Ms Barbara Ryan
Program Manager, Ronald McDonald House Charities
Barbara Ryan is a physiotherapist whose enthusiasm for helping people and communities enabled her to progress quickly from administration into management. Barbara worked as an adviser on rural health issues at the NSW Department of Health, and continued her passion for the not for profit sector as National Health Program Manager at the Royal Flying Doctor’s Service. Barbara then became CEO for the South Eastern Sydney Division of General Practice, before moving into her current position of Program Manager for Ronald McDonald House Charities.
As program manager, Barbara drives the continued growth and delivery of programs and services being offered to children and families by Ronald McDonald House Charities. Barbara enjoys the sense of purpose her work holds. ‘I like to believe that I make a tangible difference in the world and whilst only small, I do hope that my work will help sick children and families.’ The varied projects Barbara develops include constructing a family room on a hospital balcony, and building a brand new Ronald McDonald House for a community in need.
In 2010 Barbara was awarded a scholarship to complete a Diploma in Project Management at the Australian Institute of Management. Having no formal training in large project management, Barbara’s aim was to advance her skills to ensure successful communication with stakeholders. Upon completion of the course, Barbara was equipped with new ideas to further improve her project planning. ‘This course assisted me to be more systematic in my approach to these projects and to ensure that no element of a project plan is left out or not expressed.’ The course provided both practical skills as well as a broader theoretical standpoint from which to approach the work. ‘It gave me a great basis to work from and templates and plans that I have adopted into my work.’
Barbara describes her ASF scholarship as both a benefit to herself and her sector. ‘The ASF have been fantastic. It is wonderful to have someone in the sector looking out for our educational needs. The process and procedures in relation to my scholarship were straight forward and easy to follow. The staff were wonderful.’
Considering the size of her project work (such as a brand new million dollar Ronald McDonald House), the further tools Barbara gained to enable project success will have far reaching rewards for the greater community.
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RHMC) creates, finds and supports programs across Australia to help seriously ill children and their families. The cornerstone program of RMHC is the Ronald McDonald Houses program, which provides a home away from home for families of children receiving treatment at a hospital. Other programs of RMHC include the Ronald McDonald Learning Program, Ronald McDonald Family Room Program, Ronald McDonald Family Retreat Program, the RMHC Cord Blood Banks, and the grants program.