Who We Are


Women’s Healthcare Australasia (WHA) is a non-profit community of maternity and women's healthcare services who are committed to excellence in care for women and newborns. More than 100 maternity services participate, including tertiary women's hospitals, metropolitan maternity units, regional and rural hospitals.  

Women’s Healthcare Australasia prides itself on existing for its members.  We help staff in a variety of different roles within our member health services to connect with their peers, to share ideas on best practice care, to share tools and information, and to provide one another with support in facing common challenges. We also advocate to government agencies on behalf of all members on priority issues for the sector, like funding for unqualified neonates.  


Our President

I have a long history of being involved in WHA since 1998 in various roles, including the Early Pregnancy Loss consensus statement, active in benchmarking at both Canberra and Gold Coast University Hospitals, many presentations at Annual Safety and Quality meetings and since 2012 on the Board. I have served as Vice President since 2014. I have observed the organisation grow from a relatively small benchmarking service to the current much broader scope. It has been an exciting and rewarding experience to be a part of this growth. Recently I have been heavily involved in the new venture of the Reducing Severe Perineal Trauma and believe that this project, and its methodology, will be an exciting new area for WHA.

WHA has evolved to be in a unique position to influence maternity care and women’s health in Australia. In the UK the RCOG has a broad range of advocacy, teaching, learning, resourcing and involvement with multidisciplinary groups in formulating their remit. In Australia, there would appear to be a void for a professional body that truly advocates for the women and the services that provide the care. I believe that WHA is well placed to fill this void. Increasingly, health organisations are looking for leadership and support, in-patient centred, and patient- focused outcomes and WHA is ideally placed to do this. Women are increasingly looking for leadership and support in areas that affect their health. 

Professor Anne Sneddon

Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Department of Obstetrics
Gold Coast University Hospital, QLD


Our Board of Directors



Vice President


Professor Anne Sneddon

Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, Department of Obstetrics
Gold Coast University Hospital, QLD

Ms Kate Reynolds

Coordinator of Midwifery
WA Country Health Service


Board Members



Ms Susan Gannon
A/Executive Director
Royal Hobart Hospital, TAS

Ms Sue McBeath
Director of Nursing and Midwifery, Women's Adolescent & Children's Services
Royal Hobart Hospital, TAS


Dr Adrienne Gordon
Senior Staff Specialist Neonatologist
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, NSW

Ms Nicole Flendt
Nurse Co-Director Women’s Health, Genetics & Mental Health Directorate
King Edward Memorial Hospital, WA

Professor Jonathan Morris
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Royal North Shore Hospital, NSW

A/Prof Michael Beckmann
Director Mother's Babies and Women's Health
Mater Mother's Hospital, QLD


Ms Tessa Kowaliw
Special Purpose Director - Consumer




Our Governance

WHA is a not for profit Health Promotion Charity registered with the Australian Charities & Not for Profit Commission.  To find out more about how WHA operates, please see our Constitution and Governance Charter. Women's Healthcare Australasia holds its Annual General Meeting each November. 

The WHA strategic plan for 2021-25 has been finalised and can be found here

WHA is proud to present our Medal of Distinction. This Medal was established in 2004 to honour individuals who make an outstanding contribution to improving women’s health through service provision, leadership, or advocacy.   WHA acknoweldges the outstanding contributions to women's healthcare of the following individuals:

WHA Medal Recipients:

2019: Caroline Homer

2013: Vicki Flenady

2011: Prof Sally Tracy

2010: Prof David Ellwood

2009: A/Prof Peter Baghurst

2008: Robyn Collins

2007: Prof Jeremy Oats

2006: Prof David Henderson Smart AO

2005: Prof Jeffery Robinson

2004: Ms Anne Cahill


Our Team

WHA is proud to have a dedicated and enthusiastic team of staff working in our Canberra office, which we share with our partner organisation, Children's Healthcare Australasia.  Please don't hesitate to contact our friendly staff on 02 6185 0325 if they can be of assistance.  

Dr Barbara Vernon, Chief Executive Officer

Gill McGaw, Business Manager

Adele Kelly, Collaborative Quality Improvement Coordinator

Elijah Zhang, Benchmarking Manager

Leila Kelly, Networking Coordinator

Michael Vernon, Website Coordinator

Erandi Goonetilleke, Member Communications Assistant

Kelly Eggleston, Executive Assistant

Jenny Taylor, Admin Assistant

Sean Oerlemans, Clinical Benchmarking Officer

Mia Ratkovic, Benchmarking and Projects Assistant

Sumedha Verma, Benchmarking Assistant

Shirley Zhou, Benchmarking Assistant

Amy Gooday, Benchmarking Assistant

Alison Niyonsenga, Network Support Assistant

Chrissy Scott, Membership Officer

Annual Report

Our Annual Report showcases projects WHA has undergone within the past year and is presented each year at our AGM. Below you can find our past 6 Annual Reports.

WHA 2020/21 Annual Report

WHA 2019/20 Annual Report

WHA 2018/19 Annual Report

WHA 2017/18 Annual Report

WHA 2016/17 Annual Report

WHA 2015/16 Annual Report

WHA 2014/15 Annual Report