Welcome to our Life Members!

Kadie Cheney

The world of Kadie is seen through eyes that have spent the majority of life on the Gold Coast when sand hills graced our beaches and push bikes were our safe mode of transport. Moving to Kinka Beach has brought back floods of memories of what that early life was like.

I trained as a Registered Nurse at Southport Hospital (now called Gold Coast) in the seventies. However it wasn’t until the nineties when a friend talked to me about getting a degree that I started my dance with academia.

I obtained my Post Reg degree and discovered a love of learning and in the ensuing years I completed formal qualifications of a Grad Dip of Further Education and Training and a Masters in Nursing.

During my work life I have worked permanent night duty in Cas (now called ER), been a Services Coordinator for an innovative after hours medical service, started the Association of Medical Receptionists and developed a Medical Receptionist training course, owned and managed a restaurant, lectured in nursing at Griffith University Gold Coast campus, been a Nurse Educator with Blue Care, worked as a project officer at QNC and now I am here, in the CAS program.

I have a deep interest in pain assessment especially in those who are cognitively impaired, and I have profound respect for my professional colleagues who view their lives from a philosophy of ‘my cup’s half full’.

Being a grandmother is my favourite thing although walking on the beach, drumming at full moon, and spending time with my buddies is hard to beat.

My belief is that effective communication is the platform to all other aspects of life.


Jill Ellis

Jill has been a member of the AMR since 1988. A Committee member for 19 years, she has held positions of Hon. Secretary over six years, Editor of Newsletter for eight years and was awarded Life Membership in 2001.

Jill worked in Marketing at Pindara Hospital and for the Moran Health Care Group at Moran Clinic (now John Flynn Hospital). She also acted as Administrator of Moran Clinic prior to its sale and at Palm Beach-Currumbin Clinic during its changeover from Medical & Surgical Hospital to Drug, Alcohol, Mood and Eating Disorders Rehabilitation Clinic.

Jill moved to the Gold Coast from Melbourne in 1986. She enjoys doing community work and has been Secretary of the Templestowe Branch of Australian Red Cross, Surfers Paradise Chamber of Commerce, Murwillumbah Business & Tourism Corporation over past years. She has just concluded three years as Chairman of Rotary Oceania Medical Aid for Children and is now Secretary of ROMAC's Northern Region.

Jill left the medical industry in 1995 but has continued her involvement with the AMR. "I have really enjoyed the lasting friendships I have made and the outstanding contributions made by so many", she said.

Jill works part time in her husband's Consultancy business and is a member of Royal Queensland Art Society. She has been a keen painter for over 30 years.


Clarice Drescher

In February 1988, Clarice was working as a trained nurse with Dr Boyd Bouvier (General Surgeon) at Lister House, Queen Street, Southport. Dr. Bouvier was the first Surgeon on the Gold Coast.

Dorothy Gogolka (Foundation Member of the AMR) suggested to Clarice that she join the new movement which had been established for people working in Doctors’ Surgeries. On the 17th February 1988, Clarice became a member of the Association of Medical Receptionists Gold Coast.

Shortly after joining, she became a member of the Committee and has remained there ever since.

Dr. Bouvier retired in November 1996 and Clarice decided to do likewise. However, she took on the role of Branch Treasurer and set up an office in the lounge room of her duplex unit in Labrador until her family insisted (in November 2000) that she give up the office and reclaim her lounge room.

Clarice has continued on the Committee ever since, attending meetings and helping wherever possible, especially with raffles, which are a steady source of revenue for the AMR. She was also presented in 2005 with the badge and title of Historian.

Clarice performed the role of Treasurer over many years and was President of the Gold Coast Branch for a two year term.

She is looking forward very much to the 9th Biennial Seminar at the Watermark in Surfers Paradise in August.


Dorothy Gogolka

Dorothy joined the AMR at its inception. In 1987 an invitation was given to Medical Receptionists to attend an information meeting at Ashmore to see if there was any interest in forming an Association for Medical Receptionists. A month later, the first official meeting was held at Pindara Hospital. The first speaker was from Nuclear Medicine and it was on that evening that everyone became members and the Association was born.

Dorothy joined the AMR at its inception. In 1987 an invitation was given to Medical Receptionists to attend an information meeting at Ashmore to see if there was any interest in forming an Association for Medical Receptionists. A month later, the first official meeting was held at Pindara Hospital. The first speaker was from Nuclear Medicine and it was on that evening that everyone became members and the Association was born.

At the time Dorothy was working for Dr Kerry Sullivan, Paediatrician. She worked for him for almost 20 years and loved the work. During the years from 1987 (the inception of the AMR) and 2005 she was on the Committee in one form or another. Dorothy was President from 1989-1991 and was newsletter editor, secretary and PR person. It was a very exciting time as the AMR was so new and there were many hurdles to overcome. The very first Seminar was in 1989 where we had 25 delegates. The following Bi-Annual seminars were much bigger than that, at one time having 400 delegates.

During all this time Dorothy worked for Dr Sullivan and in 1994 she began working only four days as she started a Medical Employment Agency - Mediemploy. That was another challenge which she ran for two years before selling it as Dorothy and her husband Dietmar were leaving the Gold Coast to go travelling in their caravan, together with their beautiful little dog.

However in 1997 they bought 6 acres at Ballandean on Queensland’s Granite Belt (250kms SW of Brisbane). They used the land to move a 100 year old Queensland home, renovate and extend it and then ran it as a Bed & Breakfast for eight years. That was a much bigger challenge which they enjoyed very much. This, of course, was a joint effort, with Dietmar doing all the cooking, and Dorothy doing all the baking and administration.

Unfortunately Dorothy’s health began to suffer and because of this she was unable to help Dietmar, so reluctantly they put the business up for sale and eventually sold Ballandean Lodge early in January 2006.

As they had grown to love the Granite Belt so much and had made so many friends there, they bought five acres with a lovely home and established gardens. To keep themselves busy they are doing two markets each month and eventually they will become better known and visitors will know where to come for all the goodies they have for sale.

Who know what the future holds and what more challenges there will be for Dorothy and Dietmar but at the moment they are very happy in their new home and growing some vegetables for their own personal use.


Kim Doyle

Kim became a member of the AMR the first night the Association was founded at the Shooting Club at Ashmore. Kim felt at the time that medical receptionists seemed to have little contact with each other and was excited at the prospect of meeting colleagues and having the opportunity of communicating with them. Kim was working at Broadbeach Central Medical at the time and still keeps in contact with her former colleagues and employers.

Kim was voted first Vice President of the Association alongside Kadie Cheney, our founder and first President.

The Association brought new educational, social and professional opportunities to medical receptionists unlike we had ever known.

Kim made many friends that night and are among her closest friends to this day.

Kim moved to Toowoomba in October 1989 and in 1994, the first branch of our association was founded with much love, nurturing and support from the Gold Coast.

Dr Jim Blaikie, Kim’s employer at the time, was also a staunch supporter of the Association.

Kim is a surveyor with AGPAL, something she really enjoys doing. Most surgeries she visits are anxious and excited to achieve or maintain their accreditation.

Kim has written and taught VETEC accredited course in Medical Office Management.

Kim is a strong believer in continuous learning and improvement and continues to attend every educational opportunity she can.

Currently Kim is studying Certificate IV in Business with AMAQ training.


Adele J. Gilbertson

Adele arrived in this wonderful land some 34 years ago with her then 12 year old daughter. She was born in Wellington New Zealand, married, has two great children and is now the proud Nana of 5 grandchildren.

Adele began her career as a junior mail girl for the NZ Railways in the days when there were steam trains! After that she worked gaining experience with a printing business, an Insurance Company and then found a position as PA to the NZ Manager for an English car company which closed after 4 years.

Adele then found herself working for a Finance Company, P.S.I.S. (Kiwis will know this name) and worked her way up from the typing pool to Branch Manager’s Secretary.

Leaving her homeland of New Zealand to come to the Gold Coast, Adele gained valuable experience in the medical industry which included radiology, plastic surgery, rheumatology and after a short time living in Airlie Beach, where she opened a book shop, she finally returned to the Gold Coast where she found herself working at Allamanda Private Hospital as PA to the CEO.

Since semi retiring from that position Adele has 3 more grandchildren and has reunited with her childhood sweetheart, David. They applied for a position as Managers for a Retirement Village. This took many months of working extremely hard and caring for the elderly and as this proved to be quite demanding, the decision was made to seriously retire and this they did. This did not last long, as four years later Adele was approached by Dr John Kearney to join his team at the Gold Coast Eye Clinic as their PR rep and Adele is still with Dr Kearney, after four terrific years and loves her job!

Adele joined the AMR very early, when Ruben Pellerman owned Allamanda Private Hospital and she has found the AMR to be very rewarding and challenging.

“Communicating and networking with receptionists and secretaries is really satisfying and it gives me a great thrill of achievement when I sign up a new member knowing she/he will benefit from this extraordinary organization. The workshops, educational evenings and the fun times, are something special. The speakers who give their time freely to pass on their knowledge to receptionists are outstanding. I am very proud to be a part of this Association and the fact that I held the position of President for two years and even prouder to have received a Life Membership.” relates Adele.


Hilary Dobbie

Hilary was in the medical field for approximately 29 years and during that time she worked with GP's, a Gastroenterologist, Eye Specialists, an Orthopaedic Surgeon, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, and Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon.

Hilary became involved with the Association of Medical Receptionists approximately 14 years ago, firstly as a member but progressing to hold the positions of Committee Member, Treasurer, and ultimately National President of Central Council for several years. During this time Hilary was given the honour

of being awarded a Lifetime Membership by her peers. “I am eternally grateful. I have had the absolute pleasure of being involved with, and working alongside many wonderful AMR members who have not only been my peers in this field but also have become lifelong friends to boot. Members such as Clarice Drescher, Adele Gilbertson, Lesley Macey, Jill Ellis, Dorothy Gogolka, Rhonda Hughes, Rosalie Gessner (sadly now deceased), Kim Doyle, Jenny Todorovic, Neith Rainbow, Kadie Cheney to name but a few (there are many more, so sorry if I have left anyone out). These precious ladies have made an incredible and lasting impression on my life for which I can only thank each and everyone of them from the bottom of my heart. The laughter, fun, seminars, meetings and general friendships created throughout this time have been enormous.”

Hilary met Les Dobbie, an Accountant, in 1997, which ultimately led to their marriage in November 1999. This in turn led to her resignation from the medical ranks with an acceptance of the offer of being Les' Practice Manager to the Accountancy Practice. She worked with Les until October 2005 and formally retired and they now spend a fair bit of time travelling together in their caravan. “What you might call Grey Nomads!!! and we have the grey hair to go with it, too!”

They recently decided to build another home at Maudsland (Gold Coast) on an acre and a half. “We really love being out in the bush so to speak, and it gives us a base to keep coming back to from our travels.”

Hilary and Les have 15 grandchildren between them, with the latest addition of twins to her son Nathan and his wife Krissy, in Darwin. “Nathan is in the Army and has just returned from six months in Iraq so it was with great joy that I have only just returned from spending some time in Darwin with them all.”

Currently in the process of studying to become a Celebrant, Hilary will be able to perform marriages, funerals and namegiving ceremonies once her studies are complete.