The Leadership Series: Q&A With John Kelly, Group CEO Of National Heart Foundation Australia

The Leadership Series: Q&A With John Kelly, Group CEO Of National Heart Foundation Australia


about 1 month ago by Liska Turner


The Leadership Series: Leadership Observations From The Front Line

Interviews with Leaders from the For-Purpose sector with Liska Turner


For-Purpose leaders are as diverse as the organisations that they lead. Every month I sit down with a Leader where they share their experiences and thoughts on leading a for-purpose organisation. This month I had the pleasure of talking to John Kelly, Group CEO Of National Heart Foundation Australia. 

Our conversation was wide-ranging however the importance of trust was a key thread. As were the Three C’s Consistency, Congruence and Communication. Discipline is his best habit and to find out where he draws his inspiration from.


Watch the interview below.


John Kelly, Group CEO Of National Heart Foundation Australia

John Kelly has broad experience in clinical, management and leadership roles across the health sector. John was appointed CEO of the Heart Foundation in August 2016.  

John started his health career as a  cardiothoracic nurse specialist, going on to work in many health organisations, non-profits and the law. John was a partner for 15 years at leading top 10 legal practices in Australia.

Immediately prior to his role at the Heart Foundation, John served for four years as CEO of Aged & Community Services Australia, which presented the church and charitable sector in the $9b retirement living and aged care sector.

John has extensive experience on non-profit boards, including time as Chair of the Smith Family and Royal College of Nursing Australia and Uniting Care Aging (NSW & ACT). His international experience includes representing Australia on the International Council of Nurses and World Heart Federation.

John holds academic appointments with the Sydney Nursing School at University of Sydney and the Faculty of Health at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). 

In 2009 John was named a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) and received the Alumni Award for Excellence from UTS. In 2010 John was appointed by the Federal Government as Commonwealth Aged Care Commissioner. In 2019 John was awarded a distinguished life fellow with the Australian College of Nursing.