YWCA’s board is skills-based, includes women from around Australia and is led by President Julie Boyd. 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. Above all, they have a commitment to our overarching goal of achieving true gender equality.
The Board has also established a range of specialised sub-committees, including: Property and Assets Committee; Finance, Audit and Risk Committee; Nominations Committee; and the People, Culture and Governance Committee.
Our subsidiaries – YWCA National Housing and YWCA Housing – have their own Boards with specialist knowledge and expertise within the housing sector.
Click the below links to jump to individual profiles.
- Julie Boyd (President)
- Isabelle Chassain (Deputy)
- Lauren Tanner
- Taliska Arentsen
- Nicole Freeman
- Cara Gleeson
- Juliana Nkrumah AM
- Julia Goodall
- Danielle Wruck
Julie Boyd (President)
FAIM, FAICD, CM, Registered Nurse/Midwife (Retired)
When asked what three words Julie Boyd would use to describe YWCA Australia, she says dynamic, forward thinking and embracing.
The same could be said of her.
Julie has a recognised capacity as a professional company director, with more than 19 years as a non-executive Director and director of a family company for 28 years. She served as Mayor of Mackay City, one of the fastest growing regional cities in Queensland, for 11 years. Julie also has over 4 years’ experience working in the export sector as Special Trade Representative for the Queensland Government.
She has extensive experience as both a Chair and non-executive director. Julie brings expertise in Corporate governance and compliance; Leadership development; Strategy setting; facilitation and change management; Policy and a broad based knowledge both in government and industry.
Isabelle Chassain (Deputy)
B Arts (Hons) B Law (Hons)
Isabelle Chassain is an admitted solicitor with experience in family law, child protection, and domestic and family violence. Currently, Isabelle is Student Advocate at the University of Southern Queensland Student Guild while she is undertaking her PhD in Law.
Isabelle is an active member of the Darling Downs community both professionally and academically. She has participated in numerous fundraising and education forums including being an Ambassador for the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers (2012), The United Nations Wansolwara Youth Peace Building Conference (2011), Inaugural President of the Law Society of the University of Southern Queensland (2008-2010), Diplomacy Delegate on the International Scholar Laureate Program in China (2010), Delegate to the Department of Communities Queensland Youth Forum (2010), Speaker at the International Woman’s Day Conference USQ (2007) and a Key Note Speaker at the University of Queensland Boiler House Conference “What is Democracy? Where are the People?” (2006).
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 Laws (LLB), GDLP
Location: Darwin / Port Macquarie
Taliska Arensten’s proudest girl-power moment? Giving birth to her son – a moment she felt the power of all those birthing women who came before her.
Taliska is a practicing lawyer and legislative drafter with the Office of the Parliamentary Council in the Northern Territory. After beginning her career as a Law Clerk at regional law firm in New South Wales, Taliska relocated back to the Northern Territory to commence working with the Northern Territory Government in 2014, first as a Graduate with the Department of the Chief Minister, then as a Policy and Project Officer in Social Policy.
In 2016 Taliska commenced her current role as a legislative drafter, undertaking a brief secondment to provide specialist legal support for the Royal Commission into Child Protection and Youth Detention in the Northern Territory. Taliska regularly volunteers her time providing free legal advice to women through the Top End Women’s Legal Service and is experienced with YWCA governance, having served as a Director of the YWCA of Darwin Board since 2016.
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.
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.
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.
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 Business, B Laws (Hons), FCPA
Danielle loves new experiences. Whether it’s travelling with her family or learning new skills, she can’t keep doing the same things. It’s no surprise then that she admires Jessica Watson – the 16-year-old Australian woman who sailed non-stop and unassisted around the world.
Danielle Wruck is a financial and strategic professional with over 20 years of experience and is a Fellow of CPA Australia. She has a diverse grounding in financial performance, customer experience, human centred design, operations, risk governance, leadership, stakeholder management and major transformation projects.
Danielle joined the pre-merger YWCA Australia Finance Committee in 2014 and Board as Treasurer in 2017, where she was active in financially guiding the latter stages of the merger. Danielle is the first Chair of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee for the post-merger organisation.