at Arogya For women@ Brightwell Health in Hunter Street and at Health HQ, Salamander Bay. She operates privately at Newcastle Private and Lingard Hospitals and publicly at Maitland Public Hospital. She is a staff specialist and the RANZCOG Training Supervisor at Maitland Hospital and a VMO at the John Hunter Hospital.  www.Arogyaforwomen.com.au 

Dr Frida Carswell

gYNAECOLOGIST, Urogynaecologist & Advanced Laparoscopic Surgeon

Dr. Frida Carswell is a leading Urogynaecologist specialising in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the female urinary system and pelvic floor. She has expertise in all facets of gynaecological practice and surgery, including advanced and minimally invasive procedures, with special interest in management of pelvic organ prolapse, urinary and faecal incontinence, bladder disorders including pain and recurrent urinary tract infections, birth injuries, fistulas and complications from mesh procedures. 

Dr. Carswell is dedicated to improving the quality of life for women. She believes in holistic care, empowering women by involving them in their healthcare decisions, and prioritizing their comfort and well-being. 

Originally from Sweden, Dr. Carswell studied medicine at the University of Newcastle in Australia. After graduating, she completed specialist training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in Sydney and Newcastle. 

Dr Carswell then pursued extensive sub-specialty training in Urogynaecology, becoming one of the select few Gynaecologists to undergo an additional four years of specialised training, completing a Fellowship in Urogynaecology at St. Thomas Hospital in London and three years at Monash and Mercy hospital in Melbourne.

Dedicated to advancing her field, and caring for women in the Hunter New England Area, Dr. Carswell holds a staff specialist position at John Hunter Hospital, actively engages in research, and serves as a conjoint lecturer at the University of Newcastle. She also contributes to shaping the future of Urogynaecology as a board member of the Urogynaecology Association of Australia. 

Dr Carswell has operating lists at several hospitals in the Newcastle area, including Lingard Private Hospital, Lake Macquarie Private Hospital, John Hunter Hospital, and Belmont Hospital. 

Allied Health Services

Amanda Fletcher

Clinical Psychologist

Amanda (she/her) is a clinical psychologist with a warm and genuine therapeutic style. She has worked as a psychologist in Newcastle since 2010, and has experience supporting people through a range of mental health concerns, including mood disorders, anxiety, trauma, grief and loss, stress, chronic pain, substance use, and relationship difficulties. 

Amanda is passionate about supporting individuals through life challenges and helping them achieve personal goals. She holds a special interest in perinatal and women’s health, bringing a nuanced understanding of the unique psychological aspects associated with various stages of a woman’s life. 

Amanda’s treatment approach is compassionate and personalised, tailoring therapeutic interventions to meet the unique needs and goals of each individual. She uses a wide range of evidence-based therapy methods, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Compassion-Focused Therapy, DBT Skills, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness techniques.  Amanda prioritises an inclusive, supportive, and safe therapy space with a focus on holistic and trauma-sensitive care. She acknowledges and respects the diverse neurological experiences of individuals. 

A graduate of the University of Newcastle, Amanda completed her Masters of Clinical Psychology with distinction, and a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (Psychology), on un-ceded Awabakal Land. Amanda holds full registration with clinical endorsement from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and is a Board Approved Supervisor, with a commitment to professional development and mentorship within the field of psychology.  

Maz Jenkins

Clinical Psychologist

Maz (she/her) is a clinical psychologist who lives and works on Awabakal land. She is passionate about working alongside people as they overcome challenges and advocate for their wellbeing. She has worked in public multidisciplinary teams for seven years, with adults and young people experiencing difficulties with substance use, mood disorders, trauma, anxiety and with individuals presenting with chronic pain. She has a special interest in working with young people and adults presenting with chronic pain and substance use concerns, with a focus on developing greater awareness of the connection between the mind and the body. 

She is a collaborative, reflective and warm therapist who is trained in a number of evidence-based approaches including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Enhanced CBT and Emotional Awareness and Expression Therapy. She is committed to inclusive and safe practice that prioritises people finding meaning in their life and feeling more connected to their communities and themselves.  

Maz completed her Masters of Clinical Psychology from Curtin University in 2016 with high distinction, and Bachelor of Science with honours in psychology from UNSW. Maz holds full registration with clinical endorsement from the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and is a Board Approved Supervisor. 

Melissa Cox

Psychologist

With a strong background in all aspects of developmental psychology, Melissa has more than 20 years experience working with individuals, couples and families presenting with a broad range of difficulties including anxiety, depression, trauma related distress, neurodivergence, grief and loss.  

More recently, she has also developed a special interest in eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR), a targeted evidence-based therapy for symptoms of PTSD, specific phobias and panic disorder. She is also a Gottman trained relationship therapist. When not working, Mel can be found walking her 2 doggies on the beach! 

Rebecca Martin

Physiotherapist

 Rebecca Martin is a mother of two children, married to a husband passionate about mountain biking, and is an avid sportswoman herself.  

Sport has always held significant importance in her life, serving as meditation during times of needing clarity, fostering friendships through shared experiences like cycling long distances, and providing a valid excuse to indulge in chocolate. 

Following the birth of her son, Rebecca experienced firsthand the transformative changes in her body and embarked on a journey to rediscover her ‘new normal’ while rebuilding her strength. This journey led her to specialize in physiotherapy for women’s health, driven by the belief that exercise empowers women, strengthens their bodies, and when undertaken safely, plays a vital role in promoting healthy pregnancies, births, and postpartum recovery. 

With over 20 years of experience as a UK-trained physiotherapist, Rebecca holds a postgraduate certificate in clinical physiotherapy and a Masters in women’s health physiotherapy from Curtin University, Perth. She serves as a visiting lecturer for Curtin University and as an Instructor for the Australia Physiotherapy Association 

Rebecca offers a unique and specialized physiotherapy service tailored specifically for women in the local Newcastle area, providing treatments, classes, and workshops aimed at supporting women’s bodies through pregnancy, birth, and beyond. 

Also practicing out of her own clinic, see more information about Rebecca here.

Laura Coventry

Physiotherapist

 Laura is the founder and lead physiotherapist of PhysioFemina, a dedicated women’s health physiotherapy service.  

Laura’s personal dedication to fitness gives her firsthand insight into the frustrations women may encounter when unable to engage in their desired physical activities. With this understanding, she guides patients through their rehabilitation journey, helping them regain confidence and return to exercise transformed. 

Laura’s approach is rooted in core values—Connect, Inspire, Grow, and Collaboration—underpinning her dedication to healthcare. She prioritizes building strong connections with patients, inspiring positive change, fostering growth through education, and promoting collaboration between patients and healthcare professionals. 

Laura offers tailored treatment plans and a nurturing environment for women of all ages and life stages. Whether addressing pelvic floor issues, musculoskeletal concerns, or providing support during pregnancy and postpartum, Laura empowers women to take control of their health, regain confidence, and lead vibrant lives.

You can find more information on Laura here

Laura Otton

Dietitian

Laura is an enthusiastic and friendly Newcastle dietitian. She has worked clinically in both private practice and hospital settings and has experience working with families who have a child with a disability as well as in eating disorders and mental health. Laura is committed to providing the best evidence-based approach to nutrition and has completed a systematic review of the nutritional complications following weight loss surgery. She is experienced in providing nutrition support therapy and counselling in oncology, diabetes, gastrointestinal conditions, PCOS, pregnancy and fertility, healthy eating and weight management. Laura is passionate about working with you to provide realistic and practical healthy lifestyle changes.

Nursing and Management

Diane Welch

Registered Nurse/ Midwife

With a passion for women’s health and dedication to providing compassionate care, Diane is a registered Nurse/Midwife who has transitioned into specialising in gynaecology and urodynamics. 

Her experience as a registered nurse/midwife has provided a strong foundation in obstetrics, gynaecology, and women’s health. 

Diane studied nursing at The University of New England. After graduating she completed her training in Midwifery in Sydney, from which she transitioned into Gynaecology with further training in the field of Urodynamics. 

She works closely with Dr Frida Carswell, a Urogynaecologist and Dr Asmitha Desai, a Gynaecologist. In collaboration with Dr Carswell and Dr Desai, she is committed to providing comprehensive care that addresses both the physical and emotional aspects of women’s health, empowering patients to make informed decisions about their care, providing personalised care, empathy, respect, and a commitment to promoting health and wellness. Diane’s professional and caring personality creates a calm experience for all outpatients. 

Michelle Burt

Practice Manager

As a Practice Manager at Brightwell Health, Michelle Burt brings a wealth of experience and qualifications to the role.  

With a Diploma in Practice Management, Certificate IV in Community Pharmacy, and Workplace Training and Assessment, Michelle is dedicated to perpetual growth and development.  

Michelle serves as the backbone of our team, ensuring seamless operations and organisational efficiency. With a steadfast dedication to continuous improvement and cultural awareness, she is the perfect fit for the position. With unwavering determination, boundless enthusiasm, and vibrant demeanour drives Michelle to continuously seek knowledge and embrace new challenges. 

With a solid foundation in medical administration and a proven track record as a Practice Manager, Michelle possesses a diverse skill set, thriving in demanding roles and relishing in problem-solving opportunities. With deep compassion, Michelle ensures that every patient who walks through Brightwell Health’s doors feels supported and understood, fostering a nurturing environment where individuals can feel safe and valued. 

Outside of work, Michelle finds joy in gardening, bushwalking, embroidery, and yoga, activities that nourish their soul and recharge her spirit. Above all, her genuine love for people drives Michelle’s desire to help others become the best versions of themselves. 

Administration Team

Our fantastic administration team waiting to welcome you.

Your health is important to us, and we can provide judgement free, unbiased advice to advocate for you, and help you in your personal health journey.  
Wherever you’re at in life. 

Book in with one of our specialists here.