Our Board of Directors

WHA benefits enormously from the wisdom and guidance of our Board of Directors. We acknowledge and thank all of our directors who so generously donate their time and expertise to WHA.

Meet our Board

Our President

Professor Jonathan Morris
Professor Jonathan Morris has over 20 years of experience in caring for women with a high-risk pregnancy. He has expertise in the management of medical conditions that may affect women’s pregnancies as well as the management and prevention of preterm birth, fetal growth problems and high blood pressure in pregnancy.

Jonathan is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh and completed his Obstetric and Maternal Fetal Medicine sub specialty training in Sydney. He completed his PhD in Oxford and returned to Sydney in 1998 to the Royal North Shore Hospital.

Jonathan has a long history of active involvement in research and has led a number of large clinical trials that have informed practice in Australia and overseas. His major research interests are the prediction, prevention and management of pregnancy complications.

Following research which highlighted the crucial growth and development in the last few weeks fo pregnancy, Jonathan founded the 'Every Week Counts' campaign to raise awareness among both clinicians and expectant parents of the short, medium and long term implications of being born earlier than 39 completed weeks of gestation. He is an Investigator with the Stillbirth CRE and Vice President of the Australian Preterm Birth Prevention Alliance.

Our Vice President

Professor Emily Callander
Associate Professor Emily Callander is a health economist specialising in maternal and women’s health. She has a particular interest in improving the health and wellbeing outcomes of women, through creating women-centred, valued-based health services, and reducing inequalities.

Emily gained a BA from Griffith University (2008) and PhD (Health Economics) from the University of Sydney (2012). She completed her postdoctoral work at the University of Sydney NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre and Charles Perkins Centre. In 2021 she was awarded the Women’s Healthcare Australasia Medal of Distinction.

Emily is currently Professor of Health Economics at the University of Technology Sydney's School of Public Health. She also holds various advisory positions, including to the Federal Department of Health to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee Economics Subcommittee.

Emily leads a Women’s Economics and Value-Based Care research program, externally funded by a number of NHMRC and MRFF grants. She collaborates widely across a number of key maternal health research centers within Australia and internationally to provide the economic evidence base to guide health service and policy decision-making. This includes undertaking economic evaluation alongside randomised controlled trials, measuring costs and outcomes with real-world linked administrative data, and conducting local-health service level economic modeling.

Our Board Members:

A/Prof Mike Beckmann

Director Mother's Babies and Women's Health
Mater Mothers' Hospital
Associate Professor Mike Beckmann MBBS, PhD, CHIA, AFAIDH, FRANZCOG is Head of Mother Babies and Women’s Health at Mater and oversees Australia’s largest women’s health service with more than 12,000 births annually across 5 Facilities. He also holds the position of Chief Digital Health Officer for the Mater Group. ​

Mike is an obstetrician and gynaecologist, health informatician, and health services researcher with more than 70 research publications, and is currently supervising PhD students in the areas of minimizing clinical variation, team dynamics, and consumer information-sharing. ​

As a clinician, researcher and healthcare leader, Mike has led many innovations in healthcare delivery to improve safety and the quality of care, improve efficient, enhance patient experience as we as improve the work-life of staff

Susan Gannon

Health Service Chief Executive
MacKay Hospital & Health Service, QLD
Susan is currently the Chief Executive of Mackay Hospital and Health Service in Queensland.  Susan has had experience spanning three states (Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania) and working in senior management positions for Women’s & Children’s Services as well as all other clinical areas such as Medicine, Emergency, Cancer and Surgical Services. She has worked in policy, quality and education in both the public and private sector across Australia. ​

​ Susan has a passion for providing client centered care and striving to improve clinical outcomes for women and their families. Her qualifications include nursing, midwifery, a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education, Graduate Diploma in Family and Child Health, and a Masters in International Health. ​ ​

Susan has been a Director of WHA since 2014.​

Prof Adrienne Gordon

Senior Staff Specialist Neonatologist
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, NSW
Adrienne is a senior staff specialist Neonatologist in the RPA centre for newborn care and Clinical Professor in the Disciplines of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Neonatology and Child and Adolescent Health, at Central and the Children's Hospital at Westmead Clinical Schools, within the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney. ​

She trained in paediatrics prior to specialising in neonatal/perinatal medicine and is passionate about the public health impact of a healthy start to life and preventing adverse pregnancy outcome especially stillbirth. She is a Chief Investigator on the NHMRC Stillbirth Centre of Research Excellence, a Board Member of the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand and active member of the IMPACT Network (Improving Maternal and Perinatal Outcomes – Action through Clinical Trials). ​

She has strong links with National parent led organisations - including Stillbirth and Preterm Birth Advocacy Groups both and is Deputy Chair of the National RedNose (Previously SIDSandKIDS) scientific advisory group. Adrienne currently leads the Public Awareness work within the Stillbirth Centre of Research Excellence which includes mass media campaign design and evaluation in collaboration with Prof Adrian Bauman from the University of Sydney. She is a key member of the Safer Baby Bundle initiative which aims to reduce late pregnancy stillbirth in Australia by 20% and a board member of the International Stillbirth Alliance. Adrienne is committed to multidisciplinary research and leads the BABY1000 project at the Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney which aims to determine the modifiable risks and interventions prior to and during pregnancy that impact on obesity, diabetes and later life health.​

Kate Reynolds

Coordinator of Midwifery
WA Country Health Service, WA
Kate Reynolds, with 31 years experience as a midwife (and 37 years as a nurse) in WA tertiary, private, remote and regional maternity services with a passion for innovative models of maternity care and translating evidence into country maternity care practice.

Kate was previously manager of Maternity and Paediatrics at Bunbury for 6 years before setting up the Midwifery Group Practice. Kate is currently the Coordinator of Midwifery for WA Country Health Services, the largest health service in Australia, working in close partnership with the Clinical Head for Obstetrics, the Midwifery Advisory Forum and the Obstetric leadership to drive and standardise evidenced based policy and practice changes across WACHS whilst maintaining vigilance related to the safety and quality of maternity care.

Kate is able to influence at high levels for change in each of her roles including as WACHS Program Manager for the CHI Maternity Service Improvement program, as an executive member of the WA Health Clinical Senate and as Co-Lead of the WA Health Women and Newborn Health Network (WNHN). Kate is motivated by ensuring all country women and their families have access to safe, efficient and contemporary models of maternity care across the full continuum regardless of distance and where they give birth, including Aboriginal women.

Prof Anne Sneddon

Researcher, Griffith University
Anne is the immediate past President of WHA. She has 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 has served on the WHA Board. Anne was a member of the Expert Advisory committee for the reducing Severe perineal trauma project and involved in the overall process that introduced the concept of sustainable change in health care through The WHI organisation. 

Anne has a background in providing care for women who sustain a 3rd or 4th degree tear having established the first Australian multidisciplinary clinic for women in the immediate post-natal period and a follow up service for women in subsequent pregnancies. She has published with other leaders in this field around the impact of care in this area.

Anne currently is the Academic Lead for WH at Griffith University and other interests include chronic pelvic pain and, endometriosis.

Dr Nicky Webster

Clinical Director of Women's & Children's Services
North West Regional Hospital, TAS
I am a paediatrician and the current Clinical Director of the Women’s and Children’s Service in North West Tasmania. The North West Hospital serves a population of 116000. We have services based at the North West Regional Hospital in Burnie, Mersey Community Hospital in Latrobe and also have outreach services down the West Coast and to King Island.   

I trained in Tasmania, did my basic training in Adelaide and then completed advanced training in paediatrics in Launceston and then Auckland (spending almost three years at the National Women’s Hospital in Auckland as a neonatal fellow).  

I am passionate about road cycling and the North West is a perfect place for this. Living in regional areas has so many benefits and I am keen to ensure that the women living in our region have the same access to high quality service as their counterparts living in major metropolitan areas in Australia.

Nicole Carlon

Divisional Director for Women’s and Children’s Services at Northern Health
A nurse and midwife, Nicole Carlon is currently serving as the Divisional Director for Women’s and Children’s Services at Northern Health, holding a pivotal role in the provision of safe, high-quality patient care. A driving force for positive change, Nicole is an advocate for improved healthcare culture and practices, evident in her active involvement in the Maternity and Newborn Learning Health Network for Safer Care Victoria. She also has a special interest in digital health innovation and was central in the development of the ‘EVE’ maternity app and ‘SMART IOL’ booking platform.

Rachael Yates

Executive Director, Nursing and Midwifery at the Women’s and Children’s Health Network (WCHN)
Rachael Yates was appointed Executive Director, Nursing and Midwifery in September 2022 at the Women’s and Children’s Health Network (WCHN). Rachael is the professional lead for nursing and midwifery across WCHN. Rachael has held senior leadership and management experience in regional and metropolitan services, including the deputy Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer for South Australia in 2021/22, a well-respected leader in the nursing and midwifery profession in South Australia. She has had significant experience in change management and in collaborative design and development of health service delivery, including influencing future strategic and operational opportunity for the networks and the nursing and midwifery workforce. Rachael is committed to contemporary nursing and midwifery practice and evidence informed models of care.