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Our Executive team

Nicola Stokes - Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation

Nicola Stokes
Chief Executive Officer

In a career spanning more than 20 years Nicola has held national and international leadership positions in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors as CEO, senior executive and director.

While working for ANZ Bank, Nicola was awarded the International Quality and Productivity Council (IQPC) Shared Services Thought Leader of the Year and was a member of the United Nations Environment Program - Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI) Steering Committee.

Nicola has also been a member of the NSW Premier's Council for Active Living and the Expert Advisory Panel of the NSW Office of Preventative Health.

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Paul Kernaghan - Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation

Paul Kernaghan
Chief Operating Officer

Paul has more than 20 years’ experience in senior management positions within financial services businesses.

Prior to joining the Foundation, he worked for 11 years at Allianz Australia in Executive General Manager positions with a broad range of responsibilities including strategy, marketing, risk management, legal, compliance, internal audit and human resources. He ran the integration of Allianz and the Territory Insurance Office (TIO) and previously ran the Personal Injury Insurance Division.

Prior to this, Paul worked for AMP in the Corporate Strategy, Finance and Insurance Divisions.

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Susan Wynne GAICD
Director of Philanthropy

Before joining the Foundation, Susan spent four years at Sydney Dance Company, where she managed philanthropy and major gift development.

She began her career in the corporate sector, holding senior positions in marketing, communications and customer services. She also has extensive experience in local government having served as a member of Woollahra Council for the past ten years and Deputy Mayor since September 2015.

Susan is currently Deputy Chair of the Red Cross Society of Women Leaders.

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Yvonne Stewart - Sydney Children's Hospital Foundation

Yvonne Stewart
Head of Strategic Communications

Yvonne has 20 years’ experience in marketing, communications and fundraising. She was Brand and Communications Manager for The Benevolent Society and 200th Anniversary Campaign Director. She also worked for the YWCA’s Big Brothers Big Sisters Program and managed the Children’s Promise campaign for the Foundation for Young Australians.

Yvonne has also held senior new product development roles for Thomson Reuters in London and Sydney.

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Vanessa Johnston
Head of Marketing and Communications

Vanessa has spent more than two decades working in corporate and consumer marketing in Ireland and Australia, with major brands including Coca Cola, Kraft, OPSM and Nestle.

She specialised in digital communications and was named Internet Marketer of the Year in 2010 (IIA & Enterprise Ireland). She also ran her own consultancy with a focus on digital marketing and communications, with a broad client base including companies in the financial services, optical, pharmaceutical and restaurant sectors.

Most recently Vanessa was responsible for brand communication, marketing and digital content creation for Sydney Film School.

Her not-for-profit experience includes five years as a volunteer member of the Board of Children’s Books Ireland.

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