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

We are pleased to welcome our new president of CHA, John Stanway. John was appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at The Royal Children’s Hospital in April 2017. Prior to commencing in this role, John was the Chief Operating Officer at The Royal Children’s Hospital for more than ten years, overseeing clinical operations. From 2012, John also held the position of Deputy CEO. Before joining The Royal Children’s Hospital, John managed Monash Medical Centre, was Chief Executive of the Transport Accident Commission and held various senior management roles at General Motors Holden. John has a double major in Economics and a Graduate Diploma in Industrial Relations and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. John was also President of the Victorian Hospitals Industrial Association and Chairman for 10 years. John is currently a Board Director of The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation, Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Ltd, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Children’s Healthcare Australasia.

Mr John Stanway 
Children's Healthcare Australasia

We would like to thank our previous CHA president, Ms Fionnagh Dougan for her past contributions to CHA. 

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

Mr John Stanway

Chief Executive Officer
The Royal Children's Hospital, VIC

Ms Emma Maddren

General Manager
Starship Children's Hospital, NZ


Dr Annie Moulden

Medical Lead, Quality & Safety
Royal Children's Hospital, VIC

Board Members


Prof Michael Brydon

Associate Dean, Clinical Studies
University of Notre Dame



Ms Nicola Scott

Clinical Nurse Manager
Christchurch Hospital, NZ


Mr Clinton Griffiths

Nurse Unit Manager
Ballarat Health Services, VIC

Mr Sean Turner

Director of Pharmacy
Women's & Children's Health Network, SA

Dr Carola Wittekind

Director of Paediatrics & Staff Specialist Paediatrician
Royal North Shore Hospital,
Northern Sydney Local Health District, NSW




Mr Paul Craven

Executive Director, Children Young People and
Families Services
Hunter New England Local Health District, NS

















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.  During 2019, the Board of CHA has developed a new draft Strategic Plan for the next 5 years.  Consultations with members on the design of this new draft plan are currently underway.  The new Plan will take effect in early 2020.  

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:

2018: Ms Christine Fan

2016: Ms Pat Marks

2014: Mr Sean Turner & Dr Rosemary Marks

2011: Dr Ralph Hanson

2010: Dr 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

Jenny Taylor, Admin Assistant

Sean Oerlemans, Clinical Projects 

Jack Gooday, IT systems Developer