Who We Are


Welcome to the web home for Children's Healthcare Australasia!

CHA is a multidisciplinary community of organizations and individuals committed to enhancing healthcare outcomes for children, young people and their families across Australia and New Zealand. The CHA team, our members, your colleagues, the parents and families of sick children,  all work together to improve our healthcare systems. 

As an organisation we welcome ideas, contributions and perspectives that mean we can improve our knowledge, understand our differences and work and learn together.  The health of children and young people matters; your membership counts.  

Our President

Fionnagh Dougan has a long and successful history in leading change in complex healthcare environments and a lifelong commitment to improving children’s health. She has been the Chief Executive of Children’s Health Queensland since January 2015.  Prior to this, she had overarching responsibility for all hospital, clinical support and community services, including paediatric and mental health services, in her role as Director of Provider Services, Auckland District Health Board (ADHB). She is also a former General Manager of Auckland’s Starship Children’s Hospital and Child Health Services. Fionnagh began her career as a Staff Nurse in the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. She has postgraduate qualifications in health management, an honours degree in communication, and has held dual registration and experience as both a Mental Health and a General Nurse.  Fionnagh has been a Director on the Board of CHA since November 2012.  

Ms Fionnagh Dougan
Children's Healthcare Australasia


Our Patron

In 2014 Professor Les White was unanimously appointed as the inaugural Patron of CHA. Professor White, a former CHA President and CHA medallist, has a strong grounding in children's healthcare, with a reputation for distinguished contributions in the field. Les was appointed as the inaugural New South Wales Chief Paediatrician in September 2010. 

He was Executive Director of Sydney Children's Hospital (1995–2010), President of Children’s Healthcare Australasia (1999-2004), Convenor of the Greater Eastern and Southern NSW Child Health Network (2001– 2010) and the John Beveridge Professor of Paediatrics (2005-2010). In 2007 Les received an Order of Australia award for service to medicine in the field of paediatrics, to medical administration, and to the community through a range of organisations.

Les was also the Chair of the CHA Children’s Rights Charter Expert Reference Group that led the development of the Charter of the Rights of Children & Young People in Healthcare Services in Australia & New Zealand.  We are delighted that Les has accepted CHA’s invitation to become our Patron, and look forward to working with him in that capacity over the next few years.


Our Board of Directors


Vice Presidents

Ms Fionnagh Dougan

Chief Executive Officer

Children's Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service

Queensland, Australia

Ms Emma Maddren

General Manager

Starship Children's Hospital,

Auckland, New Zealand



Dr Annie Moulden

Community Paediatrician

Victoria, Australia

Board Members


Prof Patricia Davidson (Immediate Past President, March 2018)

Executive Director

Children, Young People & Families Services,

Hunter New England Local Health District, NSW



Prof Michael Brydon

Chief Executive Officer

Sydney Children's Hospital Network,

New South Wales, Australia


Mr Clinton Griffiths

Nurse Unit Manager

Ballarat Health Services,

Victoria, Australia


Mr Sean Turner

Director of Pharmacy

Women's & Children's Health Network, SA



Dr Carola Wittekind

Staff Specialist Paediatrician

Royal North Shore Hospital,

Northern Sydney Local Health District,

New South Wales, Australia



Dr Dimitria Simatos

Director of Paediatrics

Eastern Health, Victoria, Australia




Mr John Stanway

Chief Executive

Royal Children's Hospital

Victoria, Australia





Our Governance

CHA is a not for profit Company Limited by Guarantee.  CHA is committed to meeting the highest standards of governance and accountability to its members.  To find out about how CHA operates, please see our Constitution and our Governance Charter.

CHA's vision & strategic priorities are outlined in our Strategic Plan 2016-2020, developed in consultation with members.

Children’s Healthcare Australasia holds its Annual General meeting in October each year.  For an overview of CHA's activities and our audited financial reports, see our annual report for that meeting and all previous years can be found here.

Honoured Medallists 

Each year, CHA is proud to present our Medal of Distinction. This Medal was established in 2004 to honour individuals who make an outstanding contribution to improving children’s health through service provision, leadership, or advocacy.

CHA Medal Recipients:

2016: Ms Pat Marks

2014: Mr Sean Turner & Dr Rosemary Marks

2011: Doctor Ralph Hanson

2010: Doctor Antonio Penna

2009: Associate Professor Kingsley Coulthard

2008: Professor Graham Vimpani AM

2007: Professor Frank Oberklaid OAM

2005: Professor Les White AO

2004: Ms Anne Cahill


Our Team

CHA is proud to have a dedicated and enthusiastic team of staff working in our Canberra office, which we share with our partner organisation, Women's Healthcare Australasia.  Please don't hesitate to contact our friendly staff on 02 6185 0325 if we can be of assistance.  

Dr Barbara Vernon, Chief Executive Officer

Gill McGaw, Business Manager

Joanna Webb, Finance Officer

Adele Kelly, Collaborative Quality Improvement Coordinator

Elijah Zhang, Benchmarking Manager

Heather Artuso, Maternity Benchmarking Coordinator

Keith Tin, Benchmarking Data Assistant

Leila Kelly, Networking Coordinator

Jennifer Etminan, Marketing Officer

Michelle Favier, Events Coordinator

Michael Vernon, Website Coordinator

Nathan McGaw, Member Communications Assistant

Erandi Goonetilleke, Member Communications Assistant

Kelly Eggleston, Executive Assistant

Dee Patil, Clinical Network Manager