Brendan Lourey, former CEO of Kyneton District Health, passed away on 7th March 2019 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Brendan joined Kyneton District Health in September 1997 and stepped down as Chief Executive Officer in 2004. Brendan had extensive experience in senior health administration in both finance and general administration. He was Chief Executive at both Kyabram and Benalla hospitals. He was the Senior Finance Officer at Bendigo Health Care Group, the Bendigo Hospital and Echuca District Hospital.
During Brendan’s time as CEO of Kyneton District Health his focus was on improving medical care and access for the people of the Macedon Ranges.
Brendan had numerous professional achievements, his most significant being his role as chief instigator and driving force behind the building and relocation of the new hospital. Brendan was a transformational leader and a change agent and had great vision of what services the hospital should and could provide. He had a gift of innovative thinking, tenacity and patience, all qualities that required him to successfully lead.
Brendan was devoted to his work and improving local health care. He recognised the need for an onsite GP practice to complement the hospital so set up Campaspe Family Practice. He employed Dr Robert Power who was well supported by Brendan and later went on to purchase the practice from the hospital.
Brendan wore many hats as a rural hospital CEO, including fundraiser. He took part in the gruelling Murray to Moyne bike race to raise money for the hospital. He participated in this race every year alongside other hospital staff.
Brendan always found time for his staff, happy to share a joke or an interesting conversation. He was highly respected and a friend and mentor to all.
Unfortunately Brendan left his position at Kyneton District Health in 2004 due to poor health. During his illness he was a proactive ambassador for Parkinson’s Disease Australia. He participated in the Parkinson’s Team challenge 2009 Bicycle Vietnam and Parkinson’s Victoria ‘A Walk in the Park’.
A couple of years ago Brendan’s son Ryan was diagnosed with an aggressive form of lymphoma. After multiple rounds of gruelling chemotherapy, Ryan was told that the cancer had spread and was not responding to chemotherapy offered in Australia. Ryan was offered an immunotherapy treatment only offered in Boston in the USA so Ryan and his sister are relocating to Boston so Ryan can receive this lifesaving treatment.
Brendan’s daughter Emma said that her Dad passed away an hour after finding out that his son Ryan had received government approval for the trip to Boston for potential lifesaving treatment. Emma believes her father had been ‘holding on’ until he knew Ryan was going to get access to the treatment that is not currently available in Australia.
The family are currently fundraising to support Ryan with the costs associated with treatment in Boston. To donate, visit Rare Cancers Australia.
A Celebration of Life will be held for Brendan at the Terang Football Ground on March 22nd, which ironically will be Dianne and Brendan’s 44th wedding anniversary. Brendan was a talented footballer and kicked six goals when Terang won the premiership in 1972. A fitting place for his final farewell!
He was a determined, visionary, goal orientated, caring person who loved life. Energy, commitment and integrity were the image of Brendan Lourey.
He was a caring beloved family man, a cherished colleague and friend and his legacy lives on through his professional achievements and his family.
Brendan is survived by his wife Dianne, his daughter Emma and his son Ryan.