Les has near 50 years experience in children’s healthcare, across clinical, academic, executive and advocacy roles, and is widely recognised for his distinguished contributions in the field.
Following a career as a paediatric oncologist, Les served as the 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). Les was appointed as the inaugural New South Wales Chief Paediatrician in September 2010, a position he held until his retirement in 2016.
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. He has served on the Boards of numerous children’s charities including Children’s Healthcare Australasia, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Starlight Children’s Foundation, the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation among others.
On behalf of CHA, Les also Chaired the CHA Children’s Rights Expert Reference Group that led the development of the Charter of the Rights of Children & Young People in Healthcare Services in Australia & New Zealand, published in 2010, and launched by the Australian and New Zealand Human Rights Commissions. Currently, he chairs the paediatric Patient Reported Experience Measures (pPREM) national collaborative.
Les has long been active in research. He was awarded a Doctorate of Science for research contributions related to childhood cancer and holds a Master of Health Administration. He firmly believes that children’s healthcare services exemplify the leading edge of current health reform and improvement agendas. Networking, interdisciplinary collaboration and partnership are dominant themes in his work, with respect to not only professionals but also the broader interactions with consumers, community groups and other stakeholders. Opportunities for enhancement of safe, appropriate, coordinated and consistent health care for children and families are the dominant themes of his current research.
Les has extensive networks among children’s healthcare leaders across Australia and New Zealand and around the world. He is highly regarded by all who interact with him. He continues to provide valuable advice and leadership across the children’s healthcare sector. CHA is fortunate to have Professor White as our Patron.