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RCH Executive

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

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

    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

    Jane Miller

    Chief Operating Officer

    BAppSc (Speech Path), GradDipNeuro, MHlthMgmt, GAICD

    Jane Miller is Chief Operating Officer (COO) at The Royal Children’s Hospital, with overall responsibility for clinical operations, and the Hospital Incident Commander during emergency codes.

    Jane has worked in clinical and hospital management roles for more than 30 years at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, Monash Health and The Royal Children’s Hospital.

    Jane has a Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology), a Graduate Diploma in Neurosciences, and a Master of Health Management, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Jane is a Non-Executive Director of YSAS, a not-for-profit agency that enables young people experiencing serious disadvantage to access the resources and support they require to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. 

    Jane Miller

    Danielle Byrnes

    Executive Director, People and Culture


    Danielle Byrnes is the Executive Director, People and Culture and provides leadership and support to functions including: Human Resources, Organisational Development, Safety and Wellbeing, the Early Learning Centre, Library and the Wadja Family Place.

    Danielle began her career in industrial relations in the mining sector. She has led the Human Resources function at organisations including Box Hill Institute, Transdev Melbourne, the MFB (Metropolitan Fire Brigade), Australian Unity, Energy Australia and Western Health.

    Danielle has also led the broader corporate services functions at ACCIONA Energy, Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Fair Work Commission.

    Danielle is passionate about the health sector and has 13 years’ experience in public and private health and emergency medical response from Western Health, Australian Unity and the MFB. She has a personal vision to help people flourish in organisations and consequently the communities they serve.

    Danielle holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Industrial Relations from the University of Western Australia.

    Danielle Byrnes

    A/Prof Tom Connell

    Chief of Medicine


    A/Prof Tom Connell is the Chief of Medicine at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH). Originally from Dublin Ireland, he graduated from University College Dublin in 1996, received Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (Paediatrics and Child Health) in 1999 and came to the RCH Melbourne in 2003.  He subsequently completed a fellowship in Infectious Diseases, prior to moving to Cape Town to complete field work for his PhD that he obtained in 2011 from The University of Melbourne.

    Tom received a Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) career development award from 2013 - 2016 and is co-lead of the clinical paediatrics research group that sits within the Infection Immunity theme within the MCRI. Tom is also an honorary Principal Fellow within The University of Melbourne, Department of Paediatrics. He has published in excess of 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.

    In 2014, Tom was appointed Director of General Medicine at the RCH, where he provided leadership to almost 120 staff and gained awards for quality improvement in General Medicine and Specialist Clinics. Tom commenced as Chief of Medicine in October 2018.

    Tom was the 2016 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 in his department.


    Tom Connell

    Alison Errey

    Executive Director Communications and Strategy

    GradDipPublicAdmin, MJour MAICD

    Alison Errey was appointed to the role of Executive Director Communications at The Royal Children’s Hospital in April 2017, with responsibility for Strategy and Planning, Corporate Communications, the RCH National Child Health Poll, Family and Volunteer Services and History and Archives. In this role Alison oversees all facets of corporate strategy, brand and reputation management, media relations, digital strategy, and government and partner relationships.

    For more than 25 years Alison has led communications, corporate affairs and business transformation programs for some of the country's largest and most complex organisations. She led the creation of a $20 million community foundation and negotiated a national-first partnership with the Australian Human Rights Commission to champion workforce reform for mature Australians.

    With a background in news journalism, Alison has had an extensive career in media and issues management in the NSW public sector across the police, education and health portfolios, and led the change communications strategy for a multi-million dollar IT platform integration in the financial services sector. Acknowledged with industry awards for journalism and workforce engagement, Alison has complemented her career with a number of Board appointments in children's welfare and sports administration.

    Alison Errey

    Maria Flynn

    Executive Director Nursing and Allied Health and Chief Nursing Officer

    RN (Registered Nurse), RM (Registered Midwife - UK), Dip HEM, BA (Hons) – HealthCare Studies, MSc – HealthCare Management, Q Fellow (UK)

    Maria Flynn joined The Royal Children’s Hospital in July 2018 as the Executive Director Nursing and Allied Health and Chief Nursing Officer, with responsibility for facilitating research, innovation and education, quality and safety improvement, advocating for professional and evidenced-based practice and clinical standards and enhancing recruitment, retention, training, development and succession planning.

    Maria is a registered nurse and midwife with over 30 years’ experience of the National Health Service in the UK and has a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Management. She has held leadership roles in nursing, midwifery and allied health and worked in general and commissioning management and as a quality performance manager and accreditor. She has led a multitude of services within acute, primary care, mental health and ambulance services.

    As part of the European Hospital and Healthcare Federation (HOPE) Exchange Maria worked in Sweden and Austria to study European methods for sharing and learning from clinical incident management. Before commencing at the RCH, Maria commenced a Clinical Doctorate Research Fellowship (PhD), using Quality Improvement Science methodologies to enhance the programme Fundamental Care in Hospitals. She is delighted to continue pursuing her dream of contributing to healthcare in Australia. 

    Maria Flynn

    Jon Marcard

    Chief Financial Officer

    B.Ec, FCA, MAICD

    Jon Marcard is the Chief Financial Officer at The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne with responsibility for the overall Finance function. Jon also has responsibility for Payroll, Procurement & Supply, Support Services and Information and Communication Technology.

    Jon has more than 25 years’ financial experience across a diverse range of sectors including financial services, insurance and consulting. Prior to commencing in his current role, Jon worked at AustralianSuper.

    Jon has a Bachelor of Economics, and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Jon also sits on the Finance & Audit Committee of Australian Volunteers International.

    Jon Marcard

    Ed Oakley

    Chief of Critical Care


    Ed is the Chief of Critical Care, appointed 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

    Mike O’Brien

    Chief of Surgery

    PhD, FRCSI(Paed), FRACS(Paed)

    Mike O’Brien was appointed Chief of Surgery at the Royal Children’s Hospital in 2013.

    Born and raised in West Cork in Ireland, Mike went to medical school at University College Cork, graduating in 1989.  He completed his adult general surgical training in Cork before undertaking PhD research.

    Moving to the UK to train in Paediatric Surgery, Mike worked at Great Ormond Street and Hammersmith Hospitals in London, University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, Bristol Children’s Hospital and Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Mike also spent a year in Melbourne at The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH), before returning to the UK where he worked as a Consultant Paediatric Urologist in Birmingham.

    Mike returned to the Royal Children’s Hospital as a Consultant Paediatric Urologist in 2005 and has been Head of Department of Urology since 2009, and Chief of Surgery since 2013.

    As well as his clinical role with a specific interest in genital anomalies and functional bladder issues, Mike has sat on the hospital research ethics committee for more than 10 years. He is also an active educator and the Medical Ambassador to the Clown Doctors.

    Mike Obrien

    Professor Matt Sabin

    Executive Director Medical Services and Clinical Governance and Chief Medical Officer


    Professor Matt Sabin is the Executive Director Medical Services and Clinical Governance and Chief Medical Officer at The Royal Children’s Hospital. Having trained at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London (UK) and becoming a member of the UK Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in 2000, he began specialist training in paediatric endocrinology and diabetes and completed a PhD in the area of childhood obesity and diabetes. Matt moved to The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne in 2006, became a member of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2009, Director of Endocrinology & Diabetes in 2015, Chief of Medicine in 2016, and Chief Medical Officer in 2018.

    Matt is also a Clinical Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne and a Senior Research Fellow at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. He has made significant contributions to the Melbourne Children’s Campus in the areas of clinical service, research and education. He established The RCH Weight Management Service, the largest specialist service for obese children in Australasia, and has published over 100 clinical research and basic science papers - many in leading international journals.

    Matt provides leadership to the areas of Medical Workforce Unit, Quality & Improvement, Research Ethics & Governance, Medical Education, Health Services Research and the Children’s Bioethics Centre. He has completed a Senior Executive MBA at Melbourne Business School and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

    Matt Sabin

    Executive support

    • Simone Williams, Executive Assistant to Chief Executive Officer and RCH Board Chair
    • Clarissa Guest, Executive Assistant to Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director Communications and Strategy
    • Simone Seabrook, Executive Assistant to Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director Nursing and Allied Health and Chief Nursing Officer
    • Eleanor King, Executive Assistant to Chief of Surgery, Chief of Critical Care and Chief of Medicine
    • Cheryl Bartolo, Executive Assistant to Executive Director People and Culture and Executive Director Medical Services and Clinical Governance and Chief Medical Officer
    • Peter Bunworth, Board Secretary