Maryanne Puli Vogels

Maryanne signs off from TDHS Board with a lasting legacy

Maryanne Puli Vogels has called time on her four-year tenure on the Board of Timboon and District Healthcare Service (TDHS) almost all of which she served as Chair.

Board member Frank Carlus has been voted in by his fellow board members to take over the role of Chair and officially assumed duties this month.

Ms Puli Vogels said the time was right to step aside knowing she had given the role everything and confident in the fact the organisation’s governance was in good shape.

She said she was looking forward to focusing all her attention on her husband John Vogels’ recovery from prostate cancer and a problematic knee replacement.

“I think most people in our community know what John has been going through over the past 18 months and even now I’m sitting at the Epworth with him in Melbourne,” she said.

“We recently purchased a house in Timboon and for the first time in his life John is moving off the farm. We’re looking forward to this new chapter in our lives once the health issues we’re dealing with are over.”

Ms Puli Vogels joined the Board in July 2017 and quickly stepped up into the role of Chair in November 2017. She retained the job for her entire tenure.

“I had just moved to Timboon to live with John after retiring. We’ve been married for 10 years and together for 15, but I lived in Melbourne and he lived in Scotts Creek until 2016,” she said.

“I was new to the community and it was a great way to get to know the community whilst contributing and giving something back at the same time.

“It was a really interesting transition coming from the corporate world. I didn’t have a clinical background, but I had a strong corporate background.”

Ms Puli Vogels had worked for educational technology company Skillsoft and held leadership roles in Europe, Australia and New Zealand before becoming vice president of sales for Asia Pacific.

“I felt I had skills to offer TDHS, especially around leadership, strategy, management,  marketing and community engagement,” she said.

“The first thing I picked up here was that a lot of members of the community didn’t know what was happening at the health service…we weren’t very good at communication.

“I’m most proud of how TDHS has improved in this area. We’ve beefed up and improved our newsletter, our social media platforms, our media exposure and online presence and leveraged available technologies to get the word out. We also created a Community Engagement Officer position.

“I think we were the best kept secret and we needed to share more of what we were doing. The momentum of that work continues still and that’s very rewarding.

“All our Board members have been wonderful to work with and they are very passionate about this community. So when we had the fires, floods, cyber crisis and now COVID-19 it was so important that we’d built this communication with our community.”

Ms Puli Vogels said the appointment of chief executive officer Rebecca Van Wollingen, securing 100 per cent ownership of the Timboon Clinic, building stronger health partnerships in the region and vastly improving the relationship between TDHS and the Victorian Government’s Department of Health were among other highlights.

“I also developed an online Board induction program for TDHS which other services have since taken up. We didn’t have a formal induction process so that was a bit of a pet project. I’ve been involved in podcasts about that and continue to help and mentor Chairs of other boards,” she said.

“TDHS is in very good hands. The region is fortunate to have an outstanding Board at TDHS.

“John and I are looking forward to moving into our house in Timboon very soon. I’m also still very busy with my marriage celebrant business, Maryanne’s Wedding Celebrations, and will take more of an interest now in helping my sister, who is the CEO of MyRoom, to build awareness of the work they do to find a cure for children’s cancer and the support they provide to families from regional Victoria.”

Ms Van Wollingen said Ms Puli Vogels had played a very important role in helping to steer TDHS towards a sustainable long-term future.

“On behalf of the Board, our management team, our staff and volunteers I would like to thank Maryanne for all her hard work and dedication to TDHS,” she said.

“When Maryanne joined the Board, she was one of six new members. Her experience and skill set were huge assets to us in terms of our governance, but also in helping to lift the profile of the organisation and engage much better with our community.

“That focus on our communications, both internal and external, very much continues as a lasting legacy of Maryanne’s energy and time on our Board.”


Current Board member (l-r) Alison Byrne, Anne Skordis, Anthony DeJong, Claire Murphy, Frank Carlus, Chris Stewart, Toinette Hitchins, Ashley Nesseler and Bryce Morden.

  • Alison Byrne
    Posted at 20:00h, 08 July Reply

    Maryanne you have been an amazing leader, mentor and tireless advocate for TDHS and you will be sadly missed. Wishing you and John all the best and I hope you enjoy your new home.

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