Board of Directors

Dr Neale Fong


President/Branch Councillor Director

Appointed to the Board in 2011 and elected President in 2016. Dr Fong has more than 25 years' experience in medical, health care and aged care delivery and leadership roles. He is currently Chairman of Bethesda Hospital and Professor of Healthcare Leadership at Curtin University. He was Director General of the WA Department of Health and Chief Executive Officer of St John of God Health Care Subiaco. He currently consults through Australis Health Advisory to a number of key health clients in Australia. He holds Bachelor Degrees in Medicine and Surgery, a Masters in Theological Studies and a Masters in Business Administration.

Briana Baass


Vice President

Appointed to the Board in 2017, Briana Baass has over 20 years of experience in the health sector across Australia, with a background in clinical prosthetics/orthotics. Her experience spans clinical treatment, health service operations, business management, various roles in a government department and seven years of consulting in a global firm.

Briana is a successful graduate of the College’s Management Residency (Internship) Program (2005-06) and she is now passionate about supporting and developing other emerging managers across the sector.

Michael Palassis



Appointed to the Board in 2022. Michael is one of Australia’s leading financial and commercial advisers providing commercial, strategic and financial advice on health and hospital projects across Australia. Michael has over 20 years’ experience in the health sector.

Michael is the founder and Executive Director of Paxon, a corporate finance advisory firm specialising in infrastructure. Established over 20 years ago, Paxon is a market leading expert in hospital, healthcare and aged care projects, advising on over $20 billion worth of health sector transactions in the last five years. Michael is a trusted adviser to Australian governments, financiers and operators for expert advice in the development, financing and structuring of major cornerstone projects and transactions. 

Michael is a former member of the Senate of the University of Western Australia. Prior to establishing Paxon, Michael worked in Investment Banking and Project Finance, in Australia and the USA.

Assoc Prof Christine Dennis


Branch Councillor Director

Associate Professor Christine Dennis has held senior executive roles in government and health services in South Australia, Victoria and Northern Territory. Prior to joining Flinders University in July 2019, Christine was the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards (ACHS) and ACHS International.

Initially training as a Registered Nurse, Registered Midwife in the South Australian health system, Christine has over forty years’ experience in health service management, strategic and operational planning, quality and safety systems and, in leading and implementing change in complex health care organisations.

Over the past 10 years, Christine has also has demonstrated capacity to draw on her clinical and management experience in the delivery of excellence in teaching and education. This subsequently led to her appointment as Director of Healthcare Management Programs in the College of Business, Government and Law at Flinders University and then as Deputy Dean Rural and Remote Health SA in the College of Medicine and Public Health.  

In 2018, Christine was elected as a founding member of the International Academy of Quality and Safety (IAQS) and also received Life Membership of the Australasian College of Health Service Management.

Rosemary Kennedy


Branch Councillor Director

Appointed to the Board in 2019, Rosemary has spent most of her career in the health care sector and has 30 years' experience in clinical healthcare and government leadership roles including community and hospital environments ranging from Australia to Saudi Arabia and including Christmas Island.

She is currently Adjunct Lecturer ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment. Rosemary holds a Bachelor of Health Administration and a Master of Public Health degree. She has been a member of the Australasian College of Health Service Management for 27 years, and a Fellow of the College for the past 14 years.

Her experience ranges from clinical to infrastructure and business support services including procurement and contract management.

Cam Ansell


Additional Director

Appointed to the board in 2022. Cam is a Chartered Accountant and Managing Director of Ansell Strategic with over 25 years’ experience in the aged care sector across Australia, US, Asia, and New Zealand. He has led major studies advising Government and the industry on policy, financial viability, and sustainability. As an advisor he has undertaken comprehensive financial and operational reviews of retirement and aged care services and performed detailed market metric reviews that have assisted providers to identify market opportunities for capital development and redevelopment projects.

Cam has been responsible for a number of mergers and partnerships between charitable entities and has been integral in some of the largest transactions in aged care. His experience, knowledge, and advice on changing trends in seniors’ accommodation, care services and international aged care systems have led him to be recognised as a thought leader in the sector.

Prof Len Notaras AO


Branch Councillor Director

Professor Leonard Notaras is the Executive Director of the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC) (2009-2014, 2016-2017). Professor Notaras was appointed as the Chief Executive of the Northern Territory Department of Health in April 2014. He was previously the Executive Director of the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre (NCCTRC) (2009-2014). For more than 16 years he also held the positions of Medical Superintendent at Royal Darwin Hospital, General Manager and Principal Medical Consultant.

Professor Notaras holds degrees in Medicine, Law and Arts (Hons) and Commerce and has Masters in History and Hospital Management. He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Health Service Management (ACHSM) and is a former ACHSE NT President. He was directly involved in the development of the NT Clinical School, as well as the NT Pharmacy School, and was closely involved in the vision that saw the creation of Australia’s NCCTRC. 

Professor Notaras was appointed as a government representative on the ACHS Board in 2002 and was Vice President from 2015 to 2017. He was elected ACHS President in May 2017. He has also been on the Board of Directors for ACHS International since 2009. He was also conferred Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA) in October 2022.

Dr Richard Olley


Branch Councillor Director

Appointed to the Board in 2019. Richard is a Senior Lecturer in Health Services Management at the Griffith University, Australia.  His research interests include health services leadership (particularly clinical leadership); management in health services; health services law and regulatory controls; clinical governance and quality and safety in health care; health workforce in both the acute and aged and community care sectors.

Richard commenced his career in health services as a nurse and specialised in areas such as mental health, emergency, operating room and intensive care working clinically and teaching in each of these areas.  He has over 25 years’ experience in leadership, management both the public and private health care sectors in Australia. His career and experience has been at senior executive, chief executive, consultant, and board member levels. 

Kate Plowman


Additional Board Director

Kate is a partner of MinterEllison, one of Australia’s largest law firms and a leading advisor to the health sector.

Kate acts for Australian hospital and health care providers (both public and private), as well as governments, colleges and insurers on a range of commercial, strategic and litigious matters.

Kate advises both in development and operational facets of health services, as well as dealing with disputes, employment matters, safety, quality and governance frameworks, and commercial and contracting matters.

Kate’s experience includes advising on the operational aspects of Australia’s largest health services projects and high-profile professional misconduct matters.

Cathy Cooney


Branch Councillor Director

Cathy was appointed President of ACHSM-Aotearoa in June 2021. She is the Director of Kowhai Health Associates Limited, a health consultancy company established 2012. She has been involved with ACHSM-Aotearoa (formerly NZ Institute of Health Management) since 1998 and completed her ACHSM Fellowship in 2010. Cathy is a Registered Nurse and Midwife, the Chief Executive of Lakes District Health Board from 2001 to 2012 and the Director of Nursing and Midwifery from 1994-2000. She has a background in governance, health sector leadership, executive management, public health nursing and community development. Cathy is currently the Chair of Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology; Chair of interRAI NZ Governance Board; Independent Facilitator Kaiāwhina (non-regulated) Workforce Plan; a member of the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal; Co-Chair for Healthy Families Rotorua; a member of Institute of Directors; and a Fellow and Censor of the College of Nurses, Aotearoa. She is also very involved in her local community including as a Judicial Justice of the Peace. Cathy was awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours Awards for her contribution to health and the community.

Karen Patterson


Branch Councillor Director

An active member since 2010, Karen undertook the ACHSM Fellowship Exam in 2015.In 2017 she was elected to NSW Branch Council and led the NSW Branch ACHSM Mentor Program portfolio. In 2018 Karen was elected Vice-President and in 2019 elected President of NSW Branch Council. Karen brings a depth and breadth of health management experience. Karen is currently employed as the Director of Capability and Culture with the NSW Clinical Excellence Commission. Previous to this appointment, Karen has held executive and management posts within the fields of Policy, Education, Leadership, Practice Development, Governance, Strategy and Performance. Karen has Advisory Board experience within government and the corporate sector. Karen is committed to lifelong learning and is currently a PhD candidate with UTS Health.

Professor Andrew Way AM


Additional Director

Andrew Way has served as Alfred Health's Chief Executive since 2009.

Andrew’s focus is on improving access, ensuring high quality, safe services with low mortality, within a strong financial framework and research supportive environment. Alfred Health is now seen as a leader in these areas.

Andrew led the development of Victoria’s first Academic Health Science Centre - Monash Partners, now an accredited NHMRC Advanced Health and Research Translation Centre. He was appointed as an Adjunct Clinical Professor in the School of Public Health and Preventative Medicine, Faculty of Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University in 2015.

Andrew is also a Director of other health related organisations and is a member of several government and other advisory groups. Prior to his relocation to Melbourne in 2009, Andrew had an extensive career in the NHS in the UK, latterly as CEO of the Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust.

Elizabeth Koff AM 


Additional Director

In April 2022 Elizabeth was appointed Managing Director of Telstra Health, Australia’s largest digital health company and a subsidiary of Telstra Corporation. 

Prior to this Elizabeth was Secretary, NSW Health for a six year term. As Secretary, Elizabeth was responsible for the management of the NSW health system, the largest health system in Australia with a $30 billion budget and 124,000 FTE. Key strategy achievements include the implementation of value based care across NSW, the progression of e-Health initiatives and a $2B/year capital infrastructure program. In 2020/2021 Elizabeth lead the NSW Health system through the COVID-19 pandemic and advised NSW crisis cabinet on the management of COVID-19 in NSW, and the subsequent vaccination roll out.  

Elizabeth was chair of the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC) and its subsequent iteration of Health Chief Executives Forum. She is also a member of Chief Executive Women. 

Elizabeth was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday 2022 Honours. In September 2022 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Western Sydney University for her contribution to healthcare in Western Sydney. 


Dr Liu Shao Haei


President - Hong Kong College of Health Service Executives

He was the Medical Superintendent of Tuen Mun Hospital from 1990-1992 and commissioned the regional hospital. In 1993-1995, he was the Hospitals Chief Executive of Ruttonjee Hospital to implement new management initiatives. During the SARS epidemic, he was a member of the Head Office outbreak team and was involved in infection control, data administration and dissemination of information. In 2008, he coordinated the Hospital Authority rescue operations to Sichuan Earthquake and the leader of the Initial Assessment Team. Dr Liu is also the in-charge and Advisor of the Corporate Clinical Psychology Service in Hospital Authority Head Office.

He is now the Chief Manager of Infection, Emergency and Contingency Department. His portfolio includes coordination of various specialist services such as Accident & Emergency Service, Intensive Care Service, Trauma Centres, Isolation Facilities, Major Incident Control Centre, Toxicology and Critical Incident Psychology Service.

Catherine Chaffey

Chief Executive Officer, ACHSM

Catherine has a substantial executive background at CEO / GM level with particular expertise across all sectors of adult education and association management - from strategic consulting, business management and development through to research and industry policy advice. Prior to taking on the role of CEO of ACHSM in November 2013, Catherine was employed as General Manager within the Workforce division of ASX-listed education business Navitas. She was a Board Member of the NSW Vocational Education and Training Board for 7 years.