Well behaved women rarely make history
Chair, Board of Directors
Melanie, has been named one of Australia’s Top 100 Most Influential Women in the Westpac & Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards in 2012. She was also listed in the Daily Life 2016 Women of the Year and named by the Herald Sun in March 2017 as one of Victoria’s ” fifty women you need to know”.
Melanie holds a number of leadership positions including Chair of the large charity Youth Projects Ltd. Melanie is also chair of Connected Communities Melbourne, a new philanthropic fund associated with the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. She is also a member of the Victorian Premier’s Ice Taskforce and also the Ministerial Taskforce on Rough Sleeping. In January Melanie was awarded the Order of Australia medial for her contribution to social justice, youth and the community.
Of Sri Lankan background, Melanie has lived in Melbourne and worked in the not for profit most of her life. Melanie has extensive experience as a non-execute director and chair, including chair of the Prostitution Control Ministerial Advisory Council and the Liquor LIcensing Council for the Victorian government, chairing the collaborative infrastructure project Opportunities for Carlton, and the NFP Committee of the AICD Vic. She has been on the Board of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade and Inner North Community Foundation and a member of the City of Melbourne Homelessness Advisory Committee.
Melanie has been a local government councillor, and worked in retail sector, the union movement and media and communications field.
Melanie’s work with Youth Projects has seen the growth of this charity and development of innovative health and outreach services for the homeless and disadvantaged across Melbourne.
Melanie was also a founder of the feminist history journal Lilith in 1985 which continues online today. Her research on the history of women’s political activism and early trade union formation in Victoria shed light on the the role of women as protagonists in the labour movement.
Melanie is a regular commentator on issues of homelessness, youth unemployment, drug addiction as well as governance and the not for profit sector.