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21 Barclay Street, Heywood, VIC, 3304

New Faces on HRH Board

THEY’RE keen, and they’re hoping that they can bring something new to healthcare in Heywood.

Lauren Easson and Courtney Hoggan recently joined the Heywood Rural Health board. Both work for Glenelg Shire Council where Ms Easson is the chief finance officer and Ms Hoggan the media and communications officer. Their backgrounds diverge slightly from there though. Ms Hoggan is a Heywood resident, and said she was looking forward to the job ahead. “When this opportunity came up I thought it was perfect,” she said. “As a long-time resident of Heywood it’s nice to have an opportunity to give back to Heywood as well, rather than the whole shire. “Plus I want to learn more about how other organisations work, like the hospital.” Ms Hoggan also wanted to bring her professional skills to the role and said council chief executive Greg Burgoyne encouraged staff to increase their skills. “The more exposure you get to other settings the more benefit to your job,” she said. As a young person she believed she had something to offer from that perspective. “In my interview I said I’d like to bring some contemporary thinking so I’m hoping to bring that aspect but having said that there’s lots to learn and I’m hoping to learn from some like-minded professionals.”

Ms Easson is a born and raised Portlander and was also pleased to give something back to the community. “I think it’s always important to know what’s going on in your local area and expand your knowledge,” she said. “I hope it works both ways – I’m hoping to learn more things and also to look at the financial management and the viability of the health sector. “I guess it’s so important to community health and for such a small community like Heywood, it’s just going to be really interesting to see how it all works.” That included navigating the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic – including board meetings that aren’t in person, but online. “That will be a challenge that we all have to get used to,” Ms Easson said.

Phil Saunders was nominated as chairman again for 2020-21, after stepping into the role last year. Sam Carter and Andrew Bradbury left the board – Mr Bradbury, who served two years, had resigned before his term was completed but has agreed to stay on as an independent member of the finance committee. Mr Carter, who served three years, was a member of the clinical governance committee and has agreed to stay on as an independent member of that committee.