Over 4 decades of clinical, research and executive leadership in children’s healthcare, including Executive Director of Sydney Children’s Hospital (1995-2010). Most recent position: inaugural NSW Chief Paediatrician (2010-2016). Advocacy and support roles in childhood injury, including convenor of multiagency Conference (2013), co-Chair of NSW Childhood Injury Prevention Research Reference Group and expert advisor to the NSW Ombudsman’s office.
Q: If you could wave a magic wand what would you change and where would you start in order to improve childhood injury?
A: My emphasis has been and remains interagency collaboration and data sharing, especially in NSW jurisdiction. What is required is a declared priority in policy and funding and a clear point of leadership.
Q: Please tell us about a story that has had an impact on you and that has strengthened your resolve in childhood injury prevention.
A: When initiating our collaborative NSW structures/ventures I was greatly impressed by the commitment and enthusiasm of colleagues across multiple agencies as well as the excellence of the research projects submitted in response to modest funding opportunities.
Q: What practical solution(s) would you like to see/do you believe would see an immediate reduction in childhood injury?
A: See item 1
Q: Given your experience with childhood injury, what key message should parents/guardians need to be made aware of?
A: While we can and should do a great deal better in preventing injury through a range of measures, we must also recognise the balance that acknowledges the importance of exercise, adventure and appropriate risk for healthy growth, weight and development in childhood.