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Michael Luchich announced as new Chair of WCH Foundation Board

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The Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation (WCH Foundation) has appointed Michael Luchich as the new Chair of the charity’s Board.

Luchich will take over from Nick Begakis AO when he steps down from the role on June 30 2020 after almost 20 years of dedicated service to the WCH Foundation and the Women’s and Children’s Hospital community.

Luchich has over three decades of executive leadership and commercial experience in Australia and New Zealand across corporate, enterprise and government sectors. He is currently the State Director SA & NT of Optus Australia.

“It is a privilege to be appointed as Chair of the Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation,” Luchich said. “The WCH Foundation has a very long and significant history of fundraising with philanthropy being a key element in making sure that mums, children and their families have access to the very best medical care, facilities and support services at a time when they need it the most.”

“Growing up my mother worked as a midwife and from early on I learnt the commitment required to ensure women, children and their families are looked after in the best possible way. I look forward to contributing to this important work.”

Under Begakis’ leadership key projects the WCH Foundation has delivered include the inception and implementation of the WCH Foundation’s Arts in Health Program, which in 2020 is celebrating its 10th year. Over the past decade the program has expanded considerably and now benefits 83,000 patients a year.

Numerous upgrades across the Hospital including the Sacred Space and Women’s Outpatients, and opening of The Breathing Space. The initial investment in South Australian CAR-T research, some of the most promising research
in the elimination of paediatric solid cell cancer, is also in the plan including the opening of the WCH Foundation ‘Laklinyeri’ Beach House, South Australia’s first purpose built holiday home for children with complex medical needs.

Begakis praised the WCH Foundation community. “Nothing can be achieved alone but with the Foundation’s significant community of generous donors, a dedicated management team and staff, and experienced and committed Directors – both
past and present, together we have accomplished a lot,” he said.

“During my term of service, the WCH Foundation has become a widely respected charity, providing significant financial support to the Hospital and investing in ground-breaking maternal and paediatric medical research,” he said.

Michael is an experienced and respected corporate leader, Begakis said. “In passing the baton to him, I am confident he will successfully lead the great team of Directors and management at the Foundation.”

WCH Foundation CEO Jane Scotcher thanked Begakis for his dedication and wonderful contributions.

“Nick has shown great integrity and passion for the Foundation and therefore support of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. His work has assisted in our Hospital providing the best healthcare possible for women and children who rely on its services,” she said.

His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia, and Patron of the WCH Foundation, reflected on Begakis’ tenure as Chair.

“I have known Nick over the last 20 years. He is an outstanding businessman, entrepreneur, community leader and philanthropist. Nick is an inspiration to many of us,” he said.

Hon. Van Le AC continues: “His leadership, passion and dedication to the Women’s &Children’s Hospital Foundation has seen it raise significant funds to support many important initiatives for children and their families in our State. I know that our community will join me in expressing gratitude for his incredible work.”

In addition to Luchich’s appointment, the WCH Foundation Board has welcomed five new Directors – Christine Molitor, Leonie Boothby, Darren Button, Ben Gulliver, and Caroline Patrick.

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