Meet our Board Directors: Kate Chipperfield

24 August 2017

At YWCA Canberra, we’re proud to have such a diverse range of intelligent and impressive women on our Board. Here, you can get to know each of them a little better, and learn about their experiences on the Board, the skills they have gained and the expertise they bring to the table. Today, meet Kate Chipperfield.

What attracted you to serve on the Board of YWCA Canberra?

I was inspired by my former colleague and Y Board Director, Erica Lewis, to join the Y and apply for the Board Traineeship program. Erica has such passion and I was incredibly inspired by her leadership and deep commitment to such important issues.

Joining the Y was the first step, and I met some many incredible women. I found my time as a Board Trainee incredibly empowering and was keen to continue this experience and learning opportunity as a full Director of the Board.

As a director, how would you describe the Board’s contribution to the on-the-ground activities of The Y’s staff, members and community?

We are all deeply committed to the Y movement, what is stands for and what it needs to do to progress the equality of girls, young women and women. We live the Y values and always consider our own experiences in decision making to be innovative and opportunistic. I have been really proud of our decision to invest and expand our She Leads programs to be enablers for women to gain confidence and important leaderships skills to thrive.

When you’re not at Board meetings and reading through Board papers, what do you do professionally?

I am a senior adviser at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet as part of the Indigenous Affairs Group, where I look after the Indigenous Women and Girls policy team. We provide advice and support across the Department to ensure that the unique needs of women and girls are incorporated into policy and program development. I have worked in the public service for seven years across education and Indigenous policy areas and have truly valued the opportunity to be at the heart of government decision making.

Aside from reading Board papers, what’s your relaxation activity of choice?

I am a big fan of exercise to keep the mind and body healthy. I love to run, especially as Canberra has so many great places to run!

In your opinion, why is it important for young women to be represented on The Y’s board?

Young women bring a unique perspective. We are dreamers, risk takers, opportunists and learners. We can provide advice that gets to the heart of the Y’s mission-based values and ensures decision making adheres to this. The Board is also an incredible important learning environment. I attribute much of my development, personal and professionally, to my time on the Y Board – it has given me confidence, strategic thinking and communication skills which I may have not necessarily developed.

American humorist, Milton Berle, said that ‘laughter is an instant vacation’. What always makes you laugh; and what would be your dream vacation?

My dog makes me laugh… and the brilliant wit of many of my friends. My dream vacation is beachside, relaxing with a book and taking time out.

 YWCA Canberra’s Board Traineeship Program provides our members with the opportunity to actively participate on our Board, without the financial or legal responsibilities of being directors. Applications will open in September, and is an integral part of our commitment to building leadership pathways for young women, including female-identifying and non-binary people. Visit our website to find out more.

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