Sony Foundation Welcomes New Chair and Board Directors

27 Aug 2020

Earilier this year, Sony Foundation farewelled Chairman, John Kirby AM, welcoming Cathy O’Connor as Chair.

During his six year tenure, John’s brilliant guidance and vision has been integral in Sony Foundation achieving record fundraising results and forging exciting new ground.

Under John’s leadership, Sony Foundation opened the Melbourne You Can Centre at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, funded innovative VR Cancer Research, opened the Brisbane You Can Centre, committed to funding an adolescent Palliative Care Unit at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and launched our You Can Fertility Preservation Service. John was also instrumental in the development of our iconic Melbourne event, River4Ward which has contributed funding to many of these great projects. What started as a passionate idea has resulted in many lives touched and a lasting legacy of his great leadership.

Sophie Ryan, CEO, Sony Foundation 

Sony Foundation will continue to recognise John’s considerable support for Sony Foundation, especially in Melbourne, by officially nominating John as Patron of the Melbourne You Can Centre. 

CEO of Nova Entertainment, Cathy O’Connor has been appointed Chair bringing incredible strategic leadership experience and a passion for Sony Foundation’s programs from her previous position as Board Director held over 3 years.

"I’m honoured to be taking on the role of Chair for Sony Foundation. The Foundation has a unique ability to unite the entertainment and media industry like no other, and in doing so, I believe our collective power enables significant, tangible impact in the lives of so many young Australians facing a hard start in life.

Recently, we were intimately reminded about how our programs are making a difference in the lives of young Australians. We were able to place our first regional youth cancer patient’s family in a fully funded, serviced apartment while she is undergoing complex treatment in Sydney.  With thanks to the Sony Foundation’s funding for this accommodation, her family can be in Sydney with her to support her during surgery, treatment and rehabilitation. As the young patient was heading into surgery, her Nurse shared with us, “this initiative has had the capacity to change a family’s world right now as they face such a huge day today.” I look forward to sharing with you more about the You Can Accommodation program when it launches soon.
Despite the impact of COVID-19, Sony Foundation is committed to our mission and key programs to support the health and wellbeing of young Australians who need us now more than ever."

Further, Sony Foundation farewelled Board Directors, Chris White, and Leanne Neal, who had reached the end of their tenure, having served eights years each. Sony Foundation sincerly thanks Chris for his support in the development of the Brisbane You Can Centre and establishing Brissy4Ward and look forward to his continued support as Patron of the Brisbane You Can Centre, and Leanne for being instrumental in the development of the Children's Holiday Camp Program. 

Sony Foundation welcomes to the Board in the role of Director, Mr Goncaol Fialho, General Manager, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and Dr David Rosengren, Exuctive Director, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital. 

You can learn more about Sony Foundation's Board Directors here

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