YWCA’s board is skills-based, includes women from around Australia and is led by President Helen Conway. We’re passionate about maintaining a Board that reflects our values and the work we do, so at least 30 per cent of our nine Board members are women aged 31 years or under when they’re appointed.
Our Board oversees everything we do, including strategic planning for the whole organisation. Our Board also oversee our subsidiary bodies YWCA National Housing and YWCA Housing. Above all, our Board have a commitment to our overarching goal of achieving true gender equality.
The Board has established a range of specialised sub-committees which support YWCA Australia and each subsidiary. Learn more about these committees.
Board Member Profiles
Click the below links to jump to individual profiles.
- Helen Conway (President)
- Julia Goodall (Vice President)
- Nicole Freeman
- Molly George
- Cara Gleeson
- Freya Mulvey
- Juliana Nkrumah AM
- Kirsty Rourke
- Lauren Tanner
- Rebecca Thomas
- Lina Tchung
Helen Conway (President)
BA, B Laws
Helen is an experienced director, senior executive and lawyer who has worked in a range of organisations in commercial, public and not-for-profit sectors including in the insurance, transport, energy, retailing, education, health and construction industries. She is a governance expert, able to manage particularly sensitive regulatory issues, and an experienced spokesperson..
With an established track record in undertaking volunteer work in the not-for-profit sector, Helen is passionate about giving back to the community. She has a long-standing commitment to women’s rights and gender equality including through many pro-bono committee and volunteer roles focusing on women’s issues.
Helen is particularly passionate about leading and undertaking transformational change in organisations, something she did in her role as CEO of the Australian Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency from 2011 and 2015.
Julia Goodall (Vice President)
BSc – Animal Science
Julia is a traveller and an optimist – always exploring new places and seeing the silver lining in everything. She brings that positivity and passion to her board role at YWCA.
She works as the State Operations Coordinator for Emergency Services at Australian Red Cross. Previous roles with Red Cross have included acting as the Emergency Services Manager, Youth Development Coordinator and Community Engagement Coordinator through which she has developed strong relationships across government, youth and community sectors and driven a culture of volunteer leadership.
Julia has also delivered projects for NGOs in a voluntary capacity. These include a sustainable youth leadership structure as Manager for Big Week Out – a youth-led community service organisation, creating professional development opportunities for women’s leadership organisation Spence Club and coordinating volunteers and sponsorship for equestrian sporting events.
Her governance experience includes serving on committees for Spence Club, Lockington Horse Trials, Big Week Out, the Pony Club Association of South Australia and as the Ex. Officio member of the Red Cross South Australian Youth Advisory Committee.
B Arts (Hons) B Law (Hons)
Nicole Freeman is a practicing lawyer who can do most things standing on her head. Literally – she can do a headstand!
A practicing lawyer with a background in corporate and commercial law, Nicole holds a practicing Certificate from the Law Society of New South Wales. Nicole joined the Board of YWCA NSW in 2017, and soon after stepped in to the role as Chair of their Merger Sub-Committee.
Nicole joined Clayton Utz in 2014 as a corporate lawyer in the Mergers and Acquisitions team before joining Landerer & Company as a Legal Associate in 2017, focusing on a range of corporate and commercial matters, including, corporate structuring, joint ventures, foreign investment laws and other Corporations Act and company law matters. She is also a committee member of NEXUS Australia, a youth-based group movement aiming to improve philanthropy and impact investment.
Molly is creative, curious and motivated. With a background in fine arts, she loves arts and culture, learning about food, and is constantly inspired by creativity within Australia’s youth arts and wider sector.
She works at SYN Media, currently as Media Learning Manager overseeing the social enterprise ‘SYN Media Learning’, and previously as Pathways Manager, supporting a community of over 500 young volunteers.
She’s the current Youth Representative at the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA), and a 2019 Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) ‘Young Social Pioneer’ for her proposal to improve governance diversity and inclusion policies and practices.
B Arts, MA (Social Research)
Cara Gleeson is an expert in research and policy on preventing violence against women, gender equality, women’s rights, peace and security. Currently, Cara is Manager of Practice Systems at Our Watch, the national foundation to prevent violence against women and their children. She leads a multi-disciplinary team and oversees the national respectful relationships education portfolio across early, primary, secondary and tertiary levels; the sports engagement portfolio (including working with AFL, ARU and NRL national codes) and the workplace equality and respect standards.
Cara has previously worked at VicHealth in their prevention of violence against women program, in the Australian Government Office for Women and at Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom in Geneva. She has served as a director at YWCA Canberra 2008-10, Director at YWCA Victoria since 2013, and YWCA Housing since 2015. She has also sat on numerous committees and working groups. Cara was previously the Chair of YWCA Housing and the Vice-President of YWCA Victoria.
B. Media, B. Law
Freya is a commercial lawyer from Darwin in the Northern Territory, and a passionate advocate for gender equality.
Her proudest girl power moment came when she shared Amy Cuddy’s messaging on body language and power posing with her colleagues from West Timor, and started a safe and constructive discussion about gender inequality in the workplace, and changing the power dynamics in their professional lives.
In 2018, Freya was voted in as an inaugural member of the YWCA Australia’s Young Women’s Council, contributing to the YWCA movement and vision of a better future for Australian women, young women and girls.
Freya believes that through the collective agency of YWCA’s member base, we will continue to accelerate the advancement of gender equality and empowerment of women.
Juliana Nkrumah AM
MSc. Sociology; BSc Hons Sociology and Social Anthropology
Getting a grant to run training for newly arrived refugee women on human rights and self-representation in their new society is Juliana’s favourite girl-power moment – she is passionate about empowering others to speak for themselves!
Juliana Nkrumah AM is the Domestic Violence Project Manager at Settlement Services International.
She founded African Women Australia and has served on several Boards to improve the status of women, including the Board of YWCA NSW, Australian National Committee on Refugee Women, Act for Peace, African Ministerial Committee, Harmony Alliance and the Eminent Australians Committee to review the Australian Citizenship Test.
Juliana was awarded Membership of the Order of Australia for her work in the community, and was the winner of Woman of the West from University of Western Sydney in 2007.
LLB (Hons), B Com, GDLP
Kirsty Rourke is a real estate professional with 10 years’ experience in the property and construction industries. Previously a successful property lawyer, Kirsty is now the Head of Investments at the City of Brisbane. Kirsty is responsible for acquisitions and the management of CBIC’s existing commercial property investment portfolio. Kirsty is passionate about young women’s leadership and providing women and families access to long-term, stable accommodation.
Kristy is dynamic in her approach and a specialist in legal, strategic and risk management. As a Director, she assists in managing the community housing properties by giving advice, undertaking project budget updates and reporting; business case development; risk management; contract negotiation and administration; consultant procurement and management; and stakeholder engagement.
B Laws (Honours), GDLP, Master of Laws (in progress)
Location: South Australia
Lauren Tanner is a passionate advocate for gender equality, the advancement of women and community strengthening. She describes YWCA as progressive, inclusive and focused – a perfect fit!
A University of South Australia alumni, Lauren was admitted to practice law in 2014 and in 2015 returned to her rural hometown in South Australia.
Lauren currently works for Instaclustr, a Canberra-based company and is proud to work entirely remotely whilst also studying her Master of Laws remotely through the College of Law.
Lauren grew up in a rural farming community so knows first-hand the challenges young women in rural and regional communities face in education and workforce participation, as well as the difficulties and obstacles experienced by young, professional working mothers. She firmly believes in supporting women to become their own best advocates to create the life they deserve and earn what they are worth … while doing what they love!
B.Sc (Hons.), Investment Management Certificate
Rebecca is a banking and funds management professional with deep experience in debt and equity financing, having led large scale investments across both Europe and Australia over the last 15 years. She has a strong passion for driving change, especially in the Australian housing sector believing that everyone should have a safe place to call home.
Rebecca is responsible for directing institutional investment into the for purpose sector in her current role as Director, Impact Investing at Social Ventures Australia. She brings her enthusiasm and extensive expertise of investment in the social and affordable housing sector to her Board Director role.
Profile to come.