Cath Bowtell appointed Board Chair of the Women’s 

1 July 2022 |

High-profile CEO, advocate and board director, Cath Bowtell has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Women’s Hospital Board.

With a background in the superannuation sector and industrial relations, Cath sits on a number of public and private sector boards.

She has been a director of the Women’s Board since 2016 and brings a wealth of experience and expertise in governance, risk management, strategy and strong financial management to the role. 

“I am thrilled to be appointed to the role of Chair at the Women’s,” said Cath. “It enables me to combine my professional experience and expertise with my deep commitment to health equity and progressing women’s rights.

“I’ve been a Board Director at the Women’s since 2016 and in that time my admiration and commitment to the organisation has intensified.

"This is one of the country’s most trusted and respected public hospitals, and for good reason; their commitment to providing high quality comprehensive care to all women and improving health equity across the public health system is unwavering”.

Cath takes over the role of Board Chair from Lyn Swinburne AO, founder of Breast Cancer Network Australia, outspoken women’s health advocate and former Melburnian of the Year.

“As Deputy Chair, I had the privilege of working beside Lyn for many years and seeing first-hand how passionate and committed she is to being a voice for ordinary women.

"She steered the Women’s through some challenging times, as well driving us to boldly embrace some excellent opportunities,” said Cath. 

“I now look forward to continuing to steer the Women’s towards that ambitious agenda as we focus on delivering some exciting new initiatives that will improve health outcomes for Victorian women and their families.” 

In welcoming Cath Bowtell as the new Board Chair, hospital Chief Executive, Professor Sue Matthews said she looks forward to working closely with her. 

“Cath has been on our Board for a number of years, so we already have an excellent working relationship,” said Sue. 

“I am very excited about embarking on this next chapter under Cath’s stewardship. The next few years at the Women’s will see us implement our new strategic plan, which has some very ambitious initiatives. We will also need to focus on developing more sustainable funding models, supporting and developing our workforce and building on our strong legacy as an advocate for women’s health.

“We’ve been very fortunate to have had Lyn Swinburne as our Chair for the last seven years. As a passionate advocate for women with lived experience and a highly motivated leader, Lyn has done an amazing job.

“I would like to thank her for her very generous contribution to the Women’s. She is a remarkable woman and I look forward to her continuing support of the Women’s and the work we do.”

For more information about the Women’s Board: Governance and Structure.