Executive Leadership Group

Our Executive Leadership Group works closely with the SCHN Board to deliver world-class paediatric health services.

Meet the Network Leadership Group.

Chief Executive: Cathryn Cox

Cathryn Cox PSM was appointed Chief Executive of Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network in August 2020.

Cathryn has many years’ experience as an Executive within the NSW Ministry of Health with responsibility for a range of health policy, planning, infrastructure and strategic reform programs.  Her early role as a physiotherapist at RPA paved the way for a long-term career in health which included leading Health Infrastructure as its interim Chief Executive.  

Recently, Cathryn led the COVID-19 System Planning stream of the Ministry’s coordinated COVID-19 response, which included the establishment of the COVID-19 Clinical Council and Communities of Practice and oversight of the infrastructure planning, in partnership with Health Infrastructure.

Cathryn is passionate about the role of Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, and most importantly its people, in providing world-class patient-centred care for children and young people, and their families

Director of Clinical Governance and Medical Administration: Dr Mary McCaskill

Dr Mary McCaskill was appointed Executive Medical Director for the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network in 2015. Mary is also currently acting as the Director of Clinical Governance.

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. 

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 Finance and Corporate Services: Sayeed Zia

Sayeed Zia was appointed as the Director, Finance and Corporate Services for Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network in October 2020.

Sayeed has most recently been the Director, Finance at NSW Health Infrastructure, instrumental in overseeing budgets for an $18 billion infrastructure pipeline.

He has a track record in successfully leading, managing and executing budgets, strategy, risk management and process improvement in NSW Health. He supported Southern NSW Local Health District in the first half of 2020 as the District Director, Finance and Corporate Services where he was responsible for Finance, Performance, Procurement, Supply Chain and Corporate Services.

Sayeed is a motivated leader committed to safe, efficient and sustainable outcomes for the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network. He holds a bachelor in Sustainable Performance Management from the Manchester Metropolitan University, UK and a Masters in Financial Analysis from the University of New South Wales.

Sayeed is a qualified finance professional and holds qualifications from CPA, Australia and CIMA, UK.

Director of Allied Health: Dr Paula Bray

Dr Paula Bray was appointed Director of Allied Health in July 2020.

Paula is an accomplished clinical researcher and occupational therapist who has worked across clinical, university and research environments.

Paula has worked in the Network for 17 years in roles including leading national research teams and developing research strategy. She is a research fellow at the School of Health Sciences, University of Sydney based in Kids Research.

Paula is motivated to support the implementation of best practice models of care, research that is close to practice and working closely with consumers. Paula is invested in enabling and developing an agile allied health workforce that is informed, innovative and supported.

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.

Director of Planning: Tim Hoffmann

Tim has worked across NSW Health in both clinical nursing and operational management positions. Over the last 13 years Tim has transitioned into planning, redesign and redevelopment focused roles.

Tim has qualifications in nursing, health management and public administration and is passionate about transforming the health care system. Tim joined the Network in 2011 leading the clinical planning and later redesign and integrated care portfolios. In 2016 he was appointed as Director of Planning and since September 2019 has been working as an Executive team member leading planning and redevelopment. The role leads the planning and redevelopment program across the Network, seeking to utilise the redevelopment program to deliver new models of care and facilities that enables research-led care, education and excellence. Key to the role is fostering deeper partnerships and alliances with precinct partners at Randwick and Westmead in health, education, research and innovation.