Executive and Board Members

Below is a short bio on each of our board members.

Ricky Puata


Ricky Puata (LLB) is the Chair for Cancer Care Western and has served on the Board since 2016. He currently works for the Department of Regional NSW as the Deputy Director, Regional Delivery & Coordination in Western NSW. In this role, Ricky leads a team that facilitate program and service delivery reform and engagement with communities to support improved outcomes in regional development and liveability across regional NSW and ensures the Government’s priorities are met at a regional level to deliver a strong economy, better services and safer communities, and to protect the vulnerable. Before this, for over six years, Ricky worked in the health and community engagement space and was the Cancer Council NSW Regional Manager covering Western NSW. In this role, Ricky was responsible for community engagement and the efficient, effective and timely operations of the Western NSW region.

With a particular passion for better outcomes in regional New South Wales, particularly health, Ricky also sits on the Western NSW Primary Health Network Community Council and the Orange Health Liaison Committee to advocate change for our regional areas. Outside of work and community involvement, Ricky is an avid sports watcher, traveller and enjoys spending as much time as possible with family.

John Carpenter

Vice Chairman

John was born and educated in Orange before becoming an exchange student in the USA for twelve months and then completing an Arts/Law degree at ANU. John has been a solicitor in Orange for 45 years, is a nationally qualified Mediator, Public Notary and was Chairman of Central West Law Society for 5 years.

John is a Life Member of Apex, is currently a member of the Palliative Care Committee and is Chairman of Cancer Care Western NSW which he has had a passionate involvement in since its incorporation.

John is married to Gay and loves spending time with his family as well as pursuing his hobbies; snow skiing, cycling, scuba diving and fitness.

Sharon Boog


Sharon has lived in Orange most of her life and works in the medical administration field, firstly for the Orange Hospital, and now The University of Sydney.  She is a Life Member of the Orange Netball Association and has represented her community as a Councillor on Orange City Council.  She has been on the Board of Cancer Care Western since 2007.  Sharon’s passions are her grandchildren and travelling.

David Kennedy

Management Liaison

A former veterinary epidemiologist and beef producer, David and his wife have enjoyed living in Orange and district for nearly 30 years. Family experiences with cancer have heightened his awareness of the importance of high quality treatment and support in regional areas. An active member of the Orange Male Voice Choir and Friends of the Orange Botanic Gardens, he also likes relaxing outdoors, swimming, walking and gardening.

Reg Kidd

Board Member

B Sci Agric, M.Edu, Diploma of Sustainable Agric, Horticulture Cert. Cert 4 in Training & Assessment. 32 years in local government including Mayor 2008-2009 & 2017-2022

Reg worked as a lecturer at TAFE and Orange Ag College, before starting his own Agricultural Consulting Business. Reg has been driven to improve opportunities for country people and promote Orange. He helped achieve this as the Deputy Chair of Regional Development Australia, as a Community member on both the University of Sydney Rural Health Advisory Board and CSU School of Medicine Board and the inaugural Chair of the Orange Health Advisory Committee. Reg has been involved in RUOK/Black Dog awareness and fundraising events, as well as being on the first working group for Push for Palliative. Reg has been a Board member of CCW for over 10 years. Reg and his wife Kerry continue their involvement in many community organisations.

Bruce Homan

Board Member

Bruce spent his earlier years in the Orange district. He commenced his career as a mining engineer located near Mudgee. This led to Sydney based roles in funds management and then a period with NSW Treasury in its Energy Branch. After time with a company seeking to develop a fertilizer project, Bruce returned to Orange to help with his family property running beef cattle. Bruce is thoroughly enjoying his return to Orange and assisting Cancer Care Western. In spare time he enjoys gardening and watching the progress of his wife’s landscape painting.

Helen Miller

Board Member

Helen has more than 35 years of experience in health care and aged care management in the public and not-for-profit sectors. She works at an executive level, with experience managing multiservice and diverse teams across large geographic areas. Helen is committed to workforce development and customer care and is abreast of the challenges and opportunities faced by the health and aged care sectors. Helen currently works as Executive General Manager, Aged and Communities, LiveBetter Community Services, in Orange NSW

Dr Jamie Gordon

Board Member

Dr Gordon is a retired Consultant Neurologist and he had a particular interest in Epilepsy. He started in practice in Orange in 1982 and was the first full-time country-based Neurologist in Australia. During his time in Orange he has served the Medical community as Chair of the Medical Staff council at Orange Base Hospital for two years and he served on an Orange Council committee to help the relocation of the NSW Department of Agriculture to Orange. He has over years volunteered to serve on multiple hospital committees.

He served as a Board member of Wontama Nursing Home and was deputy Chair at the end of the time the local board existed. He has also, until recently been a committee member of the Orange Bridge Club. He sees public service as an honour and very fulfilling.

Christine Messenger

Board Member

Christine is a former nurse and retired solicitor practicing in the central West for 40 years, and has been a board member of Cancer Care West for 10 years.

Christine is passionate about country people receiving superior cancer treatment close to their homes. Where this is not possible, country people should have access to support and comfortable, inexpensive accommodation close to their treatment facilities.

Christine loves to spend time with her family and friends, particularly enjoying a meal and a glass of wine, some lively discussion and laughter. When not engaged in these activities, Christine spends her time reading, gardening, enjoying walks, skiing, the sea and travel.

Stuart Porges

Board Member

Stuart Porges OAM, MB BS FRACS was a General Surgeon in Orange, also working at other smaller western towns, from 1997 until about 2004. He had a special interest in breast cancer especially in the later years of his career and was very concerned about the lack of radiotherapy services in Western NSW, with many patients either needing to travel long distance for treatment or unfortunately forgoing radiotherapy and sustaining inferior cure rates.

In 1995 was very involved in pushing to have a Breast Screen centre in Orange, in 2010 to have radiotherapy included in the new Orange Hospital at the Bloomfield site, and in October 2011 the development of Western Care Lodge to accommodate cancer patients from Western NSW, having radiotherapy in Orange.