Vivien Bevan – Interim CEO
Vivien joined Women’s Health Matters as Interim CEO in September 2021. Vivien has a strong interest in, and commitment to, supporting women’s health and wellbeing through an evidence-based approach, and in particular supporting people experiencing vulnerability or disadvantage. Vivien is on secondment from ACT Health, where she is ordinarily the Chief Pharmacist. Her significant experience across health and leadership is welcomed by the Women’s Health Matters Board.
Vivien’s experience includes leadership of cross government and public consultations on policy proposals to ensure safe medicines access across the ACT community. A major focus of her role in ACT Health has been to reduce public health harms arising from prescription abuse and misuse amongst vulnerable population groups.
Vivien has established networks across ACT Government and community organisations and is passionate about improving public health outcomes through a collaborative approach. She also has a keen interest the use of data to drive evidence-based decision making and public policy and programs. Her experience and skills serve to ensure Women’s Health Matters remains a strong voice for women’s health and wellbeing in the ACT, through leading high-quality research, health promotion and advocacy on issues that impact local women.
A registered pharmacist, Vivien’s early career was as a hospital pharmacist, having worked in various tertiary public and private hospitals in Australia and the United Kingdom.
Karen Mowat – Executive Assistant
Karen is the Executive Assistant to the CEO.
She brings a wealth of experience in the not-for-profit sector and over 10 years’ experience working closely with CEOs, Board Chairs, Board Directors, executive leadership and managers to foster strategic direction and growth.
Karen is passionate about working in the not-for-profit sector and wanted to help make a difference in local women’s lives.
Karen joins us most recently from the Cyber Security Cooperative Research Centre, where she was Executive Assistant to the CEO and prior to that, the Australian Council for International Development, where she was Executive Coordinator/Assistant to CEO.
Dr Merrindahl Andrew – Health Promotion & Research Officer
Merrindahl has worked in social policy and advocacy for over fifteen years, across both the ACT and national levels, with a focus on gender equality and gender-based violence. Most recently, Merrindahl spent five years managing a national alliance of organisations working to end gender-based violence, before working locally to deliver violence prevention training to educators, businesses, and community members.
Through her PhD in political science at the Australian National University (ANU), Merrindahl studied feminists’ attempts to shape social policies affecting work and care.
She subsequently researched the development of women’s services and women’s policy agencies, including those focused on health. She has authored numerous articles and book chapters on gender equality, gender-based violence and human rights, including articles in Australian and international journals.
Merrindahl is happy to be part of a community-based organisation working for women’s health in the ACT, where she can contribute to violence prevention, sexual and reproductive health, better access to health information, and all the changes needed so that women can have full enjoyment of their lives.
Dr Romy Listo – Health Promotion & Research Officer
Romy joined Women’s Health Matters because of her passion for gender and health justice .
For the last seven years she has worked across women’s and gendered health issues in research, policy and advocacy and health promotion.
She has experience as a sexuality and relationships educator, in gender equality policy and advocacy and most recently, coordinating an aged care navigation program for multicultural communities.
Romy has a PhD in gender studies from the University of Queensland, where her research explored the role of energy in women’s organising and empowerment in urban and peri-urban South Africa. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Community Development.
Romy is interested in sexual and reproductive health rights and information and migrant and refugee women’s health. Through her PhD research she has also developed expertise and an interest in the gendered nature of infrastructure and the environment.
Julia Tran – Health Promotion & Research Officer
Julia joined the Women’s Centre for Health Matters as a Health Promotion Officer in 2017. With a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and Neuroscience and a Master of International Public Health, Julia’s previous experience has had a mental health focus through researching dementia and music at the MARCS Institute of Brain, Behaviour and Development, interning in the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Unit at the Western Pacific Regional Office World Health Organization in the Philippines, interning in the psychological counselling and therapy at the Children’s Hospital #2 in Ho Chi Minh City, and research in road traffic accidents and trauma in Vietnam with the University of NSW.
Julia’s area of expertise lies in mental health and wellbeing and sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Her focus areas at Women’s Health Matters have been in SRH research and policy (aimed at young women and all women of the ACT) and mental health, with an interest in Borderline Personality Disorder, reduction in self harm, suicide prevention and youth mental health. As a keen bike rider, she is also interested in contributing to ACT’s active travel and women’s safety in public.
She implements her health promotion skills through social research, organising training workshops, and using technology to develop websites and film. Julia is Women’s Health Matters’ representative on the Reference Group for the ACT’s Public Health services for Eating Disorders Project, combining her interest and expertise in mental health and women’s wellbeing, ensuring that a women’s perspective is represented on the Reference Group.
Jodie Kirkness– Communications Officer
Jodie is an experienced communications and digital media professional with a background in journalism. Her drive to tell people’s stories resulted in her completing a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism with a major in Literary Studies.
She has a keen interest in women’s health and youth advocacy and has advocated for cancer prevention and research. Prior to joining Women’s Health Matters, Jodie has worked in government and across the health, and agriculture not-for-profit space.
She also has ample experience in the journalism industry having experience at 2CC Radio, ABC Canberra, and UC Curieux and plans on using her media contacts to promote Women’s Health Matters work.