Fisher Leadership Recruits CEO for Dementia Australia

April 16, 2024 – Executive search firm Fisher Leadership has placed Tanya Buchanan as the new CEO of Dementia Australia. Last year, Maree McCabe AM notified the Board of her decision to complete her time as CEO in 2024 after 13 years with the organization. “Finding someone to replace Ms. McCabe was not an easy task,” said Merran Kelsall, chair of Dementia Australia. “We undertook a rigorous recruitment process involving board members as well as a person living with dementia – the chair of our Dementia Australia advisory committee.”

“We were fortunate to attract such a strong pool of outstanding applicants for the CEO role – a great reflection of the reputation of the organization and the value of the vision and purpose of Dementia Australia,” said Ms. Kelsall. “It was important that we appointed someone who could build on the achievements made by Ms. McCabe and the organization during the past 13 years.

“I am very pleased to announce that we have appointed professor Buchanan as the new CEO to lead the team in continuing to support and make a difference to the lives of Australians impacted by dementia.”

Ms. Buchanan is currently CEO of Cancer Council Australia. She commenced her career as a registered nurse with a considerable period of her clinical career spent in neuroscience, and has worked in health, academia, local government and the voluntary sector. Ms. Buchanan is also an honorary professor of practice at the School of Health and Society (Public Health) at the University of Wollongong and is active in public health research and practice.

“I am thrilled to be joining Dementia Australia at such a significant time, which includes the ongoing aged care reforms, review of the Aged Care Act, the development of the National Dementia Action Plan and as the federal government is active in prevention initiatives,” said Ms. Buchanan. “Growing evidence suggests up to 40 percent of dementia diagnoses could be averted or significantly delayed with effective public health measures. I look forward to meeting key stakeholders and working with the team to continue to reduce the incidence and impact of dementia and to ensure every person affected by dementia has access to the best care and support possible so that we can improve outcomes for all Australians.”

Dementia Australia is the source of trusted information, education and services for the estimated more than 421,000 Australians living with dementia, and the more than 1.6 million people involved in their care. They support people impacted by dementia, and to enable them to live as well as possible.

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Fisher Leadership, formerly Jo Fisher Executive, is based in Melbourne. Founded in 2002, it operates nationally and internationally on behalf of Australian and New Zealand organizations. The firm’s services include executive search, interim appointments, career coaching and mentoring, and leadership advisory. Fisher Leadership focuses on organizations with strategic objectives that include positive social impact, in which strong people skills, change-agility and enthusiasm for positive societal outcomes are important leadership qualities.

Recently Completed Search

Fisher Leadership recently placed Jane Burns as chief strategy and wellbeing officer with National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). Ms. Burns is a C-suite executive with over 20 years of executive and non-executive experience in not-for-profit, government, academic and industry with a focus on technology, health, mental health and disability care. She has a passion for empowering, inspiring, and elevating people, including those with a lived experience, clinicians, researchers, policy makers and executives and boards across sectors.

Ms. Burns was most recently executive director at Safer Care Victoria. Before that, she held the positions of CEO and founder of InnoWell and professor of innovation and industry at the University of Sydney, and earlier was CEO and founder of Young and Well CRC and associate professor at the University of Melbourne.

“Fisher Leadership worked with me to ensure I had the right information at the right time and in the right format to apply for this role. They understood my passion for the role and helped me get a balance between my professional executive experience (in co-design) and my personal drive as Mum to Angus, a young adult living with down syndrome and Autism who is non-verbal. The end result for me is a passion meets purpose role.”

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Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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