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Diane Smith-Gander to take helm of WA health insurer HBF

Diane Smith-Gander has been named as HBF’s next chairman, with the prominent WA company director to succeed Tony Crawford in May.

As flagged last year, Mr Crawford is stepping down from the State’s biggest private health insurer after nearly eight years on the board, including 5½ as chairman.

The changeover comes after a sharp period of growth which has seen HBF under chief executive John Van Der Wielen refocus on its core health insurance business while expanding into allied services such as physiotherapy and dental and grow its interstate presence.

Mr Crawford acknowledged the busy activity by noting that the not-for-profit had “continued to strengthen its position while looking after its members during what has been one of the most challenging periods of change for HBF”.

“Diane’s depth of experience and proven track record make her an excellent selection as chair and is ideally placed to lead HBF through the next phase of its growth strategy,” Mr Crawford said.

Diane Smith-Gander, chairman of new drilling float DDH1 at company's premises.

Picture: Simon Santi The West Australian
Camera IconDiane Smith-Gander, the next chairman of drilling company DDH1, will take the helm of HBF in May.
Credit: Simon Santi/The West Australian

Ms Smith Gander, who joined the HBF board two years ago, is also chairman of buy-now, pay-later firm Zip Co, drilling company DDH1 and the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, and a non-executive director of AGL Energy and WA Government home lender Keystart Loans.

“HBF is an iconic brand in WA that is having great success in evolving into a truly national private health insurer, growing to around 1.2 million members and expanding into health services such as dental and physiotherapy,” she said.

“I am honoured to be trusted to take over as chair at this exciting juncture for HBF.”

Mr Crawford pocketed salary and fees of $273,226 as chairman last financial year, while Ms Smith Gander received $157,395.

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