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
Mirjana Wilson – Chairperson
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.
Jenny Welsh — Deputy Chairperson
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.
Tamzen Armer – 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.
Jolene Reece – Member
Jolene is a public servant with the Commonwealth Government and has over 13-years experience. She is a qualified legal practitioner and has worked in various in-house government legal teams, procurement teams and currently works in a management role.
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. She is passionate about empowering women by building capability and currently supports women through her involvement in various committees, mentoring programs and volunteer programs.
Amber Hutchison – Member
Amber is an advocate for gender equity, social justice and recognising the impacts of the social determinants of health. As a former employee of Women’s Health Matters, Amber understands the importance and breadth of the work that the organization does; influencing social and health policy, advocating for better health supports and services, leading the way in high quality social research, and doing health promotion that has positive impacts on women’s health and wellbeing. She has extensive knowledge about the work that of WHM undertakes and a broad understanding of the internal systems, policies and procedures that underpin that work.
For the past 10 months she has had an observer position on the Meridian ACT board. Her experience sitting on the Meridian ACT board has taught her the importance of good governance; and to ensure quality risk management, good financial practice, up-to date and well thought out policies, and innovative and strategic leadership.
Her short time working within the Aged Care Group at the Department of Health has also provided her with policy and governance experience specific to the interface between the aged care and health systems. Amber has an extensive background in health, health services and the health system from her experience as a dietitian in residential aged care facilities, medical centres, and hospitals.
Lisa Anderson – Member
Lisa Anderson is a professional and accredited counsellor with the Australian Counselling Association. She has significant experience in supporting women specifically and facilitating women’s groups within the Canberra community sector. She is qualified in evidence-based programs designed specifically for negotiating relationships, parenting and resilience.
As well as working in the not-for-profit sector, Lisa runs a private practice, The Upside of Me Counselling and The Up & About Mothers’ Group, Canberra’s first mother’s group focused on upskilling new mothers in a supportive way.
She is a Board Member of Canberra Mothercraft Society as well as being a recent recipient of a community grant to provide group support to women after separation. Additionally, Lisa has extensive experience as the Director of Operations and Network Engagement in the community/not -for-profit sector, and has been a volunteer including committee support of Parentline ACT, and an employee of Marymead and Relationships Australia.
Claudia Jenkins – Member
Graduating from the University of Canberra as Valedictorian (Bachelor of Management, Bachelor of Science in Psychology, major in Events and Tourism Management), Claudia is ambitious and ready to give valuable insight as a young, active member of the ACT community. Hailing from Regional NSW (Wagga Wagga), Claudia has called Canberra her home for the past 5 years. Growing up with strong community values and regional health, she is passionate about accessibility and community connection throughout ACT.
Claudia has held various board positions on university boards such as the position of Undergraduate Student Representative on the Business, Government and Law Faculty Board and the University Admissions Committee. In addition to completing the Audrey Fagan Board Traineeship program, these experiences and exposures have allowed her to appreciate the efforts of collaboration and joint contributions to boards. In addition to board work, Claudia holds volunteering positions such as social media director for not-for-profit organisation Country to Canberra and as coach and umpire for the South Canberra Netball Association.
Claudia currently works with Artemis Partners, a business consulting firm located in Canberra. Her work with Artemis has equipped her with understanding culture, change and business strategy. Claudia brings this knowledge and experience to the WHM board.
Morag Millington – Member
Morag has worked in the communications and marketing field for over 10 years and is currently the Communications Manager for Motor Neurone Disease Australia, a not-for-profit supporting people living with MND through advocacy, information development and funding vital research.
Prior to moving to Canberra in 2018, Morag worked in the book publishing industry and for a research and health promotion centre at the University of NSW, where she also completed her Master of Public Health.
Manasi Ahuja – Member
Manasi is a culturally and linguistically diverse woman who was born in India and migrated to Australia as a child. From Melbourne and having lived in a number of cities in Australia and Asia, Manasi now calls Canberra home. With more than 15 years of leadership experience within private and public sectors, Manasi has worked in senior roles across commercial organisations, ACT Government and is currently a Program Manager in a Commonwealth agency.
Manasi is passionate about helping women and girls progressing in their lives through access to services such as health care, finance, legal, education to help them break continuing wicked cycles. As an outcome of COVID, Manasi decided that she wanted to use her experience and understanding of the world along with challenges that women face both in Australia and internationally, in a community-based tangible manner to better women’s lives. She wants to support the local ACT community, focusing on complex issues that matter such as migrant health and welfare, education, domestic violence.
Manasi brings with her skills of strategic planning, policy and program implementation, and stakeholder engagement to support the Women’s Health Matters organisation.
Vivien Bevan – Member
Vivien is committed to ensuring the diverse health needs of women are met through local policy and programs.
She is a registered health professional with a strong understanding of health systems and years of experience working in ACT Health Directorate at senior levels. She is a values focused leader with a strong interest in data and evidence-based policy and program delivery, and supporting inclusive, equitable access to programs that support our most vulnerable in the community.
Vivien has completed an Executive Master in Public Administration with electives in gender analysis, Indigenous policy and evidence-based policy making. She has formal training and experience in public leadership, governance and regulation to deliver public value.
Vivien served as Interim CEO for Women’s Health Matters in 2021-22, during which time she led a series of strategic initiatives to support organisational stability, growth and performance. These provided a strong platform from which WHM could continue to be an effective voice for ACT women’s health and wellbeing into the future.
Vivien is strategic and collaborative in her approach, and can draw upon her expertise, networks and unique insights to ensure WHM is well positioned to achieve its strategic objectives and purpose.