Update on NewHope Medical

Published on May 24, 2023

We embarked on a journey of prayer, fasting and discernment as a NewHope Family back in October 2022, asking God for a clear pathway forward in terms of our NewHope Medical Centre.

God has answered our prayers, and we are happy to announce that the next chapter of this community focused ministry is about to start.

The assets, patient list and accreditation will be taken over by Total Wellbeing (TWB), lead by Pastor Rick Brouwer, as from 1 August 2023. This decision did not happen overnight and you will notice from the timeline below that it was carefully considered by the boards of NewHope Services Ltd. (NHS) as well as NewHope Medical Ltd. (NHM) over several months.

The general practice will continue at 522 Middleborough Road and TWB will sign a lease agreement with NewHope Community Care Inc. (NHCC). The Counselling will move to the Doncaster Road premises of TWB.

For those members of NewHope Baptist Church who made the decision to start this ministry on the initiative of Dr Joanna Teo as well as the team drafting the initial business plan, staff and contractors committed to this since we opened in March 2018 and our 4400 patients, we wanted to ensure we don’t rush into anything as we clearly heard God’s voice when we started off.

Several options were weighed up, including partnering, selling or closing after considering the main contributing factors:

  • Five years of deficits
  • Struggle to recruit more general practitioners
  • Medicare rebate not matching inflation
  • High need for bulk-billing
  • Mandatory bulk billing for COVID vaccinations
  • Survey in 2022 revealed 7/10 practice owners are concerned about financial viability
  • Inability to obtain status as a Public Benevolent Institution (PBI) with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC)

NewHope Baptist Church has been the main financial contributor of the investment and the loan to NewHope Medical Ltd. was coming close to the limit determined by Church Council and already re-evaluated in late 2022.

So yes, we are excited for this ministry to continue to bless this community while still having access to what we offer as NewHope. 

In a note to all contractors and staff,  Rick wrote the following:

There are some exciting changes ahead for NewHope Medical that will ensure that the great work that has occurred over the past years will continue well into the future. All change brings both challenge and opportunity and I am mindful that together we can balance this toward the opportunity, so that practitioners and counsellors can maintain and grow the ministry and work they are dedicated to.

Let me introduce myself. From a ministry perspective, I have been involved for over 40 years in varying capacities as a youth pastor, senior pastor, itinerant minister and now as a pastoral marriage counsellor. I have also produced materials and seminars that seek to assist people find greater wellbeing from a Holistic and Christian viewpoint. From a business and administrative perspective, I am the founding director of the Total Wellbeing Medical and Counselling Centre in Doncaster East. The Centre has over 25 years’ experience in managing a comprehensive, ministry focused and sustainable medical and counselling centre that has assisted thousands of people from both the Christian and wider community. Our Team of Christian GP’s, Nurses, Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Counsellors and Pathology collectors have enabled us to offer holistic care that seeks to improve the physical, mental, emotional, relational, financial and spiritual wellbeing.

From a personal perspective, Deanna and I have been married for over 40 years and have five grown children, four of which are married. We also have 4 wonderful grandchildren with 2 on the way in June. We love travelling, amongst other things, and hence we are away overseas at present celebrating 40 years together!

… After prayerful and thorough due diligence, we believe we have found a way forward that will be in the best interests of both NewHope and Total Wellbeing, balancing a Christian Ministry focus whilst maintaining ongoing viability…”


A full update will be given at the Annual General Meeting of NewHope Baptist Church on 21 June 2023 by Darryn Hockley who was part of the Working Group established by the board of NewHope Services Ltd. who are the Church Council members.


Timeline of NewHope Medical

December 2016: NHBC Church Council approve business plan

March 2017: Proposal presented to NHBC members & discussion groups

June 2017: Final approval by NHBC Church Council

September 2017: Company limited by guarantee registered with ASIC

September 2017: NHM Board established                                             

November 2017: NewHope Baptist Church Members approve new ministry 

December 2017: Baptcare Community Engagement Grant received $40K

December 2017: Funding from NHCC $51.5K

February 2018: Application to ACNC for charity registration

March 2018: Doors open 

August 2018: Deakin Community Award

March 2019: Full accreditation 

June 2019: 1000 patients mark

March 2020: Remain open all throughout the COVID years providing essential services

June 2021: First working group established to determine long term financial viability

November 2021: Members approval to apply for PBI status with ACNC

Jan – Jul 2022: NHM on the monthly agenda of NewHope Services Ltd. 

June 2022: Denise Forsyth concluded her role as Practice Manager

August 2022: NHM board members started fasting and praying

September 2022: NHBC Church Council joining fast and prayer

October 2022: Presentation to NHBC members 

October 2022: NewHope family called to pray, discern and be ready

October 2022: Working group established by NHS

November 2022: Budget for NHM was not presented for approval at members meeting

November 2022: First meeting between Rick Brouwer and NHM Working Group

November 2022: ACNC confirm their refusal to grant NHM PBI status

December 2022: Accreditation renewed

December 2022: Dr Walker retired

10 January 2023: Denise stepped back into the role of Practice Manager 

19 January 2023: Notice of objection against decision lodged with ACNC

16 February 2023: Allan Demond meeting with Rick Brouwer to discuss ministry alignment

Jan – Mar 2023: Discovery and discernment for Rick, NHM sharing information and insight

March 2023: Terms negotiated between TWB & NHM

5 April 2023: Final approval by joint board members of NHM & NHS

April 2023: Terms finalised and lawyers briefed 

14 April 2023: ACNC notification of disallowance of our objection

20 April 2023: Application made to ACNC for Health Promotion Charity status (outcome still unknown)

27 April 2023: Agreement signed between Total Wellbeing and NHM & NHS

4 May 2023: Allan & Surette meeting with staff and contractors of NHM

9 May 2023: Termination letters & personal follow up with contractors

9 & 18 May 2023: One on one meetings with all staff members

15 May 2023: 5th AGM of NHM – 4400 patients on database

24 May 2023: NewHope News article to update NewHope family

21 June 2023: Verbal update by Darryn Hockley at NHBC AGM

July 2023: Celebration event for board, staff & contractors

1 August 2023: Business of NHM moving across to TWB


We acknowledge with gratitude the amazing team of staff, contractors and board members who have built this centre from scratch and have been serving this community diligently.


Current Staff:

  • Practice Manager – Denise Forsyth
  • Senior Receptionist – Liz Broadbent
  • Receptionists – Veronica Chai & Genine Schumann


Current Contractors:

  • General practitioners: Dr Joanna Teo, Dr Rachel Bird, Dr Jae Mie Teh, Dr Mabel Leung
  • Mental Health Social Worker: Amira Azab
  • Psychologist : Perrin Chan
  • Counsellors: Sarah Fountas; Donna Pasco


Current Board Members:

  • Chair: Tony Stokes
  • Treasurer: Sanette Wood
  • Secretary: Surette Southwood
  • Chiew Hwa Koot
  • Neels du Toit
  • Lufee Wong


Current Working Group:

  • Darryn Hockely
  • Andrew Gale
  • Tony Stokes
  • Chris Meyers (until Feb 2022)


Previous Staff:

  • Nurses: Nicolle Tilley, Debra Schilling, John Shackleton, Jennifer Berryman & Mary Gionta
  • Receptionists: Christine Washington, Kate Glynatsis
  • Practice Managers: Marisa Peronace, Heather Coleman (interim)


Previous Contractors:

  • General practitioners: Dr Gennifer Walker, Dr Michael Eskander, Dr Yilin Zhang
  • Psychologist : Harsha George
  • Counsellors: Kenneth Cole, Christy Kan


Previous Board Members:

  • Monique ten Hoopen
  • Judy Louie

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