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RCH Executive

  • Telephone +61 3 9345 4844
    Facsimile +61 39345 4070

    Executive office
    The Royal Children's Hospital
    50 Flemington Road
    Parkville Victoria 3052
    Australia

    Bernadette McDonald

    Chief Executive Officer

    RN (Registered Nurse), MHA, GAICD

    Bernadette McDonald was appointed to the role of CEO of The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) in September 2021. Bernadette was previously the CEO of Canberra Health Services at a time of great change in the ACT’s health service system. Prior that appointment, she was the Deputy CEO and then Interim CEO of Austin Health, having previously been the CEO of the Orbost Regional Health Service.

    Bernadette is a highly experienced leader with a track record of delivery in the Australian health sector. Known for her strategic vision, strong relationships, inspirational leadership and commitment to exceptional patient care, she demonstrates authentic leadership, and positions organisations for success by strategically assessing the environment and providing foresight to maximise impact and reputation.

    Bernadette has a Bachelor of Nursing, a Masters of Health Administration, post graduate diplomas in Health Services and Health Systems Management, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

    Bernadette McDonald


    Sandy Bell

    Executive Director Strategy, Planning and Performance

    BA (Hons), MPPM, GAICD

    Sandy Bell was appointed to the role of Executive Director Strategy, Planning and Performance in February 2022.

    Sandy was previously the Director Strategy, Planning and Performance at the Royal Women’s Hospital and Austin Health, building a vision and strategic plan for the future at both health services.

    Sandy began her career as a Registered Nurse before joining the Department of Health where she worked in a number of roles across service and capital planning, elective surgery and rural health. In parallel, Sandy has built a 25+ year board career in both the public and not for profit sector in the areas of women, children and community services. Sandy is currently the Chair of the Queen Elizabeth Centre.

    Sandy has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in women’s studies, a Masters of Public Policy and Management and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

    Sandy Bell


    A/Prof Tom Connell

    Executive Director Medical Services and Chief Medical Officer

    MB BAO BCH B Med Science MRCPI FRACP PhD FRACMA

    A/Prof Tom Connell was appointed to the role of Executive Director Medical Services and Chief Medical Officer in July 2023. In this role, Tom provides leadership for the Medical Workforce Unit, Senior Medical Staff, Research operations and Medical Education at the RCH and has a key role in access and hospital management.

    From October 2018 to Dec 2022, Tom was the Chief of Medicine at RCH where he provided leadership for Heads of Department and their staff in 20 departments within the Division of Medicine and five inpatient medical wards. Prior to that appointment, Tom was the Director of General Medicine at RCH where he provided leadership to over 120 staff and gained awards for quality improvement in General Medicine and Specialist Clinics.

    In 2016, Tom was the recipient of the RCH Chairman’s Medal, recognising his contribution to improving patient flow, care for complex patients, medical education, clinical research, and workplace culture. Tom has a keen interest in research translation and has published over 80 peer reviewed manuscripts and has mentored and taught many trainees who now have successful careers at the RCH and other major national and international hospitals. He is a current candidate on the Williamson Community Leadership Program cohort for 2023.

    Tom leads with kindness and is deeply motivated by collaboration and a strong desire to effect positive change.

    Tom graduated from University College Dublin in 1996, received Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in 1999 and Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2010. Tom completed a PhD through the University of Melbourne in 2011. In 2021, he completed fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (FRACMA). Tom is an honorary Principal Fellow within The University of Melbourne, Department of Paediatrics.

    Tom Connell


    Andrew Gay

    Chief Financial Officer

    BBus, MBA, FCPA, GAICD

    Andrew Gay was appointed Chief Financial Officer in June 2022, and has responsibility for Finance, ICT, Payroll, Procurement and Supply, Facilities and Support Services.

    Andrew has previously held CFO positions with the Victorian Department of Health, Northern Health Services, Canberra Health Services and Austin Health Services.

    Prior to moving into the health sector, Andrew had a long and diverse career as a commercial executive and business leader across a wide range of complex industries and cultures. He has worked in packaging, paper and automotive industries in Australia, Korea and China. Prior to returning to Australia, Andrew was General Motors regional lead for business services within the Middle East and Asia Pacific areas, along with being a board member of GM Holden Australia Limited.

    Andrew holds a Bachelor of Business degree, and a Master of Business Administration. He is a Fellow of the Australian CPA’s and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

    Andrew Gay


    Ed Oakley

    Chief of Critical Care

    MBBS FACEM

    Associate Professor Ed Oakley was appointed Chief of Critical Care at The Royal Children’s Hospital in 2016, after working as the Director of Emergency Medicine for three years.

    Ed trained in emergency medicine in Melbourne at Austin Health and The Royal Children’s Hospital. He gained fellowship of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine (ACEM) in 1998 and became a senior staff member in the Emergency Department of The Royal Children’s Hospital that same year. Ed continued in this role until 2008 when he moved to Monash Health as the Director of Paediatric Emergency Medicine, before returning to The Royal Children’s Hospital in 2012.

    Ed has been an Honorary Research Fellow at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) since 2002. Ed is an active researcher in clinical emergency medicine and is the lead researcher for the Paediatric Emergency Medicine Centre of Research Excellence housed at the MCRI.

    Ed Oakley


    Clive Peter

    Executive Director, People and Culture

    Bsc. Hons, MPhil, MAICD

    Clive was appointed to the role of Executive Director People and Culture in April 2023. Clive has previously held senior roles in both the private and public sectors including Director of People and Culture at the City of Melbourne and EGM People with Aruma Disability Services. Prior to this Clive has held senior roles globally and regionally with ANZ Bank, Royal Dutch Shell, Ford Motor Company and BHP.

    Clive is an accomplished leader in his field and has a breadth of experience in Australia and internationally. He has a passion and proven record for developing and driving people strategy aligned to organisation objectives in both the short and long term. Known for his quiet leadership and authenticity, he is a trusted advisor to key leaders and has a reputation for developing talent and providing strategic insight. He is at his best when working collaboratively to identify opportunities to drive growth and improvement. He takes great pride leading highly effective teams to deliver valued outcomes. He describes “truly valuing diversity and creating belonging” as his key success enabler.

    Clive has a Bachelor of Science Hons. Degree in Psychology and a Master of Philosophy Degree in Industrial Psychology. He holds accreditation in Emotional Intelligence assessment and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

    Clive Peter


    Kathryn Riddell

    Executive Director Nursing and Allied Health and Chief Nursing Officer

    Adjunct Professor, RN, CCRN, MN (Research), MACN

    Kathryn Riddell was appointed Executive Director Nursing and Allied Health and Chief Nursing Officer in August 2022, with responsibility for Nursing Education and Research, Allied Health and Infection Prevention and Control.

    With a career spanning over thirty years, Kath is a highly experienced nursing leader who demonstrates more than 10 years’ executive level professional and operational experience within the Victorian public health sector. Across the breadth of her career, Kath has led strategy in patient safety and quality, workforce planning and industry based nursing and inter-professional education.

    Kath previously held the position of Executive Chief Nursing Officer with St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne (SVHM). Prior to this, Kath spent 12 years with Eastern Health, with her final position being Executive Director: Learning and Teaching & Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer.

    Kath is compassionate and inspired to make a difference to deliver high quality care, and excited about driving generational change.

    Kath has a Master of Nursing (Research), a Graduate Diploma of Health Management, a Bachelor of Education and a Graduate Diploma of Critical Care Nursing.

    Kathryn Riddell


    Kog Ravindran

    Executive Director of Communications

    Bachelor of Journalism, Specialist Certificate in Public Administration (Advanced)

    Kog Ravindran was appointed to the role of Executive Director of Communications in September 2023.

    Kog was previously the Director of Communications in the private office of former Victorian Premier, The Hon. Daniel Andrews MP, where his responsibilities included whole of government strategic communications, government advertising, speechwriting, protocol and events and multicultural community engagement.

    Prior to this, Kog was as a senior communications advisor in the Victorian Government’s Department of Premier and Cabinet and the University of Melbourne’s Australia India Institute.

    Kog has a Bachelor of Journalism from Monash University and a Specialist Certificate in Public Administration (Advanced) from the University of Melbourne.

    Kathryn Riddell


    Michelle Telfer

    Chief of Medicine

    MBBS (Hons.), FRACP, GAICD

    Michelle is a Paediatrician and Adolescent Medicine Physician and is the current Chief of Medicine, appointed to the position in December 2022.

    Prior to being appointed Chief of Medicine, Michelle was the Director of the Department of Adolescent Medicine at RCH. She was also the Director of the RCH Gender Service and has been instrumental in the development and expansion of the clinical and research programs amidst rising demand for trans-specific health care in children and adolescents. As an advocate for improved access to medical treatment, Michelle was central to the achievement of federal legal reform and was first author of the inaugural Australian Standards of Care and Treatment Guidelines for trans and gender diverse children and adolescents, which was endorsed via an editorial in The Lancet. In 2019, Michelle was personally profiled by The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health for her achievements in the field.

    Michelle was awarded the 2017 GLOBE Community Award for LGBTI Ally of the Year, the President’s Award by Thorne Harbour Health in 2021 and she received a Lifetime Achievement Award in Adolescent Health by the Australian Association for Adolescent Health in 2019. Led by Michelle, the RCHGS was awarded the Minister for Mental Health’s Award for excellence in consumer leadership and advocacy at the Victorian Public Healthcare Awards in 2015 and 2018. In 2022, Michelle was inducted onto the Victorian Honour Roll of Women.

    Michelle was born in Perth and graduated from the University of Western Australia in 2000, receiving Membership of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2010. Prior to studying medicine, Michelle was a gymnast with the Western Australian Institute of Sport. As a 16-year-old she won silver and bronze medals at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland and was a member of the 1992 Olympic Gymnastics Team in Barcelona.

    Michelle Telfer


    Dr Nathalie Webb

    Chief of Surgery

    MB BS (Hons) FRACS (Urol) FFSTEd MSurgEd GAICD

    Nathalie Webb was appointed Chief of Surgery in 2023, with responsibility for Division of Surgery, elective surgical services, operating theatres and surgical wards.

    A graduate of University of Sydney medical school, Nathalie is an Australian-trained urological surgeon with tertiary subspecialty practice in paediatric urology and clinical experience from many hospitals across Victoria, NSW and United Kingdom, including Sydney Children’s, Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Great Ormond St (London) and the RCH. Relocating to Melbourne in 2012, she established the specialist paediatric urology service within Monash Children’s and has been Monash Health’s Deputy Program Director for Surgery since 2019. With strong interest in clinical governance and service redesign to support equity of access and outcome, Nathalie’s core focus is delivery of high-quality surgical and procedural care to babies and children, whenever and wherever it is needed.

    Nathalie holds a Master of Surgical Education, is a graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors and is currently completing a Master of Health Administration. She is a member of RACS Academy of Surgical Educators, Fellow of Faculty of Surgical Trainers (RCS Edinburgh) and has been appointed to RACS Court of Examiners.

    Nathalie Webb


    Executive support

    • Simone Williams, Executive Assistant to Chief Executive Officer, RCH Board Chair and Chief Financial Officer
    • Simone Seabrook, Executive Assistant to Executive Director Nursing & Allied Health and Chief Nursing Officer and Executive Director Medical Services and Chief Medical Officer
    • Maddi Playford, Executive Assistant to Chief of Surgery, Chief of Critical Care and Chief of Medicine
    • Cheryl Bartolo, Executive Assistant to Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director People and Culture
    • Juliane Hayn, Executive Assistant to Executive Director Communications and Executive Director Strategy, Planning & Performance
    • Leanne Mansfield, Board Secretary