Meet Us

Our diverse and friendly team of doctors are encouraged to pursue special clinical interests whilst caring for the general health and wellbeing of children, adolescents, adults and families. On site allied health practitioners include a GP Counsellor, Clinical Psychologist, Naturopath and Dietitian. Our doctors and allied health team are well supported by our practice nurses and administration staff who work together to deliver excellent service and health care.

  • Doctors


    Dr Sally DownesBM, FRACGP

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    Dr Sally Downes graduated Bachelor of Medicine in the UK in 1988, and after moving to Australia in 1989 gained her Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners in 1997. Dr Downes has been with Stirling Central Health Clinic since 2000 and became Practice Principal in 2013. A very experienced GP with a diverse clinical background, Dr Downes is a past examiner for the RACGP (Sydney) and is an accredited Supervisor of our GP Registrars. Dr Downes has post graduate qualifications in skin cancer medicine, skin cancer surgery and dermatology, and an interest in travel medicine. Dr Downes practices 5 days a week and is happy to see new patients.


    Dr Don WallisMBBS

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    Dr Don Wallis is a University of Adelaide graduate (MBBS) and established the Stirling Clinic as a solo GP in 1989. Well known to the Adelaide Hills community, Dr Wallis continues to consult every day except Thursdays as he has done for many years. Outside of his busy general practice, Dr Wallis also assists a plastic surgeon in theatre on a regular basis and is involved in the teaching of our GP Registrars on a practical level during their consulting sessions. An extremely experienced medical practitioner in all aspects of general practice, Dr Wallis’ special interest is the examination of skin by dermatoscope and the removal of suspicious skin lesions.


    Dr Barb MorrisBMBS, FRACGP

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    Dr Barb Morris graduated medicine from Flinders University in 1990, attaining her Fellowship of Royal Australian College of General Practitioners in 1995. She has been working in the Adelaide Hills since 1991 and has been with the Stirling Central Health Clinic since 1996. Outside of her busy general practice, Dr Morris also assists an orthopaedic surgeon in theatre each week, giving her a depth of experience in musculoskeletal medicine. Dr Morris is extremely experienced in all aspects of general practice and has a special interest in women’s health. Dr Morris is also an accredited Supervisor of GP Registrars and has a passion for teaching.


    Dr Janet RichardsBHSci, MBBS, BMedSci (Public Health), FRACGP

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    Dr Janet Richards commenced working with the Stirling Central Health Clinic in 2008, graduating MBBS from the University of Adelaide in 2001. Also a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Dr Richard’s special interests include aged care and women’s health. Dr Richards is accredited by the Women’s and Children’s Hospital to provide antenatal shared care. She is happy to see new patients and is available for appointments 5 days a week.


    Dr Deb IrelandMBBS

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    Dr Deb Ireland joined our practice in December 2015 as a full time permanent GP, working 4 days a week as well as some Saturday mornings. Dr Ireland graduated medicine at Adelaide University and has a wealth of experience in Adelaide general practices with previous practices in the suburbs of Norwood, Parkside and Torrensville. Dr Ireland’s qualifications include a Diploma of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and her clinical background includes GP Obstetrics and Family Planning. Dr Ireland’s special interests are mental health and women’s health and she is accredited to provide shared antenatal care and the insertion/removal of Implanons. This practice welcomes new patients and we look forward to meeting those patients who have seen Dr Ireland before.


    Dr Sally TidemanBA, BMBS, MPH, FRACGP, FRACMA

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    Dr Sally Tideman graduated BMBS from Flinders University and worked at the Royal Adelaide and Flinders Hospitals before entering the GP Training program in South Australia. Dr Tideman completed her Fellowship in General Practice whilst working in Strathalbyn, Goolwa and McLaren Vale. In 1995 Dr Tideman and her husband travelled to the NT and worked in the remote east Arnhemland town of Nhulunby before working in a Darwin general practice for 5 years. On her return to Adelaide, Dr Tideman moved into Hospital and Health Service Management, completing a Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) in 2007. She has subsequently held Director of Medical Services roles at TQEH, Donatelife SA and currently at the RAH. Dr Tideman is delighted to be working in general practice again having joined our practice on a part-time basis in 2015.


    Dr Basil TsakalosMBBS, DipRACOG

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    Dr Tsakalos graduated medicine from the University of Adelaide in 1987 and worked in general practices as a locum before settling into his own full time General Practice in Adelaide for 18 years. Dr Tsakalos has completed post graduate training in obstetrics and gynaecology and is accredited for insertion and removal of the Implanon contraceptive device. With a particular interest in children’s health, Dr Tsakalos enjoys all aspects of general practice and joined our practice in May 2016. He is very happy to see new patients and the practice would be pleased to welcome any of Dr Tsakalos’ existing patients.


    Dr Joanna Starkey BA/BSc (Hons), MBBS, FRACGP

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    Dr Joanna Starkey graduated medicine from the University of Queensland in 2005 after completing a double degree in Arts and Science with Honours and moved back to Adelaide soon after. Dr Starkey’s clinical background includes eight years of experience in diverse hospital settings as part of Intensive Care training. In 2013 Dr Starkey transitioned from Intensive Care to General Practice training and graduated as a Fellow of the RACGP in 2015, joining the Stirling Central Health Clinic as a permanent GP in 2016. Dr Starkey enjoys all aspects of general practice from caring for babies through to older patients, and is accredited for shared antenatal care.


    Dr Romany TopsfieldBMBS (Hons), MPH, FRACGP, Dip Child Health

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    Dr Romany Topsfield graduated University of Adelaide with MBBS (Hons) in 2000. Following graduation she worked in both Darwin and Adelaide hospitals including a year of paediatrics at Flinders Medical Centre. Dr Topsfield completed her Fellowship of General Practice in 2007 and has the experience of working in several general practices. Dr Topsfield’s post-graduate qualifications include a Diploma of Child Health (2005) and a Masters of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (James Cook University, 2013.) She worked as a volunteer doctor in remote PNG in 2012, has additional training in Palliative Care (Daw Park, 2013) and a background in medical education at University of Adelaide and RACGP. Dr Topsfield is very happy to see new patients and is interested in all areas of general practice especially paediatrics, adolescent and young adult health, palliative care, travel medicine and chronic/complex medical conditions.


    Dr Sinclair BodeMBBS, FACNEM

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    Dr Sinclair Bode graduated MBBS from the University of Adelaide in 1986 and has been with the Stirling Central Health Clinic since 1998. Dr Bode has extensive training in integrative, environmental and nutritional medicine and is a Fellow of the Australasian College of Environmental and Nutritional Medicine. Dr Bode has a special interest in the treatment of children with autism spectrum disorders from an environmental and nutritional perspective. He is also an accredited Supervisor of GP Registrars and enjoys teaching the next generation of general practitioners.

  • GP Registrars

    A GP Registrar is a fully qualified doctor who is in the process of attaining specialist qualifications as a General Practitioner through vocational or on the job training. GP Registrars train in a variety of practices before sitting their exam to become a Fellow of the Australian College of General Practitioners.

    Dr Sally Downes, Dr Don Wallis, Dr Barb Morris and Dr Romany Topsfield are all accredited Supervisors and actively supervise our GP Registrars.


    Dr Nina HolmwoodB.Sc(biotec), MD

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    Dr Nina Holmwood graduated medicine from Flinders University after completing a Bachelor of Science at Adelaide University. She has experience working in a rural setting after two years of working in Mt Gambier prior to commencing specialisation in General Practice. She enjoys cooking and gardening in her spare time. Dr Holmwood is very happy to see new patients and we are very pleased to welcome her to our medical team.

  • Specialists


    Dr Carissa YapRespiratory & Sleep Physician, MBBS, FRACP

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    Dr Carissa Yap is a specialist Respiratory and Sleep Physician who practices with a personalised, caring approach to suit the needs of individual patients. Dr Yap graduated with distinction from Monash University (MBBS) in Melbourne in 2009. She then trained as a Physician at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and subsequently specialised in Respiratory Medicine at Flinders Medical Centre with emphasis on a wide range of lung disorders. Dr Yap also specialised in Sleep Medicine at Adelaide Institute for Sleep Health (AISH) which is renowned nationally as a leading tertiary centre for Sleep Medicine.

    Dr Yap is active in clinical research to advance the field of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine. She recently completed an extensive prospective research study at AISH in collaboration with CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) and FHBHRU (Flinders Human Behaviour & Health Research Unit) to achieve weight loss in overweight patients with obstructive sleep apnoea.

    Dr Carissa Yap consults in a wide range of respiratory and sleep disorders, in particular

    • Sleep apnoea
    • Insomnia
    • Sleepiness
    • Chronic coughs
    • Breathing difficulties
    • Asthma
    • COPD lung infections and malignancies
    • Narcolepsy
    • Restless legs syndrome

    Dr Carissa Yap takes priority in meeting the individual wellbeing needs of her patients and constantly considers their preferences in managing their illnesses. She is known for her good rapport with her patients at comprehensive consultations, taking time to address her patients’ concerns and queries as well as providing optimal follow up.

    Appointments are available at Stirling by phoning reception on 83709777. If you are not a patient of this practice you are very welcome to book in to see Dr Yap with a referral from your GP and Dr Yap will write back to your own practice. Dr Yap charges a reduced fee if you have a current pension or health care card.

  • Mental Health


    Dr Nina TonkinGP Family Therapist, MBBS, Dip.Child Health (UK), Grad Dip. Family Therapy

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    Dr Nina Tonkin is a general practitioner, having graduated MBBS from the University of Adelaide in 1981. After a clinical career in paediatrics and general practice, Dr Tonkin now consults exclusively as a Family Therapist. Dr Tonkin has extensive training in paediatrics, child and adolescent mental health and working with families, with post graduate qualifications in Child Health and Family Therapy. Dr Tonkin’s special interests are in psychological medicine, working with families, working with adolescents and EMDR therapy for the treatment of PTSD. Dr Tonkin is experienced in working with both individuals and families experiencing the following:

    Children and adolescents:

    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Grief
    • Bullying
    • Behavioural difficulties
    • Eating disorders
    • School avoidance
    • Eating disorders
    • School avoidance


    • Family separation and divorce
    • Marital/relationship issues


    • Grief counselling
    • Marital separation
    • Relationship issues
    • PTSD

    Dr Tonkin consults at Stirling on Mondays, Thursdays and some Saturday mornings and is very happy to see new patients. Appointments can be made by calling reception on 83709777.


    Sally BaronPsychologist and Play Therapist, BA (Hons) Psych, MMHSc., MAPS

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    Sally is a registered Psychologist and a Play Therapist. She has a Master’s degree in Mental Health Science, specialising in Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and advanced clinical training in Child Centered Play Therapy. Sally’s work experience expands over 15 years working with children, young people and their families. Following her Master’s degree, Sally was inspired by the greater depth of many child and adolescent psychotherapies including play therapy - a humanistic, evidence based approach. Talking therapies can be difficult and restrictive for children when exploring their thoughts and feelings. Children do not always have the level of vocabulary needed to fully explore their experiences which may limit the therapy work. A play environment, on the other hand, is developmentally appropriate, comfortable and familiar to children enabling safety and trust in the therapeutic relationship, where healing and growth can occur.

    Sally provides Play Therapy sessions for children (3-11 years) where a child can use the safety and familiarity of play to support optimal growth and healing or individualised psychotherapy for adolescents (12-18 years) to address a range of mental health concerns eg:-

    • Depression / Anxiety
    • Attachment difficulties
    • Trauma
    • Grief and Loss
    • Mental illness in the family
    • Abuse (emotional, physical or sexual)
    • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
    • Family breakdown
    • Medical anxiety
    • School problems

    Sally is a Medicare provider and clients with a Mental Health Care Plan from their GP will be receive a rebate on fees. Alternatively, private health rebates may apply. Sally is not a registered NDIA provider however she can see self-managed NDIA clients.

    Sally consults on Wednesday and Saturday mornings at Stirling Clinic. For appointments, contact Sally directly by phone or email below. Further information is also available on her website.

    • M 0423 331 465
    • E
    • W

  • Allied Health


    Amanda MaherCredentialled Diabetes Educator
    RN, CDE, GDip(GenPrac&Emerg), GradDipHlthEd(Diab), GradCertRemoteHlthPrac

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    A Credentialled Diabetes Edcuator (CDE) is qualified to provide patients with consistent high quality diabetes education and care to patients with diabetes and works with your GP and other members of your treating team. Amanda Maher has an extensive nursing background in general practice, research, teaching, emergency, remote health practice and indigenous health. She began to specialise in chronic disease management including diabetes in 2005, became a diabetes educator in 2010 and a Credentialled Diabetes Educator in 2013. Amanda is passionate about supporting patients in their journey to living well with diabetes and is a compassionate listener with a wealth of experience, training and expertise.

    Patients from other practices are very welcome to book a diabetes appointment. Amanda consults from a separate part of the practice in a dedicated room and with your consent, she will write back to your own GP. A Medicare rebate may apply with an EPC referral under a Chronic Disease Management Plan from your GP or you may be covered by your private health insurance. Appointments are usually 1 hour and ongoing management is every 3-6 months, depending on your current treatment. If you are newly diagnosed you will usually need 2 x 90 minute appointments a couple of weeks apart, followed by 3 monthly reviews for the first 12 months. Amanda can help you with:

    • Blood glucose monitoring (including providing a glucometer)
    • Diet and lifestyle
    • Foot checks
    • Vaccination recommendations
    • Eye screening for diabetic retinopathy
    • Baseline ECG
    • Treatment plan recommendations
    • Goal setting
    • Risks and benefits of reaching target goals

    For further information or to book an appointment please call reception on 8370 9777. If you work full time Amanda is happy to offer appointments at 7.30am on request (please ask to speak to the Practice Manager.)


    Christelle ThomasRespiratory Nurse, RN

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    Christelle Thomas graduated nursing from Flinders University in 1999 and has a background in district nursing in the Adelaide Hills. She currently works in Aboriginal health services in Port Augusta and Whyalla, specialising as a Respiratory Nurse for the past 5 years. Christelle brings her experience and expertise in respiratory nursing to Stirling once a fortnight on a Monday and is happy to see children and adults with asthma and/or COPD.

    Christelle is passionate about primary health care and works with your GP to provide support and education in managing your lung condition. A consult will usually include spirometry, education, medication review, lifestyle advice and an action plan and Christelle can also chat with you about linking in with the Lung Foundation to help support wellbeing and health. Appointments are available via reception on 83709777. Christelle’s appointments are currently only available to patients of this practice.


    Julia TriggsAccredited Practicing Dietitian (APD), Accredited Practicing Nutritionist (APN)

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    Julia completed a Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2008 and a Bachelor of Science in 2004. She has experience in both the public and private sectors of health care and has worked at one of South Australia's largest acute hospitals since 2009 where she specialises in nutrition for gastrointestinal surgery and disease. Julia is experienced in delivering specific and tailored individualised dietary advice for a range of conditions including:

    • Obesity and weight control
    • Gastrointestinal disease and surgery
    • Irritable bowel syndrome and FODMAPS
    • Coeliac disease
    • Irritable bowel disease
    • Bariatric surgery
    • Bowel resections
    • Pancreatic disease
    • Liver disease
    • Diabetes
    • Cardiovascular disease
    • • Malnutrition and enteral nutrition

    Medicare may rebate some of the fee if you have a GP Management Plan for the management of a chronic disease. Your GP can let you know whether you qualify for a Plan. Alternatively, your private health insurance may rebate some of the cost. For further information, or to make an appointment here at Stirling, please call reception on 83709777.


    Christy AkinsAudiologist, BIS, Med, MAud

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    Christy Akins is a qualified audiologist who graduated from Flinders University with a Masters of Audiology in 2009. She has worked in hearing rehabilitation for several well-known practices and specialises in hearing assessment, tinnitus management, fitting hearing aids and communication strategies. Christy maintains a strong community focus and has travelled to aboriginal communities to provide hearing services to children's in indigenous communities. Her interest is in new hearing technologies and in providing individual rehabilitation that is tailored to the lifestyle of the client.

    Christy is experienced working with clients in the following areas:

    • Hearing assessment
    • Tinnitus management
    • Communication strategies
    • Hearing aids
    • Assistive listening devices
    • Hearing aid repairs
    • Pre-employment or occupational hearing tests
    • Children’s hearing tests
    • Tympanometry

    Appointments are available on Mondays and Wednesdays by phoning our front desk on 83709777. You do not have to be a patient of this practice to see Christy.

    Initial Free Screening

    • For any adult patient who has not already been diagnosed with hearing loss but is concerned about their hearing
    • No referral required
    • Free
    • 15-30 minutes

    Full Hearing Test

    • For adult patients with established hearing loss OR children OR occupational/employment testing
    • Free for patients on a pension or part pension or Veterans on a Gold Card
    • $75* fee for all other patients If referred under a chronic disease management plan and EPC referral $75 fee with a $52.95 Medicare rebate
    • 45-60 minutes

    * Introductory offer until 31/12/2016: The $75 fee will be waived for any adult patient who has had an initial screening with Christy. Excludes employment testing.

    Hearing Aid fitting appointment

    • initial fitting appointment for a new hearing aid
    • Free/government funded OR government contribution and client/health fund top-up OR privately funded
    • 45-60 minutes


    Rebecca Cowling Speech Pathologist, BSpPath

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    Rebecca Cowling is a certified practicing speech pathologist and has been in private practice in the Adelaide Hills and Murraylands since 2007. She graduated from Flinders University with a Bachelor in Speech Pathology in 2001 and is a member of Speech Pathology Australia. Rebecca provides a speech pathology service for children specialising in school age and adolescents and can assess, diagnose and provide therapy for a wide range of communication difficulties, including:

    • Speech delays and disorders
    • Language delays and disorders
    • Literacy difficulties
    • Alternative and augmentative communication (AAC)
    • Tongue thrust swallow and feeding

    With a background in clinical education with Flinders University, Rebecca can also provide education and support, including professional development, for parents, teachers, support staff and other health professionals. Rebecca is a Medicare provider and registered NDIS provider and consults at Stirling on Fridays. No referral is necessary. To make an appointment please contact Rebecca on 8390 0246 or 0417 820 907.


    Chloe Mazzeo Sleep Apnoea Consultant Manager, CLM Sleep Co.

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    Chloe is a PAP (Positive Airway Pressure) and BiLevel specialist credentialed by Philips Respironics and Resmed with over 4 years experience as a sleep apnoea consultant.

    Chloe has a diploma in education support and is currently furthering her knowledge with studying the Fundamentals of Sleep Medicine at the University of Sydney. She also has experience in Pharmacy with certificate III in community pharmacy. Chloe helps patients who have Sleep Apnoea and require PAP therapy. Patients start with trialling a PAP device to determine whether PAP therapy is suitable and find the best device and most suitable mask. If therapy is not suitable Chloe can discuss other treatment options with your referring physician. Chloe is passionate and driven to give patients a positive experience with using PAP therapy, ensuring they are as comfortable as possible with the device and mask for short and long-term adherence. Also, recognising that everyone is different, providing patients with an individualised holistic approach for therapy and sleep management.

    Chloe has experience with the following:

    • All brands of PAP equipment
    • Interpreting PAP therapy data
    • Sleep Diagnostics
    • Patient education and guidance
    • On-going PAP treatment and support
    • Complex Sleep Apnoea
    • Bi-Level PAP therapy
    • Assisting in achieving short and long-term adherence
    • Multi-disciplinary setting involving your doctor, sleep physician, clinical physiotherapist, dietitian, physiologist, clinical pharmacist to provide holistic sleep management.

    To make an appointment or for further information you can contact Chloe at CLM Sleep Co. on (08) 8344 6667.

  • Practice Nurses

    Our practice nurse team work in collaboration with our general practitioners in the provision of clinical care to our patients and play a key role in the delivery of primary care, health promotion and the management of acute and chronic conditions in our practice. Our practice nurses come from a variety of diverse clinical backgrounds and are all highly trained in general practice nursing with a commitment to excellent patient centred care.

    Practice nurse services include:

    • Childhood immunisations
    • Adult immunisations
    • ECG
    • Blood pressure readings
    • Point of care INR testing
    • Spirometry
    • Chronic disease management
    • Asthma Management
    • Diabetes care
    • GP Management Plans and Enhanced Primary Care
    • Wound dressings
    • Coordination of services (for example, home care services)
    • Emergency care

    Ange, Ingrid and Clare are all registered nurses and form our clinical practice nurse team. At least one registered nurse is here in the clinic Monday to Friday, with a second RN here three times a week. Our clinical nurse team is well supported by Diana, enrolled nurse, who is primarily responsible for our reminders and recalls and clinical support when needed.

    Appointments are required for practice nurses and can be made through reception on 83709777.

  • Reception & Administration

    Reception Team

    Our medical reception team will be your first point of contact with our clinic. Our medical receptionists are an experienced and well trained team who take pride in delivering excellent customer service. Reception staff can assist you with medical, nursing or allied health appointments and answer your questions, or direct you to someone who can. Alicia, Annie, Buffy, Jane, Kathryn, Michelle and Suzie look forward to taking care of you when you visit our practice..

    Office Manager

    John McQue is our Office Manager and you will meet him on the front desk in the mornings. John is responsible for supporting the Practice Principal in the administration of the practice. He is here 5 days a week and happy to help you wherever he can.

    Patient Accounts

    Kathryn Mangelsdorf looks after our patient accounts and can assist you with any queries or concerns you may have regarding your account. We appreciate full payment on the day and you will receive your Medicare rebate instantly.

    We welcome new employment queries. Please ask reception for John’s email address if you would like to apply to work with us.