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SHQ Executive

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.



David Owen
Medical Director

“We need to ensure the equitable availability of our services, without compromising our quality or our ideals.”

I am privileged to be the Medical Director for SHQ and am inspired by our culture of friendly, veracious, and caring people. As an obstetrician gynaecologist and former psychiatrist, I am very invested in a person’s health from both the perspective of physical health and psychosocial, which is why SHQ resonates with me.

SHQ is a shining light in Perth for all things sexual and reproductive health. We move far beyond providing traditional ‘family planning services’ such as contraception to providing a broad range of sexual health, psychological support and education. SHQ is pro-choice and advocates for the rights of people, helping those less privileged in the community make informed choices. We need to expand the provision of our services in an equitable manner to address the unquestionable need. However, in doing so we must maintain our quality, culture, and our heart.



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 – Client Services

“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.