Network management

The Sydney Children's Hospital Network is managed by a Board and divided into eight directorates, each managed by a skilled professional with long track records.

The Board is made up of experts in the fields of paediatrics, management, finance and industry. The Board advises on planning, policy development and monitoring activities across the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network.

View the SCHN Board member profiles.

Read about the Network Leadership Group below.

Chief Executive: Adj A/Prof Cheryl McCullagh

Adj A/Prof Cheryl McCullagh was appointed Interim Chief Executive of the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network in April 2019.

Previously Cheryl was the Director of Clinical Integration for the Network. 

She has worked in health for 25 years, including roles in nursing, research, education and executive management in specialist referral hospitals in Sydney and Adelaide. She has a Diploma in Applied Science, a Bachelor of Nursing, a Masters of Health Service Management and is a Student of Lean (Green Belt).

Cheryl is an Adj A/Prof in the Sydney Medical School and Faculty of Health Sciences at The University of Sydney. She is committed to developing people and their processes to evolve models supporting safe service delivery, while enabling innovation in healthcare.

Director of Clinical Governance: Dr Glen Farrow

Dr Glen Farrow was appointed Director of Clinical Governance and Medical Administration for Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network in 2012.

He has previously held executive medical roles at Royal North Shore Hospital, Greater Southern AHS and St Vincent's Hospital. A fully trained general and paediatric surgeon, he has had extensive experience on deployments with the Australian Defence Force, with a special interest in trauma management.

His clinical experience as a surgeon and in different professional roles gives him a unique perspective and a pragmatic approach to the issues faced in improving patient care and safety. Understanding the importance of a systems approach, Glen's background as military officer and consultant surgeon brings a strong ethos of individual accountability and responsibility.

Director of Clinical Operations: Dr Joanne Ging

Dr Joanne Ging was appointed Director of Clinical Operations (DCO) in March 2019.

Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Education: Sally Whalen

Sally is currently the Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Education for the Network and has a deep commitment to enabling people to deliver safe quality care and improve the experience for patients and their families.

Previously Sally was the Director of Nursing for the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick in 2013.

She has 25 years’ experience in health, and has had an extensive career in the NSW Ministry of Health where she held leadership roles in Nursing, Clinical Operations, Research and Education. Sally holds a Bachelor of Nursing, Cardiothoracic Nursing Certificate, Graduate Diploma Cardiothoracic Nursing and a Masters of Health Service Administration.

Director of Research: Professor Chris Cowell

Professor Chris Cowell was appointed as the Director of Research for the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network in 2011.

He is a Conjoint Professor of the University of Sydney and staff specialist in paediatric endocrinology. As Director of Research, Chris’s major focus is in developing research strategies that improve the health and wellbeing of young people.

Facilitating research through effective collaborations is a key platform and he is co-leading the development of Paediatrio, a joint research initiative between the Network, Children’s Cancer Institute, Children’s Medical Research Institute, University of Sydney and UNSW. He has also co-led the development of the Paediatric Trials Network Australia (PTNA).

His own research interests are in prevention of metabolic effects of obesity and optimising bone health, with over 180 peer reviewed publications.

Director of Clinical Integration: Michael Dickinson 

Michael Dickinson was appointed Director of Clinical Integration for the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network in April 2019.

Prior to relieving the Director of Clinical Integration, Michael had been the Director of Information, Communication and Technology for the Network since 2017.

He has worked in health for 27 years, including roles in nursing, education, information technology and project management within other Local Health Districts and eHealth. He has a Diploma in Applied Health Science, a Bachelor of Nursing, a Paediatric Nursing certificate, a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Computing and Prince 2 Certification.

Michael is committed to enabling innovation and using data and information technology to inform new safer models of care.

Director of Strategic Communications and Public Relations: Matthew Hillard

Matthew Hillard has worked for the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network since 2018.

Before joining the Network, Matthew’s previous roles included Media Manager for NSW Health as well as Chief of Staff for the South Australian Minister for Health.

Matthew has 10 years’ experience working in communication leadership roles within Government including advising Premiers of both Victoria and South Australia. Prior to this he was a print journalist in Victoria and Queensland as well as working in the banking and finance industry for seven years.

Matthew’s portfolios include communications, media and public affairs as well as working with the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation regarding public relations and fundraising opportunities.

Director of Finance and Corporate Services: Brian Jackson

Brian Jackson was appointed Director of Finance and Corporate Services for the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network in 2015. 

Prior to his appointment, Brian held a number of senior executive positions including Director Business Services at the ABC, and Group General Manager Finance at Qantas. He also held accounting and finance roles with Optus, Telstra and IBM. He holds a MBA from the AGSM, a Bachelor of Commerce from UNSW and is a CPA.

Director of Allied Health: Ruth Baker

Ruth was appointed Director of Allied Health in June 2016.

Ruth moved to Sydney to take up a position as Head of the Orthotics Department at Randwick in 2011, which is a service shared with the Prince of Wales Hospital, SESLHD. Prior to this Ruth was managing the orthotic service to The Monash Children’s Hospital and a paediatric advisor to the State wide Equipment Programme in Victoria.

Ruth graduated in the UK in 1996 and is passionate about Allied Health, bringing with her a wealth of very different experiences from several locations across the globe, in clinical, mentorship and management roles. 

Director of Workforce: Ian Fuller

Ian Fuller was appointed Director of Workforce for Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network in 2012.

Ian brings a wealth of experience to this role, having previously held a number of key positions in human resources in the UK and Australia, including Human Resources and Corporate Services Director in the National Health Services in London.

Ian has a Masters degree in HR Management and a Tertiary Teaching Qualification with experience in teaching human resources and management in the UK.

Executive Medical Director: Dr Mary McCaskill

Dr Mary McCaskill was appointed Executive Medical Director for the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network in 2015.

She previously held roles as the Chair of the Medical Staff Council and Director of the Emergency Department at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.  She has been part of the changing landscape of hospital paediatrics in NSW as she trained at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children in Camperdown, then across NSW and in the US.  She joined the senior staff at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in 1996. 

Mary has a keen interest in the engagement and education of clinical staff across the state - in particular, for the treatment of severe infection or injury.  She is also involved in the development of state-wide systems to respond to paediatric disaster situations.