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Life Care appoints new Chief Operating Officer

Published: 22 Jun 2022


Senior South Australian healthcare executive Catherine Hughes, who has helped lead the state’s response to the pandemic, run a large Local Health Network Division across multiple hospital sites, championed consumer driven system reforms and led a number of large health infrastructure projects, will take up a key leadership position at leading aged care provider Life Care.

As Chief Operating Officer (COO) from 21 July, 2022, Ms Hughes will work with Chief Executive Officer Allen Candy to drive innovation across Life Care’s aged care and in-home support services.

Ms Hughes is currently the Department for Health and Wellbeing’s Director of Statewide Demand Management. She has been leading the delivery of key departmental reforms to increase hospital capacity and patient flow, and supported system readiness of the community and hospital response to Delta and Omicron waves.

She was previously the Executive Lead COVID-19 Programs, managing mass and mobile vaccination programs and drive-through testing centres in the Southern Adelaide Health Network (SALHN).

From 2013 to 2021, Ms Hughes held a range of other senior roles within SALHN, from Acting Chief Operating Officer to leading the Strategic Projects Unit and Co-Director of the Division Rehabilitation, Aged Care and Palliative Care.

An accredited pharmacist, she holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of South Australia, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a Graduate Certificate in Health Systems Management from Charles Sturt University.

Mr Candy says Ms Hughes’ extensive expertise in leading and implementing complex reforms will bring a new dimension to the not-for-profit provider.

“The aged care sector is undergoing significant change whilst also managing the unique demands that COVID-19 places on staff and residents,” he said.

“Life Care is in an enviable position of having a strong culture of innovation and continuous improvement which meant we have been ideally placed to respond to these challenges over the past two years.

“Catherine understands that challenge, having had significant experience leading change in complex environments under immense public scrutiny and will play a key role in shaping the further elevation of Life Care’s strategy and service delivery.”

Ms Hughes’ appointment follows the retirement of Rosanne Collins, following four years with Life Care, the last year as COO.

“Rosanne has made an enormous contribution to Life Care, reinforcing our commitment to helping South Australians live every day,” he said.

“Rosanne’s engaging leadership has led to greater cohesion across our senior leadership team, a key factor in how well Life Care managed the pandemic. In addition, she has reinforced and developed our commitment to clinical excellence across our residential care homes. During some of the most significant changes the aged care industry has seen in a generation, Rosanne has been both an inspirational leader and a steadying hand.”

Ms Hughes’s appointment will also support Life Care’s capital works plans for the next five years, including pursuing a seniors living and residential care complex on a greenfields site in Golden Grove, and potential redevelopment of its Parkrose Village campus in Everard Park.

These works follow the organisation being nationally recognised with an Urban Development Institute of Australia Award for Excellence in Seniors Living for its $47 million Gaynes Park campus in Joslin. Judges credited Life Care with delivering a “community for older people with a forward-thinking expression of innovation and creativity”.

“Life Care is poised to further push the boundaries of what it means to get older and I’m looking forward to Catherine playing a key role in this new chapter,” Mr Candy said.


About Life Care:

Life Care is a South Australian not-for-profit provider of aged care services including residential aged care, independent living, home care and respite. These services are offered across nine locations – Aldinga Beach, Christie Downs, Reynella, Mitchell Park, Everard Park, Glen Osmond, Joslin, Modbury, and Balaklava.

The organisation employs more than 800 staff, supported by 170 volunteers, and has been delivering care to older South Australians for more than 70 years. Visit for more information.


Media contact:

Ben Smeaton – or 0488 940 010