The SCHN Board

The role of the Board is to govern the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network (SCHN) deriving authority from the Health Services Act 1997 (Act) focused on leading, directing and monitoring the activities of the network and driving overall performance. 

The Board Charter (2022) provides the framework for governance within the SCHN and defines the roles, responsibilities and authorities of the Board and its members. The roles and responsibilities of the Board and Chief Executive are defined in the Act and in the Corporate Governance and Accountability Compendium for NSW Health.

The SCHN Board has established the following committees to support the Network to perform its functions under the Act:

Each of the committees has a Terms of Reference and reports through to the Board following each meeting.

Meet the Board.

Chair: Elizabeth Crouch AM

Elizabeth Crouch AM was appointed as Board Chair in March 2020.

Ms Crouch is Chair of the Customer Owned Banking Association and SGS Economics and Planning and is a non-Executive Director of ReadyTech Holdings and Bingo Industries. Ms Crouch is also on the Boards of the NSW Institute of Sport, Health Infrastructure and Hearing Australia.

She Chairs Audit and Risk Committees for the City of Sydney and IPART and is a member of the Audit and Risk committee for the Western Sydney Aerotropolis Authority.

Ms Crouch is Emeritus Deputy Chancellor of Macquarie University and has held previous NED roles on the Boards of Chandler Macleod Group, McGrath Estate Agents, RailCorp and the Macquarie University Hospital.

From 2016-2018 she was a Trustee of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, retiring in December 2018. She spent 16 years with the Federal Government and more than a decade in the private sector including as Chief Executive of the Housing Industry Association. Ms Crouch holds a Bachelor of Economics and a Master of Cyber Security.

In June 2019, she was awarded an Order of Australia for services to higher education and the rail transport industry.

Deputy Chair: Bruce MacDiarmid

Bruce joined the SCHN Board in 2017.

Bruce is an international investment banker with more than 25 years of experience in advising governments, boards and corporates.

Bruce is presently the Chairman of investment banking for Goldman Sachs in Australia and New Zealand and a Member of The University of NSW’s Law Advisory Council. Bruce’s previous roles include Managing Director and Co-Head of Corporate Finance, Australia and New Zealand for Deutsche Bank AG Sydney, Head of Natural Resources for Deutsche Bank in the Asia Pacific and Co-Head of Rothschild Australia.

Bruce holds degrees in Commerce and Law from the University of New South Wales and is a Senior Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia.

Board Member: Dr Abby Bloom FAICD

Abby is an experienced company director specialising in highly regulated industries, including healthcare and hospitals, insurance, utilities, ageing, retirement, and medical device innovation. She is a director of Sydney Water, the State Insurance Regulatory Authority, The Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, and The Longevity Innovation Hub.

She is Deputy Chair of the NSW Ministerial Advisory Committee on Ageing, an adviser to Griffith (University) Enterprise, and an Adjunct Professor at The University of Sydney. She was previously a director of Western Sydney Local Health District and chaired its Finance, Performance and Capital Works Committee. She is a specialist in Risk and Audit, workplace health and safety, and strategic change in complex organisations, and has been involved in Public-Private Partnerships for over 25 years.

Abby had a long and distinguished international career as a senior executive and corporate adviser in health, hospital management, water, and national health sector restructure in Australia, the US State Department, and in emerging economies of major significance to Australia, including India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Mongolia. She has advised The World Bank, the International Finance Corporation, AusAID, USAID and UNICEF on a wide range of health and social investments.

The founder of four medical device companies, and a mentor to women in business, Abby was recently named one of Yale University’s 100 Most Influential Public Health Alumni.

Board Member: Jane Freudenstein

After a career in advertising, marketing, strategy and management, Jane undertook directorships for not-for-profit organisations. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Sociology and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Jane has more than 12 years of experience in board governance roles that have allowed her to champion equity of access to education, cultural arts and paediatric health services in Australia.

She is currently Co-Chair of The Australian Ballet Foundation Board NSW and has previously held directorships on the boards of Sydney Children’s Choir and Gondwana Voices and Sydney Dance Company.

Prior to joining the SCHN Board in January 2019, Jane Freudenstein was a long-standing director of the Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation Board (2012 to 2016 and 2017 to 2018).

Board Member: Walter Kmet

Walter joined the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network Board in January 2022. Walter has more than thirty years of international experience across health, commerce and human services.

He is currently Chief Executive Officer of Macquarie University Hospital and Clinical Services and brings a deep understanding of health care operations, systems, and policies to his roles. Previous experience includes as Chief Executive Officer of WentWest, the Western Sydney Primary Health Network.

Having held formal advisory roles at regional and national levels across a range of issues, Walter is also currently on the Advisory Board of the Australian Centre for Value-Based Health Care, the Ambulance NSW Advisory Board, and is a Conjoint Associate Professor at Macquarie University.

Walter has a Bachelor of Commerce, Graduate Diploma in Health Services Management, and a Master of Business and Technology, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Board Member: Dr Nikola Morton

Nikola joined the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network Board in January 2022. She is a consultant paediatrician with the SCHN and has particular expertise and interest in clinical governance, with roles as Chair of the Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick drug committee, and of the Patient Safety and Incident Review Committee. As Chief Resident Medical Officer, Nikola also has significant experience in medical administration and management. 

Her current clinical roles at SCHN are at both Randwick and Westmead, in General Paediatrics and Refugee Health.

Nikola also works with the international non-government organisation Medecins Sans Frontieres, as their paediatric advisor for the Operational Centre, France. She has worked as a field paediatrician in the Middle East and Africa and now oversees paediatric projects across the world as an international advisor.

Board Member: Stephen Nugent

Stephen joined the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network Board in January 2022. He brings to the Network more than 30 years of experience in the finance and insurance industries.

He is currently the Chair of Community First Credit Union and a Director of the Customer Owned Banking Association and was previously the Chief Customer Officer for HCF where he led significant reform programs focused on digital transformation, productivity improvements, and enhanced customer service.

Stephen is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University, and holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and Graduate Certificate in Internet Marketing.

Board Member: John Wigglesworth

John joined the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network Board in January 2022. He is a Chartered Accountant, having been a partner at KPMG for 24 years.

During his career, John has worked with many leading Australian and international companies, specialising in external and internal audits, the design of accounting systems and controls, and due diligence and risk management.

John is a member of the Council of Macquarie University and a director of MQ Health (which includes Macquarie University Hospital). He holds a Bachelor of Economics and is a Fellow, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.  He is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Board Member: Jeremy Wright AM

Jeremy served as Chief Executive of Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia for nine years up to 2013. This followed a career in business and marketing and more than 20 years raising funds for medical research and health issues.

In 1989, Mr Wright helped launch Red Nose Day for the Sudden Infant Death Association of NSW raising funds to assist relevant medical research and to promote cot death prevention measures. He subsequently assisted in the Jeans for Genes campaign for the Children’s Medical Research Institute, Westmead and has served on the Boards of the Starlight Foundation and Telstra ChildFlight. From 2012 Jeremy has been on the Board of the Australian Cord Blood Foundation.

Jeremy also serves on the Board of Sydney Cove Rotary, who sit proudly in the Hall of Champions as a significant supporter of the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Foundation.