Health Chief Executives Forum (HCEF)

The HCEF is an intergovernmental forum for joint decision-making and strategic policy discussions that helps to efficiently deliver health services in Australia. It is made up of the health department chief executive officer from each state and territory and the Australian Government.


The  Health Chief Executives Forum (HCEF) supports the Health Ministers' Meeting (HMM) to deliver national work priorities and its governance and processes align with the HMM and National Cabinet. 

The HCEF has established 3 specialist working groups to advise on and help deliver specific areas of the work program for these priorities within the Health and Aged Care portfolio:

  • Health data and digital transformation
  • Health practitioner workforce
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health.

HCEF also established a Reform Implementation Group to lead implementation of the National Health Reform Agreement (NHRA). Dynamic priority task groups will help meet ministerial priority actions.

For more information about the agencies that report to HCEF, please see Related committees or groups.

The HCEF also oversees public health protection policy within and outside the HCEF forum. The forum can also implement legal and policy responsibilities if delegated by health ministers.

Former Australian Health Ministers Advisory Committee (AHMAC) 

As recommended by the Conran Review, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Councils and Ministerial Forums were restructured as part of the new National Cabinet. The former Australian Health Ministers Advisory Committee (AHMAC) is now the HCEF.

Information and documents related to AHMAC meetings and decisions is available from the National Library of Australia's web archive.


The HCEF membership is made up of the chief executive officers from each Australian government health department.

Members take turns to fill the Chair and Deputy Chair roles.




Western Australia (Chair)

Dr David Russell-Weisz

Director General, Department of Health


Mr Michael Walsh

A/g Director-General, Queensland Health

Australian Government

Mr Blair Comley PSM

Secretary, Department of Health and Aged Care


Prof Euan Wallace AM

Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services

New South Wales

Ms Susan Pearce

Secretary, NSW Ministry of Health

South Australia

Dr Robyn Lawrence

Chief Executive, Department of Health and Wellbeing

Tasmania (Deputy Chair)

Ms Kathrine Morgan-Wicks

Secretary, Department of Health & Human Services

Australian Capital Territory

Ms Rebecca Cross

Director-General, ACT Health

Northern Territory

Dr Marco Briceno

Chief Executive Officer, Department of Health


The HCEF meets regularly as required, via a mixture of virtual and face-to-face meetings. HCEF also holds extra meetings in response to emerging national priorities.

Related committees or groups

The HCEF supports the Health Ministers' Meeting to deliver key agreed national priorities.

The following agencies report to the HCEF as required:


Health Ministers Meeting and Health Chief Executives Forum

Contact the National Health Secretariat for information about the Health Ministers Meeting (HMM) or Health Chief Executives Forum (HCEF).
Date last updated: