About the Board

The independent Better Care Victoria Board will advise the Minister for Health and the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services on health sector innovation. The Board will also provide recommendations on the most effective ways to invest the Better Care Victoria: Innovation Fund to drive improvement.

The Board will actively engage with the sector, providing specialist clinical and non-clinical leadership on health innovation best practice.

The Better Care Victoria Board (formally operating as the Health Innovation and Reform Council) is established by Part 6A of the Health Services Act 1988.

Board members

Dr Douglas Travis (Chair)

Doctor Douglas Travis, Better Care Victoria Board ChairDr Douglas Travis has extensive clinical and leadership experience in Urology and as Director of Surgery. He has held a number of positions as a urologist in Victorian health services over the last 20 years. He also has vast board experience including President of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) Victoria, a director of Avant Mutual Group, and membership on the Victorian Policy Advisory Committee on Technology.

In 2014, Dr Travis was appointed by the Victorian Government to lead the Travis Review, a state-wide census of bed and theatre capacity, and to provide recommendations about how to increase the capacity of Victorian public hospitals.


Dr Victoria Atkinson (Deputy Chair)

Doctor Victoria Atkinson, Better Care Victoria Deputy Chair

Dr Victoria Atkinson is a cardiac surgeon and the Chief Medical Officer and Group General Manager Clinical Governance at St Vincent’s Health Australia, the largest not for profit healthcare provider in Australia. In her role, Victoria has responsibility for developing a unified and integrated approach to clinical care and innovation across St Vincent’s. One of Victoria’s priorities is the development and implementation of the St Vincent’s Ethos program which aims to address entrenched cultures across the healthcare sector and result in a kinder, safer, more reliable healthcare system.

Prior to her current role, Victoria held management and clinical appointments at The Royal Melbourne Hospital where she spent over 20 years as a cardiac surgeon. With her transition to management, Victoria honed her interest in transformational change projects, clinical and operational innovation, and hospital design and was instrumental in designing and implementing the Nightlife program at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Victoria believes strongly in the ongoing evolution of healthcare delivery and design. She is a member of the Melbourne Health Board, and the Deputy Chair of the Board for Better Care Victoria. She holds an MBBS, FRACS, and a Masters of Health Management, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds an EDAC qualification from the Center for Healthcare Design in the USA. 

Associate Professor Susannah Ahern

Susannah AhernAssociate Professor Susannah Ahern has approximately twenty years’ experience in senior healthcare leadership and management roles, including in health service medical executive positions, at medical workforce agencies, in academia and consulting. She is currently Head of the Registry Science Unit and Coordinator of the Master of Health Services Management Course at Monash University. In her role she is the Academic Lead for a number of Monash University based registries including the Australian Cystic Fibrosis Data Registry, the Australian and New Zealand Thyroid Cancer Registry, the Australian Spine Registry and the NHMRC-funded pilot Dementia Registry, and supports the development of new and existing Monash clinical registries. In addition to her medical qualifications she holds a Master of Business Administration, Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators, and a PhD.

Susannah’s academic interests include the use of health data for quality improvement, innovation in health service leadership and management, medical workforce and training, and patient reported outcomes. She is a regular reviewer for a number of peer-reviewed international journals, and is a member of the Health Services Research Association of Australia and New Zealand (HSRAANZ).

Matiu Bush

Matiu Bush, BCV Board MemberMatiu has a Master's degree in public health and broad clinical and managerial nursing experience, including working in Tijuana, Mexico with Nobel Prize Laureate Agnes Bojaxhiu in international boarder aid, and as a emergency, oncology, intensive care nurse and is a sexual health Nurse Practitioner. He has experience in elective surgery waitlists and management of specialist clinics. In his role at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Matiu focused on designing "Michelin Star" waiting rooms to improve the patient experience including pioneering virtual reality for distraction therapy in dental oncology, serology and minor surgery clinics. 

Matiu contributes to health system innovation through involvement with Better Care Victoria as a board member, as a member of the Emerging Leaders Clinical Advisory Committee and as part of the Specialist Clinics Access Improvement Partnership Steering Committee. Matiu is a member of the Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA) and the UX Community of Practice for healthcare and mentors the next generation of undergraduate and postgraduate science students through the University of Melbourne Science Industry Mentoring Program.

Matiu is currently undertaking an innovation residency at RSL Care + RDNS based on the principles of anthropologist Clifford Geertz called "deep hanging out". The methodology involves immersing oneself in a workplace culture, obtaining the most important insights and innovating and transforming the cultural norms from the front line.  

Janet Matton

Janet Matton, member of the Better Care Victoria board.Janet's expansive 34 year career includes 12 years of international experience. This career has provided her with a wealth of experience in complex business management, digital transformations and global operations. Janet is a member of the Epworth Healthcare board. She is Chair of the Eastern Community Legal Centre board, a member of Chief Executive Women and a mentor to executive women for Behind Closed Doors.

Janet's passion for women in business and her experience in digital transformation, won her the 2010 Victorian Telstra Business Woman of the Year award. In October 2012, she was named as one of the 100 Women of Influence in the inaugural Westpac/AFR Women of Influence Awards.

Dr Bronwyn Morkham

Photo of board member Bronwyn Morkham.Dr Bronwyn Morkham has had a lifelong interest in innovative health services delivery as a consumer, advocate and most recently as the National Director of the Young People In Nursing Homes National Alliance. As the Alliance's National Director, Bronwyn has encouraged improved policy outcomes between health and disability programs at state and national levels; and led development of innovative and collaborative practice solutions in systems working with younger people with disability and complex health conditions.

Her leadership of a campaign to resolve the Young People in Nursing Homes issue led directly to the Council of Australian Government's (COAG) 5 year, $244m Younger People In Residential Aged Care (YPIRAC) initiative that was implemented nationally. Bronwyn is committed to development of community based health services that enable Victorians with complex health conditions to live safely and with confidence in the community. She believes the emerging National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) offers Victorian health services a unique opportunity for improved collaboration and innovation across health and disability sectors.

Dr Harvey Newnham

Dr Harvey NewnhamDr Harvey Newnham is a General Physician and Endocrinologist. He is a Professor and Director of General Medicine and Clinical Program Director of Emergency and Acute Medicine at Alfred Health Melbourne.

Harvey’s main interest is in delivery and quality improvement of acute medical care for complex medical patients with particular emphasis on ward rounding, interdisciplinary communication and patient engagement. He did a sabbatical at the Intermountain Institute of Healthcare Delivery Research, Salt Lake City in 2014 which included completion of the "Advanced Training Program in Health Care Delivery Improvement". Harvey was one of three panel members led by Dr Stephen Duckett that produced the Grattan Institute’s Targeting zero, the review of hospital safety and quality assurance in Victoria in 2016.


Kellie O'Callaghan

Kellie O'Callaghan, member of the Better Care Victoria board.Kellie is the Chair, Board of Directors of Latrobe Regional Hospital, a non-Executive Director, Gippsland Primary Health Network, Chair, Building Board Capability Advisory Committee for the Department of Health & Human Services, a Committee member of  Regional Development Australia Gippsland and an elected local government Councillor. As a long term consumer of health services in regional and metropolitan areas,

Kellie has a keen interest in consumer participation, governance and population health planning. She is focused on applying the principles of communication that engage and inform community and stakeholder groups, whilst enhancing the understanding of good governance principles and the broader benefits for communities. Kellie is committed to ensuring access to quality health services that are well resourced and sustainable.

Jacque Phillips

Jacque Phillips, expert advisor to the board of Better Care Victoria.Jacque has a strong strategic perspective in rural health services along with a significant record of leading and implementing change in health service environments. Successful partnerships are integral to achieving success and making a difference. 

Jacque has a strong commitment and shown leadership to improve access to health care in rural areas in the primary health, aged and acute sectors. She has also led the effort to rebuild an integrated health care facility and re-establish acute and primary health care after the devastating floods that destroyed the Numurkah hospital in 2012.

Jacque has qualifications in Nursing and Community Health along with Masters in Executive Public Sector Administration and many years of senior management experience in the public health system and local government. 

Sue Shilbury

Sue ShilburySue Shilbury joined Austin Health as Chief Executive Officer in early 2017, following a three-decade career in the New South Wales public health sector.

Sue's roles have included General Manager of North Shore Ryde Health Service, in which she oversaw the delivery of New South Wales Health's largest capital works program, the $1.3 billion redevelopment of Royal North Shore Hospital. Sue has also held roles as General Manager of the Central Hospital Network (South Eastern Sydney and Illawarra Health District); Director of the Division of Critical Care and Surgery at St George Hospital; and Director of Clinical Services at the Royal Hospital for Women.

Sue Williams

Sue Williams, expert advisor to the board of Better Care Victoria.Sue Williams has over 25 years' experience in the health care industry at senior management level in both the public and private sectors. She has held various roles including Director of Nursing at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, COO of 44 hospitals at Healthscope, Partner in the Health practise at KPMG and Divisional Manager of Health at the Spotless Group.

She recently took on the role as Chief Executive Officer of Peninsula Health which is undergoing a significant period of growth and expansion. Sue has qualifications in Nursing, as well as a Bachelor in Business Management and a Master of Business Administration from Monash University. In 2009, she undertook the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University.

Kathleen (Wendy) Wood

Wendy Wood, member of the Better Care Victoria board.Wendy has a unique breadth of operational and strategic expertise across professional nursing leadership and practice, general operations, human resources, risk management, internal audit, business/services planning, governance, administration and project management. Embarking on a career in healthcare 40 years ago, Wendy has achieved a progressive journey that includes leadership and senior executive appointments.

At Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre she held positions including Chief Nurse, Deputy CEO and Executive Director of Cancer Allied Health and Nursing. Wendy runs an independent consultancy, focusing on projects in the health and education sectors, she also co-ordinates and surveys against the National Standards for Quality and Safety in Health Care for the Australian Council on Health Care Standards. Wendy was interim CEO with Federation Training from June 2014 to early 2016.

Expert Advisors

The Minister for Health may appoint expert advisors to the Better Care Victoria Board to provide additional subject matter expertise and diverse perspectives to the work of the Board.

Professor Euan Wallace AM 

Euan WallaceProfessor Euan Wallace was appointed as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of Safer Care Victoria in October 2016. Safer Care Victoria, a government initiative in the response to the Review of Hospital Safety and Quality Assurance, is leading quality and safety improvement in Victorian public and private health services.

Professor Wallace is a senior clinician with extensive track records in academic medicine and health service delivery. Graduating from the Edinburgh Medical School, Professor Wallace completed his research and clinical training in Edinburgh before moving to Australia and joining Monash Health and Monash University in 1996.

Prior to his appointment to Safer Care Victoria, for the past 10 years at Monash Health, Professor Wallace has been the Director of Obstetric Services, overseeing the growth of Monash’s services to become Victoria’s largest maternity service and the home to one of two Victorian public homebirth programs. He is widely regarded as one of Australia’s leading experts in clinical governance and in safety and quality in maternity services.

Professor Wallace is also the Carl Wood Professor and Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Monash University’s School of Clinical Sciences based at Monash Medical Centre. He leads a perinatal medicine research group in the university’s Ritchie Centre and at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research. His research interests are in fetal development, maternal health, stem cell biology and patient safety. He will continue his academic and research roles with Monash University.

Terry Symonds

Terry Symonds, ex officio member of the Better Care Victoria board.Mr Terry Symonds heads the Health Service Policy and Commissioning division of the Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria, which is responsible for the department‘s stewardship role of the Victorian health care system. The division oversees policy, planning, funding and performance of the health system in Victoria, including public and private hospitals and day procedure centres, emergency and non-emergency patient transport services, residential aged care services, mental health services, and other non-government health care providers. The division supports best practice approaches to clinical care through the Victorian Cancer Agency, health and medical research, and international health engagement. 

The division also works with the newly formed Safer Care Victoria and the Victorian Agency for Health Information to ensure safe, quality health care and to disseminate innovation and improvement efforts across the health system. 

Mr Symonds has over twenty years of experience in the health and disability sectors in Victoria and Queensland, including in community development, hospital management, research and evaluation, strategy and performance monitoring. Mr Symonds holds a Masters in Health Studies (UQ) and postgraduate qualifications in health promotion and prevention.