The VHA is working with subject matter experts to deliver topical and timely information on issues that matter to health board directors and other senior leaders in health.


Who should attend?

The series has been developed to support busy health board directors and executives with practical information and resources on sector-critical topics.

Past and upcoming session details are below. Additional sessions may be added to support directors and executives with time-critical information and policies as they arise.


How do I access the sessions?

Each lunch and learn session is available live and on-demand – and supported by a range of tools and resources – to meet varying availability and learning styles.

Join live to get the benefits of real-time engagement with our speakers and your colleagues during the one-hour session. Participants will also have access to the webinar resource kit.

If you can’t attend on the day, or would like to access a past event, register for ‘On-demand’ access to the webinar recording and resource kit.

  • Member registration: $40 per person
  • Non-member registration: $70 per person
  • On-demand: member $15 per person, non-member $25 per person


Upcoming sessions

Wednesday 12 October – Cyber security risk and directors’ responsibilities

The health sector globally has been a target for cyber criminals due to the value of patients’ health data and privacy on the dark web, and Victoria has seen a steady increase of criminal activities targeting our hospitals in the past few years.

This session will cover the importance and key challenges in protecting against disruptions to patient services, patients’ data and privacy from cyberattacks, and the role of board directors in ensuring the right controls are in place to prevent, and to manage, a significant cyber event.

Join us for a guest presentation by Jeannie Sim, Director, Health Sector Assurance Department, Department of Health, followed by a facilitated panel discussion hosted by Ann Yeomanson, General Manager, Strategic Projects, VHA, exploring how cybersecurity crimes occur, practical precautions and solutions for health leaders, why it’s crucial that board directors are aware of their organisation’s vulnerability and across risks, and proactive measures. 

Panellists include:

Michael Read, Health Sector Chief Information Security Officer and Incident Manager, Department of Health

Sarah Lukies, Senior Legal & Governance Counsel, Xero, and Non-Executive director, West Gippsland Healthcare Group

Jack Petrie, Portfolio Manager, Casualty Speciality Lines, Victorian Managed Insurance Authority

Register to attend this session on 12 October.

Sign up to access the content on-demand.


Wednesday 16 November – Focus on board strategy

Setting the strategic direction of an organisation is a key board responsibility, but it can sometimes be a challenge knowing where to start in this process as well as striking a good balance between operational and strategic objectives. It takes foresight, insight, and oversight for a Board to navigate this undertaking successfully.

This session covers understanding the board’s role in strategy, embedding and activating that strategy, and how directors can stay efficiently abreast of the health context and contemporary issues.

Join the Australian Centre for Healthcare Governance’s Jo-Anne Moorfoot and guest panellists, as they share their tips on getting – and staying – focused on strategy.

Register to attend this session on 16 November.

Sign up to access the content on-demand.



Available only on-demand

CEO performance and the board’s role

Monitoring CEO performance is a key responsibility of the Board, and the Victorian Department of Health requires that the Chair and Board set a CEO performance plan. But what should directors be looking for in a CEO’s performance and how can they ensure the right supports are in place for the CEO to perform at their optimum?

This session covers the important roles played by the Chair and Board, ways of supporting CEOs for success, and the key elements which form part of an effective performance plan.

Join the Australian Centre for Healthcare Governance’s Jo-Anne Moorfoot and guest expert panellists to find out their tips for developing and supporting CEOs to set them up for success.

Panellists include:

  • Robyn Batten (Board Chair, Western Health, and Non-Executive Director, PHN Eastern Melbourne)
  • Paula Jeffs (General Manager, People & Capability, Melbourne Water, and Non-Executive Director, Ryman Healthcare)
  • John Rasa, Board Chair, healthAbility, and Deputy Chair, Latrobe Regional Hospital

Access the resource kit

Sign up to access the content on-demand.


Conversations that count: advocating for your organisation

Government relations will be critical in the lead up to the 2022 State Election. Here there is an opportunity and need to start mapping out a multi-year plan for your advocacy for external relations in the next election cycle. To be ‘political’ is not merely allowed – you should be doing it, and the strategic aims of your service will be strengthened as a result of a methodical approach to these government relations. 

Join us for an overview of key concepts regarding government relations. This session is designed to equip board directors and executives with the confidence to know how to plan and approach strategic conversations and get the maximum value out of conversations with elected representatives and key policy decision-makers. Juan Paolo Legaspi, VHA Manager, Policy and Advocacy, will provide guidance on how to identify key objectives and stakeholders for your planning purposes, and then how to prepare for targeted conversations that deliver maximum value for your service.  

Breaking down the difference between advocacy and government relations, the session covers: 

  • identifying key issues and defining the outcomes you seek
  • how to identify priority stakeholders with whom you need to engage, and how to get that audience
  • what those conversations should look like, including what not to do.

Panel features:

  • Terry Symonds, CEO, Yooralla, and Board Director, Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network
  • Tom Symondson, CEO, VHA
  • Julia Medew, Media Consultant, VHA

Access the resource kit

Sign up to access the content on-demand


Managing board dynamics

A functioning board is key to the success of any organisation and relies on strong and effective relationships and communication between board members as well as with executive management. Without these competencies and skills driving an organisation forward, decision-making and governance may be negatively impacted. 

This session delves into how to optimise board performance through improving board room behaviours and dynamics. 

Join Australian Centre for Healthcare Governance’s Jo-Anne Moorfoot and guest panellists who will discuss what behaviours and processes to strive for, what warning signs to look out for, and provide practical ways to foster and maintain positive board dynamics. 

Topics covered include: managing challenging behaviours, ensuring that you have a productive outcome-focused board environment, how to set the board up to succeed in building relationships and setting performance expectations, ensuring all board members are engaged (including getting the best performance from quiet directors, managing any factions in the board, board room behaviours and values, and navigating conflict. 

Panel features:

  • Margaret Douglas, Board Chair, DPV Health
  • Dr Joy Humphreys, Board Chair, Great Ocean Road Health
  • Tim Greene JP, Board Chair, Colac Area Health

Access the resource kit

Sign up to access the content on-demand


Navigating health funding

Board directors need to develop and maintain a strong grasp of the funding mechanisms and models which apply to the organisations they serve. Yet some of the numerous terms and concepts used to describe health funding can be confusing at times. Join us for high-level overview of how the health funding system works in Victoria, with an expert guest panel on hand to demystify it.  

Panel features:

  • Dan Weeks (CEO, West Gippsland Healthcare Group)
  • Richard Bolitho (Executive Director, Financing and Investment, Commissioning and System Improvement Division, Department of Health)
  • Michael Hallas (Chief Finance and Information Officer, Connect Health & Community).

This session will provide insight into hospital versus community health funding, basic understanding of the various funding instruments and how they monitor financial performance against activity-based funding, and what to look for when reviewing performance information of your service. The session is designed for board directors,  and anyone seeking to gain a better grasp of the basics of funding as it applies to their service. 

Access the resource kit

Sign up to access the content on-demand


Quality and Safety Act: what you need to know about duty of candour

The Health Legislation Amendment (Quality and Safety) Act 2021 seeks to amend the Health Services Act 1988 to provide for the appointment of a chief quality and safety officer, to provide for quality and safety reviews of health services, and to create a new statutory duty of candour for health service providers (among other amendments).

Join Australian Centre for Healthcare Governance (ACHG)’s Jo-Anne Moorfoot and guest panellists, including Michael Gorton (Principal, Russell Kennedy, Chair, Alfred Hospital, Board Member, Ambulance Victoria, and President of the Board of Directors, Wellways Australia), Lanii Birks (A/Manager Patient Safety, Experience and Response, Safer Care Victoria), and Kelly Taylor (consumer representative, Safer Care Victoria advisory group), who will unpack the practical significance of the Act’s new duty of candour clause which will increase the requirement for health services to have robust quality and safety systems and mature open disclosure processes.

In this session we explore how duty of candour will require health professionals to have open disclosure and will dramatically change oversight requirements and expectations of health services in relation to admission of fault, reporting when something goes wrong, privacy, and the consequences of noncompliance. Learn about implementing a health queries plan, having an effective compliance process and establish auditing processes, as well as monitoring and reporting requirements.

Sign up to access the content on-demand

Access resource kit


Understanding conflict of interest

Conflicts of interest arise when personal or other professional interests and duties may be perceived to influence the way in which a director acts or votes on an organisation’s board. It is the Board’s role to manage any conflicts of interest and duty in the public interest (Code of Conduct for Directors of Victoria Public Entities, SECT 2.5) and individual directors have a duty to notify other directors of material personal interest when conflict arises – it can constitute an offence under the Corporations Act 2001 (SECT 191) if directors breach these obligations recklessly or with intentional dishonestly.

Conflicts of interest/duty can occur in any organisation, so it is important that executives and board members are aware of what to look for and how to respond whenever conflicts arise.

In this session, the Australian Centre for Healthcare Governance’s Jo-Anne Moorfoot and guest panellists, Sarah Lukies (Senior Legal & Governance Counsel, Xero, and non-Executive Director, West Gippsland Healthcare Group) and Dr Jo Flynn (Chair, Board Ministerial Advisory Committee, President, Berry Street, and Director, Victorian Institute of Forensic Mental Health (Forensicare)), provide insight on the processes of identifying and managing conflict of interest for boards and directors.

Access the resource kit

Sign up to access the content on-demand.


Board meetings in 2022: what does the new BAU look like? 

During this time of considerable and sustained stress of Victoria’s health system, we have seen innovation not only in the delivery of publicly funded health, aged care and community health services, but also within the governance space. Boards and executives have increasingly used online tools to overcome challenges of remote working and to maintain strong relationships and engagement.

At a time when Victoria’s health and aged care services seek to strike an effective balance between ‘business as usual’ activity and COVID-19 responses, In this session, Tass Mousaferiadis, Board Chair, Eastern Health and Star Health, and Helga Svendsen, Board Director, The Royal Women’s Hospital, and host of Take on Board podcast, join us to explore the governance lessons learned during the pandemic and how these might be applied to board activity on an ongoing basis.

The session highlights governance innovations adopted within the public health system during the pandemic, covering topics such as the benefits and challenges of virtual and hybrid meetings, how virtual environments can be used as tools to conduct business as well as build comradery and engagement, maintaining COVIDsafe processes and procedures, and successfully integrating and supporting new board appointments.

This session will be of particular interest to board directors, secretaries and those who interact with boards.

Access the resource kit

Sign up to access the webinar on-demand.


Applying the recommendations of VAGO’s Clinical governance: Health services report

This session covers the key domains of the clinical governance framework and their application to health settings, in the context of the recent VAGO report ‘Clinical Governance: Health Services’.

Join the Australian Centre for Healthcare Governance’s Jo-Anne Moorfoot and guest panellists Nathan Farrow (A/Director Centre for Patient Safety and Experience, Safer Care Victoria) and Sally Martin (Director Quality, Improvement and Patient Experience, the Royal Melbourne Hospital and NorthWestern Mental Health) as they take a closer look at VAGO’s recommendations to the audited health services and how they can be applied to all health services.

Access the resource kit

Sign up to access the webinar on-demand


Board evaluation

An effective, engaged board is a sign of a well-functioning organisation. However, even the highest performing organisations need a periodic health check. The Department of Health requires that health boards should self-assess their performance every year, with an external review conducted every three years.

In this session, Governance Evaluator’s CEO and Founder Fi Mercer and Russell Kennedy Lawyers Principal Michael Gorton (also Chair, Alfred Hospital; Board Member, Ambulance Victoria; and President of the Board of Directors, Wellways Australia) join the Australian Centre for Healthcare Governance’s Jo-Anne Moorfoot to discuss the importance of board evaluation and how the assessment process can help your board continuously improve.

Access the resource kit

Sign up to access the webinar on-demand


The role of a board chair

12-1pm, Wednesday 17 November

The board chair plays a significant leadership role in governance of the board and organisation. This role is more than just ensuring an effective meeting and extends well past the meeting function. In this session, attendees will learn about the critical role of the board chair inside the board meeting and beyond. Attendees will consider both the practical role chairs need to undertake as well as the personal characteristics expected to perform as an effective chair and the specific requirements of health sector.

Guest panellists include: Michael Delahunty, Chair, Goulburn Valley Health; Janice Munt, Chair, Central Bayside Community Health Services; and Linda Bardo Nicholls AO, Chair, The Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Access the resource kit

Sign up to access the webinar on-demand


Successful induction of new board members

Appointing a new director is an important step in refreshing the board and ensuring an appropriate mix of skills, expertise, and experience around the board table. However, most boards are time pressed with critical discussions and decisions that must take place in the limited time available for board meetings.

In this session, the Australian Centre for Healthcare Governance’s Jo-Anne Moorfoot took directors through the essential elements of a good induction program to ensure new directors are clear on their governance role, the processes of the board as well as the business of the organisation.

Access the resource kit

Sign up to access the webinar on-demand