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 several 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, Office Australian Information Commission and a member of Clean Energy Regulator and Department of Parliamentary Services 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.
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 a partner of the professional services firm, O’Connor Marsden, a public sector audit and governance practice in Canberra formed in 2008.
She has built assurance and governance capability in numerous public sector entities including the National Water Commission, Department of the Environment, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and the Clean Energy Regulator, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and Services Australia. She enjoys using her environmental science background with public sector evaluation and performance auditing experience to objectively and credibly tell the story of what is happening in Australian Government programs/policies.
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.
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.