Lifelong learning
Vol. 24 No 2 | Winter 2022
Get to know College staff: Executive Leadership Team
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

With so many people working behind the scenes with a shared passion for excellence and equity in women’s health, here’s a chance to get to know College staff and the diversity of skills and experience they bring to our vision and mission.

This issue, we focus on the Executive Leadership Team (ELT), which is the primary executive leadership body at RANZCOG.

The members of the ELT, individually and collectively, support the CEO to lead, direct, coordinate and control the operations and performance of RANZCOG, in accordance with the policies, strategy and plans approved by the Board.

Vase Jovanoska Chief Executive Officer

Vase Jovanoska

Chief Executive Officer

Vase is responsible for leading the execution of the College Strategy as determined by the Board. Ensuring a highly effective delivery of the College’s activities and programs supported by sound governance and sustainable financial operations, as well as fostering a culture of mutual respect, inclusivity, and accountability with members, trainees, staff, and external stakeholders.

Vase’s corporate experience extends more than 22 years across the corporate and not-for-profit sectors, and includes strategy development and implementation, fiscal management, governance, continuous improvement, change and risk management and health policy.

Vase holds a Master of Business Administration, Master of Health and Human Services Management, and BA (Accounting). She is also a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a qualified CPA, and a Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders, Australia, and New Zealand. Vase has also completed the Executive Program in Leading for Strategic Change with Melbourne Business School, the Women’s Executive Leadership Program and Negotiations Strategies Program with Yale University.


Catherine Cooper Head of Aotearoa NZ and Global Health

Catherine Cooper

Head of Aotearoa New Zealand and Global Health | Kaiwhakahaere Tari Aotearoa

Catherine leads the Aotearoa New Zealand Office and the Global Health Unit. In her nearly three years at RANZCOG, Catherine has worked closely with Te Kāhui Oranga ō Nuku, He Hono Wāhine and the staff team, focusing on New Zealand advocacy activities, RANZCOG’s commitment to te Tiriti o Waitangi, the development of Te Rautaki Māori me Te Ara Whakamua (RANZCOG’s Māori strategy) and liaising with other organisations like the Ministry of Health, the New Zealand College of Midwives and other medical colleges.

Catherine started off in the public service, but since having children has worked in not-for-profit (for purpose) management. Her most recent role was as General Manager New Zealand of Resolution Institute, a trans-Tasman membership organisation of mediators, restorative justice facilitators and other dispute resolvers, providing training, accreditation, professional development and advocacy for members. Catherine also has governance experience, chairing two school Boards. Catherine has a Masters in Management and a BA in Psychology and Education.


Daniel Petovski Head of People and Culture

Daniel Petkovski

Head of People, Wellbeing and Facilities

Daniel is responsible for leading the People, Wellbeing and Facilities team. During his four years at RANZCOG, Daniel has overseen the Human Resources function and the implementation of several wellbeing, diversity, and inclusion initiatives for RANZCOG members, trainees, and College staff. His team is responsible for delivering the Fostering Respect Action plan, providing confidential and impartial support for trainees, the Reconciliation Action Plan and projects that support First Nations people.

Daniel is also responsible for commercial leasing, building and facilities management and oversaw the College’s relocation to Djeembana (College Place).

His career encompasses experience within community health and the not-for-profit and commercial sector. He is passionate about organisational development, wellbeing, advocating for staff and fostering positive workplace culture. Daniel is a member of the Australian HR Institute (AHRI) and holds a Bachelor of Business (Human Resource Management).


Mel Pietsch Head of Engagement and Rural Health

Mel Pietsch

Head of Engagement and Rural Health

Mel is responsible for overseeing the State and Territory Offices, college Events Team, Commonwealth-funded Rural Health initiatives and is involved in the College government relations activities. In her nearly two and a half years at RANZCOG, Mel has worked with the State and Territory Committees and State and Territory Training and Accreditation Committees and various other working groups along with her team, focusing on engagement, advocacy and continued service delivery and support during the evolving pandemic.

Mel previously worked for the Commonwealth Department of Health, where over her 15-year career she progressed through various roles and units where she developed a strong understanding of the medical training system and relationships with universities, specialist medical colleges and state and territory health departments. In her most recent role as Assistant Director, she was responsible for the policy and program management for the National Specialist Training Program. Mel has a Certificate III in Financial Services, Diploma in Specialist Makeup Services and is currently undertaking a Certificate in Effective Business Management.


Sudi Sekhar Head of ILQA

Sudi Sekhar

Executive Director, Innovation, Learning and Quality Assurance

Sudi is responsible for the provision of executive leadership as part of the College’s Executive Leadership team, and is the Executive Director for the Innovation, Learning and Quality Assurance directorate. The directorate provides several member-facing services including membership support, continuous professional development, research and policy, publications and media, eLearning and quality assurance programs.

Sudi’s experience extends over 14 years across tertiary, not-for-profit and health sectors, and includes strategy development and implementation, project management, strategic partnerships, business development, change management and client services.

Sudi holds a Master of Business Administration, Master of International Business, and a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering. He is a member of the Australian Institute
of Company Directors as well as the Fundraising Institute of Australia. Sudi also holds an Agile Practitioner (AgilePM) qualification.


Stephen White

Stephen White

Deputy Director of Education*

Stephen leads the areas of curriculum and training program development, evaluation of training and trainee experiences, and accreditation of training sites. He also plays a leading role in activities regarding the College’s own accreditation by the Australian Medical Council and Medical Council of New Zealand.

With an Honours degree in English Studies, Stephen worked in academic publishing for eight years in the UK before moving to Australia. He then spent 11 years in a senior management role in curriculum and learning resource development in the vocational education and training sector, before shifting into the specialist medical college world. Stephen worked on strategic education projects – including curriculum development – for the College of Anaesthetists, before joining RANZCOG in early 2020.


Michelle Zhang Head of Finance STP and Risk

Michelle Zhang

Head of STP, Finance and Risk

Michelle manages collegewide financials and oversees the government-funded Specialist Training Program, working collaboratively and effectively with internal and external stakeholders through comprehensive understanding of College initiatives and activities in preparing budgets and reports, as well as directing grant administration in program delivery.

Michelle is a certified practising accountant (CPA) and holds a Master of Professional Accounting (MPA) with more than 15 years of experience in financial and management accounting, project management and data analysis, across public and not-for-profit sectors.


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