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About our Team

Bariatric surgery can be a life-changing experience. The team at Sunshine Coast Medical Weight Loss Centre has helped thousands of patients break free of their battle with obesity.

With over 20 years experience and a holistic approach to weight loss surgery from Dr Baxter and his team of Bariatric Dietitian’s, psychologists, GP’s and friendly reception team. Each patient can expect to receive the highest quality of care.

Dr. Ian Baxter

Upper Gastrointestinal and Metabolic Surgeon

Dr Ian Baxter is an Australian trained general surgeon with a special interest in Upper Gastrointestinal surgery, bariatric surgery and laparoscopic hernia surgery.  He has been a fellow of The Royal Australian College of Surgeons since 1995 and has resided on the Sunshine Coast since 1998.  Dr Baxter completed his medical degree at the University of Queensland in the 1980’s and went on the train at the Royal Brisbane Hospital, where he completed his surgical training.

After fellowship, he had post fellowship training in the United Kingdom at Bath and Edinburgh in upper gastrointestinal surgery.  In 1997 he returned to Queensland to take the job of Director of Surgery at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Brisbane but has always had a longstanding goal to live on the Sunshine Coast and settled with his family in 1998.  He is married with 4 daughters, most of whom are now adults and pursuing their own life paths.

Dr Baxter is the first person to start performing bariatric surgery on the Sunshine Coast shortly after arrival and has been consistently doing this for the past 20 years in which he has performed over 3500 procedures.

Past appointments have been to the Younger Fellows Committee at college counsel.  He has been on the Medical Advisory Committee at the Buderim Private Hospital, The Surgical Services Committee at the Sunshine Coast Private Hospital and The Medical Advisory Committee at Kawana Private Hospital.

Dr Baxter lives rurally, and his daughters have strong interests in horse riding.  He enjoys his time outdoors and enjoys the pursuit of gardening.  He is an avid beachgoer; he enjoys the ocean and surfing.  He enjoys music and he has been known to play in a local band, but most of his spare time is spent with his family.  He enjoys international travel when he can.

Bariatric Dietitians

Sally-Anne Livock


Sally has over 30 years’ experience as a Dietitian and is a skilled Bariatric Dietitian.

She has worked with Dr Baxter and the team at SCMWLC since we started providing Bariatric services in 2001.

Sally has extensive clinical dietetic experience and is currently consultant dietitian at Sunshine Coast University Private Hospital, consults at Buderim Private Hospital and has her own Private Practice.

She is passionate about education and teaching both clients and students and her role as Manager of the Teaching Clinic – Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of the Sunshine Coast allows her to fulfil this passion.

Sally believes in a client centred approach and will work closely with you, listen to you, and assist you by providing education, coaching and support at every phase of your journey.

She will help you rediscover healthy food and healthy food relationships, feel healthier and fitter than you have for many years and achieve your personal goals.

“Working with Bariatric clients is such a wonderful experience. Seeing people’s lives transformed is truly amazing and it is always such a privilege to be part of the journey”.

Sally loves all things food and on weekends, when she’s not at the beach, can be found visiting the local produce markets, then cooking quick and easy and tasty meals to share with family and friends.

Kishani Turner


Kishani works as part of the multi-disciplinary team at The Sunshine Coast Medical Weight Loss Centre.

Being half Italian, Kishani has grown up with an appreciation and respect for good food, from paddock to plate. This lead Kishani to study a Masters of Nutrition and Dietetics which she graduated from in 1992.

She started her specialised work in Metabolic Surgery Dietetics in 2010 when she moved to the Sunshine Coast.

Her passion is empowering others. She loves working with the patients at the SCMWLC as they are motivated to change their lives and work on improving their relationship with food, preparation and cooking.

Kishani has 2 daughters and a wonderful husband who she has been married to for 23 years. When she is not working, Kishani enjoys spending time with her family & friends, travelling, music and walking her beloved dog on the beach.

Bariatric Psychologists

Darrelyn Adams

Clinical Psychologist

Darrelyn is a Clinical Psychologist with experience supporting and assisting people across the life-span.  She has worked in a variety of clinical settings including private practice, schools, mental health and disability services, and not for profit organisations. Darrelyn has a warm empathic nature and is committed to creating a non-judgmental welcoming environment.  She provides evidence-based treatment to assist individuals with a range of difficulties including weight and health management, depression, anxiety, trauma, grief and loss, and adjustment issues. Darrelyn is passionate about working with people to create positive change and improve their overall well-being.  She is fully registered with Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Agency (AHPRA), a member of the Australian Psychological Society (MAPS) and a fellow of the College of Clinical Psychologists (FCCLP).

Cate Parkes

Counselling Psychologist

Cate is a Counselling Psychologist with a breadth of experience gained from working in a variety of settings over many years. Her work has involved helping individuals, couples and groups across a range of issues. She currently works in several programs at Buderim Private Hospital including the reconditioning program for patients following Bariatric surgery. She has special interests and advanced training in weight and health management, pain management, overcoming depression, recovery from trauma, and helping improve distressed relationships. She is committed to providing effective evidence-based therapeutic services that assist clients in moving forward from past challenges and creating positive behavioural change. She is a fully registered psychologist with AHPRA. Cate is excited to join our team in her role of assessing the most suitable weight loss option for you.

 Natascha Pfeifer

Natascha has a doctoral degree in Psychology. Her 20 years’ experience with psychotherapy and hypnotherapy have provided her the opportunity to engage with clients presenting with a wide range of mental health difficulties, including eating disorders, trauma, addiction, depression, anxiety, self-esteem problems and behaviour difficulties. Having worked in a variety of settings Natascha has extensive experience working with people.

Natascha takes a holistic and integrative approach to healing. She gains understanding of her clients’ experiences and struggles by drawing from numerous psychological perspectives. She is passionate about guiding clients towards their desired goals, assisting them in experiencing a more positive and balanced sense of self.

Natascha has a special interest in the body-mind connection, nutrition and yoga. She is excited to be part of the SCMWLC team and looks forward to meeting you and assisting you in achieving your best life.

Bariatric GP’s

Dr Chris Lawson

Weight Loss Practitioner

Chris Lawson graduated in Medicine in 1989 and is a Fellow of the RACGP. He works in general practice as well as consulting at the Sunshine Coast Medical Weight Loss Centre, and teaches medical students.

Chris has been with our practice since 2010 and has helped patients achieve their weight loss goals using the best available evidence within our team based approach.

Dr Sarah Philpot

Weight Loss Practitioner

Sarah has been part of the medical weight loss team as a Bariatric GP since 2008. She graduated in Medicine in Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK in 1989 and after a working holiday, decided to emigrate to Australia. She completed her fellowship of the Royal Australian College of General Practice in 1996 and moved to Buderim in 1997 to work as a GP and raise her four children.

She has always had a special interest in preventative medicine and especially lifestyle choices which influence health. It was therefore a natural progression in her career to join the team.

She has gained a good knowledge and expertise with lap bands, being able to give support and advice as well as performing adjustments. She also offers follow up reviews for all other Bariatric surgery procedures.

Bariatric Consultants

Elena Hall

Office Manager

Elena has a background in a Bachelor of Health Science and Allied Health. She has worked extensively in Specialist Practices.

Elena enjoys working with people and seeing their transformation through their weight loss journey. She is committed to make each patient feel like they are well taken care of and have a great experience with Dr Baxter and the SCMWLC team. Elena is available for any questions regarding your weight loss journey.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, cooking and taking her dog to the beach.

Alita Cobb


Alita started off as a patient of Dr Baxter’s in April 2018 where she underwent a Gastric Sleeve and has since lost and maintained 60kg. As one of the bariatric consultants she is happy to have an open and honest chat about her weight loss journey with first hand experience. No questions are off limits as she is a self-confessed “open book”.

Alita has a genuine passion for helping people. Her and her partner have a bariatric podcast, volunteer at parkrun and created virtual running/walking challenge 5KURWAY to encourage people to get up and get moving. She also is a lover to coffee and good food.

Reception and Administration



Laura is one of our friendly staff and one of the first faces you can expect to see when visiting the practice.

Laura’s background has been in hospitality. She is enthusiastic and passionate in providing exceptional support and customer service to our patients.

Since joining Dr Baxter and the team, she has been driven by ensuring the success of each patient and relishes in being a part of their journey and in providing education and support to patients both pre and post-operatively Laura moved back to Australia after a 6-year stint in the UK where she met her husband. When not at work, Laura is kept busy with her boy.


Gilli has 5 years of medical administration experience both in Cardiology and General Practitioner areas, and 10 years at Workcover Queensland.
She moved to Australia from Ireland in 2001 where she settled here on the Sunshine Coast. When not at work she is kept busy with her teenage son, FIFO husband, Crossfit and exploring the beautiful Glasshouse Mountains.

All our friendly admin team are highly trained to answer any questions or concerns you may have. They all work closely with Dr Baxter, Dietitians, Psychologists and GP’s to be able to offer ongoing comprehensive support.

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