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Our Board

Leanne Miller

Leanne Miller

Board Member Leanne is a woman of the Dhulanyagen Ulupna Clan, Yorta Yorta nation and Executive Director of Koorie Women Mean Business. She has an extensive advocacy background working in indigenous, legal and women’s sectors, and has represented Australian Indigenous Women at the United Nations, New York, as well as undertaking a UN Fellowship in Geneva.
Sheree Rubinstein

Sheree Rubinstein

Board Member

Sheree is the co-founder and CEO of One Roof, expert in curating spaces and communities that nurture female entrepreneurs. One Roof has created female-centric co-working spaces across 4 cities, engaged 10,000 women and hosted 500+ educational workshops. Sheree was awarded the 2016 Victorian Young Achievers Leadership Award. In 2015, she was nominated one of Australia’s top young innovators by the Foundation for Young Australians.

Ruth McGowan OAM

Ruth McGowan OAM

Board Member
Ruth McGowan OAM runs her own consultancy as a trainer consultant and coach to local government. Building on her experience as a past councillor in local government, Ruth is passionate about supporting women as active citizens and for many years she has been involved in campaigns to encourage more women to stand for council elections, and more recently to improve recognition of women in the Australian Honours system. Trained as an agricultural scientist, Ruth has lived most of her life in rural Victoria and is a mother of three adult children.
Naida Beltrame

Naida Beltrame

Board Member Naida is a senior tax adviser whose career has focused on supporting high net wealth individuals with tax advice, and securing funding for companies ranging from startups to multinationals for their investments in research and development. Former roles have included 11 years at Deloitte and Ernst & Young. Passionate about human rights, Naida has been board member of a number of community organisations, such as East Timor Hearts Fund and Diaspora Action Australia. Naida currently provides tax advice at Beltrame Consulting.
Leena van Deventer

Leena van Deventer

Board Member

Leena van Deventer is an award-winning writer, game developer, and educator. She has taught interactive storytelling at both RMIT and Swinburne University. In 2016, Leena published her first book Game Changers: From Minecraft to Misogyny, the fight for the future of video games with Dr Dan Golding (Affirm Press). Leena is co-founder and Director of WiDGET (Women In Development, Games & Everything Tech), a grassroots intersectional not-for-profit organisation supporting women game developers, with over 550 members.

Alana Johnson

Alana Johnson

Chair

Alana is a farmer and rural consultant. She was the Victorian Rural Woman of the Year in 2010. A founding member of Australian Women in Agriculture, Alana has worked extensively on behalf of rural women, nationally and internationally. She has served on a number of government and NGO boards and is currently the President of Voices 4 Indi, which initiated a democracy project in the lead-up to the 2013 federal election.

Nadina Brockhurst

Nadina Brockhurst

Board Member

Nadina graduated from the University of Southern Queensland in 2016 with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting), and in 2017 was awarded a Women’s Board Leadership Program Scholarship. She is currently a Sales Analyst at BP Australia, and joined the VWT Board on 7 May 2019.

Nicky Friedman

Nicky Friedman

Deputy Chair Nicky is the Director of Community Engagement at the law firm, Allens. Nicky is focused on leveraging the resources of the private legal profession to enable disadvantaged people to gain greater access to justice. She is also a director of pro bono clearinghouse Justice Connect. Nicky has a background in social justice work and law reform, focusing on women’s rights. She has a long term association with the VWT, having been a volunteer and and employee before joining the board.
Mary Crooks AO

Mary Crooks AO

Executive Director

After an extensive public policy career, Mary became the Executive Director of the Victorian Women’s Trust in 1996. She has designed and led ground-breaking community engagement initiatives, such as the Purple Sage Project and Our Watermark Australia. In June 2012, Mary was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia, for her distinguished services to public policy and advocacy for the advancement of women. In 2016, Mary won the Public Policy category as part of the AFR/Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence for her years of work in shaping public policy in Australia.

Duré Dara OAM

Duré Dara OAM

Board Member Indian by race, Malaysian by birth and Australian by choice, issues high on Duré's agenda are equality for women, First Nations people and environmental sustainability. Duré worked in youth welfare before focusing on music and developing restaurant ventures (and was the first woman president of the Victorian Restaurant and Caterers Association). Vice President of Philanthropy Australia Duré joined the VWT's staff in a fundraising capacity. She has been on the Board since 1991.
Rana Hussain

Rana Hussain

Board Member

Rana is a diversity and inclusion leader, making important inroads into Australian sporting culture and the community at large. Rana is a pioneer and a passionate advocate for social inclusion and reducing discrimination through the vehicle of sports and media. Hussain’s desire to see more diversity in both media and sport sees her freelance writing, as well as podcasting and broadcasting for the ABC.

Christine Gordon

Christine Gordon

Board Member

Christine is the Programming Manager for Readings, a role she has held for many years. Prior to realising the role of her dreams, Christine worked for many years in public women’s health. She is one of the founding board members of the Stella Prize, sits on the board of the Emerging Writers Festival and has been the recipient of two City of Literature international travel grants. In 2020 she completed a Women in Leadership certificate. Apart from a life -long devotion to feminism, Christine is an avid reader and gardener.

Dr Cate Banks

Dr Cate Banks

Board Member

Cate is a lawyer, mediator and an academic researcher. Although she carries a swag of qualifications, including a PhD in law and decades of experience across a broad cross section of disciplines, Cate is best known for her expertise in trauma informed legal practice, particularly in multidisciplinary teams such as health justice partnerships. Cate has extensive experience working on the coal face of life where people experience precarious entanglements of their personal, legal, financial and social disadvantage. She has written extensively about social justice, law reform, family violence and intergenerational trauma. Cate has previous experience on boards, including her role as Chair of the Board of Ipswich Women’s Centre against Domestic Violence (now Domestic Violence Action Centre). Cate joined the Board on 5 May 2020.

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