Fresh way forward for St John WA

Press Release
  • St John WA appoints Kevin Brown as first Group CEO, 
  • Sally Carbon OAM to be appointed new Board Chair, 
  • New leadership to drive increased focus on delivering excellence to WA community into the future.

St John WA has appointed its first Group Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Brown.

Mr Brown is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Perth Airport and was appointed following an extensive global search resulting in a strong applicant pool. He will join St John in January 2023.

In addition, leading strategist and Olympian Sally Carbon OAM is expected to be appointed Board Chair in October from her current role of Deputy Chair, marking renewed leadership and vision for St John.

Ms Carbon said the appointment of Mr Brown as the first Group CEO of St John recognised the organisation’s increased focus on developing the leadership to deliver the changes required to improve on the high-quality care and services being delivered.

She said St John had a long and proud 130-year history serving the Western Australian community and adapting to meet its changing needs.

“The appointment of Mr Brown as Group CEO is a bold, exciting step for St John and is vital in its continuing evolution,” Ms Carbon said.

Mr Brown joined Perth Airport as Chief Executive Officer in July 2016 and has more than 19 years’ experience in operational and commercial roles in airports across the United Kingdom and Australia. He is also a Board Member for Tourism Western Australia, AIMWA and Committee for Perth and a Practitioner Fellow for the University of Western Australia’s Public Policy Institute.

“Kevin is a strategic, authentic leader whose current role has required him to lead a complex range of operations across a 24/7 environment, serving the broader community,” Ms Carbon said.

“At Perth Airport he is responsible for more than 12,500 site-based personnel and more than 16 million passengers and developed innovative new tactics to turn the organisation around after COVID-19 decimated the business.

“Kevin was selected because he demonstrated, on top of leadership guidance, unique wisdom in balancing commerciality, performance, care and service.

“He has a strong reputation of driving transformational change, while at the same time demonstrating positive culture development.

“He will bring his wealth of experience to modernise St John’s services, while staying true to the organisation’s purpose to serve humanity and build resilient communities.”

 Mr Brown said he was honoured to be chosen to lead St John on the next stage of its journey.

“I love working with passionate, committed people who love doing what they do – they really are the foundation of any successful organisation,” Mr Brown said.

“The people of WA hold St John in the highest regard because of the care, compassion and professionalism of its employees and volunteers.

“I want to help them find new ways of focussing on what they do best and allow them to achieve what they want to achieve both professionally and for the community.”

Acting St John WA CEO Antony Smithson will continue to act in the role and drive performance growth until Mr Brown commences.

“Antony has done an excellent job leading St John over the last few months, particularly in a winter period which often impacts services in the health sector.” Ms Carbon said. 

“He is a highly-valued member of St John’s leadership group.”

Ms Carbon will replace Shayne Leslie as Board Chair after the St John WA AGM on October 25. Mr Leslie has made a major contribution to St John over the past 19 years as a Board member, including six as Chair. 

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