Heartkids To Expand Support Initiatives Into Regional Australia With A Reinvigorated Board Of Direct

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16th September 2010, 09:22pm - Views: 657

Community Charity HeartKids Australia 2 image

HeartKids Australia

Level 2, 423 Pennant Hills Rd

Pennant Hills NSW 2120


+61 2 9875 4090M 0433 859 100


ABN: 72 652 162 549


HeartKids to expand support initiatives into Regional Australia

with a reinvigorated Board of Directors

Heart Disease is one of the biggest killers of children under 5 in Australia, taking more lives that all other

childhood illnesses combined and twice that of childhood cancers. HeartKids Australia certainly has a

compelling story to tell and is the charity to watch in the coming years with a renewed commitment to

supporting, advocating and building support infrastructure for families affected with Childhood Heart

Disease (CHD) regardless of where they live in Australia.

“We recognize that brand awareness is one of the biggest challenges we need to address if we are to

effectively support and advocate for children with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD)” says HeartKids CEO

Mr Neil McWhannell “Over the past 12 months we have focused on developing a 3 year strategic plan

that will enable us to achieve our ambitious growth and development targets. At our recent AGM in Perth

we took the first steps towards reaching these with the appointment of dedicated skill based Directors

who all compliment the new strategic direction of HeartKids with regards to support, awareness,

advocacy and facilitating research initiatives which benefit children with CHD in Australia…..”

HeartKids was initially founded by parents to be a support organization for children and parents affected

by Childhood Heart Disease. Mr McWhannell acknowledges that passion will only take an organization

so far and he is delighted by the move to invite and appoint skill based Directors to the Board. The board

will be lead by newly appointed Chair Mr Brian E Pereira, and CEO of The CN Group (IT services

company) Mr Pereira brings an incredible wealth of knowledge and wisdom to HeartKids Australia.

“Brian is passionate about allowing children to be children regardless of their social background or

physical situation and is a commercially astute entrepreneur.” said Mr McWhannell “We are confident

that Mr Pereira will draw on his commercial experience in the private sector to lead our charity into a new

phase of growth and development”. Brian takes the reins from outgoing Chair, Mr. Stephen Sheppard

who has built a strong foundation and governance process over the last three years for the fledgling


HeartKids Australia not only offers support and comfort for families whose lives have been profoundly

impacted by CHD but are also committed to facilitating and funding research projects to better

understand not only the causes of CHD but more importantly focusing on prevention where possible and

cure. “Given the prevalence of CHD within the Australian community the focus on

research and

understanding surrounding it is astonishing” said Mr McWhannell. “One of HeartKids core objectives is to

remedy this, HeartKids new Vice-Chair Dr Anne Fletcher will play a pivotal role in the implementation of

the organisations research based initiatives over the next 3 years. Dr Fletcher brings extensive health

sector experience as both a Board member and Chairperson across a broad spectrum of both public and

private companies including holding a senior executive role with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service. 

“HeartKids Australia is in a strong position to establish ourselves in the minds of the Australian public as

a worthy cause to support” said Mr Pereira “We continue to work with our corporate partners who are

keen to flex their social responsibility muscles and see HeartKids as a strong platform for their CSR

initiatives” HeartKids Australia will look to expand its support programs into rural Australia and continue

to add value to the medical establishment, and families through its community based activities. 

ENDS.   For more information, interviews or images contact:

Heidi Shakespeare, HeartKids Australia, 


0433 859 100

About HeartKids Australia:

HeartKids Australia is a national charity focused on embracing the future for children born with heart disease.

HeartKids is the only charity in Australia focused solely on children’s heart disease, with the mission of reducing the

incidence of children born with heart disease, improving mortality rates in children affected by heart disease and

providing support to affected families.

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