Meet the NSW team

WEL NSW Executive Committee



Dr Mary O'Sullivan - WEL NSW Convenor

Mary has worked in a range of policy advisory and program management roles. She has served as an elected Councillor. Mary joined her first feminist activist group in 1972 in Newcastle NSW. Mary has a long record of activism on behalf of women in the context of trade unions, and in many other political and policy contexts. Her interests range from women in work, through to the role and status of women in Australian politics, culture and society. Mary has worked for WEL on submissions and campaigns  to highlight the lack of affordable housing for older women, the issue of elder abuse, and most recently the decriminalisation of abortion in NSW. On behalf of WEL, Mary led the Secretariat and supported Wendy McCarthy as Chair of WEL's Decriminalisation Round Table and then the NSW Pro Choice Alliance.

Dr Jane Bullen - WEL NSW Deputy Convenor | Executive Committee Member

Jane joined the WEL Executive in 2015, continuing her past work in feminist and other organisations to promote women’s human rights, increase fairness and reduce inequality and disadvantage. Jane’s background includes research, evaluation, policy and program work in academic, government and non-government contexts. She is currently an independent researcher and consultant and has previously worked at the Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW and at RMIT University. Her primary areas of research focus are domestic violence, homelessness and women’s homelessness. Jane is a member of the WEL Women Ageing Well Action Group and WEL Ending Violence Against Women and Girls Action Group

Terrie Roberts - WEL NSW Secretary | Executive Committee Member 

Terrie has worked in the public sector for her entire career. She taught in high schools and served in a number of administrative positions for the Department of Education and Training before joining the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions as a solicitor. In addition she worked on the legal team for the NSW Electoral Commission prior to her retirement. She has always been committed to feminist causes and welcomes the chance to work on issues important to women.


She is committed to assisting and promoting equality and is particularly interested in education and in strengthening women’s representation in all spheres. Terrie has a BA Dip Ed as well as a Masters degree in Educational Administration and a law degree.

Jozefa Sobski AM - WEL NSW Executive Committee Member

Jozefa has been active in feminist, women’s and community organisations for many years. She started her activism in Sydney Women’s Liberation in the 1970’s. She is currently Chair of the Board of Jessie Street National Women’s Library and Vice President of the Haberfield Association. She was Convenor of WEL NSW for three years to 2016 and for a period from 2006-2010. She was Convenor of WEL Australia from 2018-2019. She is a member of the TAFE Community Alliance. She was an inaugural member of the NSW Women in Education group and the Australian Women’s Education Coalition. She is a qualified teacher of English and History and has a Masters in Adult Education. She worked in the Ministry of Education as a policy adviser on sexism and in TAFE in policy administration, as a Principal of a College and Director of South Western Sydney Institute of TAFE. She is a member of the National Foundation of Australian Women, Immigrant Women’s Speakout Association and Emily’s List.

           

Menaka Cooke - WEL NSW Executive Committee Member 

Menaka is a coach and management consultant in organisation change and people development working with an Aboriginal Land Council and in local government. She is the current President of Women Chiefs of Enterprises (NSW branch) and serves on the board of Economic Security for Women, Zonta East Sydney Club, Older Women’s Network NSW and the Indian Crisis Support Agency.

Her book ‘Monsoon Woman – wouldn’t take NO for an answer’ (2019) is a memoir of her life arriving as a single migrant parent in Australia in the early 1970s, then educated and empowered herself (obtaining two Masters degrees in Commerce and Psychotherapy) and reached the C-suite in corporations.

Her early experiences in Australia encountering systemic and overt racism and sexism led her to become a passionate feminist, joining the Women’s Electoral Lobby while also engaging with CALD and women’s organisations to advocate for women’s rights and empowerment.

She is a strong believer in Intersectional Feminism, coaching Indigenous and NESB women in leadership, reaching out to women of multi-cultural backgrounds to encourage them on their journey.

 

Philippa Hall - WEL Executive Committee Member

Philippa has been an executive member for several years and was formerly the WEL NSW Convenor for 4 years. Philippa worked in various areas of State and Federal Government, and in New Zealand, on women's employment and human rights issues. Pay equity for women is a long standing commitment and area of work. Philippa has contributed to various non-government organisations working on improvements for women, especially in employment. Philippa holds post-graduate qualifications in Arts, Commerce, and Information Management.

Lorraine Slade - WEL NSW Executive Committee Member

Lorraine has been a member of WEL since 1986 and has served on the WEL NSW Executive for a number of years since 2006. She has also volunteered in the WEL office during that time. Lorraine is strongly committed to the WEL vision of a society ‘where women’s participation and their ability to fulfil their potential are unrestricted, acknowledged and respected, and where women and men share equally in society’s responsibilities and rewards.

 

Josefa Green - WEL NSW Executive Committee Member

Josefa began as a WEL activist in the 1970’s, involved particularly in equal pay and abortion rights campaigns – issues that still need addressing! She has been on the WEL NSW Executive since 2005. She worked for many years in policy and management areas of the Federal Public Service, including the Special Broadcasting Service, and subsequently as a management consultant working in the areas of planning and organisational change. She has a BA (History Hons), an MBA and a Graduate Diploma in Asian Art.

Tabitha Ponnambalam - WEL NSW Executive Committee Member

Tabitha Ponnambalam is a Solicitor in private practice. Since 2006, she has been a sole practitioner working mostly in commercial and corporate law. Before moving to Australia in 1990, she previously practiced as an Attorney in the State of Connecticut, USA. In Australia, she has had varied legal experiences from working in the Victorian Supreme Court as Legal Research Officer, to a large commercial firm in Sydney, and a Community Legal Centre before becoming a sole practitioner.

Community involvement

  • In the early 1990s while in Victoria served on the Management Committee of the Victorian Immigration and Advice Rights Centre and volunteered for them until Ruddock’s regulatory changes prevented the continuation. In the late 1990s served on the Management Committee of the Mount Druitt Community Legal Centre; and in 2005 was the Principal Solicitor of the Centre.
  • In the early 2000s while in Connecticut served on the Management Boards of various entities providing aged care and low income housing.
  • Served on the WEL NSW Executive Committee from 2007 - 2010.
  • Served on the Management Committee of the Immigrant Women’s Speakout Association of NSW from 2015 - 2019, being Chairperson for the years 2018 and 2019
  Margaret Mackie - WEL NSW Treasurer | Executive Committee Member 
 

Jane Sharkey - WEL NSW Executive Committee Member 

   

WEL Staff 

 

Membership and Community Engagement

Erina Finau currently works as the Membership Engagement & Fundraising Coordinator for WEL NSW and studies at the University of Newcastle completing a law degree. Erina does research in Feminism, International History and Politics, Human Rights, and Race, Ethnicity, and Politics. Her most recent publication is 'Axiom of a Masculinist Discourse and the Gendered Avowal - an Intersectional Approach'

If you would like to contact Erina Finau directly regarding any Membership or Fundraising queries, please email: [email protected]