2022 Australia Day Ambassador - Heather Francis
Born and raised in Southern Tasmania, Heather enjoyed a childhood that found her regularly heading to the beautiful north west of her island home to enjoy typical Aussie summer holidays on the beach, exploring almost all the nooks across that region with a family that loved to discover new places to fall in love with. Throughout her younger years, Heather also made regular visits to Hydro towns with her dad and, when an opportunity came along to live and work in the central highlands and far southwest for a number of years in her first job, she jumped at the chance to reconnect with these places, adding in regular work on King Island too.
Pursuing a career path that has largely focused on health and education in different positions across the State, Heather’s current roles provide an opportunity to blend her experiences and skills in endeavouring to make a difference through a range of not for profit organisations. Heather has been CEO of the RHH Research Foundation for over a decade where she enjoys the chance to use her former background as an academic to guide a grant program that has funded over $10m in local clinical research. Heather is also a recent Director on the Board of Primary Health Tasmania, a role held from 2013 for six years, enabling her to assist guiding delivery of health services in a manner designed to best meet the specific needs of communities across the state.
Heather was also a member of the Tasmanian Community Fund Board for six years and describes this as a privilege in guiding a significant grant funding program that invests into not for profit organisations for activities that benefit communities in an enormously diverse range of ways. More recently, Heather has been Chair of the St Michael’s Collegiate School Board for five years, providing a chance to apply a passion for good governance in an area that she is equally committed to – delivering outstanding educational opportunities for young women and girls. After being appointed to the Tasmanian Women’s Council, more recently Heather has been Chair of the Panel of Judges for the Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women for a four year term.
In 2013, Heather was honoured to be recognised as Tasmanian Business Woman of the Year for the Community/Government sector, but she does cite her most significant and fulfilling role as being a very hands-on mum to two young adults. She has hiked with them across many of our state’s most beautiful and remote areas and hopes that they will continue to share her passion for our island home.
For further information on the Australia Day Ambassador Program, please see the Australia Day Website.