Message from the board chair Trevor Danos AM FTSE
Colleagues, I am writing to you with some bitter-sweet news.
I cannot think of a more impressive Chief Executive - someone I am proud to call a colleague and a friend – who is so authentic, trusted, empathetic, inspiring, generous of spirit, compassionate, courageous, hardworking, caring, committed and effective at what she does, as well as being a superb and a one-of-a-kind communicator. I will have more to say in coming days about how we will give Deb the send-off she so richly deserves. And we do all know how much Deb likes a good party! In the meantime, it should be business as usual for the district. Lee Gregory has agreed to serve as the interim Chief Executive from when Deb officially leaves, on 20 September 2022. Many of you will know Lee well – he has been with Northern Sydney for almost 20 years and has held Executive positions across the district including the Director Finance and Corporate Services, General Manager Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Hospital, and most recently the Executive Director Operations. Lee’s extensive experience across strategic, operational and financial aspects together with his leadership skills will minimise disruption and ensure stability and support the continuation of business as usual through this period of transition. In conjunction with the Secretary, the Board will shortly commence a recruitment process to appoint Deb’s successor.
Following a competitive recruitment process, Deb Willcox will be stepping down as NSLHD Chief Executive to take up the position of Deputy Secretary, Health System Strategy and Planning at the NSW Ministry of Health. This is a fantastic and incredibly well- deserved appointment for Deb and on behalf of NSLHD, I have given her our warmest congratulations. This announcement will come as a surprise and as a shock to many of you. I suspect some of you might even shed a tear, even those of you who are unaccustomed to doing so. Many of us might feel a little less certain about the future. Deb’s departure, however, does in no way undermine her faith or the Board’s faith in the district, its people and its bright future, nor our collective passion for and commitment to the good works started and yet to be completed. And if you think about Deb for a moment, what wonderful news, truly a feather in her cap. An appointment that recognises all Deb’s special talents and her capacity to transform an organisation and to bring about change for the greater good. We should pause to reflect on all that Deb has achieved in a little under five years at the district and how Deb has touched all our lives in a positive way and has led us through COVID and how Deb always inspires us to do our best and to achieve the extraordinary. Deb leaves behind multiple exceptional and enduring legacies together with a strong leadership team that will see the district into the future.
Please contact your manager or me if you have any questions.
Trevor Danos AM FTSE Board Chair Northern Sydney Local Health District
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