Our Team

SKiP brings together a team of professionals who are dedicated to caring for children and adolescents with chronic pain. 

Our Board


​Co-Founder and Medical Lead
Dr. Cooke is co-founder of SKIP and the medical lead for our multi-discliplinary team. Dr. Cooke is a paediatric pain specialist who trained in Anaesthesia, then Pain Medicine through Fellowship at the Professor Tess Cramond Multidisciplinary Pain Unit. Dr. Cooke specialised in paediatric pain whilst consulting at the Seattle Children’s Hospital, Seattle, USA. She has also worked in the United Kingdom and has visited various developing countries. Dr. Cooke is a member of the Queensland Regional Committee, Faculty of Pain Medicine. She also enjoys travel, tennis and horse riding.
Justin Hartley MPA
Co-founder and Business Director
Justin is co-founder of SKIP and Business Director. Justin has extensive experience in chartered accounting, management consulting and investment banking within Australia, New York and London. He has volunteered for several charities over the years including five years with the 'Samaritans' in the UK. Justin enjoys sport, travel, photography and adventure activities. He has a particular interest in memory where he has represented Australia, held a 'Guinness World Record' and most recently became 'Australian Memory Champion'. Justin has recently completed a Masters in Public Administration at Harvard University.
Bernard McGowan
SKiP Director and Legal Counsel
Bernard is an experienced Brisbane based commercial lawyer. He qualified as a Solicitor in 1984 and has practiced continually since then, mainly in the field of commercial law. He has been a member of the partnership of Cranston McEachern Lawyers since 1986 and is admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland and High Court of Australia. He has an active interest in corporate governance and the not for profit sector. He acts for and sits on the board of several not for profit organisations, including Protect all Children Today Inc (PACT), Kids Safe Queensland Inc and Ethnic Communities Council of Queensland Limited.
Dr Mandy Neilsen
SKiP Director
Mandy is Vice President of Chronic Pain Australia. Her PhD thesis explored the social context experienced by people living with pain. With a social work background, Amanda is currently employed as a researcher in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Queensland. She has a deep interest in health literacy and chronic back pain, and has been involved in researching online information for people experiencing long term pain. Mandy has published work on the stigma of chronic pain and speaks regularly in the community and at conferences about the challenges experienced by people in pain in their daily lives as they experience common social barriers associated with chronic pain.

Clinical Team


Huong Nguyen
Clinical Coordinator / Occupational Therapist
Huong has been in the Clinical Coordinator role for SKiP since January 2016. She is passionate about multidisciplinary group pain management programs and fostering collaboration, support and knowledge sharing among health professionals. Huong helped develop the adolescent persistent pain management program at St Vincent’s Brisbane Private Hospital with Dr Cooke and she currently works in the Sunshine Coast Persistent Pain Management Service.
​Zoe Laack
Occupational Therapist
Zoe has worked as an Occupational Therapist at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Brisbane since 2010. During this time she has enjoyed working with children and adolescents with chronic pain conditions and has completed several projects and presentations in this area of interest. She is excited to be apart of the SKIP team as she loves seeing the impact her job has in enabling children and adolescents to reach their full potential in life.
Tamara Callaghan
Clinical Psychologist
Tamara is a clinical psychologist who has worked in the areas of child development, child and youth mental health, chronic pain and parenting. Tamara is particularly interested in the complex relationship between chronic pain, anxiety and mood difficulties in children. Tamara uses a systemic framework when working with children at SKIP, and is keen to support parents in empowering their children to take charge of their pain.
Nicole Haynes
Nicole is a physiotherapist from Q Paediatrics, a private practice which provides services to children, adolescents and young adults. Nicole has worked with the SKiP for many years as a private service provider before joining the team in 2015. Nicole values the service SKiP provides to children and families and is passionate about building awareness of persistent pain in the community and providing education to other health professionals.
Hannah Kennedy
Occupational Therapist
Hannah has worked as an Occupational Therapist at Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service since 2009. She has experience working with children, young people, adults and geriatrics, assisting them to re-engage in valued activities, roles and occupations. She has spent the last 4 years specialising in the area of persistent pain, in both clinical and research positions. Hannah enjoys working with the SKiP team although is yet to win a game of bocce or handball during the SKiP program!
Penny Mackay
Clinical Psychologist
Penny is a very experienced clinical psychologist who has worked in persistent pain management in hospital, community and private practice settings. She has worked with children, adolescents and adults with persistent pain. What she enjoys most about working for SKiP is the ability to work in an interdisciplinary team with other professionals to provide a holistic approach to patient care. She is currently on maternity leave with baby #2.