The Mirror News

David Pollard appointed as SGH Chair

• Newly-appointed South Gippsland Hospital (SGH) Board Chair David Pollard, left, is pictured with two of three new SGH Board Directors, Ceinwen McCann and Dr Michelle Kermode, before a tour of the SGH precinct. Associate Professor Noel Cranswick is the third new Director.

FOSTER resident and economist David Pollard has been appointed as Chair of the South Gippsland Hospital (SGH) Board, succeeding the retiring Chair and Board Director Sue Pilkington who stepped down on June 30, 2023.

“We just love Foster!” Mr Pollard said of himself and his wife Linley, who have lived permanently in Foster since 2013, the year before he came on to the SGH Board as an independent member of the SGH Audit and Risk Committee.

“We very much enjoy living here, we like the views, and we like the people, too,” he said.

The Pollards’ association with the Corner Inlet district first began when they bought their Foster property in 1999, and their affection for both district and the local community grew with every weekend and holiday time visit they made.

After serving with distinction and insight on the Audit and Risk Committee, Mr Pollard subsequently became an SGH Board Director, and is now in the fifth year of his nine-year tenure.

Mr Pollard’s term as Board Chair formally started on July 1, 2023.

He has brought extensive experience in organisational management, strategic leadership, social justice and public policy to assist him in the role.

Mr Pollard attended the University of Western Australia and holds degrees and diplomas in economics, education and the arts, along with a PhD in economics from Sydney University. 

During his professional career, which he described as “predominantly in the public sector”, Mr Pollard held a number of leadership positions including the Victorian Commissioner of State Revenue and the Chief Executive Officer of VicForests.

He has also published a number of texts on public policy, social policy, and economics, including his first book, on the relationship between Aboriginal land rights and living standards, which was released in the late 1980s.

Mr Pollard said he believes that “given the various constraints, including competition for [government] funding” the Corner Inlet district community and the township of Foster are “very well served with medical assets.

“SGH has a very good executive team and staff, a competent board, and good relationships with government, both at state and commonwealth levels,” he said.

“We are all working hard at SGH to continue to deliver services and to improve them.”


The SGH Board has welcomed three new Directors, whose nine-year tenures commenced on July 1, 2023.

They are Dr Michelle Kermode, Ceinwen McCann, and Associate Professor Noel Cranswick, who replace retiring Board Directors Sue Pilkington, Associate Professor Priscilla Robinson, and Professor Jim Buttery.

Dr Kermode thinks she is more than fortunate to “live between Foster North and Melbourne” and glad to accept her new position as an SGH Director since retiring from her professional life in global public health.

She has held senior positions in academia, industry, government and hospital settings, including as Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne in global and public health research, focusing on women’s health, mental health and infectious diseases.

Dr Kermode led and contributed to multiple projects in international settings, including India and Kenya, involving partnerships with local community groups, religious organisations, research institutions, and government agencies.

Previously she was employed in clinical and educational roles as a nurse in the fields of intensive care, mental health and infectious diseases.

While Ms McCann lives in Warragul she also enjoys spending “a bit of time in Venus Bay” and so is already familiar with South Gippsland.

“I love small hospitals and their strong links to their own communities,” she said.

“I’ve worked in places similar to South Gippsland Hospital as well as in larger regional and metropolitan hospitals.”

Ms McCann is an innovation and improvement specialist with a background in public health, health promotion, and human resource management, and wide experience in project and change management in public, private, metropolitan and regional health services.

She is a seasoned change coach and advisor and is passionate about organisational culture and collaboration to better serve communities.

With significant health service consumer experience, Ms McCann is a consumer representative with Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation and Safer Care Victoria informing state level improvement of maternity and newborn care. 

Associate Professor Noel Cranswick is the Director of Clinical Pharmacology and the Australian Paediatric Pharmacology Research Unit at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne.

He is also a General Paediatrician at the RCH and is fully trained in both paediatrics and clinical pharmacology as well as being a legal graduate and has extensive trial experience in both adult and paediatric clinical trials. 

Professor Cranswick has been an advisor to both government and industry and continues to evaluate new drug applications for the Australian Therapeutic Drugs Administration.

He has also been a member of the Committee for the selection of Essential Medicines for the World Health Organisation and has been an external evaluator for the European Union.

Professor Cranswick has more than 20 years’ experience in performing and assessing pharmacokinetics in children and adults, and he also has ongoing research interest in  adverse drug reactions, therapeutic drug monitoring, drug usage, and disaster management in children.


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