Our People

Foundation Staff

Zoe Waters

Executive Director

For the last sixteen years, I have loved working for not-for-profit, for purpose organisations, all who have a common priority… to improve the health and wellbeing of our community.

I studied social work at university and have spent time working within the mental health sector, child protection and children’s rights, and for the past nine years, in public health. Not to mention my much-loved time at McDonalds as my first job as a fifteen year old!

The highlight of my career so far has been to meet so many inspiring people through my role at Barwon Health and the Barwon Health Foundation. I have had the great privilege, over a number of years, to hear the heartfelt stories of why people choose to donate their time as a volunteer or money as a donor to Barwon Health and to witness the unbelievable generosity of the Greater Geelong region – it is a level of generosity that I haven’t experienced in any other community I have worked in before. 

I am a Board Director at Volunteering Geelong and was an inaugral member of the Ministerial Advisory Council for Volunteering. I have been proud to be recognised in the Telstra Business Women's Awards as a finalist and the winner of the Regional Entrepreneur or Manager of the Year in the NAB Women's Agenda Leadership Awards.  

When I am not at work, family is my happy place. I enjoying visiting my parents regularly who spend their time across both Central Victoria, in a tiny regional town called Bealiba, or in Melbourne. I also love my regular weekend video chats with my two sisters, one who is an Accountant at Barwon Health and the other who is a Chief Financial Officer in New York.

My husband, Rob, and I are a proud to call Geelong home and love nothing more than experiencing all this amazing city has to offer. From the incredible wineries, award-winning restaurants, beaches and beautiful landscapes – what better place is there to call home?

Contact Zoe

E: foundation@barwonhealth.org.au

P: 4215 8900

Francis Trainor

Philanthropy & Bequests Manager

My career has taken me on various paths in marketing, events and fundraising.

Having studied Valuations, Economics and Marketing, I was marketing director for AFL club North Melbourne for 20 years, responsible for all aspects of the club's commercial operations including a lead role in the pioneer integration and marketing of Friday night football in the AFL that grew to become a mainstay of the competition. My responsibilies included securing major sponsorships, brand development, fan engagement, merchandise, memberships and running a multitude of events and functions including televised events across all four networks. I was fortunate to be at the club during a successful period that saw two premierships.

Following that long 20 year commitment, and being awarded Life Membership of the club, I tried my hand at importing and soon became the largest importer of AFL membership merchandise. The long stints away in China took their toll though and I then established my own boutique marketing company working for various clients in various professional sporting bodies, wine distribution, video production, website & digital, CPD online learning, event management and merchandise.

The opportunity to join Barwon Health Foundation in 2015 was a welcome and most satisfying change for which I feel eternally privileged. Working in Geelong has opened my eyes to an extraordinary community, an amazing region and some of the best people I have ever met whose genuine passion to support their local health service is nothing short of outstanding.

I'm responsible for major philanthropy and bequests and love the opportunity to connect with people who want to make a difference.

My family and friends are of course very important to me as are the amazing committed team that I am honoured to work with at the Barwon Health Foundation.

Contact Francis

E: ftrainor@barwonhealth.org.au

P:4215 8919

Danni Flowers

Foundation Grants and Community Manager

I joined the Barwon Health Foundation team close to 10 years ago, starting out as a trainee within our Administration team. Since starting with the Foundation I have worked within several different portfolios including events and community fundraising.

I now manage the Foundation Grants Program as well as a couple of our major fundraising events including our annual Gala Ball and Run 4 Geelong. I am also responsible for managing the process of funding equipment, ensuring that our donor’s wishes are carried out.

Outside of the Foundation, I enjoy catching up with friends and trying out new restaurants around Geelong and planning my next holiday to experience something new.

Contact Danni

E: dflowe@barwonhealth.org.au

P: 4215 8906

Hayley Johnston

Events Manager

I have been a part of the Foundation team for over 7 years working with the events and admin team and now managing the events and corporate partnerships portfolio.

I love working within the not for profit sector, which allows me to work on my two great loves, creating great events and positive change in our community.

Having grown up in Geelong and born right here in Baxter House, I feel lucky to be able to make a difference to our health service and in turn our great city. Hearing stories of how Barwon Health has supported the community and improved the lives of loved ones makes me proud of the work we do.

Outside of work you will find me surrounded by family and friends, eating great food, drinking great wine and playing or watching sport… or, you’ll find me on a plane, my greatest love is travelling.

Contact Hayley

E: hayley.johnston@barwonhealth.org.au

P: 4215 8904

Sheri Steenhuis

Foundation Finance Manager

I have been with the Foundation for the past two and a half years in a Finance and Administration role.  I have enjoyed developing this role as the Foundation continues to grow and evolve. I love being in a small collaborative team that also provides lots of opportunity to work together on events and projects.

I have a Bachelor of Business and up until recently have been a partner in a local small business. I have three children at high school that ensure my taxi driving skills are well utilised.  I lived in Sydney for a number of years with my family when the children were in primary school before returning to settle back in my hometown of Geelong. We enjoy being around our family and friends and close to the coast. 

Outside of work I enjoy travelling, good company, food and wine.

Contact Sheri

E: sheri.steenhuis@barwonhealth.org

P: 4215 8900

Jemma Ryan

Communications Manager

Born and raised in Geelong, I am passionate about making our town a better place to live.

For nine years I documented the evolution of our region as a journalist for the Geelong Advertiser and editor of GT Magazine. During my time as the newspaper’s health reporter I worked closely with both Barwon Health and the Foundation to highlight inspirational patient stories, celebrate funding wins, share research breakthroughs and advocate for development projects – you might have even seen me MC some of their famous events!

My new role as Communications Manager for the Foundation gives me the great privilege of finding and shouting these stories from the roof tops every single day, in the hope of inspiring our community to give generously. As someone who has lived in Geelong my whole life I know that if any of my loved ones were to fall ill this is the service they would access and I can think of nothing more rewarding than championing that cause to help insure my family – and yours – get access to the very best.

When I am not at work you will find me enjoying down time at home with my partner, escaping to our holiday spot in Ocean Grove or trying the newest restaurant with friends, soaking in all the region has to offer!

Contact Jemma

E: jemma.ryan@barwonhealth.org.au

P: 4215 8907

Steph O'Dowd

Digital Fundraising Lead

I am thrilled to be apart of the Barwon Health Foundation team as the Digital Fundraising Lead. I have a Bachelor of Communications majoring in Public Relations and have worked in PR, Social Media and Advertising across Geelong and South West Victoria.

The world of digital is exciting and ever-changing, it is my role with the Foundation to explore this world and help the Foundation to continue to grow in this space.

I also have the privilege of sharing stories via social media of our community’s real heroes, whether they are patients fighting a brave battle or community groups who are tirelessly supporting the Foundation.

Seeing the facilities and equipment that have been made possible through the work of the Foundation and hearing how this has enhanced Barwon Health patients and their family’s experiences, in possibly the most traumatic times makes me proud to be a part of the team.

Outside of work you’ll find me enjoying good food and good times with friends and family. I am a big movie lover and love watching the newest flicks and series, usually accompanied by chocolate as I am a massive sweet tooth.

Contact Steph

E: steph.o'dowd@barwonhealth.org.au

P: 4215 8908

Elise Gibson

Corporate Partnerships Manager

I am really excited to join this dynamic team. With over 25 years’ experience in sales, marketing and advertising, I am looking forward to a new challenge and exercising this experience in the not-for-profit space. I have a genuine passion for building relationships and I love creating partnerships that are the perfect fit for all involved.

The values of the Barwon Health Foundation are a natural fit for me. The region is so fortunate to have access to such a wonderful health service. There are so many opportunities to support our local health service. I look forward to engaging and involving more corporate partners in the work of the Foundation to be a part of building and enhancing the wellbeing of the community for now and in the future.

Outside of work I'm a mother of three to Tom, Grace and Ruby and pet dog, Floyd. I love to spend time with family and friends, socialising and meeting new people, music, sport, dining, travelling and enjoying all that our beautiful region has to offer.

Contact Elise

E: elise.gibson@barwonhealth.org.au

P: 4215 8902 or 0438 559 986

Jessica Matczak-Horkings

Events and Administration Trainee

I feel very lucky and super excited to start my new role with the Barwon Health Foundation as an Events and Admin Trainee. I’m born and raised in Geelong, and grateful for the opportunity to be part of a team so passionate about bettering the health of our community.

My previous role in the health sector allowed me to see the difference the work the Foundation does can make to our community. It makes me proud to now be working on such important projects. I’m really eager to help create amazing events and work alongside such a dynamic group.

Outside of work you’ll find me exploring our beautiful country, or making great food to share with my friends and family. I love being so close to the coast and take full of advantage of that, wherever I am you’ll find my dog right by my side

Contact Jess

E:  jessica.matczak-horkings@barwonhealth.org.au

P: 4215 8923