Dr Karen Hammad (FCENA)

PhD, BN(Hons), Grad Dip Emerg Nsg

In 2001 while watching scenes from the World Trade Center attack unfold on television Karen was prompted to reflect on the readiness of the emergency department she was working in at the time as well as her own personal preparedness for something similar occurring in her own city. Karen recognised gaps in her own disaster preparedness and through discussions with colleagues became aware that others felt as unprepared as she did. This stirred a passion in Karen which determined the rest of her career focussing on building resilience and preparedness in front line health professionals.

Karen graduated from the University of South Australia as a Registered Nurse in 1996 and has spent most of her career working clinically in emergency departments. Karen has also worked for nearly a decade in the university system where she developed and coordinated a Masters Degree in Disaster Health Care. Karen holds a PhD from Flinders University which explores the experiences of nurses who have worked in emergency departments during disasters. Karen is an active researcher with a focus on preparedness, response and resilience of health professionals in relation to disasters and unexpected events.

Karen is currently employed as a consultant for the World Health Organisation headquarters in Geneva where she works in health security focussing on preparedness for deliberate events with chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear involvement.

Karen is a Fellow of the College of Emergency Nursing Australasia and has held positions as Company Director and State President. Karen is an Associate Director of the Torrens Resilience Institute, Deputy Chair of the Australian College of Nursing Disaster Community of Interest and is a member of the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine. Karen is proud to be an emergency nurse and continues to work clinical shifts when she can.

Brenda Wilson

Professor Brenda Wilson has worked in the health industry and aged care sector, across both public and private sectors for more than 40 years.

She graduated as a general nurse from Royal Adelaide Hospital (1976) and subsequently trained as an intensive and coronary care nurse (1978). She completed a Diploma of Applied Science at the South Australia College of Advanced Education (1982) and was awarded professorial status in the departments of nursing at Flinders University in 2000 and University of South Australia in 2015.

Brenda has held several senior leadership positions in the not-for-profit sector and health industry including, Chief Executive, Cancer Council SA (2003- 2015); Executive Director Nursing and Patient Services, Flinders Medical Centre (1995-2003), Executive Director of Nursing, Lyell McEwin Health Service (1994-1995) and Director of Nursing (1992) and Chief Executive (1993 -1995), Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre. She was appointed charge nurse of the cardiology unit at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (1982) and has worked in London at Guys and the London Hospitals.

While Chief Executive at Cancer Council SA, Brenda was appointed by the Health Minister as the inaugural Chairman of the Cancer Clinical Network (2008-2010) and worked with several key individuals during this period to produce the first State-wide Cancer Control Plan for SA.

She was a volunteer surveyor for the Australian Council on Health Care Standards for 10 years, (1995 to 2005) which examines the standards of practice and service delivery in major teaching and private hospitals in Australia against a set of key criteria.

She is a volunteer mentor for the Australasian College of Health Service Executives mentoring program and was awarded the Gold Medal for her leadership role in the College in 2015.

She is the Patron of Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer (FCIC), Patron of the Australian College of Health Service Managers and Patron of the United Nations of Australia (SA Division).

Brenda is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD), a Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Service Executives (FCHSE), a Fellow of the Australian College of Nursing (FACN) and a Graduate and Fellow of the Wharton School of Management (FWSM), Pennsylvania USA.

She also holds a Bachelor of Business (BBus) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

She was the Winner of the (2000) Telstra SA Business Women’s Award for Corporate and Government Sector, South Australia and the (1999) Johnson and Johnson Wharton Fellow for Executives Program in Management.

Her current board positions include Director ACH Group (2014); Director ACHA Health (2016); Director State Opera SA (2017), Member Northern Adelaide Local Health Network Governing Council (2010); and Flinders University Council (2015). She is a former Director of the University of South Australia MBA Advisory Board, and Board Director Burnside Hospital (2003-2011) and the Hutt Street Centre (2015-16).

Brenda was appointed as the first female Lieutenant Governor of South Australia in 2014.