The Women’s Health Matters Board sets the strategic direction for the organisation and provides policy leadership, financial and legal oversight. Board performance is assessed on an annual basis through a Survey of Board members about the Board’s effectiveness.
The Women’s Health Matters Board comprises ten elected members. At each Annual General Meeting (AGM), five Board members are elected for two-year terms. Each elected Board member holds office from immediately after the AGM at which they are elected until the second AGM after their election. No members of the Board may retain their position for more than three consecutive terms.
Our Board members serve on a voluntary basis and do not receive remuneration. The Board is required to meet at least six times in each calendar year, but generally meets more often to conduct the business of Women’s Health Matters.
The Board also sets up committees where necessary to conduct various aspects of organisational operation and management.
Meet our Board
Renee Dockrill – Chair
Renee was born and grew up in Canberra, and after several years travelling and living interstate, has returned to Canberra where she is raising her young family with her husband.
Renee is a Partner and co-founder of Artemis Partners. This Canberra based consultancy focusses on assisting Government and not-for-profit clients achieve their operational objectives through a focus on people strategy, organisational design, business problem-solving, governance assurance, change management and stakeholder engagement.
Prior to starting Artemis Partners, Renee spent over 17 years working at PwC and consulting in her own business. With extensive experience in management consulting, Renee has a range of skills that she would like to put towards the benefit of the boarder community, and in particular women within the ACT. She has worked with a range of not-for-profit organisations which has given her an appreciation of the important contribution that the not-for-profit sector makes, and the importance of sound governance, controls and Board arrangements.
She values the opportunity to contribute to the Women’s Centre for Health Matters as improving the situation for women is of great importance to her, in particular making a difference to maternal health care, and also the increasing prevalence of domestic violence and mental health are of great concern to her. Renee has been a WCHM Board Member since January 2017. Over that time she has held a range of positions including Deputy Chair, Chair of the Governance Sub-Committee, and member of the Finance Sub-Committee and Stakeholder Engagement Sub-Committee.
Sheena Ireland – Deputy Chair
Sheena is a communication specialist with more than a decade of strategic communications experience, spanning the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. She runs a communications strategy agency in Canberra which currently services the Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney regions.
Prior to running her own business, she performed in senior positions in the Federal Public Service, including: the Australian Research Council, CSIRO, and Immigration and Communications departments; the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, the peak industry organisation representing the manufacturers and importers of cars and motorcycles in Australia; and in a federal government Cabinet Minister’s office.
Throughout her career she has led and supported community engagement, media engagement and fundraising efforts to support community organisations.
Sheena is a passionate advocate for increasing equal opportunities and support for women, is a trained volunteer telephone crisis supporter with Lifeline, and has a passion for mental health support and prevention.
Jo Schumann — Treasurer
Jo Schumann’s career includes extensive experience in public sector having worked in both the ACT and Commonwealth public sectors. Her roles have encompassed commonwealth/state funding arrangements, social policy and service delivery in the welfare, housing and community areas. For the latter part of her career, she held the role of Chief Operations Office for several Australian Public Service agencies giving her experience and expertise in finance, human resources, information technology, and media and communications.
Jo currently provides talent management services for APS 5- El1 officers with her colleague Melanie Fisher to ACT Government and APS agencies. She also holds a number of non-executive director Board positions in the community sector where her role includes Board Chair and Treasurer. She is currently the independent Chair of the Climate Change Authority, Infrastructure Finance Agency Audit Committees. She also volunteers as a mentor for young juvenile justice offenders. Jo is very passionate about women’s health issues and was involved in establishing the birth centre for the ACT.
Tamzin Amer – Member
Tamzen is the Senior Advisor: Capacity Building for Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE), the national Gender Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (GEDI) program for Australia’s Higher Education and Research Sector. Her work at SAGE, like the work of WCHM, is evidence-based; advocates for structural, systemic and cultural change; and emphasises collaboration, capacity building, and community development to extend the reach of the organisation’s work beyond that which can be delivered directly by a small team. Tamzen began her professional life as research scientist, exploring first Multiple Sclerosis, and then Breast Cancer, before moving into International and Higher Education – and moving from the UK to, ultimately, Canberra.
She is a keen trail runner, and a coach with Females in Training (FIT), a community group that aims to enable women of all ages and abilities to participate in sport in a safe, supportive and fun environment.
Dr Melanie Dorrington – Member
Dr Melanie Dorrington is a GP in Bungendore. She has been a Canberra resident for over ten years, during which time she has worked in Canberra and Calvary Hospitals, before moving into General Practice. As a GP she has worked at Garema Place Surgery and Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service, and is now working at the Bungendore Medical Centre. Melanie has completed her training in implanon and mirena insertions, as well as MS-2 step provision (medical termination of pregnancy) and the Certificate of Sexual & Reproductive Health due to her specific interest in women’s health. To extend her interest in primary healthcare she has also conducted research and taught with ANU, worked as a “GP Clinical Editor” with ACT/SNSW HealthPathways at Capital Health Network, and is now a GP Liaison Officer (GPLO) for NSW Health, SNSW Local Health District (LHD), for the Monaro region. In her role as GPLO she is involved in various councils and governance and advisory committees within the SNSW LHD, and in collaborating with ACT GP Liaison Units. Melanie is currently a member of the Sexual Health and Family Planning Council. She has recently stepped back membership of the ACT & Region Medical Women’s Society Committee having spent over 3 years on the committee, including her role as ACT representatives to the Australian Federation of Medical Women Committee (3 years), though she continues as a member of both. A significant part of her interest in Medical Women’s movements is to have a role in improving the health of women and children. Melanie is also a mother of 2 children.
She runs for her general wellbeing. Her passions include feminism, encompassing working against violence against women, learning more about intersectionality especially with regards to Aboriginal Australian women, supporting appropriate return to work after childbirth (for example, breastfeeding/expressing at work with allocated breaks), gender mainstreaming in medicine and has an interest in mental health, for which she is currently completing a training module on eating disorders through NSW Health.
During the time she has been a member of WCHM, Melanie has been thoroughly impressed by the work the organisation does through advocacy and capacity building. Melanie is motivated by working within her community to promote better patient care and experience – not just in a one-on-one basis, but through community and society changes. She is aware of gaps between the community and health care providers, and hopes that by being involved in the WCHM Board she can aid work WCHM does in terms of health and social determinants of health, by bringing knowledge from “inside” the system. She hopes to be able to turn her focus to local structures and continue to assist in improving systems, especially in relation to women’s health.
Romy Listo – Member
Romy is a feminist, a researcher and a women’s rights and gender equality advocate. She is currently Project Coordinator for the Equality Rights Alliance. Her background is in community and international development and gender studies, and she has more than six years of experience working in and with women’s organisations and women’s health, both domestically and internationally, but predominantly as a sexuality educator in a sexual and reproductive health service in Queensland.
Romy is particularly passionate about intersectionality and inclusion, and advocating for young women’s voices, and has worked on a range of projects including support for migrant and refugee people’s sexual health, and LGBTIQ+ inclusive sexuality education. She has previously been a member of the Young Women’s Advisory Group (YWAG) to ERA, and contributed to the development of the 2019 ‘Let’s Talk’ survey on young women and non-binary young people’s views on sex ed. Romy is currently finishing her PhD in the fields of sociology and gender studies at the University of Queensland. She brings a diverse set of skills and lens to the table as a researcher, advocate, community practitioner and young person.
Jolene Reece – Member
Jolene is the director of the procurement and Contract Management Team at IP Australia, a Commonwealth Government agency responsible for the administration of intellectual property rights and legislation relating to patents, trademarks, designs and plant breeder’s right in Australia. She is a qualified legal practitioner and has over 10 years post-administration experience, having worked in various in-house government legal teams.
In her current position, she delivers procurement and legal advice to IP Australia’s Executive and staff in order to provide assurance that the way the agency has acted, or proposes to act, is legally defensible and that risks are appropriately managed. She is required to apply legislation, policy, procedures and guidelines to situations involving a high level of complexity and sensitivity and regularly advise on the interpretation of Commonwealth statutes and legislative instruments – including the Privacy ACT 1988 (Cth). She is also responsible for improving procurement capability and compliance within the agency.
Jolene is interested in women’s issues and empowering women. She has a particular interest in reproductive rights, mental health, law reform, health promotion and improving health outcomes for women more broadly. In recent years she has also had firsthand experience accessing a range of women’s health services in the region. She is passionate about empowering women by building capability and currently supports women through her involvement in committees/volunteer programs.
Rebecca Smyth – Member
Rebecca is the managing partner of the professional services firm, Vista Advisory, a specialist public sector audit and governance practice in Canberra formed in 2008. She leads a firm of non-financial and financial audit professionals to influence and improve public sector audit and governance across six jurisdictions in Australia and the Pacific. She has built assurance and governance capability in numerous public sector entities and has been appointed the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) Performance Audit Quality Assurance review for the period 2019-2022. Rebecca has 19 years’ experience in the field of water, energy, natural resource management and community services spanning assessment and evaluation, performance audit and review, governance and compliance, public reporting and strategic relationship management in the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments. Rebecca has demonstrated high level skills in:
- Public and private sector performance audit and assurance reviews across a range of portfolios and jurisdictions, including water, environment, health and indigenous portfolios
- Establishing audit and assurance frameworks for public sector agencies, delivering audit training in the conduct of audits in line with the Aust. Audit Standards for new auditors and providing audit quality assurance reviews for audit offices and public sector agencies
- Excellent high-level written and interpersonal communication skills, including for chief executive, parliamentary, board and public audiences.
Rebecca is passionate about the participation of girls and women in science and policy making. Accepted into the Homeward Bound Global Leadership Program 2018/19, she was honored to have the platform to highlight the leadership, communication, visibility and strategic capabilities of women in STEMM. The program culminated in all-female leadership expedition to Antarctica. Rebecca has a strong association with SANDS, the miscarriage, stillbirth and newborn death not-for-profit support service for bereaved parents. She provides them with strategic and governance advice and is an active parent supporter for bereaved parents.
Jenny Welsh — Member
Jenny is passionate about health and wellbeing, equity and using evidence to inform decision making. She has seen the ways that community organisations can improve the lives of people, and would be grateful to contribute to the Women’s Centre for Health Matters to continue their work to improve the lives of women in Canberra.
Jenny grew up in Canberra, and after finishing her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, discovered that she has a passion for public health. Having now completed a Master’s degree and a PhD in the area, she is an epidemiologist and public health specialist with more than a decade’s worth of experience working to improve the health and wellbeing of vulnerable populations, including women, people from low socioeconomic backgrounds and people with mental health conditions. In her current role as a Research Fellow at the Australian National University, she does public health research and works with government and non-government organisations to improve the health and wellbeing for these groups. She also lectures, supervises research students and contributes to university life.
Mirjana Wilson – Member
Mirjana is currently the Special Advisor to the ACT’s Office of the Coordinator General for Family Safety after serving eight years as the Chief Executive Officer of the Domestic Violence Crisis Service (DVCS). She is also a member of the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal and the Sentence Administration Board.
Mirjana has a long term personal and professional commitment to social justice and inclusion within a feminist framework. She has worked in both the government and community sectors for 30 years including over 15 years at DVCS and has a high level of understanding around the complex issues associated with domestic and family violence and its impact on those who experience it. Prior to coming to DVCS, Mirjana worked in a number of educational settings, designing and implementing programs for children, young people and adults.
Mirjana holds Bachelor and Postgraduate qualifications in Education and Counselling and a Masters in Business Administration. Mirjana comes from a proud Croatian heritage with her parents migrating to Australia in the 1960s. She is bilingual and continues to be an active member within the Croatian community volunteering within the aged care facility and various women’s groups.