YWCA Canberra 2020 Board Elections

YWCA Canberra Board Director nominees

Nominations for our Board of Directors have now closed. Voting will take place electronically and voting will open at 00:01 AEDT Thursday, 22 October and close at 23:59 AEDT Thursday, 29 October 2020.

Members will receive an invitation via email to vote. This will come from CorpVote, which is managing the voting process on behalf of YWCA Canberra to ensure all legislative and constitutional requirements are met.

We received seven nominations for our four available positions. Nominees and their respective candidate statements are listed below in alphabetical order.

This year, the YWCA Canberra Board is seeking at least one new Board member with experience in property and housing. We are also seeking people with governance and board experience.

Our Constitution requires at least one young woman be elected a Board Director. An asterisk (*) indicates a young woman aged 30 or under.

The election result will be announced at our Annual General Meeting on 2 November 2020.

The following nominees are in alphabetic order by first name.

Alison Sham

I am deeply passionate about empowering women and girls with the support and opportunities necessary to achieve their full potential.  This is evidence from previous leadership and volunteering roles, where I:

  • Demonstrated strong commitment to leading and supporting equity initiatives by serving as a trainee on the 2019 YWCA Canberra board, and as a member of the 2019 nominations and finance committees.
  • Championed the contributions and involvement of women and girls in STEM through local and national committee roles at Engineers Australia, the second-largest professional body in Australia
  • Advocated for the rights of women and girls as a representative with the Equality Rights Alliance, Australia’s largest network advocating for women’s equality.

I believe my proven experience and commitment to the advancement of women will be an asset to the 2021 YWCA Canberra board, especially as the organisation tackles the consequences of a challenging year for itself and the community.

From my experience as a YWCA Canberra Board Trainee and committee member, I understand the inner workings of the organisation and board, including its history, mission, programs and future challenges.  This will allow me to make immediate and meaningful contributions as a board director.

I also bring a wealth of experience in the not-for-profit sector to the board, particularly in strategic planning and governance, having served for over five years on local and national committees for Engineers Australia.  For example, I served as Canberra Representative for the National Committee for Women in Engineering 2016 – 2018, where I played an integral role in developing committee terms of reference and strategic plans, along with shaping Engineer’s Australia’s gender diversity policy.

I have also completed several Australian Institute of Company Directors short courses, undergraduate finance and law courses, and She Leads board training sessions, which resulted in solid board leadership skills.

Alison identifies as culturally and linguistically diverse.

Skills:

  • advocacy/government relations
  • not-for-profit experience
  • strategic planning
  • fundraising/philanthropic
  • policy development
  • research
  • women or gender specific sector experience

Proposed: Ashleigh Streeter; Seconded: Sophie Fisher

 

Amy Kingham

 I am interested in serving as a Board director of the YWCA Canberra to utilise my policy, legal and financial skills to support an organisation that aligns with my interests and values.

I bring high level policy development skills and an understanding of the ACT planning system, gained in my current role as the Senior Director of the Housing and Policy team in the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD). My role includes consultation with community housing providers, development of affordable housing and affordable rental projects, and implementation of the ACT Housing Strategy.

I have held a previous Board position, as Treasurer of the Aspen Island Theatre Company Inc from 2015 to 2018, which included completion of financial reporting, annual returns, and successful registration as a charity. In this role I utilised my financial analysis skills gained from my 13 year career in various roles across ACT Treasury, and my Bachelor of Actuarial Studies.

I bring a range of skills and experience to the role, developed over my 17 year career with the ACT Government.

I have demonstrated expertise in the property and housing development sector, as part of my current role with the Housing and Policy in EPSDD, with particular knowledge of the property development process in the ACT, and familiarity with the community housing sector and the challenges providers face.

I also bring legal and governance experience, in my previous role as Assistant Director of Governance, Compliance and Legal in EPSDD. In this role I provided robust and transparent legal and governance advice across areas of the Directorate, utilising my Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice and Bachelor of Laws.

In addition, I have extensive experience in financial management, taxation and rebates, the ACT Budget process and annual financial reporting, from my previous role with ACT Treasury and as a Board Director.

Skills:

  • advocacy/government relations
  • not-for-profit experience
  • strategic planning
  • program evaluation
  • finance/accounting/audit/CPA
  • legal
  • communications/events
  • policy development
  • property/housing development
  • housing services

Proposed: Kristin Blume; Seconded: Julie Lean

 

Di Bakon

I am a current Canberra YWCA board member with a range of local, national and international experiences and my values closely align with the Y’s movement playing a part in a world where reconciliation, justice, peace, health, human dignity, freedom and care for the environment are promoted and sustained through women’s leadership. As an Aboriginal woman, I believe that my diverse lived experience, knowledge and perspectives could be applied to strategic activities of the Y.

I am a Gamilaroi woman who has a strong interest and commitment to social justice, and championing the voices of the most vulnerable in society with a particular focus on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and people living with disability and their families.

I have volunteered my time to a range of public sector networks and reconciliation efforts, and in 2016, I was awarded a Secretary’s Award for my corporate contribution and efforts to reconciliation.

Within my community and board roles I have contributed to a wide range of non-official and official roles in national leadership, such as workshops, advisory groups, working groups, conferences and committees focused on transforming the allied health sector to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

In 2015, I volunteered in a school for disabled and fostered children in Nepal, where I was awarded with a volunteer service award and from this, my interests in human rights and nation building was strengthened.

I anticipate sharing my diverse lived experiences, knowledge and perspectives to benefit the community through inputs to the YWCA community engagement, committees, programs and policies.

Di is an Aboriginal woman.

Skills:

  • advocacy/government relations
  • not-for-profit experience
  • strategic planning
  • policy development
  • community services sector experience

Proposed: Frances Crimmins; Seconded: Leah Dwyer.

 

Georgina Carnell*

 The YWCA Canberra plays an extremely important role in our community, providing priceless opportunities to vulnerable people, lending a helping hand and empowering women to exceed even their own expectations. I want to contribute to the YWCA Canberra by educating my peers on the current issues being faced by women in our community, advocating the important work that the YWCA Canberra does and providing collaborative, informed advice to the board.

Given my educational l and professional experiences, I can provide risk management expertise to the YWCA Canberra which will particularly be valuable over the coming year while the effects of COVID-19 will continue to be felt.

Serving as a member on the YWCA Canberra board would enable me to work with and learn from the strong women involved with the YWCA Canberra, including women in leadership, employees and the individuals who receive support from the YWCA. I am passionate about serving on the board because I know the value of the services the organisation provides, and I think I can help.

I am an audit and risk professional with an educational background in politics, international relations and information systems. I have extensive experience in audit, risk and business performance improvement which will provide a unique perspective to the board on risk management and innovation in strategic planning.

As an advocate for innovation with my employer, I am trained in design thinking techniques, which are valuable tools to collaboratively enacting productive change through uncovering root causes to current challenges.

My experiences as a young woman working in the private sector will be a valuable contribution to the board, where I will challenge the YWCA to think and act innovatively.

Skills:

  • strategic planning
  • program evaluation
  • financial/accounting/audit/CPA
  • fundraising/philanthropic
  • research

Proposed: Carina Zeccola; Seconded by Frances Crimmins

 

Louise Crossman

I share the YWCA’s values of challenging power structures and fighting for a more inclusive world, starting with what we can change in Canberra. Canberra’s status as a high-income community creates challenges for our disadvantaged, and the YWCA provides an invaluable role in supporting and advocating for women.

I also share the YWCA’s understanding of what women need to be able to thrive. Simply advocating for women’s empowerment ignores the fact that many women have more concrete needs – safety, housing, equal pay for equal work, and access to early childhood education. Similarly, service provision alone will not bring change to our social and power structures. The YWCA’s strength is in its ability to draw together this knowledge and experience, and I want to be a part of shaping the vision for this important organisation for women in Canberra.

I am the Senior Adviser to the ACT Minister for Planning and Land Management with relationships across the planning and property sector in the ACT. I want to leverage these relationships to assist the YWCA to advance its aims to provide more housing for women in Canberra.

I have a Masters of Employment Relations, with more than a decade of experience in providing strategic HR and IR advice including to small business and not-for-profit entities. COVID-19 is likely to create significant workforce planning issues in the medium term, and I am well-placed to identify risks and opportunities.

My experience as a leader in ACT Labor and Hockey ACT means that I understand the strategic issues, challenges, and opportunities of working in a member-based organisation, including financial risks and challenges.

Skills:

  • advocacy/government relations
  • legal
  • policy development
  • human resources/organisational development
  • property/housing development
  • women or gender specific sector experience

Proposed: Frances Crimmins; Seconded: Leah Dwyer.

 

Maree Harman

My interests in joining the YWCA Canberra Board are predominantly focused on the provision of housing for families and older women in need. In 2020 I believe the mission of YWCA is more important than ever when you see the rise in cases of domestic violence against women and also economic conditions pushing some families to the brink.

I am also familiar with the school age care provided by the YWCA as my children have both attended their after school and holiday programs. These are invaluable services for working families that require outside school hours care.

I have approximately 25 years experience working in property in the ACT and region. Being a property valuer by trade and spent the first 20 years of my career working in a valuation firm (McCann’s later CBRE).

I specialised in residential valuation which included a large amount of consultancy to the then LDA (now SLA), market advice to large private developers, mortgage valuations for financial institutions etc. These valuations were englobo (new estate valuations), apartment buildings, townhouse development and mixed use development.

In 2016 I commenced with Village Building Co as an Acquisitions Manager to assist in the purchase of new developments for the company, in the past 24 months my focus has changed to Development Analyst primarily working on our largest project South Jerrabomberra where I focus on statutory and master planning whilst also working with the sales team on new releases and the financial review of the project.

Skills:

  • strategic planning
  • property/housing development
  • housing services.

Proposed: Carina Zeccola; Seconded: Frances Crimmins

 

Vivian Chan*

 My passion to support women and girls to develop in their chosen pathways closely aligns with YWCA Canberra’s mission and vision for women and girls to thrive. My personal values identify strongly with the global YWCA movement — I am dedicated to empowering women and girls to become leaders in sustainable economic and social development.

As a YWCA Canberra board trainee in 2019-20, I developed governance skills and a close understanding of the Y’s work, including its services and operations, and a good grasp of the way the Board operates and manages risks and opportunities. I am continuously inspired by the board discussions to further contribute to the Y.

I would love to deepen my connection with the Y as a Board Director, to provide governance advice that can help improve service outcomes for the benefit of women and girls in Canberra and to inspire action from others.

I possess key skills in governance, strategic planning and corporate services (fraud and compliance, legal administration, assurance) through working in the Australian Public Service. I developed strong capabilities to provide holistic and long-term advice on governance matters which I hope to contribute to the Board.

As a woman of colour, I am active in my workplaces to support CALD staff and gender equality initiatives. I established and co-chaired the CALD staff committee in the Department of Social Services, undertaking a cross-departmental liaison role, and also providing advisory and advocacy services to CALD staff. I am a volunteer for governance and translation projects that aim at assisting CALD communities in Australia (STREAT, Moving Feast) and to improve the lives of young women in the Asia-Pacific region (Project Didi Australia). I believe the Board can benefit from the insights I can provide based on my lived and volunteering experiences for CALD women.

Vivian identifies and culturally and linguistically diverse.

Skills:

  • not-for-profit experience
  • strategic planning
  • communications/events
  • research
  • community services sector experience
  • women or gender specific sector experience

Proposed: Carina Zeccola; Seconded: Sophie Fisher