Board of Directors

Jane Madden – President

Jane is the founder and Principal of a Canberra advisory firm – Brickfielder Insights –  specialising in strategy, capability and international business development, and also works as an executive coach to private and public sector leaders.  She held positions at the most senior levels of the Commonwealth Departments of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Industry, and Prime Minister and Cabinet. She led a highly successful diplomatic career, including as Ambassador to UNESCO Paris, Counsellor, Australian Embassy, Tokyo and assignments in Asia, Africa and Pacific.  Throughout her professional and personal life, Jane has been passionate about the role of women in society and the work-force.

Jane is also a highly regarded non-executive director with over fifteen years’ experience as chair and member of boards and committees across government, business and the not-for-profit sector. She currently serves on the boards of the Black Dog Institute, Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT), Australian Business Volunteers and a number of start-up ventures.

Kate Gunn – Vice President

Kate is the Chief Operating Officer of the Children’s Medical Research Institute. Kate has 25 years of business experience and prior to this appointment was the Chief Operating Office of the Garvan Institute as well as the Chief Operating Officer of the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO) at Sydney University.

Kate is also the Founder and Director of Balance! Healthcare, a leader in multi-disciplinary integrated primary healthcare, with practices in NSW and QLD. In 2015, Kate won a scholarship from Chief Executive Women and the Women’s Leadership Institute to attend the Women’s Leadership Program, Harvard Business School, and in 2012 she was named as one of the inaugural 100 Women of Influence in Australia (by Westpac and the Australian Financial Review).

Kate holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Macquarie Graduate School of Management, and a Graduate Certificate in Management from the University of South Australia. She has previously served as the Chair of the Government funded National Women’s Alliance Economic Security4Women (eS4W).

Vivienne Yu – Treasurer

Vivienne is a Board Member, Treasurer, and CEO with over twelve years’ board level experience across public, commercial and not for profit sectors with particular experience in banking and finance industries in the APAC region.

As a Board Director for the Australian Chamber of Commerce Shanghai, Vivienne gave advice to CEOs and senior corporate executives for their China entry strategy and implementation.

Vivienne is currently the CEO (Australia) of KVB Global Capital Pty Ltd.  Before joining KVB, Vivienne held the roles of CEO of Commonwealth Bank (China), CEO of Saxo Bank (Greater China) and Chief Executive of Retail and Wealth Management for HZBank (a listed bank in Shanghai Stock Exchange).  In those roles, Vivienne led business entry into China market, and built and grew successful businesses.

Vivienne has a MBA degree from AGSM. She is also a GAICD member and a qualified CPA.

Ruth Medd CPA, MAICD

Ruth is the Executive Chair of Women on Boards. She is also on the Board of Australian Ethical Superannuation. She is the principal of ‘All About Money’ a series of investment seminars that aim to educate women about investing.

Ruth started in IT in the seventies. Since then she has been a senior public servant, a broadcasting regulator, the inaugural Company Secretary at Telstra and the Executive Director of an industry association.

Professor Helen Hodgson

Helen Hodgson joined Curtin Law School in 2014. She has lectured in Taxation at UNSW, Edith Cowan University and Curtin University. She was also a Member of the Legislative Council in Western Australia between 1997 and 2001. Helen holds qualifications in accounting, business law and taxation, is a Chartered Tax Advisor, a Registered Tax Agent, a Fellow of the Australian Society of CPA’s and a member of the SMSF Association.

Her areas of expertise include superannuation, trusts, the taxation of small business entities and tax policy, and she was a participant at the 2010 Tax Forum. Her PhD was awarded in 2013 for analysis of the tax-transfer system.

She is also a member of the Tax Advisory panel for ACOSS, the Social Policy Committee of the National Foundation for Australian Women and the Women in Social & Economic Research group. In this capacity she has contributed significantly to policy review in the areas of superannuation and the tax and transfer system.

She now chairs the NFAW Social Policy Committee.

Liz Rowell

Beginning her advertising career in London with Young & Rubicum group, Liz has worked in multinational and independent agencies in account service, strategic planning, business development and management roles.

Liz is owner, founder and CEO of Red Ark – a leading creative agency working across advertising, branding, content and digital. Red Ark was a Telstra Business Award finalist for social responsibility.

Liz’s board experience as Non Executive Director / Advisory Board member includes Quest for Life Foundation, The Concourse Performing Arts Centre and AusCam Freedom Project, which supports girls in urban and rural Cambodia to complete their education. She has also mentored young women for the past 10 years through Layne Beachley’s Aim for the Stars Foundation, Glass Elevator’s Walk the Talk, Marketing Women and Mentor Central.

Liz chairs the Fundraising, Membership and Marketing Committee.

Michelle Macgregor Owen

Like many people in fundraising and alumni engagement, Michelle comes from a diverse professional background with a range of skills and talents centred around people, marketing and business development, all of which contribute to her work today. Most recently, Michelle has been tasked with building the advancement office at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne from the ground up.

With almost 10 years in Advancement and more than 20 years experience in managing people and relationships for complex organisations, Michelle enjoys finding people’s passion and strengths to create meaningful interactions and deliver dynamic outcomes that benefit all parties. Michelle has programmed many major festivals and public events during her roles in Local Government and universities, most recently managing the 25th Anniversary celebrations for Swinburne.

Dr Petrina Schiavi – Secretary

Dr Petrina Schiavi is a solicitor of the Supreme Court of the ACT and holds a PhD in Sociology. Petrina is a specialist in corporate governance and social responsibility, and her career has taken her across private legal practice, academia, and government. As a corporate lawyer, Petrina advised clients in corporate governance, commercial contracting, and diversified commercial projects. Petrina has also published academic papers in corporate social responsibility, risk, trust and climate governance.

In her current role as Associate Director, Policy and Compliance at the University of Canberra, Petrina is responsible for the implementation and oversight of the University’s governance frameworks.

Liz Courtney

Liz is a passionate social entrepreneur and visionary leader with a strong background in brand and marketing communication with extended experience in digital production and social media storytelling. A stellar corporate career encompassing big brands, and agency roles has been balanced by her passion for philanthropy and giving back in the not for profit sector.

Liz brings experience as Managing Director of Ogilvy Public Relations, and General Manager, Cartwright Williams Agency where she was active in growth development, stakeholder engagement, creating effective communication campaigns, and inspiring a healthy culture to build team leadership. Liz has also delivered skills and insights in the NFP sector as CEO The Layne Beachley Foundation doubling revenue in 12 months, Global Marketing Director SEED Mantra, and in the Healthcare sector as Head of Media Communications and Marketing at NeuRA, advisor to Mindgardens Neuroscience Network in Sydney, Australia, and was appointed to the Earth Observatory of Singapore as “Artist in Residence” in 2019 to develop translational science and social impact communication for the region.

Professor Roianne West

Professor Roianne West’s career has been focused on the delivery of outcomes to Indigenous people and communities. She has successfully impacted on the health and well-being of Indigenous people through a range of processes from her initial role as a Health Worker in an Aboriginal Medical Service, as a Nursing Director for Indigenous Health and through to her current role as the Inaugural Dean First Peoples (Health).

Roianne’s progression to the tertiary sector is a result of an ongoing passion and enthusiasm to facilitate the empowering Indigenous people to take a direct role in changing health and well-being issues that impact on their communities. She has taken an active role in research, program development, individual support and organisational consultancy. As an Aboriginal woman Roianne is invested in building better communities and enabling individuals to provide a proactive and constructive contribution.

To enable this process, Roianne has developed the tools, skills and knowledge to influence every aspect of Indigenous health. She has undertaken comprehensive study resulting in the achievement of a PhD qualification while also participating in extensive research projects. Roianne identifies areas of concern and actively pursues research that will provide an evidence-based framework through which the Indigenous health workforce can be built. Significant outcomes have included the identification of barriers to and enablers specifically for Indigenous nursing and midwifery training.

An essential part of her career is establishing a profile that engages all communities throughout Australia and highlights the issues that impact on Indigenous communities. Roianne uses her knowledge and expertise to advocate on behalf of communities where essential health services do not match other areas of Australia.

Alix Katala

Alix is a young fundraising professional and emerging industry leader, with over ten years’ experience working in the not-for-profit sector. After commencing her career in the disability sector, Alix has enjoyed her time in the fundraising profession working for many service providers and organisations, where she has navigated a variety of responsibilities that include major donor portfolio management, digital marketing, corporate partnerships, and much more.

Alix’s passion for fundraising is sparked by her sociological interest in donor behaviour, and aspiration for results. Most recently, Alix joined Australian Lions Hearing Dogs as their first Fundraising Manager, developing a durable and sustainable suite of fundraising programs with a focus on donor-experience.

NFAW 2020 Annual Dinner

The 2020 Annual Dinner was held at the National Press Club on 9 November 2020 with Guest Speaker Professor Helen Christensen AO, Director and Chief Scientist of Black Dog Institute (BDI). We’ll be posting pics and a recording shortly.