CHA Board

Hon John Watkins AM

Chair, Catholic Health Australia

John is the Chair of Catholic Health Australia and Catholic Professional Standards Ltd, a member of the Advisory Committee for the Centre for Emotional Health at Macquarie University and an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Western Sydney. John was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List in 2015, for significant service to the community through leadership positions within health organisations, tertiary education and the Parliament of NSW. John worked as a teacher for 16 years until his election to the NSW Parliament in 1995 – 2008. He served ten years as a Minister, including the portfolios of Fair Trading, Sport and Recreation, Police and Corrective Services, Transport, Finance, State Development, and Education and Training. He was Deputy Premier when he retired in 2008. Subsequently, he has served as Chancellor of the University of New England in 2013 and 2014.

Jenny Parker

Deputy Chair, Catholic Health Australia

Jenny is Deputy Chair and member of the audit and risk committee of Catholic Health Australia. She has more than 33 years of professional services experience and is currently the Health and Life Sciences Leader for Oceania at consultants EY. Jenny has considerable experience working with health organisations including the Mater Hospital Group and St Vincent’s Health, and has a proven track record in major government reviews within the health sector. Jenny has previously been the Chair for Centacare Council, a not-for-profit entity supporting disability and aged care clients. As well as being a board member for Catholic Health Australia, Jenny is also Chair of Catholic Education for the Brisbane Archdiocese, Deputy Chair for the Archdiocesan Finance Council, Deputy Chancellor for Queensland University of Technology, and a board member for Cancer Council Australia

Julien O’Connell AO

Non-Executive Director

Julien has a long and distinguished career in insurance, accounting and risk management. He is the Acting Pro-Chancellor, Australian Catholic University (ACU); Chairman of a CEO Institute Syndicate; Chairman Mercy Health Foundation Board; Chairman, Villa Maria Catholic Homes; Chairman, PM Glynn Institute, ACU and ACU’s Finance and Resource Committee; a member of a number of boards and finance councils and supports Enterprise Ireland in Victoria. In 2018 he retired after serving for a decade as Chairman of Mercy Health and for 23 years he served on the Finance Committee of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. He also chairs Catholic Health Australia’s Audit and Risk Committee. His significant service to the community was recognised with an Order of Australia (AM) in the 2013 Australia Day honours and an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday honours

Jim Birch AM

Non-Executive Director

Jim is currently Chair of Little Company of Mary Health Care, Chair of Lifeblood (formerly the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, Chair of the Women’s and Children’s Health Network (South Australia) and Chair of Clevertar Pty Ltd. He is also a Director of the Cancer SA Board. Prior to this Jim was a Partner at Ernst and Young having previously been the Global Health Care Leader, and the Oceania Government and Public Service Leader. During his time at EY Jim has delivered or led major consultancies in Australia, Asia and the Middle East. Jim has been a Chief Executive of a Human Services and Health Department (South Australia) and Deputy Chief Executive of Justice. He has been Chair of the Australian Health Minister’s Advisory Council, during which he led the establishment of the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. Jim has also been a Chief Executive and Senior Executive of many health services during his career and has served as a Director on various health, human services and education Boards and committees.

Virginia Bourke

Non-Executive Director

Virginia is a lawyer and consultant in private practice with a breadth of corporate governance and commercial experience. She is a consultant with the national health industry group at MinterEllison Lawyers and previously worked as General Counsel for the Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and Papua New Guinea and as Special Counsel in the Employment Law group at MinterEllison Lawyers. Virginia is the Chair of Mercy Health, and is also Chair of St John Ambulance Victoria, a Director of St John Ambulance Australia, a Director of the Mater Group and a Director of Catholic Health Australia. Virginia is a Director of Caritas Australia, a Member of the Boards Appointment Committee with the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne and an Advisory Board Member for the PM Glynn Institute at Australian Catholic University.

Sr Ruth Durick OSU

Non-Executive Director

Ruth is a member of the international Institute of the Ursulines of the Roman Union. Currently she is the Leader of the Australian Province, having been appointed in February 2020. Ruth is also a member of the order’s General Finance commission and Commission on Safeguarding. Ruth has a background in secondary education, administration, formation and governance; she holds a BA (ANU); B. Theol (MCD); Dip Ed; M.A.(Social Ecology) UWS; M. Litt.(Peace Studies) (UNE). Ruth has been a board director of St. Ursula’s College Toowoomba and been Chair of Members of the same organisation. She is a member of Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Sr Maureen Gleeson OAM PHD

Non-Executive Director

Sister Maureen Gleeson is a Sister of Mercy and sits on the CHA Board as a Representative of Catholic Religious Australia (CRA). As well as attaining general, midwifery, and infant welfare nursing qualifications, Maureen has Bachelor, Masters and Doctorate qualifications (University of New South) in Health Services Administration. Sister Maureen has undertaken senior health executive management studies at Cornell University in the US. She has also undertaken Scripture studies at Leuven University in Belgium. She has wide experience in the operation of health services in both public and private sectors Appointed by the Minister of Health (NSW) from 2008 – 2018 Maureen served as a Member of a Panel for the Medical Tribunal and Professional Standards Committee under the Medical Practice Act 1992 In 2008 Maureen was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to the Australian Health Care System.

Paul McClintock AO

Non-Executive Director

Paul is Chair of St Vincent’s Health Australia, I-Med Radiology and Laser Clinics Australia. His former positions include Secretary to Cabinet in the Federal Government, Chair of Medibank Private, Symbion Health, Affinity Health, the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, the COAG Reform Council and Sydney Health Partners, National Chair of CEDA and a Commissioner of the Health Insurance Commission. Paul graduated from Sydney University in Arts and Law, is an honorary fellow of the Faculty of Medicine of that university, a Life Governor of the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research and an Honorary Life Trustee of CEDA. He was made an Officer in the Order of Australia in 2009.

Hon Kerry Sanderson AC CVO

Non-Executive Director

Kerry Sanderson has had a long and distinguished career in public life and corporate Australia. Kerry has been the Chair of St John of God Health Care since May 2018. She is currently Chancellor of Edith Cowan University, a role she has had since January 2019. Between 2014 and 2018 Kerry was Governor of Western Australia, the first woman to occupy that role. In 2016 she was named Companion of the Order of Australia 2016 for eminent service to the people of Western Australia and in January 2020 she was appointed as a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order by the Queen in recognition of her distinguished personal service to the Royal family. Kerry has also held a number of senior positions on large corporations and public institutions, namely Agent General for WA, CEO of Fremantle Ports, Deputy Director General of Transport for WA and Director of the Economic and Financial Policy Division of the Western Australian State Treasury. She is also a former Chair of the Gold Corporation, former independent Chair of the State Emergency Management Committee, and a former Non-Executive Director of Downer EDI and Atlas Iron. She participates in a number of charitable and community activities including Chair of the WA Parks Foundation, Patron of the Western Australian Aboriginal Leadership Institute, the Bibbulmun Track Foundation and the Rottnest Voluntary Guides Association.

Francis Sullivan AO

Non-Executive Director

Francis is the Executive Chair of the Mater Health Group Queensland and a director of Mercy Health Australia. He also serves on the Australian Catholic University’s PM Glynn Institute. He was previously the CEO of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council. His earlier appointments were as Secretary General of the Australian Medical Association and the inaugural CEO of Catholic Health Australia, a position he held for 14 years. He is an adjunct professor at ACU and a director of Catholic Social Services Australia. In 2008 the ACU awarded him an honorary degree for his work in public health advocacy. Earlier this year he was awarded the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List for distinguished service to the community, particularly through social justice and legislative reform initiatives, and to health and aged care.

Bishop Bill Wright DD

Non-Executive Director

JBishop William (Bill) Wright was ordained eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle in 2011. He was ordained to the diaconate in October 1976 and to the priesthood on 20 August 1977 at St Mary’s Cathedral. Since his ordination as bishop, he has served as the Co-Chair of the National Committee for Professional Standards. He was a member of the Truth Justice and Healing Council. He has also been a member of the Bishops Commission for Church Ministry, for Ecumenism and Inter-Religious Relations, and is currently a member of the Commission for Evangelisation Laity and Ministry as well as for Social Justice, Mission and Service. Bill has also served as a parish priest across Western Sydney and country NSW. In addition, Bill was Vice-Rector of St Patrick’s College, Manly (1985-1991) and Assistant Secretary to the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, in Canberra, in 1995.