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 been involved with WHA for many years, and have been proud to be President for the past 4 years. Our membership has been growing rapidly in recent years as more and more maternity and women's health services across the country see the benefits from networking with their peers.  

We all work in busy maternity & women's health services. We often face common challenges. Nine times out of ten someone in a service just like yours has come up with a successful strategy for tackling a challenge you face, or even just with an idea that makes things more manageable. There is certainly much that we can learn from each other, and many opportunities to adopt or adapt others ideas to benefit the women & newborns your service is caring for.  

I invite you to explore our site, learn more about Women’s Healthcare Australasia and join in the rich networking and culture of mutual support that WHA makes possible.  

On behalf of the Board of WHA, I would like to acknowledge and thank all of our member hospitals and healthcare services who so actively engage in our Special Interest Groups, and who so generously share information, advice, tools and resources with other WHA members. This collaboration is 'gold' as we all wrestle with various challenges and strive to continuously improve our own services to women and their families.

Professor Michael Nicholl

President, Womens Healthcare Australasia
Clinical Director, Division of Women's, Children's & Family Health
Northern Sydney Local Health District

Our Board of Directors


Professor Michael Nicholl

Clinical Director, Division of Women's, Children's & Family Health, NSRHS


Vice President

A/Prof Anne Sneddon

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

Board Members



A/Prof Graeme Boardley (immediate past President, WHA)

A/Executive Director
King Edward Memorial Hospital


Prof Boon Lim

Clinical Director Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Centenary Hospital for Women & Children


Prof Danny Challis

Stream Director Women's & Children's Services, 
South Eastern Sydney Local Health District


Ms Kate Reynolds

Coordinator of Midwifery
WA Country Health Service


Ms Susan Gannon

A/Executive Director
Royal Hobart Hospital


Ms Maree Reynolds

Director Women's Health & Newborn Services 
Mater Mother's Hospital


Ms Naomi McKeown

Special Purspose Director - Independent
Operations Manager
Parallela Project Management 

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.   

WHA's vision & strategic priorities are outlined in our Strategic Plan 2016-2020, developed in consultation with members. 

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 annual reports can be found here.

Honoured Medallists

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:

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 6175 1900 if they can be of assistance.  

Dr Barbara Vernon, Chief Executive Officer

Julie Hale, Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Gill McGaw, Business Manager

Joanna Webb, Finance Officer

Adele Kelly, Collaborative Quality Improvement Coordinator

Deborah Browne, Collaborative Director

Elijah Zhang, Benchmarking Manager

Heather Artuso, Maternity Benchmarking Coordinator

Leila Kelly, Networking Coordinator

Michelle Favier, Events Coordinator

Michael Vernon, Website Coordinator

Jez Baron, Communications Officer

Kelly Eggleston, Executive Assistant