Annual General Meeting 2019

Calling all members: join us at our 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM) to celebrate our 90th year of progress and success at YWCA Canberra.

The AGM is one of our most important events, where members vote to elect our incoming Board of Directors and celebrate the highlights of the past 12 months. This AGM, in particular, is special, as it will be followed by our 90th anniversary celebrations.

Details:

  • Date: Wednesday, 16 October 2019
  • Time: arrive from 4.30pm, formal proceedings will commence at 5pm. Voting will open at 4.30pm and close at 5.20pm. The AGM will be followed by our 90th anniversary cocktail celebrations from 6pm to 8.30pm
  • Venue: Peninsula Room, National Museum of Australia, Lawson Crescent, Acton ACT 2601
  • Cost: Free
  • Light refreshments will be provided.

RSVP for the AGM by 3pm, Wednesday 16 October 2019 AEST.

You will need to RSVP separately for the 90th anniversary celebrations if you want to attend them after the AGM.

Nominations for our Board of Directors and Office Bearer positions have now closed and you can read about the nominees below. Voting will take place at the AGM on 16 October 2019. Voting will open at 4.30pm and close at 5.20pm.

REGISTER TO ATTEND THE AGM.

You can also view the Agenda for the AGM and our Financial Statement.

Members who cannot attend the AGM, but who would like to exercise their vote can also nominate a fellow member to vote for them by proxy. Please download a proxy form and return to governance@ywca-canberra.org.au by 5pm, Monday 14 October 2019, AEST.

PLEASE NOTE: For your proxy to be considered valid, you must:

  • Ensure your form is received by YWCA Canberra either electronically or by post before 5pm, Monday 14 October 2019, AEST.
  • CC your nominated proxy if you are submitting your proxy form via email.
  • Ensure you have signed your proxy form. Physical and electronic signatures are accepted on proxy forms only. Typed names will not be accepted.

To check if you are eligible to vote, please email Leah Dwyer.

Board of Directors

This year we received 14 nominations for our five available positions. Nominees and their respective candidate statements are listed below in alphabetical order by first name.

This year, the YWCA Canberra Board has identified the following desired skills and experience:

  • strong corporate / business expertise
  • not-for-profit expertise
  • accounting and finance expertise
  • property and housing expertise.

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

Alison Sham

As a young woman with a PhD in Materials Science/engineering growing up in Canberra, I have been empowered by local education and community support to reach my goals. I have been very fortunate – not all women and girls have access to these opportunities. I am committed to contributing back to our community by leading and supporting equity initiatives. I have done this serving on several committees, and ultimately wish to drive strategy and shape broader social change by serving on a not-for-profit board.

As a 2019 YWCA Canberra Board Trainee, I served on two YWCA Canberra committees and gained a deeper understanding of YWCA Canberra organisation and board, including its history, mission, programs and future challenges. In 2020, I hope to use these insights and apply the skills and knowledge I gained during the Audrey Fagan Leadership Program, to become a fully active, contributing member of the YWCA Canberra Board.

For over five years, I have also volunteered for the not-for-profit organisation, Engineers Australia, where I was involved in developing governance documents including terms of reference and strategic plans for the Women in Engineering National Committee.

My experience as an analyst and academic has also imparted exceptional investigations skills and an attention to detail, which are essential for examining board papers. Additionally, during my undergraduate degree, I studied aspects of contract law and financial accounting.

Being bi-racial and exposed to languages other than English within the home, I represent a unique, culturally diverse perspective.

Alison identifies as culturally and linguistically diverse.

Skills:

  • Not-for-profit experience
  • Strategic planning
  • Research
  • Sector: training and education
  • Sector: women or gender specific.

Proposed: Jude Burger; Seconded: Joanna Le.

Amy Smith*

My time as a Board Trainee has been a transformative experience. Despite a strong commitment to and interest in the work of the organisation, I lacked the confidence to contribute to my first few board meetings. The supportive nature of the Board, coupled with training and development offered by the Y, has enabled me to now participate fully in Board and Committee meetings and I want to use the capabilities that I have developed to give back to the organisation. Serving on the Board would allow me to contribute to a vision of equality that I truly believe in.

The YWCA Canberra Board would benefit from my passion for young women’s issues, my practical problem-solving and my lived experiences. As a hearing-impaired woman I can provide insight and accountability to inclusive practices and service provisions especially for young women who may not fit the profile of a ‘typical’ person with disability.

Being a Board Trainee has given me the knowledge and understanding to mentor Board Trainees, and I’d be able to help these women to seamlessly adjust to the culture and expectations of the Board. I would also bring a hands-on attitude to the governance and strategy of YWCA Canberra. My background in HR, policy and sociology means that I can consider both the strategic and real-world effects of our decisions. My work includes management of sensitive employee matters involving mental health and family and domestic violence, experience directly relevant to the services Y Canberra provides.

Amy identifies as a woman with disability.

Skills:

  • Strategic planning
  • Policy development
  • Research
  • Human resources / organisational development.

Proposed: Ashleigh Streeter; Seconded: Sophie Fisher.

Anita Vardanega

As a born and bred Canberran I am aware of the services that YWCA provides to the Canberra community. I am passionate about YWCA’s vision and mission, and as a young female leader in Canberra I wish to support this. I believe my skills and experience could assist the YWCA Board in achieving these.

I am passionate about youth engagement, providing mentorship and support to young and returning-to-work females in their careers or personal issues, housing support like Rentwell, quality affordable housing for families and violence prevention. I have always actively been involved in leadership training and development. The organisation’s values link closely to my personal values and I have had friends and colleagues access many support services related to housing, safety and education. I wish use my broad skills and experience to support the YWCA to achieve its strategic goals.

As a CPA qualified accountant and current Deputy CFO of Leidos Australia I bring a wealth of financial, risk and commercial knowledge and experience from a large multinational Commercial, Education and Federal Government. I have experience in financial analysis, reporting and managing large and complex budgets, risk assessment and management, commercial and client negotiations, project management, leadership training development and strategy development and reporting. I also have experience with VET whilst working as CFO in Naval Shipbuilding College and also as Finance and Business Manager at Canberra Institute of Technology, I have been involved in viability analysis of programs and ASQA certification and reporting.

Skills:

  • Not-for-profit experience
  • Strategic planning
  • Program evaluation
  • Finance / accounting / audit / CPA
  • Policy development
  • Sector: training and education
  • Sector: women or gender specific.

Proposed: Cara Jacobs; Seconded: Teresa McKinnon.

Bess Rossiter*

My professional involvement in the advancement of gender equality, elimination of gender-based violence (GBV) and activism always linked me to feminist communities. I am proud of their resilience, resourcefulness and integrity, which fuels my interest in serving the young feminist community in a formal, tangible capacity on the YWCA Board. I believe the solutions to GBV and gender inequality lie in community-led, intersectional solutions, and building these into organisational strategies and the minds of community leaders. My interactions with the YWCA Canberra have made it clear that this organisation can be a home for the voices I have represented and encountered in my work.

Beyond an enthusiasm for the feminist agenda and the appeal of working with such a reputable organisation, my desire to serve the YWCA Canberra Comes from a visceral need to use my professional skillset and vision to see girls and women thriving in my community.

I have governance experience supporting the Virgin Australia Board, on the Australian Red Cross Youth Advisory Committee and DFAT Social Club Executive, and advising GBV organisations. I feel YWCA Canberra would benefit from my strategic mindset and gender responsive business insights and policy experience.

I also bring a strong professional skillset to the Board particularly in relation to communications, gender equality and social inclusion strategies/policies, combatting modern slavery in supply chains, and ethical and inclusive business development. As a public speaker I have centred my advocacy around amplifying the experience of marginalised people, rather than simply sharing my own opinion.

Bess identifies as a woman with disability.

Skills:

  • Advocacy / government relations
  • Not-for-profit experience
  • Strategic planning
  • Program evaluation
  • Communications / events
  • Fundraising / philanthropic
  • Policy development
  • Research
  • Human resources / organisational development
  • Sector: training and education
  • Sector: community services
  • Sector: women or gender specific.

Proposed: Sophie Fisher; Seconded: Ashleigh Streeter.

Carina Zeccola*

I am lucky to have previously served on the YWCA Canberra Board. I am committed to giving back to YWCA Canberra and the people involved in the organisation, who have all given me a lot of opportunity, support and aided my professional development.

I was on the Board when the current strategic plan was created and am eager to see the organisation values and strategic priorities implemented.

As a young woman, I am always eager to show what young women are capable of and the skills, knowledge and innovation they can contribute.

I have had a long and positive history with YWCA Canberra and have been proud to contribute to the organisation and see how it has developed and grown to where it is now. I have been an active YWCA Canberra member for many years as a former Board Director, former Chair of the Governance Committee and participant in many fabulous Y events, including In Conversation and She Leads events.

Through my involvement with the Y I have been pleased to be involved in assessing applications for the Great Ydeas Innovation Grants, and for the past 3 years I have co-facilitated the She Leads Workshop: Board Readiness Services – Governance.

I was proud to be involved in amending the YWCA Canberra Constitution in 2018 as Chair of the Governance Committee, including seeing the organisation change its name and adapt the Constitution to suit the modernity and requirement of the organisation.

Carina identifies as culturally and linguistically diverse.

Skills:

  • Advocacy / government relations
  • Not-for-profit experience
  • Strategic planning
  • Program evaluation
  • Legal
  • Fundraising / philanthropic
  • Policy development
  • Research
  • Human resources / organisational development
  • Sector: housing services.

Proposed: Penelope Gibbons; Seconded: Frances Crimmins.

Di Bakon

As a mother of two beautiful young women, I want to show them “ïf I can do it, they can do it”.

Throughout my leadership journey I have overcome many challenges, shown emotional intelligence, courage, resilience and motivation to help others. The leaders who have come before me have shown me just how valuable these traits are in life, at work and in the community groups I serve.

Over the years, I have celebrated my personal and professional wins and learnt from moments of disappointment; learnings money cannot buy. The most precious gift you can give to the ones you love is the gift of love, support and leadership. A gift I want to give to my family and my community through care and compassion for others.

I recently met with YWCA’s CEO, and gained a clear understanding of the Y’s strategic objectives, working environment and priorities. This helped me understand the amazing opportunities ahead and the potential challenges. I got a real understanding of how I could fit within the organisation and how I can help.

As a member, I am committed, as shown by my previous history with Indigenous Allied Health Australia and focus on Indigenous health and Indigenous leadership. I do not join an organisation unless I can align with its values and picture myself as an engaged member.

As an Occupational Therapist I have a passion for working in community, change management and embedding Indigenous ways of doing, being and belonging into policies and programs.

Di identifies as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander woman.

Skills:

  • Advocacy / government relations
  • Not-for-profit experience
  • Strategic planning
  • Finance / accounting / audit / CPA
  • Communications / events
  • Fundraising / philanthropic
  • Policy development
  • Sector: youth services
  • Sector: training and education
  • Sector: housing services
  • Sector: community services.

Proposed: Bernadette Carbin; Seconded: Frances Crimmins.

Emma Fitch*

I have a strong skill-set in strategic legal policy from the Institute of Criminology, ACT Corrections, Immigration and Agriculture Departments, academia and the Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority. I have seven years of collective expertise across legislative, policy and programme development, human rights, Indigenous policy, women in the law and migration, international, and environmental law. I find my purpose by providing advice on how to navigate and reform complex bureaucracies to achieve outcomes.

I was raised by two strong feminist women in a same-sex relationship, one of whom commits her life providing family violence crisis support. My upbringing gives me a strong sense of social justice, and drives me to find legal policy solutions to work towards overcoming the barriers faced by disadvantaged groups.

Throughout my leadership role in Water Regulation at the Department of Agriculture, I was recently seconded to the Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority and the Ngarrindgeri Aboriginal Corporation in South Australia. I developed a regional development agenda consolidating community feedback to set the strategic priorities for future funding through the Prime Minister & Cabinet’s Empowered Communities programme. I also provided strategic legal policy advice regarding development options for the NAC Board to consider regarding land recently handed back to the Ngarrindgeri on native title, including tenanted housing.

I hope to contribute my skill-set by problem-solving and navigating legislative frameworks to give effect to the goals of the Y’s important work surrounding community housing, family violence and contributing to the Reconciliation Action Plan.

Skills:

  • Advocacy / government relations
  • Not-for-profit experience
  • Strategic planning
  • Legal
  • Policy development
  • Research
  • Sector: women or gender specific.

Proposed: Joanna Le; Seconded: Frances Crimmins.

Evette Deaves

I have a deep passion for advancing the support of women’s issues, particularly housing insecurity and supporting young women’s leadership through the power of education.

In the late 1980’s my mother, with three daughters under 10, was left reliant on housing support after my father died. My parents were firm believers in the power of education, so my sisters and I all completed university degrees, paid for from our part-time retail wages. Through my education, professional development and drive to succeed, I have been given valuable opportunities to become a leader in my own right and take great pleasure in mentoring and inspiring other young women.

I am forever grateful for the support my family received and am a firm believer in giving back. I currently giving back in the University sector, empowering students to attain a university degree by supporting fundraising for scholarships, financial aid programs and mentoring programs.

I am a communications and engagement specialist and leader with 14 years of experience across a range of sectors, including higher education, commercial industries, publishing and media. I have a strong professional foundation in communication strategy, stakeholder engagement, fundraising and employee engagement.

Key achievements in my career include scoping and implementing large scale improvement and change projects in the University sector, one being to improve internal communication, which saw a 4 % increase in the 2019 staff survey.

I’ve completed numerous leadership courses and in 2018 completed the YWCA Board Governance and Financial Statement short course should this opportunity arise.

Skills:

  • Strategic planning
  • Program evaluation
  • Communications / events
  • Fundraising / philanthropic
  • Human resources / organisational development.

Proposed: France Crimmins; Seconded: Cara Jacobs.

Georgina Carnell*

I admire the work YWCA Canberra does for the community and feel that my values align with the organisation, particularly in empowering women, inclusiveness and innovation. This position will provide an incredible opportunity for me to give back to the female community of Canberra through enabling appropriate and informed decision-making. I will promote the fantastic work that the YWCA does, and educate others around the current issues faced by females to increase visibility and knowledge outside of the organisation.

I feel that there is a lot that I can learn from working with the strong women involved with the YWCA, including women in leadership, employees and the individuals who receive support from the organisation.

I am an audit and risk professional with an educational background in politics, international relations and information systems. In my career to date I have focused on audit, risk and project management. Given this experience, I believe that I will be able to provide a unique perspective to the board and will closely analyse risks associated with decisions considered through the board.

I intend to register my interest for a position on the audit and risk sub-committee if I am given the opportunity and will share insights from the sub-committee with the board, which may also be beneficial for consideration during decision making.

I believe that my experience 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:

  • Program evaluation
  • Finance / accounting / audit / CPA
  • Fundraising / philanthropic
  • Research
  • Sector: community services.

Proposed: Carina Zeccola; Seconded: Penelope Gibbons.

Georgina Kelly*

I am interested in serving as a YWCA Canberra Board Director as I believe the YWCA’s advocacy for women and girls and provision of services across the ACT provides help to women who most need it. I would love the opportunity as a Board Director to work across incredible programs which make a real difference in the lives of women in the ACT.

Through completion of a Juris Doctor and my roles working as an Assistant to three barristers, at a family law firm and in Criminal Legal Policy at the Law Institute of Victoria, I have developed a sound understanding of the different factors which share the regulatory landscape and the intersection of law and policy. I believe this will equip me well for adhering to the obligations of YWCA as a non-for-profit while delivering on its policy agenda. These experiences have also honed my analytical and research skills, which I believe would be useful at YWCA Canberra in identifying areas for program improvement and program evaluation.

Through working at PM&C, I have a strong understanding of the operation of government. Additionally, my time in national security and Indigenous Affairs specially had given me insight into the multiple ways in which you can approach an issue such as domestic violence, knowledge which would assist me at YWCA Canberra in engaging with these issues.

My strong interest in women’s issues and gender equality also means I am closely aligned to YWCA Canberra’s ethos.

Skills:

  • Not-for-profit experience
  • Strategic planning
  • Legal
  • Policy development
  • Research
  • Sector: community services
  • Sector: women or gender specific.

Proposed: Sarah Burr; Seconded: Tahlia-Rose Vanissum.

Gina Zheng*

As a highly values-driven and impact-focused young woman, with a particular interest in youth and girls’ empowerment, the opportunity to join a purpose-focused and female-centred organisation such as the YWCA would be an honour. In existing as both an advocacy and service delivery not-for-profit, I believe the YWCA Canberra has positioned itself as a leading gender equality organisation within the ACT and across Australia. I would be interested in exploring how the organisation can continue to grow its programming and advocacy efforts through a capabilities-led approach, and ensure that it positions itself to be sustainable and future-proofed.

As a 23-year old young women, I believe that I would provide a representation of the youth voice, and perspective of young women, to the Board and I would seek to represent the interests and values of young women in my community to the best of my ability.

As a strategy consultant, I hope to bring structured thinking and an analytical mindset to provide insight on the YWCA’s capabilities and potentials, to support the organisation to achieve their social and business outcomes.

Skills:

  • Advocacy / government relations
  • Not-for-profit experience
  • Strategic planning
  • Communications / events
  • Fundraising / philanthropic
  • Policy development
  • Research.

Proposed: Ashleigh Streeter; Seconded: Sophie Fisher.

Julie Lean

YWCA Canberra’s support of women and the great cause of feminism is the perfect embodiment of what I believe. I remember becoming aware of YWCA’s values when I attended a YWCA-organised breakfast in 2014. Katy Gallagher spoke beautifully about her leadership journey and I thought that I would love to be part of YWCA’s growth into this sphere of influence.

I become a member then but unfortunately, life happened: my father passed away and family priorities took precedence. However, things have now settled down and I would love to have the privilege to serve a great organisation with such a worthwhile cause.

I have strong financial and accounting expertise as a CA and CPA qualified accountant with 23 years of experience, being an auditor with a Big 4 accounting firm firstly, then a management accountant and finally a CFO and COO.

I also have strong governance background. I have been the Company Secretary for the Law Council of Australia Board from 2012-2016; and have served as the secretariat for various sub-committees of the Board in different organisation including Finance, Audit, Risk Management, Corporate Governance, Remuneration, Accommodation and Constitutional Committees.

I have instituted various strategic, operational and financial changes to the organisations through in these position, whether it be changing the Constitution to achieve ACNC status; incorporating a program of director training to ensure that directors are fully capable of leading the organisation and cognisant of their responsibilities; or ensuring the compliance and reporting obligations are met every time.

Julie identifies as culturally and linguistically diverse.

Skills:

  • Not-for-profit experience
  • Strategic planning
  • Finance / accounting / audit / CPA.

Proposed: Pek Kee Chan; Seconded: Frances Crimmins.

Kate Crowhurst*

I received a Great Ydeas Grant in 2019 which was a huge turning point for me in providing me with the YWCA community backing to provide a personal finance platform for women. I want to make a difference in the sustainability of this grants program to ensure more women have the opportunity to launch their ideas and social enterprises into the world.

I’ve been interested in being a board director after completing the YWCA board training. I noticed the inclusion that the YWCA facilitates both promoting and attracting a diversity of backgrounds and experiences. I would relish the opportunity to be part of a board where I can learn from the experience of other board members both professionally and culturally.

My current position at AusIndustry directly support and works with businesses across Australia to start, grow and commercialise their business structure and design and evaluate business support programs. I would relish the opportunity to apply this to a board role to support the YWCA to continue to strategise as to how programs are designed and evaluated to produce innovative service delivery.

I have a love of finance and making this more accessible to women. I’d love to apply this in a role working with the YWCA finance and drawing on my background as a teacher to ensure financial details are unpacked and communicated in a way that support the learning of committee and board members so that they fully understand decision they sign off on.

Kate identifies as culturally and linguistically diverse.

Skills:

  • Advocacy / government relations
  • Strategic planning
  • Program evaluation
  • Finance / accounting / audit / CPA
  • Policy development
  • Research
  • Human resources / organisational development
  • Sector: children’s services
  • Sector: youth services
  • Sector: training and education.

Proposed: Ashleigh Streeter; Seconded: Sophie Fisher.

Kristin Blume

My values as a mentor, leader, mother, and supporter of women align strongly with the mission of YWCA. Gender inequality and the structural barriers for women in the workplace have been my focus after my challenging experience returning to a leadership role after my second child.

I have actively coached, mentored and supported women in my teams, my peers, and others both in the workplace and through workshops and programs run by local social enterprise Lead Mama Lead. At Lead Mama Lead, I provided advice on helping women navigate their return to work after having children; how to ask for flexible work arrangements; and how to prepare for a job interview (top tip – don’t do an interview during labour like I did)

As a Board Director, I will contribute to program evaluation, develop new policy directions, and advise on risks in projects and programs, particularly in the self-funding programs being implemented by the YWCA. This builds on my experience running the project office for the ACT stage 1 light rail project (I led a team to manage risk, issues, scheduling and quality assurance for this $1bn project), and my work in “smart cities” in 2019, including brokering funding partnerships between public and private sector organisations and leading successful grant applications.

I have qualifications in program management (MSP), a Master of International Law, and Bachelor of Arts (international Relations) and I will bring local government perspective to the Board with over 15 years in the ACT government.

Skills:

  • Advocacy / government relations
  • Strategic planning
  • Program evaluation
  • Communications / events
  • Policy development
  • Research.

Proposed: Frances Crimmins; Seconded: Amy Kingham.

Office Bearers

The positions of President, Vice-President and Treasurer are elected annually.

One nomination for President and one nomination for Treasurer were received, so no election for office bearers will be required at the AGM.

Katie Whitehead will be elected to the position of Treasurer unopposed.

The nomination for President (Carina Zeccola) is subject the nominee being first elected as a Director of the board. If that happens, Carina will be elected as President unopposed. If Carina is not elected as a Director of the Board, the President will be selected by the board.

The vacant Vice-President position will be selected by the board.

Apply for a Board Traineeship

Applications for the Board Traineeships will close on 5pm, Monday 23 September 2019, AEST. To find out more, please download the application form and the Board Traineeship information pack.

2020 Board Trainees will be announced the week following the AGM.