Meet the NSW team

WEL NSW Executive Committee

Philippa Hall - WEL NSW Convenor

Philippa is the NSW Convenor of WEL. She has been an executive member for several 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.

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 & Secretary

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.

 

 

Dr Mary O'Sullivan - WEL NSW Executive Committee Member

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.

 

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.

Sandy Killick - WEL NSW Executive Committee Member

Sandy Killick became a WEL member in the early 90s, first joining the Education group before moving onto the NSW Executive and later becoming the WEL National Convenor. She brings social policy and research expertise, as well as management and community liaison experience from the not for profit and government sectors to WEL. Sandy actively volunteers with WEL because it is a progressive feminist organisation with a unique voice and an important role to play in the Australian political landscape.
Sandy is passionate about human rights, particularly equality and making it possible for people to live free from any form of discrimination. She is a Social Leadership Australia alumni, a qualified mediator and holds a Master of Labour Law & Relations and a Master of Education Policy. She also volunteers with the Wilderness Society and as an ethics facilitator at a local public primary school.

Dr Jane Bullen - WEL NSW 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 Ending Violence Against Women and Girls Action Group

Heather Smith (RN, BSN, MHA, MPH, FACHE, FASCM, GAICD)- WEL NSW Executive Committee Member

 Heather has over 30 years’ international health care experience.  She has campaigned for womens rights and women taking their rightful place in leadership roles across the globe.

She recently moved back to Sydney from Shanghai, Peoples Republic of China where she was the Shanghai Market General Manager of United Family Healthcare.  Additionally, she most recently was a Non Executive Director on the Board of AustCham Shanghai, the Chairperson for the Healthcare committee of AmCham Shanghai and served on the leadership committee of the China Healthcare Executives Group.  She is a Registered Nurse with licenses in the US and Australia.  She has worked in the Peoples Republic of China, US, Australia, Indonesia, Qatar, UAE, and the UK.

She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration and a Master’s Degree in Public Health. Heather is an American College of Healthcare Executives Fellow, a Fellow in The Australasian College of Health Service Management and a Graduate of the Austrlaian Instititute of Company Directors.   

 

Jennifer Muir - WEL NSW Executive Committee Member

Jennifer joined the WEL Executive in June 2018. She is a senior advisor and communication strategist with a career spanning twenty years. Kickstarting her career as a documentary and TV news producer, before moving into government as a public affairs and media specialist working in areas of social policy reform and programs. For the past ten years she has been part of the executive team at Primary Communication, leading the public affairs and strategic communication portfolio of clients with a focus on social issues relating to public health, mental health, disability, domestic violence, child protection and women’s rights in Australia. She works closely with clients and sector leaders to advocate for social change across the community and political landscape. In support of this work Jennifer is a member of a number of sector advisory groups on mental health, suicide prevention and communication, journalism and media through the Mindframe program.

She is a Board Director and the Immediate Past-President of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, having held the office of President from 2016-2018. She has a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies, and works to promote and advocate for human rights - peace with justice.

Rachel Francois - WEL NSW Executive Committee Member & Secretary

Rachel joined the WEL Executive in April 2019. Rachel is a feminist barrister with over 20 years' experience as a lawyer specialising in human rights, consumer protection, government and administrative law and commercial law. In particular, Rachel has run several high profile sexual harassment cases including Fraser-Kirk v David Jones and Richardson v Oracle, the latter being the landmark appeal in the Federal Court which rewrote the law on sex discrimination damages.  Her most recent human rights case was a general protections claim under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) on behalf of a high profile lawyer who was sacked for speaking out on behalf of the victims of sexual and other abuse in the defence forces (judgment is still reserved). And her most notable consumer protection cases have been against payday lenders: with the class actions against Cash Converters recovering over $30 million so far for the most vulnerable consumers in Australia. Rachel is deeply committed to WEL's aim of creating a society where women's participation and their ability to fulfil their potential are supported and respected.

 

   

WEL Staff 

 Membership - Community Engagement & Fundraising Coordinators

Sky Andersen - Fundraising

Sky recently joined the WEL team as Fundraising Coordinator after moving to Sydney from United States. Born and raised in Virginia, Sky graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Public Relations and immediately began working in the fundraising field of political campaigns. She found her niche in working for first-time pro-choice female candidates running to hold various levels of office, dedicated to fighting for progressive values and women’s rights.

After completing the 2018 U.S. Congressional mid-term election cycle as fundraising director, Sky began to pursue feminist fundraising positions fighting for women’s equality abroad and is excited to begin working on behalf of WEL to fund the campaigns responsible for furthering the advancement of women’s rights globally.

Zoe McClure - Membership and Community Engagement

At the beginning of September 2019, Zoe joined WEL NSW as the Membership and Community Engagement Coordinator. She recently moved to Sydney from Brisbane, however she grew up in NSW. She holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Science (Environment).

She is a passionate intersectional feminist and also cares particularly about climate justice and LGBTQIA+ rights. She has been involved in climate change activism for ten years with the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. This activism has given her many skills in community engagement that will be applied in this role to grow the public profile and membership of WEL. She also has political organising experience from the previous Federal Election, including volunteer recruitment, management and training. 

 

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