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.

Bruce Cowley

Chair

BCom LLB (HONS) FAICD

Children’s Hospital Foundation Chair Bruce Cowley is a legal practitioner, adviser, author, speaker and director. Bruce was formerly national Chair of one of Australia’s largest law firms, MinterEllison, and a senior corporate lawyer with over 37 years’ experience. Bruce has advised many public and private companies and government corporations. His interest in director’s duties and crisis management is widely known and he is a popular speaker and respected author on corporate governance in Australia.

Bruce is Chair of the Cerebral Palsy League and a member of Griffith University’s Business School Advisory Board, a member of the Takeovers Panel, and sits on the Board of the Merchant Foundation. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Chair of the AICD’s Law Committee, a member of the Not for Profit Chairs Advisory Board, and a past member of the Queensland State Council of the AICD. He is also Chair of the IDEAS (Indigenous Diabetes Eyes and Screening) Van Project Board.

Bruce was former Chair of the Queensland Children’s Medical Research Institute, was formerly a non-executive Director of Talon Petroleum Limited and was Deputy Chancellor of the University of the Sunshine Coast.

Bruce joined the Board as Chair in November 2011. He is an ex-officio member of the Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee and the Grants Committee, and chairs the Remuneration and Nominations Committee.

Professor Stephen Gray

Board Member

BCom (Hons), LLB (Hons), PhD

Stephen Gray is 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.

Professor Gray 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 and is a member of the Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee.

Kenneth (Mac) Drysdale

Board Member

Mac is a highly-respected executive with a strong history as a Board Director and Chair. Since 2007, he has been Chair of the Board of Seymour Whyte, and has played a key role in the strategic development and growth of the company.

Experienced in the not-for-profit sector, Mac joined the Board in February 2016 and is a member of our Grants Committee.

Mac is also a member of the Peta Seymour Foundation Board. He currently chairs four private company advisory Boards in the horticulture, transport and finance sectors.

Mac has held numerous other director and chair roles throughout his career including Country Road Australia Ltd, Country Road USA Ltd, Australian Wool Corporation, International Wool Secretariat, Australian Wool Research and Promotion Organisation, Wool International and Mitre 10 Ltd.

As chair of a number of wool production and research organisations, Mac has been ultimately responsible for research investments of up to $120 million per year.

Mac has also been Chair of Yalari Ltd, a not-for-profit organisation that offers secondary education scholarships for indigenous children from regional, rural and remote communities.

He has a long family history of grazing in Western Queensland, and continues to operate an organic grazing property in the Augathella region.

Dr Michelle Hannan

Board Member

Michelle Hannan 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 and is a member of the Grants Committee.

Sharon Houghton

Board Member

Sharon is a Director in BDO’s Healthcare team looking after large medical group, 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 and is a member of the Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee.

LM Photo Dark

Luke McGrath

Board Member

CFP AITA GAICD

In his 30-plus years as an investment and financial services professional, Luke McGrath has held senior positions with some of Australia’s largest investment banks and financial services organisations. Throughout his financial services career, he has consulted to numerous companies and individuals across the breadth of the industry. He has also consulted to a number of significant philanthropic organisations in Australia and elsewhere on structure, strategic direction and grant making strategies.

Luke is the Managing Director of an investment and philanthropic consultancy organisation as well as a director of a number of private companies.

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 Remuneration and Nominations Committee.

Sara Parrott

Board Member

Sara is currently Head of Suncorp Group's Corporate Responsibility function, leading the development of environmental and social responsibility strategy group-wide. Prior to Suncorp Sara was with Goodstart Early Learning as General Manager, Strategic Communications, responsible for advocacy, stakeholder relations, marketing and internal communications.

Previously Sara worked with Xstrata Coal, as Manager of Community Relations. Sara managed community, landholder and government relations, as well as social impact management planning, across all Queensland development projects and mine sites, to invest in communities and enhance Xstrata Coal’s reputation and relationships.

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 and is a member of the Grants Committee.

Karen Prentis

Board Member

Karen’s career spans more than 30 years' in financial services, including senior executive roles in commercial banking and funds management. After early career appointments in banking and Queensland Treasury, her focus and expertise developed in corporate governance, compliance and risk management as a non-executive director.
Currently, Karen is the Chair of several Audit and Risk Committees (ARC ) for State Government departments and sits as a director on two Boards within the financial services sector.

Previous Directorships have included, founding member of South West Hospital and Health Service Board and Chair of its ARC.

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

Adjunct Professor Frank Tracey

Board Member

Frank Tracey 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 joined the Board in September 2019.