Long serving board member departs with fond memories

Jane Spring says her time on the WSLHD board has been very rewarding.

For eight years, Jane Spring has served the community as a member of the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) Board.

Jane has just accepted a role in the NSW Public Service as Assistant Commissioner, Capability and Leadership Strategy of the NSW Public Service Commission.

This is a very exciting role with new challenges. Ms Spring’s term on the Board comes to an end on December 31 and she has decided not to seek re-appointment.

“It is important to ensure the board has members with diverse skills and experience who can give the Board and Board Committees their time and attention,” Ms Spring told The Pulse.

Ms Spring (BEc (Hons), LLB, MPA, FAICD, FCIS, FGIA), is a senior New South Wales public servant, and a solicitor with extensive corporate governance experience.

“It has been a privilege to work with the people around the board table,” she said, after joining what was the WSLH Network in 2011.

WSLHD Board members are appointed by the NSW Minister for Health for a term of up to four years.

The board and chief executive are responsible for improving patient and population health outcomes, responding to issues, delivering services and ensuring services are provided efficiently and responsibly.

“We’re very fortunate with the WSLHD Board to have great diversity of membership around the board table,” Ms Spring said.

“I nominated back in 2011 because I am paraplegic and have had considerable experience as a patient in hospitals through a long process of recovery from a catastrophic injury. I received great care and had a lot of confidence in the many staff who looked after me.

“For me it is really important that our staff are able to look after our patients safely and well. We need to ensure members of our community are confident to come to hospital to get help when this is needed and to help them integrate this care with that of their GP and support outside of hospital.”

A University of Sydney alumni, Ms Spring graduated with honours in economics, where she studied law.

She also has a Masters in Public Administration.

Ms Spring started her working life as a solicitor but following a major car accident and a long period of recovery and rehabilitation, entered the world of corporate governance, working for six years at the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG), focusing on the pre-games training program and training venues for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

“One of the experiences I had at SOCOG was to support a board committee, and it was the committee chaired by (President of the Australian Olympic Committee) John Coates, which made all the decisions about sport,” she said.

“That was a very fabulous insight for me in to how boards work and the difference a good board can make in making sure that the chief executive has a good strategy and is held to account.”

Following the Olympics, Ms Spring attained secretarial qualifications and credentials from the Institute of Company Directors.

She has worked as a company secretary at the Sydney Olympic Park Authority, the Transport Infrastucture Development Corporation, and NSW Businesslink.

Her time on the WSLHD Board has been a rewarding experience.

“It is an opportunity to work as a group. The achievement of a board is as a collective, and we all bring different insights to the table,” she said.

“As a district we have faced some real challenges and we’ve had some big wins.

 “It’s been amazing to see the renewal of the built facilities, fabulous to see what’s happened at Blacktown and the work that is now going into Westmead. It’s not all about buildings – the innovation and hard work from our staff is key to successful operation of all of our facilities.