Overview and Role of the NBA

About the National Blood Authority

The National Blood Authority (NBA) was established by the National Blood Authority Act 2003 (NBA Act) following the National Blood Agreement being signed by all Australian Health Ministers in 2002.

As a material statutory agency, the NBA has a range of corporate and compliance responsibilities under the NBA Act, the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) and the Public Service Act 1999. In addition, it is also responsible for meeting ministerial, parliamentary and financial reporting requirements.

Our Vision and Purpose

To save and improve Australian lives and patient outcomes through a world-class blood supply.

Our Work

The NBA manages and coordinates arrangements for the supply of blood, blood products and blood services on behalf of all Australian governments in accordance with the National Blood Agreement.

The primary policy objectives of the National Blood Agreement signed by Commonwealth, State and Territory governments are:

  • To provide an adequate, safe, secure and affordable supply of blood products, blood-related products and blood related services in Australia; and
  • To promote the safe, high quality management and use of blood products, blood related products and blood related services in Australia.

To achieve the policy objectives of the National Blood Agreement, the NBA:

  • works with all Australian governments to determine the clinical requirements for blood and blood-related products and develops and manages an annual supply plan and budget
  • negotiates and manages national contracts with suppliers of blood and blood-related products to obtain the products needed by patients
  • assesses blood supply risk and develops commensurate contingency planning
  • supports the work of all Australian governments in improving the way blood products are governed, managed and used, as well as developing and facilitating strategies and programs to improve the safety, quality and effectiveness of blood usage, particularly in the areas of national standards, criteria guidelines and data capture and analysis
  • collaborates with key stakeholders to provide expert advice to support government policy development, including the identification of emerging risks, developments, trends and opportunities
  • manages the evaluation of proposals for blood sector improvements, including proposals for new products, technologies and system changes
  • supports jurisdictional consideration of key issues in accordance with the National Blood Agreement.

Our Responsible Minister and Portfolio 

The NBA is within the portfolio of the Minister for Health and Aged Care. The NBA General Manager is the Chief Executive of the NBA and is a statutory officer reporting to the Commonwealth Minister for Health and Aged Care within an intergovernmental framework. Find out more. Link

Our Funding

Australia’s national blood supply and operating costs of the NBA are jointly funded by all Australian governments. The Commonwealth Government provides 63% of the funding, with states and territories providing the balance of 37%.

Our Values

We take ownership of our performance by understanding, accepting, and fulfilling our roles to the best of our ability.

We are committed to demonstrating the Australian Public Service Values and Code of Conduct, which guide our interactions and collaborations with colleagues, stakeholders, and the community.

  • We are impartial, objective and use the best available evidence to inform decisions in the best interests of patients, the blood sector, governments and the community more broadly.
  • We are committed to providing the best service possible by being highly professional, agile, innovative  and efficient and through working collaboratively with all stakeholders to develop, monitor and improve national networks and systems for improved clinical awareness and practice in the use of blood and blood products.
  • We are accountable for what we do to manage and support Australia’s national blood arrangements.
  • We are respectful of all people and do our best to acknowledge, understand and engage with those who raise issues with us.
  • We will demonstrate ethical conduct and leadership and act with integrity to meet the needs of patients, clinicians, governments, partners and others to sustain a safe, secure, adequate and affordable supply of blood and blood products in Australia.

Key documents

Corporate Plans

Annual Reports

PDF icon NBA Annual Report 2022-23 (pdf)

An accessible version of the Annual Report is available on the Transparency Portal

APS Employee Census

The Australian Public Service (APS) employee census is held each year to gather confidential attitude and opinion information from APS employees regarding their workplaces. The latest census report for the National Blood Authority is published below, highlighting what our staff had to say.

2023 APS Census - NBA Highlights Report.pdf

2023 Employee Census Action Plan.pdf

2022 APS Census - NBA Highlights Report (1.11 MB)

2021 APS Census - NBA Highlights Report (1.11 MB)

2020 APS Census - NBA Highlights Report (28.26 MB)

Procedures for determining breaches of the Code of Conduct and for determining sanction

Procedures for determining breaches of the Code of Conduct and for determining sanctions

Executive and Organisational Structure


Mr John Cahill, Chief Executive is the Accountable Authority for the National Blood Authority.

The NBA is organised into two groups:

  • Commercial Blood Products and Business Services; and
  • Fresh Blood Products and Business Systems.

Both groups have program and business responsibilities and are led by a Deputy Chief Executive. The NBA Chief Executive (specified as the General Manager in the NBA Act) and Deputy Chief Executives are supported by a small Executive Office.

Our Executive Management Team

Our Chief Executive 

John Cahill

Chief Executive, National Blood Authority

Mr Cahill was reappointed to the position of Chief Executive in 2016. He previously held a senior executive position in the Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care. He has wide-ranging policy, program and operational experience, including extensive work as a senior executive and Chief Executive with various government departments and agencies.

Before the NBA, Mr Cahill led and managed major programs and projects involving the delivery of challenging and complex services across Australia and internationally. This included the management and delivery of significant health services, infrastructure services, major procurements, and substantial contracts.

Since commencing with the NBA, Mr Cahill has worked closely with the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood, commercial suppliers, partners and service providers, and a broad range of committed stakeholders within governments and the community – including patients, patient groups, clinicians and specialist advisers – as well as with the passionate and professional staff of the NBA, to ensure the NBA provides strong leadership, management and support for Australia’s world-class national blood arrangements.

Deputy Chief Executives


Ms Kate McCauley

Deputy Chief Executive, Fresh Blood Products and Business Systems 

Kate McCauley joined the National Blood Authority in November 2022 as Deputy Chief Executive, Fresh Blood Products and Business Systems. Kate has wide ranging capabilities in organisational change and reform, health related policy and service delivery, which have been honed by her experiences across a number of portfolios. Her early career as a registered nurse, at the coal face of care delivery, gives her a unique understanding of the practical implications of government decision making and policy implementation. 

At the NBA, Kate’s responsibilities encompass fresh blood products and services and related issues, including the coordination of national supply planning processes across Australia. She has principal NBA executive responsibility for the Deed of Agreement for services provided by the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood. She also has executive responsibility for the CIO group and the NBA’s ICT and data management activities, as well as the coordination of the NBA’s corporate risk management work.

Kate is an experienced SES officer who has worked in several areas of government including the health and education portfolios, as well as with central agencies. Kate is a capable leader with extensive experience in outcomes driven negotiations, and has successfully led significant operational and structural reforms, delivering enhanced outcomes and improved team cohesion. 

In her most recent role as Assistant Secretary Medical Devices Surveillance Branch with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), she led the establishment of a new organisational structure and the implementation of a critical suite of regulatory reforms. 

Kate holds a Bachelor of Nursing and Masters in Health Administration.


Deputy Chief Executive, Commercial Blood Products and Business Services

As a small independent agency, the NBA provides an environment that empowers staff to take direct responsibility for delivering significant outcomes in a challenging and ever changing industry. We espouse to foster an environment of diversity, enthusiasm and leadership, with a strong work ethic.


NBA is also supported by an advisory board. Visit NBA Board for more information.

Our Plans and Strategies

The NBA activities are guided by two key planning documents that are endorsed by Governments:

The NBA delivers its required planning outcomes in accordance with a range of more detailed strategies that address specific areas of activities endorsed by governments:

Annual Report


PDF icon NBA Annual Report 2022-23 (pdf)

An accessible version of the Annual Report is available on the Transparency Portal