Health Services Association NSW

The Health Services Association of NSW is a company limited by guarantee incorporated in NSW under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

The Association is governed by a Board of up to 14 directors, 13 nominated by its Health Service Members, and 1 each from its Associate Members.

The Board is elected annually at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in November.

At the first meeting immediately following the AGM, the newly elected Board elects from among its directors, a President, Vice President, Treasurer and Executive Member.

The Board meets bi-monthly.


Grainne O’Loughlin, President
Chief Executive Officer – Karitane
Qualifications: BSc (Hons) Sp.Th, MBA, GAICD


Grainne joined Karitane in 2014 and has over 30 years’ experience in the public health care sectors in the UK and Australia. She has held a variety of senior health executive roles and has extensive strategic and operational management experience in acute, sub-acute and not for profit healthcare and community settings. Grainne is a strategic, innovative & driven leader who achieves desired outcomes in key areas of interest including early intervention and prevention, the First 2000 Days, perinatal & infant mental health.

She completed her Masters of Business Administration through the University of New England in 2011 and became a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors in 2018.

She currently holds three Non-Executive Director appointments:

  • President of the NSW Health Services Association Board (HSA);

  • Chair Australasian Association of Parenting & Child Health Board (AAPCH)

  • National Ability Roundtable   

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Robert Mills, Treasurer


Robert Mills has worked within the public hospital system for over 35 years, with his career mainly focused in the discipline of maternal and child health. He has held the positions of Director of Maternal and Child Health at Macarthur Health Service and then CEO of Karitane from 2003 before becoming the CEO of Tresillian in 2013. Tresillian is an affiliated health organisation, originally with 4 metropolitan centres, which Robert has now rapidly expanded over the last 4 years, with an additional 10 Tresillian centres across regional New South Wales, Victoria & the Australian Capital Territory. Robert is on the Board of the Australasian Association of Parenting and Child Health Inc. the Dean’s Advisory Board University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the NSW Health Services Association. Robert is an Associate Professor of Industry with the University Technology Sydney (UTS) and is an accredited assessor with the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS).


Gerard (Ged) Hyde, Vice President

War Memorial Hospital

Ged is a highly committed health professional working across the health sector for 30 years. He is a thoughtful and innovative leader with experience spanning the acute, subacute and community settings, managing at an executive level in both large and small hospitals.

With an extensive clinical background in nursing specialising in emergency care, his leadership and management experience is supported by a Masters in Health Administration from the University of New South Wales.

Ged has a passion for leading organisations, developing and implementing innovative programs and strategies that enable people to lead healthy lives at home and in the community. He is an ethical leader who strives to ensure sustainable business performance in consumer driven service provision. He is currently the Executive Manager of the War Memorial Hospital at Waverley, NSW Australia.


Mary Dowling, Executive Director

A qualified and experienced health professional Mary, has deep knowledge of the health sector with a breadth of experience at executive and senior management levels, including working at executive level for a number of Local Health Districts.

A qualified Nurse and Midwife, Mary also holds qualifications in acute care and coronary care with a masters of health services management. She has held a number of increasingly senior clinical positions across NSW Health. Prior to taking up her position of Executive Director, with the Health Services Association Mary held the position of Deputy Director of Medical Services at Royal North Shore Hospital, a position she held for seven years.

Admitted as a lawyer in 2002 Mary gained her legal experience with United Medical Protection (AVANT) one of Australia’s largest medical insurers. She is also an Accredited Mediator. Marys past experience also includes many years as a Director of Professional Practice and also as an Acting Director of Clinical Governance.

Passionate about delivering quality health care and medical engagement Mary’s legal, clinical and executive management experience enable her to make a significant contribution to the Health Services Association and its members.


Matt Mackay, Executive Member

Chief Executive Officer

Royal Rehab

Matthew is a healthcare executive leading growth through strategy and direction, designing and building a strong and engaging culture, developing leaders and increasing performance. He re-engineers core processes around customer needs to optimise performance and uses technology and organisation design to improve service delivery, service quality and staff engagement.

Matthew has held senior management and executive roles in public, private and military sectors over two decades.

Matthew is also a Captain in the Australian Army with operational deployments in command positions in Afghanistan and Timor.

Board Directors

Mark Newton, Board Director

Chief Operating Officer

Parramatta Mission

An executive and consultant with a background in economics specialising in health systems improvement, Mark has worked in senior health and hospital leadership positions in Australia and in the UK.

Worked at St George Hospital (Sydney) in executive roles, then for the Red Cross Blood Service as NSW State Operations Director for 11 years, leading transformation during a period of massive upheaval in the sector.

Led as a CEO in the disability sector in 2004 working for the NSW Department of Aging, Disability and Home Care. Became CEO of Hope Healthcare Ltd in 2006, then Director Population Health, Planning and Performance for Northern Sydney and Central Coast Area Health Service in 2010, and subsequently CEO of St John Ambulance (NSW).

From early 2015 Mark was consulting for a range of clients; notably at icare NSW assisting with its transformation to a world class provider in the field of insurance and care, for injured workers.

More recently Mark took up the role of Chief Operating Officer for Parramatta Mission to deliver a transformation project.

Numerous voluntary, professional and community board memberships and industry-wide networks. Until recently a member of the Audit & Risk Committee of the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency for the Commonwealth Department of Health and Human Services.

Passionate about system performance improvement and empowering people to deliver valuable services for individual and community benefit. With a focus on optimising outcomes, Mark has a track record of transformational leadership and organisational advancement.


Strephon Billinghurst, Board Director

Chief Executive Officer

Hawkesbury District Health Service

Strephon Billinghurst joined Hawkesbury District Health Service at the time of Hawkesbury District Health Service’s transfer to St John of God Health Care in November 2015. Having worked as the Chief Executive Officer at the specialist private psychiatristfacility, St John of God Richmond Hospital, Strephon seamlessly transitioned to his role of Chief Executive Officer at Hawkesbury District Health Service. Strephon ledthe HospitalManagement Team and more than 600 caregivers through successive changes involving the facility’s organisational structure, healthcare models and information, technology and communications systems.

Before joining the St John of God family, Strephon gained extensive experience working in acute private and public hospitals. Strephon worked at Calvary Hospital Canberra, a hospital with public and private services similar to Hawkesbury District Health Service. For three years, Strephon was Calvary Hospital’s Director of Operations for the Private Services (75 beds) and prior to that; the Nursing Director –Emergency, Perioperative, Mental Health and Critical Care for the (200 bed) public hospital services.

Before working with Calvary Hospital, Strephon worked with Flinders Medical Centre, a 430 bed public facility in South Australia as their Nursing Director –Emergency and Perioperative Medicine, and the Acting Executive Director of Nursing –Midwifery and Patient Services.Strephon’squalifications include a Masters in Health Services Management, a Bachelor of Nursing and a Graduate Diploma in Catholic Leadership from the Australian Catholic University


Steven Carr, Board Director

Chief Financial Officer

St Vincent’s Health Network, Sydney

With an Economics degree (Sydney), Masters in Environmental Law (Sydney) and an MBA (Accounting) (Sth Aust), Steven has spent over 25 years in the public and not for profit sector. CPA, CIMA and IPA qualified, his experience ranges from pure policy as the Director of Standing Committees with the Legislative Council through to CFO of several NSW Health Local Health Districts.

With a passion for delivering well managed and efficient business outcomes, he is a Board Member of the Health Service Association as well as his current responsibilities as CFO with St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

As the CFO and Director of Corporate Services, Steven is responsible for providing effective overall leadership and management of finance across St Vincent’s NSW public health network, management of capital works, facilities, health information services and patient logistics.


Drew Kear, Board Director

General Manager

Calvary Health Care Kogarah

Drew is a registered nurse with over 25 years’ experience in the public and affiliated health care sector and holds post graduate qualifications in Nephrology Nursing and Leadership. Drew leads through consensus and transparency and is passionate about building an engaged workforce that drives innovation and performance through a values focused lens. Drew has been a member of the HSA for 2 ½ years and represents Calvary Health Care Kogarah which is a 97 bed sub-acute hospital with extensive community services operating with South Eastern Sydney Local Health District.


Christine Arnold, Board Director

Operations Manager

DON Mercy Health Albury

As a Board member representing Mercy Health Care Albury and Mercy Care Centre Young, Christine has extensive experience in many aspects of health care in both metropolitan and regional health care settings. Commencing her career as a Registered Nurse, Christine has undertaken a number of diverse career paths, including post graduate Management, Quality and Palliative Care qualifications. Christine is an active Community member of the Albury Wodonga Cancer Foundation, and a strong advocate for Regional Health Services


Mark Jeffrey, Board Director

General Manager

Calvery Mater Newcastle

Mark has over 17 years experience in Public Health and joined Calvary Mater Newcastle as General Manager in 2018. Calvary Mater Newcastle is a 215 bed 3rd Schedule Hospital, specialising predominately in Cancer Services. Mark’s previous health experience was as Director of Finance for Hunter New England Local Health District. This role saw Mark lead the successful merge of corporate functions of 2 Area Health Services.

Before transitioning to Public Health Mark’s career was in Engineering and Manufacturing with BHP Newcastle. Mark’s subsequent role was with Thales, building six Huon Class Minehunters for the Royal Australian Navy. This project was recognised by the Department of Defence as the most successful major Defence Project undertaken at the time and is still seen as a benchmark.

Mark has been a member of HSA for 2 years.


Eileen Hannagan, Board Director

Chief Executive Officer

Chris O’Brien Lifehouse

In February 2014, Eileen was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Chris O’Brien Lifehouse. Eileen has 30 years’ experience in healthcare, in nursing, management and in the last 15 years as a senior executive. Eileen has studied commerce, health administration and holds a Master’s in Business.

Eileen has been CEO of Chris O’Brien Lifehouse for the last six years, realising the commissioning of the hospital and the growth of services and research to where it is today. Eileen is passionate about delivering the Lifehouse vision through patient-centred, compassionate, holistic care.

In all her previous roles, Eileen worked closely with clinical teams, allied health partners, hospital business units, research departments and federal and state governments to ensure positive healthcare outcomes and improve patient experience.

Originally from Melbourne, Eileen previously held the positions of Chief Operating Officer for St Vincent’s and Mercy Private Hospital in Victoria, before being appointed to manage one of Australia’s largest private hospitals, Epworth Richmond as the Executive Director. During her tenure at Epworth Richmond, Eileen managed day-to-day operations during an ongoing $700M major redevelopment and has commissioned several new areas.

“As CEO of Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, my priority is to deliver on our vision of uncompromising care, by providing the leadership required to complete the next phase of development and operations.”

Alison Kent, Board Director

HR Manager


Diploma Applied Science (Nursing), BA- Behavioural Science, MBA

Alison commenced her career as a Registered Nurse over 29 years ago and has worked in a number of management and senior management positions within a variety of different health related industries including Pathology, Occupational Rehabilitation, Cosmetic surgery, Disability services, Public and Private Hospitals.

Alison has worked at Northcott since 2013, and is currently the HR Manager (People and Culture) with responsibility for employee relations, recruitment and retention, the inclusive workplace strategy and A&TSI program.

Alison has been a board member with the HSA for the last 5 years and represents Northcott which is a not for profit, disability services provider that offers a wide range of service including Therapy, Supported Independent Living, Life Skills, In- home and Community Supports for it customers.


Non-Board Members

Jorge Aroche

Chief Executive Officer


Jorge Aroche is a clinical psychologist and the Chief Executive Officer of the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors.

Jorge joined STARTTS in early 1989 and has been the Chief Executive Officer of STARTTS since 1997. As CEO of STARTTS he led the then fledging organisation through some of the most challenging times for refugee services in Australia and an unparalleled period of growth and development in the size of the organization and the scope and sophistication of its services. STARTTS has assisted more than 60,000 individual clients from over 70 nationalities since 1988, and is widely recognized as a leading organization in the field of refugee trauma recovery.

Jorge is a co-convenor of the Forum of Australian Services for Survivors of Torture and Trauma, and has held the positions of Secretary General of the International Society for Health and Human Rights (ISHHR), and Vice President of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT). He is currently the President of the IRCT. Jorge has presented widely on clinical and settlement issues for traumatised refugees on national and international platforms and has been an active contributor on refereed journals and other publications on this topic.


Anthony Schembri

CEO of the St Vincent’s Health Network Sydney

Adjunct Professor Anthony M. Schembri AM

BSW(Hons) GradDipPubAdmin, MPP(Merit), FCHSM, MAASW                  

Anthony holds appointment as Board Director for the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Board Director of the National Centre for Clinical Research of Emerging Drugs of Concern, Board Director of the St Vincent’s Curran Foundation, Board Councillor of Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE) and Co‑Chair of Australian Catholic University/St Vincent’s Nursing Research Institute.

Anthony is an Adjunct Professor at the Australian Catholic University, Adjunct Professor at the University of Notre Dame Australia and Conjoint Associate Professor at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of New South Wales. Anthony completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course and is a Surveyor for the Australian Council of Healthcare Standards.

Prior to this Anthony was employed in General Manager roles at Liverpool Hospital, Bankstown‑Lidcombe Hospital and Fairfield Hospital. Anthony has also held the role of Clinical Director for Allied Health and hospital social work roles.

Anthony was honoured in the 2019 Queens Birthday Honours List, as a Member of the Order of Australia for significantservice to hospital administration, and to medical research. 



The Association has a permanent Secretariat led by Mary Dowling, Executive Director. The Secretariat is located in Sydney.

Executive Committee

The President, Vice President, Treasurer, Executive Director, and up to one Board Member constitute the Association’s Executive Committee. The Executive Committee meets on the alternate months when the Board does not meet, and with the Executive Director is responsible for the overall management of the Association.

Specialist Groups

The Association has developed a number of specialist groups centred on particular health service clusters. These groups allow health service providers delivering particular types of services to meet and network with each other, and to come together as one voice for government on issues affecting these services.


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