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. Currently, 55 per cent of 11 Board members are women aged 31 years or under when they were 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)
- Molly George
- Georgina Morphett
- Freya Mulvey
- Juliana Nkrumah AM
- Yasmin Poole
- Khayshie Tilak Ramesh
- Kirsty Rourke
- Lina Tchung
- Rebecca Thomas
- Renee Wirth
Board Trainee Profiles
Helen Conway (President)
B Arts, B Law
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)
B Sc (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 (Fine Arts), GC Social Impact (in progress)
Molly works at SYN Media, currently as the Social Enterprise Manager 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. She is also a coach and mentor for the Community Media Training Organisation and People of Purpose.
B Law, B Arts (Politics and International Studies), Master of Law (in progress)
Georgina is an experienced board director with nine years experience across non-executive directorships and government advisory roles, including as a chairperson.
Georgina was raised in a rural farming community and believes strongly that no woman should be disadvantaged by her location, particularly in relation to access to services. She brings a rural and gendered lens to decision-making and has a specific interest in women’s policy, and women’s involvement in governance.
Georgina was elected as an inaugural member of the YWCA Australia Young Women’s Council in 2018 and was previously a member of the YWCA Adelaide Nominations Committee.
Georgina currently works in the Australian Public Service in a risk and strategy role, and has experience in litigation, in-house legal, program management and service delivery. She is currently also a director on the board of Global Voices and the board of Youth Law Australia.
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; B Sc (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.
B Law, B International Relations (in progress)
Yasmin is an award-winning speaker, writer and youth advocate. She is currently Plan International’s National Ambassador and frequently appears on prominent Australian media programs to discuss the role of intersectionality in social change. Yasmin is also the Non-Executive Board Director of OzHarvest, Australia’s leading food rescue charity.
Yasmin has established herself as a leading youth voice. In 2020, Yasmin was selected to be the Asia Pacific Youth Representative for Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She was also the Chair of the Victorian Government’s Youth Congress, representing over a million young Australians.
In 2019, Yasmin was the youngest member of the Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence and Top 40 Under 40 Most Influential Asian Australians.
Yasmin is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Laws/International Relations at the Australian National University. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, video editing and musing about how patriarchy intersects with social systems.
Khayshie Tilak Ramesh
B Law (Hons), GDLP (in progress), Certificate of Mediation Accreditation
Location: Bendigo, Victoria
Khayshie is passionate advocate for youth, multiculturalism and diverse representation at influential decision-making tables. She is an experienced board director, youth mentor, legal advisor and is the Multicultural Youth Commissioner of Victoria.
Khayshie’s expertise in governance, risk and strategy, alongside her lived experience has created value within a number of organisations including Ambulance Victoria, ARCJustice, Inaugural City of Greater Bendigo Youth Council and various State government appointments. As a pioneer of youth leadership within the community, her long standing dedication has been recognised through accolades including Young Citizen of the Year, Law Student of the Year 2019, Premier’s Volunteer Champion 2019 and being named in the top 100 future leaders of Australia. Khayshie seeks to bring an intersectional lens to the YWCA and is most excited to champion capacity building for the voices of diverse young women in leadership at a national stage.
B Law (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 Comm, B Bus (Mgmt), CA
Lina is an experienced director and Chartered Accountant with extensive experience across finance, audit, risk and governance. With time as her precious commodity, Lina carves her time between her family and friends, work as an auditor and giving back to the community.
Lina is an example of YWCA’s commitment to women’s leadership. She was appointed as an U30 Director of YWCA NSW in 2009 and served on the Board, Finance Committee and later as a strong advocate on the NSW Merger Committee until the organisations integrated on 1 June 2018. Lina threw her hat in the ring and was elected to the YWCA Australia board in November 2019 and then again in 2020, after standing for re-election.
Lina spent 17 years at EY in the financial services assurance practice before joining Macquarie as a Division Director in Internal Audit. She continues to be passionate about young women’s leadership and the empowerment of women.
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. . The team currently manages a number of funds and investments delivering both social and financial returns. Rebecca joined the YWCA Board last year having previously been a Director on the YHousing Board.
She brings her enthusiasm and extensive expertise of investment in the social and affordable housing sector to her Board Director role.
B Planning, Masters of Development Studies
Renée is passionate about affordable housing as a feminist issue and has spent her career working on policies, programs and initiatives to increase the supply of social and affordable housing for the community.
Renée has over 19 years’ experience in managing the planning and delivery of social and affordable housing including roles in the NSW Government, UK Government, local councils and the not-for-profit community housing industry. She currently works in the executive team of SGCH (St George Community Housing), the largest community housing provider operating in Sydney with 7,000 social and affordable homes under management.
Through a range of roles, Renée has gained experience developing government policies for social and affordable housing, delivering affordable housing through the planning system, funding and financing mechanisms for affordable housing, compliance and regulatory settings for community housing and developing and executing strategic growth initiatives.
Board Trainee Profiles
Claire is a 24-year-old youth and disability advocate from Newcastle NSW. She uses the pronouns she/her.
Claire is passionate about improving young people’s acceptance of themselves and encouraging participation their local community. This process often involves ensuring that key services and supports used by young people are inclusive of all people regardless of their background.
She’s worked toward these ideals through engaging with various organisations such as YWCA Australia, Persons with Disabilities Australia, Youth Action NSW, Women with Disabilities Australia Youth Network, Youth Committee for the Hunter and The NDIS Participant First Scheme. Claire has engaged with these organisations as an active member of advisory groups, working groups, committees and volunteer programs, and her passions lie in initiatives focused on fostering self-advocacy, collaborative project design and development as well as active storytelling.
She loves the fiercely intersectional viewpoint that shines through the Y, and looks forward to developing confidence in understanding governance practices, whilst connecting with other confident women holding leadership positions.
B. A / B. Development Studies, J.D. (Undertaking)
Laura first cut her teeth at the Y as a member on the inaugural Young Women’s Council. Over two years later, she is delighted to be taking on the YWCA Board Traineeship program.
Laura currently works in Intergovernmental and Legal Policy for the Northern Territory Government Department of the Chief Minister and Cabinet. In this role, Laura is the lead policy officer for coordinating inter-jurisdictional gender equality initiatives, such as the response to the Respect at Work Report regarding sexual harassment in the workplace.
Laura has held a variety of roles in the Northern Territory Government including in the Office of Gender Equity and Diversity in Territory Families and the Women’s Health policy unit in the Department of Health. This year Laura also completed an internship with the Top End Women’s Legal Service.
Laura holds a Bachelor of Development Studies and a Bachelor of Arts with majors in French and Spanish from the Australian National University. She is also currently undertaking a Juris Doctor.