Our Executive Team - Sexual Health Quarters
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Our Executive Team


Debra Barnes

Chief Executive Officer

“I have always been driven by making a difference, it’s what motivates me.”

At SHQ we are here to serve our community and support our priority groups, working in partnership with our consumers, supporters, and stakeholders to strive for new and better ways to improve our service. We carry the responsibility to not only be a service of choice and excellence, but to be a voice for change, to champion sexual health and wellbeing for all.

I feel a strong connection to the vital service we provide at SHQ that comes from my early career as a nurse. I experienced first-hand the importance and need for an area of health that is often stigmatised, yet can be devastating to public health if not adequately and effectively supported.

That is why I have dedicated over 15 years’ to roles across the health and community services sector, in clinical, corporate, and for-purpose organisations.  I am inspired by the team at SHQ and I feel proud and privileged to be leading such a highly skilled and passionate organisation that is so committed to diversity and inclusion.



Dr Samantha Johnson


Medical Director

“I’m here to make a meaningful impact, and that’s what motivates me as the Medical Director at SHQ.”

My diverse educational background, complemented by a wealth of experience in both hospital-based and primary care settings, has solidified the foundation of my medical career.

At SHQ, my passion lies in expanding services to vulnerable populations and dismantling stigma surrounding sexual and reproductive health to create a more inclusive broader community.

My leadership style is marked by quiet confidence, promoting collaboration and transparent decision-making. As a mother to three boys, I have honed many skills, including time management, empathy and adaptability, which have enriched my approach to leadership and decision-making.

I am dedicated to SHQ’s vision, championing sexual health and well being for all. My aim is to ensure that our priority populations and the general public have equal access to the exceptional quality of care we provide.



Suzanne Higgins

Executive Manager – Corporate Services

“Quality, systems and processes actually excite me!”

My team and I focus on enabling processes and procedures that help operations to deliver sustainable, resource efficient services to our clients.  Having commenced my career in hospitality before moving into health I can clearly see the similarities – you’ve got customers seeking good care, and they need to be happy.

At SHQ our diversity, inclusiveness and pro-choice gives us a feeling of family that is evident from the moment you engage with us. We offer services to people who can pay, so that we’re able to help people in our priority groups who are unable to pay.  We’re constantly evolving and there’s no reason why we can’t triple our size in the next 3-5 years, which is an exciting aspiration to be part of.



Francisca Carrero-Baños

Executive Manager – Operations

“I believe everyone deserves the best from each other.”

I have diverse career experience that has shaped my focus on customer service, and I’ve always had an affiliation to apply this to the health sector. This stems from my passion to help people and I’m happiest when I can lead change to make things better.

I am passionate about supporting disadvantaged community groups and people with disabilities, through proactive support, education and guidance. At SHQ we have a strong education arm that we can flex and strengthen further. I’m excited, not just by the services and value proposition to the community we offer, but also the potential we have. By making good business decisions aligned with our values, we will ensure that we’re sustainable and here for the long term.