Our Board

The Board is responsible for the Children’s Hospital Foundation’s activities, policies and strategies. Board members oversee our operations and affairs on behalf of our supporters, and ensure the expectations of the community are met. Each of our Board members has elected to contribute in an honorary role.

Karen Prentis

Board Chair

BEc MAdmin GAICD

As a highly experienced non-executive director and Chair, Karen has extensive experience in providing leadership in the development of strong corporate governance, risk management, compliance, and strategic thinking for significant organisations in both public and private sectors.

She also has more than 30 years’ experience in the financial services industry as a non-executive director and independent compliance committee Chair in funds management. Karen’s breadth of experience has led to the development of specialised skills in negotiating between public and private sectors and managing complex matters that affect diverse stakeholders.  In addition, her current roles include Chair of Audit and Risk Committees for several State Government departments, member of the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service Board, and Chair of its Audit and Risk Committee, as well as a committee member and director of the board of various financial services organisations.

Karen joined the Board in December 2019 and became Chair in October 2020. She is Chair of the Remunerations and Nominations Committee meeting, a member of the Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee, and an ex-officio member of the Grants Committee.

Professor Stephen Gray

Board Member

BCom (Hons), LLB (Hons), PhD

Stephen is a Professor of Finance at the University of Queensland and a Director of consulting firm Frontier Economics. In his university role, Stephen teaches a range of courses in financial management, asset valuation, and corporate finance. He has received a national teaching award and a number of manuscript awards for his research.

Stephen is also an industry consultant on issues relating to valuation, cost of capital, and corporate financial strategy. Many of Australia’s leading companies, government-owned corporations, and regulatory bodies have benefited from his consultancy skills on projects such as corporate cost of capital reviews, asset valuation, independent valuation of executive stock options, and the development of corporate financial strategies. He has served as an independent expert for a number of courts and tribunals.

Stephen joined the Board in November 2011. He chairs the Finance, Audit, and Risk Management Committee and is a member of the Grants Committee and Remuneration and Nominations Committee.

Dr Jane Black

Board Member

PhD BSW (Hons 1) Dip Rad

Jane has a longstanding career in clinical management of paediatric disorders, with particular application to the related supportive corporate activities. Subsequent to her initial oncology training, she has played a key role in the development of the Hear and Say Centre from its inception to its current leading place as the premier childhood deafness centre.

She served as the Centre Chairman from 1996-2008 and continuing to date as the Deputy Chairman, together with long-term hands-on experience in the Centre’s committees. Jane was pivotal in the development of Queensland Otology and Attune, Australia’s leading private audiological company. She has a proven record of executive leadership having worked for both for-profit and not-for-profit organisations.

Jane was awarded a Doctorate for her studies in prognostication in paediatric cochlear implantation at the University of Queensland, a field in which she is an acknowledged expert.  She has a strong focus on health innovation and research, early intervention and clinical ethics.

Jane joined the Board in December 2019. She is a member of the Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee.

Kenneth (Mac) Drysdale

Board Member

BBus (Acc)

Mac is a highly respected executive with a strong history as a Board director and chair. He is experienced in the not-for-profit sector and he currently chairs four private company advisory Boards in the horticulture, construction and finance sectors.

Mac is also a member of the Children’s Health Research Alliance board, a joint initiative of the Children’s Hospital Foundation and Children’s Health Queensland.

Mac joined the Board in February 2016 and is a member of the Grants Committee.

Dr Michelle Hannan

Board Member

FACRRM AFRACMA BMedSc (Hons) MBBS/BSc DCH MPH&TM GAICD

Michelle is a passionate advocate for rural health, especially around issues of equitable provision of health care in rural communities and in overcoming barriers to accessing tertiary healthcare services for rural people. Michelle sits on the Board of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine, and previously served on the boards of the Rural Doctors Association of Tasmania, the Rural Doctors Association of Australia and General Practice Training Tasmania.

A Fellowed rural GP and Rural Generalist, Michelle has an interest in paediatrics and has a Diploma of Child Health, as well as a Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in addition to her medical and science qualifications. Her clinical work involves both aeromedical retrieval and primary care clinics with the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Mount Isa

She is also a statewide Medical Education Officer for RFDS and has a conjoint academic appointment with the University of Tasmania. She trained across city, regional and remote NSW, Queensland, and Tasmania, where she was able to combine her medicine with her skills as a vigneron, running a vineyard in southern Tasmania. She currently divides her time between Tasmania and Queensland.

Michelle joined the Board in December 2019. She is a member of the Grants Committee.

Sharon Houghton

Board Member

Sharon is a Director in BDO’s Healthcare team looking after large medical groups, hospitals, doctors and allied health professionals. Whilst working in an accounting and taxation environment her advisory skills extend to management accounting, business structuring, personal wealth creation, self-managed superannuation, succession planning, family business and indirect taxation.

Sharon also sits on the Board of St John Ambulance (Qld), chairs their Finance and Risk Committee, and sits on their Remuneration and Performance Committee. Her role as a board member of Community Canteen Co Ltd is a very hands-on one, providing meals for Brisbane people in need.  She is also the Secretary for the Ideas Van Partnerships Ltd which takes world-class eye clinics to rural and remote communities in Australia.

Sharon joined the Board in December 2019. She is a member of the Finance, Audit, and Risk Management Committee.

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Luke McGrath

Board Member

CFP AITA GAICD MCFAI

In his 30-plus years as an investment and financial services professional, Luke has held senior positions with some of Australia’s largest investment banks and financial services organisations. Throughout his financial services career, he has advised numerous companies and individuals across the breadth of the industry.

Luke is the CEO of an investment and philanthropic consultancy organisation as well as being a director of a number of private companies. He is also on the Advisory Board of the Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology.

Luke joined the Board in November 2011. He chairs the Grants Committee and is a member of the Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee and the Remuneration and Nominations Committee.

Sara Parrott

Board Member

Sara is Head of Suncorp Group's corporate responsibility function, leading the development of environmental and social impact strategy group-wide. Sara has more than twenty-five years’ experience in sustainability, stakeholder relations, communication and marketing, with both corporate and community organisations, holding staff and board positions.

Previously, Sara has worked for resources giant Xstrata, global investment firm Babcock & Brown and accounting firm Ernst & Young, leading sustainability policy, social impact management, stakeholder engagement and community investment at regional, national and global levels.

Sara has also held executive and management roles in the community sector in advocacy, communications and marketing with Australia’s largest social enterprise and childcare provider Goodstart Early Learning, as well as international development agency TEAR Australia and the human services agency Uniting Church Queensland.

Sara has volunteered her professional skills in Australia and overseas to support international relief and development agencies. Sara holds a Bachelor of Business-Management and a Master of Business-Marketing from QUT.

Sara joined the Board in December 2019. She is a member of the Grants Committee.

Adjunct Professor Frank Tracey

Board Member

Frank is the Health Service Chief Executive at Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service. He has 40 years’ experience working in health systems which includes executive roles in large health organisations and the non-government sector. He has a clinical background in nursing and holds advanced qualifications in health management and governance. His extensive experience in health commissioning and provision in clinical and community settings is complemented by strong executive management and leadership skills.

Frank has an applied interest in population health planning and translational health research. While working in both government and non-government roles he has focused on delivering sustainable health strategies that serve the best interests of patients, health professionals, the broader health system, and the community.

Frank joined the Board in December 2019.

Heather Watson

Board Member

Heather brings more than 30 years legal and governance experience with the last 10 years specifically across the charitable and non-profit sector. She has been a partner in legal practices in both regional and metropolitan contexts. Her industry expertise covers aged care, health and community services, affordable housing and Indigenous communities. She has considerable experience in structuring and strategic advice to philanthropic entities.

Heather is a member of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Advisory Board, which supports and advises the ACNC Commissioner.

Heather is a member of the Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service Board. Heather joined the Board in September 2019.