- 22 July 1941
Orange, New South Wales, Australia
- Businesswoman, Company Director, Educator, Femocrat and Public Speaker
- Alternative Names
- Ryan, Wendy Elizabeth (maiden name)
Wendy McCarthy is an experienced businesswoman who has assumed many major leadership roles in both the public and private sectors for nearly forty years. Her first experience as a political lobbyist came about when, newly pregnant, she and her husband joined the Childbirth Education Association (CEA) in Sydney, campaigning for (amongst other things) the rights of fathers to be present at the births of their babies. Since then, she has had three children, and been an active change agent in women's health, education, broadcasting, conservation and heritage and Australian business.
Her senior executive and non-executive positions have included: CEO - Family Planning Association of Australia (1979-84); Member - National Women's Advisory Council (1978-81); Member - Sydney Symphony Orchestra Council; Director - Australian Multicultural Foundation. She has held executive and non-executive director roles in many of Australia's leading private and public institutions including Executive Director, Australian Federation of Family Planning Associations; Deputy Chair of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) for eight years; General Manager of Marketing and Communications, the Australian Bicentennial Authority; Chair of the National Better Health Program; Executive Director of the National Trust; Director Star City; Chair of the Australian Heritage Commission; and Chair of Symphony Australia. In 2005 she compled ten years as Chancellor of the University of Canberra.
In 2013 she is Chair of Circus Oz, McGrath National Youth Mental Health Foundation and Pacific Friends of the Global Foundation. In 2010 Wendy became a Non-Executive Director to GoodStart Childcare Limited. In 2009 after 13 years of service to Plan International, she retired from her most recent role as Global Vice Chair. She is Patron of the Australian Reproductive Health Alliance.
Wendy's contribution to Australian life has been recognised in various ways. In 1989 she became an Officer of the Order of Australia for her contribution to community affairs, women's affairs and the Bicentennial celebrations and in 1996 she received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Australia. In April 2003 she was awarded a Centenary of Federation Medal.