Board and staff

The RCH Foundation board ensures that all funds donated to our organisation are managed responsibly to enable the hospital to provide the best care to patients and their families.

For RCH Foundation staff contact details, please see our staff directory.

For a list of RCH Foundation committees, please click here.

Richard Leder OAM – Chairman

BEc LLB (Hons)

Richard Leder OAM is a specialist in in commercial litigation and media law. He represents a range of media institutions including Channel 7 Melbourne and acted for the actress Rebel Wilson. He also advises the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne and represents corporate and professional organisations and community welfare groups. He holds the position of Chairman of the RCH Foundation and serves on the Executive and Finance, Investment, Remuneration and Grants Committees of the Board. He also sits on the RCH1000 committee. Richard is the Deputy Chair of the Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Alpine Resort Management Board and serves on the boards of Australian Friends of Asha, The Conversation Media Group and the Melbourne Press Club. In June 2019 he was awarded a medal in the Order of Australia for his contribution to the community, recognising in particular his long contribution to the RCH Foundation. RCH Foundation Director since 1998.

Dr Gillian Sparkes AM – Deputy Chairman

PhD MBA FAICD FIPAA MRACI

Dr Gillian Sparkes AM has a career that spans the private, public and not-for-profit sectors having worked three decades in industries that interface with the environment and community, before becoming a senior public servant. Gillian has held senior roles with both the Australian and Victorian Government including Deputy Secretary Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment and Chair of Sustainability Victoria. Gillian is currently Victoria’s Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability, an independent statutory role that reports and advises government and the community on the environment. Other board roles include Chair of FrontierSI (the former CRC for Spatial Information), and board member of the Country Fire Authority and Industry Capability Network, Victoria. Gillian holds a PhD in Applied Science, a Masters of Business Administration and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a National and Victorian Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia and a member the Monash Sustainable Development Institute Advisory Council. Gillian was awarded a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Queen’s Birthday 2021 Honours for significant services to environmental sustainability, and to public administration. RCH Foundation Director since 2015.

RCHF Board

Professor James Angus AO

Professor James Angus AO is an Honorary Professorial Fellow and Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences (MDHS), University of Melbourne. In July 2013 he completed a 10 year term as Dean of the Faculty of MDHS at the University of Melbourne. Before becoming Dean, he was Professor and Head of the Department of Pharmacology and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of MDHS. At the University of Melbourne, James has been President of the Academic Board (2000-2001), Pro Vice-Chancellor (1999-2001) and member of University Council (1999-2001). James was awarded the Gottschalk Medal of the Australian Academy of Science (1984), is a Fellow of the Academy (FAA) and has been a member of its Council. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. In 2003 he was awarded Australia’s Centenary Medal for contribution to Pharmacology and the Community. James was a First Vice-President of the International Union of Pharmacology (IUPHAR) and was President of the Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists. From 2009-2011 he was President of Medical Deans Australia and New Zealand. His current roles include: Lieutenant Governor of Victoria from November 2021, Director, National Stem Cell Australia Foundation; Director, Jack Brockhoff Foundation, Director, RCH Foundation; Chair, Campus Council at RCH; Chair, Australian Advisory Council on the Medicinal Use of Cannabis; Director, Science Australia Gender Equity Ltd; and member Melbourne University Publishing Advisory Board. He was appointed an officer to The Order of Australia in 2010 for distinguished service to biomedical research, particularly in the fields of pharmacology and cardiovascular disease, as a leading academic and medical educator, and as a contributor to a range of advisory boards and professional organisations both nationally and internationally. RCH Foundation Director since 2020.

Peter Blunden

Peter Blunden is the National Executive Editor of News Corp Australia. In a career spanning more than 45 years with the company, Peter has held senior editorial positions with several of Australia’s biggest newspapers, including The Australian, the Herald Sun and the Adelaide Advertiser. Peter has served as editor, editor in chief and managing director of the Herald and Weekly Times in Melbourne, which has been his home for the past 25 years. Peter was Victorian Managing Director for eight years with responsibility for all News Corp print and digital mastheads in Victoria including the Herald Sun, Sunday Herald Sun, the Weekly Times, Leader Community Newspapers and the Geelong Advertiser Group, before which he served five years as Managing Director of the Herald and Weekly Times and eleven years as editor and editor in chief of the Herald Sun. Peter edited the Adelaide Advertiser for more than five years, held various senior positions with The Australian, and was founding editor of The Australian’s colour magazine in 1988. His career with News Corp Australia has taken him from Sydney to Canberra, Adelaide and Melbourne. Peter was inducted into the Victorian Media Hall of Fame in 2014, and was awarded a Centenary Medal for services to the media industry in 2001. Peter is a Director of the Herald and Weekly Times, the RCH Foundation, the Good Friday Appeal, and a committee member of the Moonee Valley Racing Club. RCH Foundation Director since 2012.

RCHF Board

Wendy Norris

Wendy Norris is the Deputy Chief Investment Officer, Change and Innovation at Future Fund. In this role Wendy is the Chair of the company’s Investment Committee and leads and drives innovation across all elements of Investment Governance, Risk, ESG and strategic talent issues, ultimately enabling effective investment decision making and execution and joined the organisation in 2010. Wendy was previously Deputy Chief Investment Officer, Private Markets, responsible for leading investment strategy and implementation for the Infrastructure and Timberland, Private Equity and Property asset classes. Previously she was an Investment Director with Hastings Funds Management where she was responsible for managing infrastructure investments and leading transactions in Australia, the UK and the US. Wendy holds an applied science degree from the University of New South Wales and a graduate management diploma from the Australian Graduate School of Management and has completed the Advanced Management Program at INSEAD. RCH Foundation Director since 2022.

Tiffany Fuller

Tiffany Fuller is an experienced independent, non-executive director with over 10 years experience in public, private and philanthropic board roles. Tiffany’s prior executive roles spanned careers in chartered accounting, corporate finance, funds management and investment banking with Arthur Andersen and Rothschild, both in Australia and globally, where she developed extensive skills across corporate and strategic advisory, management consulting, private equity and mergers and acquisitions. Tiffany currently sits on the boards of Computershare Limited and Australian Venue Co Limited where she also chairs the Risk and Audit Committee, and a board member of Washington Soul Pattinson and Company Limited and a member of the Audit, Risk and Remuneration Committees. Tiffany has held multiple philanthropic roles including at the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Fund and the Snowdome Foundation. Tiffany holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne and is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a Graduate of the Institute of Company Directors. RCH Foundation Director since 2020.

Stephen Gillin

Stephen Gillin is currently the Commercial Manager for Production and Programming at the Seven Network. Stephen has been with the network for more than 10 years, playing a leadership role in organisational projects and is a member of the Melbourne executive team. Stephen brings a wealth of business acumen and experience to the Board, with more than 20 years’ experience in both finance and human resources, having worked in various roles across State Government, civil infrastructure and media industries. RCH Foundation Director since 2019.

Dr Rowena Coutts

Rowena currently consults to higher education organisations providing governance, legal, audit and policy advice and she is a partner in the family primary production business. She is the immediate past Chair and Director of Ballarat Health Services and former Chair of the Grampians Regional Board Network. As former Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Ballarat/Federation University Australia she had responsibility for Corporate Services including Finance, Legal, Governance, HR, Technology Park, Commercial, International Education and PR. She is also a former Chair and member of Board of Directors, Ballarat Clarendon College. Rowena commenced her career as a lawyer, and holds an LLB and BJuris from Monash University and a Doctor FedUni (Hon). RCH Foundation Director since 2022.

Sameer Kumar

BBus FCA

Sammy Kumar is the Co-Founder of Sayers Group and CEO of Sayers Advisory and Investments. He has over 30 years’ experience across strategy, deals, digital, financial effectiveness and operations. Sammy served on the Board of the RCH from July 2012 to July 2015 and was reappointed in July 2018. RCH Foundation Director since 2015 and Chair of the RCH Foundation’s Audit Committee since 2016.

Karl Kutner

BPD

Karl Kutner is an Executive Director of Central Equity. Karl is responsible for all acquisitions and town planning matters along with overseeing the sales and marketing departments, and has been an integral member of the Central Equity Group since its growth years on Southbank in the early 1990’s. Karl holds a Bachelor Degree in Planning and Design from the University of Melbourne along with a Certificate IV in Business from RMIT. RCH Foundation Director since 2016.

RCHF Board

Bernadette McDonald 

RN, MHA, GAICD 

Bernadette McDonald was appointed to the role of CEO of the 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. RCH Foundation Director since September 2021.

Associate Professor Michelle Telfer

MBBS (Hons) FRACP

Associate Professor Michelle Telfer is a Paediatrician and Adolescent Medicine Physician and is currently Director of the Department of Adolescent Medicine at the RCH. She is 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. Michelle was central to the achievement of federal legal reform and her efforts have led to transgender young people now being able to access hormone and surgical treatment without the need for approval by the Family Court of Australia. She is also first author of the inaugural Australian clinical guidelines for trans and gender diverse children and adolescents which was endorsed through an editorial in The Lancet. Michelle held an Executive position on the Board of Directors of the Australian Professional Association for Trans Health (AusPATH) from 2014-2020 and was President for the final two years of this tenure. 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. Prior to studying medicine at the University of Western Australia 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. RCH Foundation Director since 2022.

Tiffany Lucas

Tiffany’s career spans strategy consulting, fundraising and legal practice at top firms in the US and Australia. Through her consulting business, Tiffany works to help organisations articulate their vision, ensure good governance and grow their revenue. From 2013 – 2016, Tiffany served as Development Director at Melbourne Theatre Company. She was previously a Senior Associate at Arnold Bloch Leibler in Melbourne practicing corporate and commercial law, acting for both public and private clients. Tiffany holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and English (Summa cum laude), a Juris Doctor in Law (Magna cum laude) and a Masters of Bioethics from Monash University. She is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a participant in the Victorian Government’s 2022 Women’s Board Leadership Program. Tiffany is the current President of the RCH Auxiliaries. She also holds several other philanthropic leadership roles. She is currently a Director and Vice-President of Arts Project Australia, Director and Secretary of Dancehouse Inc, Director and Secretary of TEDxMelbourne Ltd and convener of the Development Professionals Network Victoria. She previously served on the Development Board of the RCH’s Children’s Bioethics Centre the RCH Clinical Ethics Committee, as a Director of the Northern Rivers Performing Arts Centre (NORPA) and was President of the American Women’s Association. RCH Foundation Director since 2022.

Company secretary

Sue Hunt AM is Chief Executive Officer of the RCH Foundation, she was appointed to the position of Company Secretary on 6 October 2010.