Chair of the Board Mr John Fenwick (left) and Chief Executive Officer Mr Steven Underwood (right)
New Era of Leadership for the Service

22nd, March, 2024

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service has welcomed a new leadership team with the appointment of a new Chair of the Board of Directors, Mr John Fenwick and new Chief Executive Officer, Mr Steven Underwood.

Steven Underwood served for 25 years in the Royal Air Force (UK) as a pilot, flying multiple Helicopter and Fast Jet aircraft, and has over 17 years of senior leadership and executive management experience in the commercial sector.

“I am proud and humbled to have the opportunity to lead such a respected and community focussed organisation; where the passion and commitment to providing a world-class aeromedical service is at the heart of who we are as individuals, as a team and as a Service, ensuring the delivery of the best patient outcomes,” Mr Underwood said.

“I would like to recognise the magnificent work undertaken by my predecessor, Richard Jones OAM, who has guided this organisation through its formative years to where it is today. I am absolutely delighted that the Service will continue to benefit from Richard’s drive, passion and dedication, in his new role as the Head of Community Engagement. On behalf of all involved with the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, I would like to thank Richard for all that he has accomplished during his time as CEO and for his ongoing commitment to supporting the community that he loves so passionately,” Mr Underwood concluded.

The Service also welcomes a new Chair of the Board of Directors, Mr John Fenwick, who assumes the role held previously by former Chair, Mr John Davis.

Mr Fenwick has a comprehensive background in the aviation arena, of note, in helicopter operations with the Royal Australian Army, and his proven leadership in the most demanding of environments ensure that he is ideally suited to undertaking the exacting role of Chair of the Board of the Service.

“I have been a Director of the Board since 2022, and it has been a pleasure working alongside such a resolute and passionate Board of Directors, and to have the opportunity to assume the responsibilities and accountabilities as the Chair is indeed an honour,” Mr Fenwick said.

“I would like to thank John Davis for his wise counsel and consummate professionalism, as the Chair of the Board since 2017, and for leading the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service with such diligence through a period of significant and substantial change. I am delighted that John has agreed to remain as an active Director of the Board, where his thoughtful and considered counsel will benefit us all.”

“I am grateful that the Board has put its trust in me as the Chair and, with the Board’s sterling support and unflinching commitment, I am focused on delivering against our current commitments and securing a strong and vibrant future for the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service,” Mr Fenwick said.

In announcing the appointment of Steven Underwood, a process Mr Fenwick was intimately involved in, Mr Fenwick also acknowledged the work undertaken by Richard Jones.

“Our former CEO of 28 years, Richard Jones, has assumed the role of Head of Community Engagement and I would like to thank Richard for his enormous contribution to the Service during his tenure as the CEO and acknowledge the sterling contribution and passionate support that Richard has already brought to his new role,” Mr Fenwick concluded.