Leading with a Heart in Healthcare

 |  16 May 2024

Episode #123 | Creating Synergy Podcast

In this insightful episode, we sit down with Kerry Rowland, the visionary CEO of Cancer Council SA, to explore her journey through the multifaceted world of healthcare leadership. With a career marked by empathy, innovation, and resilience, Kerry shares her profound experiences and the lessons she's learned along the way. From her early days influenced by a strong and independent mother to her pivotal roles in various organisations, Kerry's story is a testament to leading with courage and a heart.


Why You Can’t Miss This Episode:

  • Discover Kerry's Leadership Philosophy: Learn how Kerry's upbringing in a strong, independent family shaped her belief in doing everything with excellence and empathy.
  • Navigating Change with Confidence: Kerry reveals her strategies for guiding an organisation through transformation, emphasizing the importance of strong foundations and continuous adaptation.
  • Balancing Career and Family: Hear Kerry’s personal story of balancing a demanding career with family life, offering practical tips for maintaining harmony between work and home.
  • Empowering Women in the Workplace: Kerry shares her experiences and advice on overcoming gender biases and supporting women to thrive in traditionally male-dominated industries.
  • The Power of Community and Consumer Insights: Gain insight into how Cancer Council SA leverages community feedback to shape their services and enhance their mission of supporting cancer patients and their families.

Join us for a deep dive into Kerry Rowland’s world, where compassion meets leadership, and purpose drives success.


Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a healthcare professional, or someone passionate about making a difference, this episode is for you!

Tune In and Share!

Don't miss out on this enlightening conversation! Tune in and be sure to share this episode with your network and help us spread the word about the incredible work being done at Cancer Council SA. Listen and share today!

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[03:24] - Introduction to Kerry Rowland

[04:24] - Influence of a Strong Role Model

[07:27] - Balancing Family and Career

[09:57] - Breaking Gender Stereotypes

[18:02] - Early Career Lessons at Kimberly Clark

[27:43] - Overcoming Career Challenges

[46:14] - Customer-Centered Design

[55:21] - Reflections on the Ripple Effect Program

[1:06:21] - Transition to Cancer Council SA


Join the conversation on Synergy IQ on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram (@synergyiq).




Guest Info

Kerry Rowlands

Chief Executive at Cancer Council SA


With over two decades of executive experience in major organisations such as SA Water and Faulding Pharmaceutical, Kerry Rowlands stands out as a leader dedicated to excellence in service and high-performance culture. As the CEO of Cancer Council SA, she leverages her vast experience to drive transformative strategies and champion customer-centered design, ensuring impactful support for cancer research, prevention, and patient care.

Kerry's leadership style is deeply humanistic, focused on engaging and empowering teams to deliver exceptional outcomes. Her approach is shaped by a lifetime of learning leadership resilience and nurturing growth from a strong, independent mother, influencing not only her professional endeavors but also her personal life. Alongside her husband of 28 years, Kerry has fostered a family environment rich in shared responsibilities and mutual support, reflecting the lessons of strength and empathy instilled in her from a young age.

Holding formal qualifications in business and commerce, Kerry is also a Certified Practicing Accountant and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She further contributes to the community through her voluntary role on the Anglicare SA Audit and Risk board committee, underscoring her commitment to societal betterment and organisational accountability.


Connect with Kerry Rowlands


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Meet your Host

Daniel Franco

Daniel is a 'People Collector' kind, a steadfast optimist who believes that the power of trusting relationships is foundational to our bright future. He believes that the world is a better place when we work together.

Meet Daniel


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