Meet the talented, dedicated team who make sure we’re always working towards YWCA’s vision and strategic plan. Our Executive Team uses their shared knowledge to manage our day-to-day operations and support our CEO, Michelle Phillips.
Click the below links to jump to individual profiles.
- Michelle Phillips
- Jan Berriman
- Shannon Wright
- Faisal Mukhtar
- Jess Watkinson
- Joanna Mallon
- Renee Hancock
- Kate O’Donohue
- Sam Isaacs
- Jon Ackary
Chief Executive Officer
Bachelor of Business, Chartered Accountant
Michelle has almost 20 years’ senior executive leadership in I/NGO and commercial organisations with the advancement of women as the common thread. She has extensive international and local business experience in national strategy, change management, community engagement, funding and commercial partnerships.
From Country Director delivering and advocating for lifesaving women’s health services in Asia and Africa, to establishing the highly successful national Westfield W-League and CEO roles with the Hyundai A-League football clubs, Michelle is a true social business leader driven by improving social impact and financial performance.
Director, National Housing
GAICD, Grad Dip Social Science (Housing Management and Policy)
Jan Berriman has a passion for feminism and women’s rights (her feminist hero is the notorious RBG) – as well as good company, good wine and great food!
Jan has over twenty years’ experience at executive level within not for profit organisations, including the establishment and development of two new, highly successful organisations.
She has worked in the housing and homelessness sector in remote, rural and inner urban contexts delivering housing and support programs. Jan is an accomplished property development manager and innovative thinker in organisational development and growth and has a strong commitment to transparency and accountability.
Director, Service Delivery
Advanced Diploma Community Sector Management
Shannon has held senior leadership roles in both the government and non government sectors for over 30 years and has a strong commitment to social justice and a passionate interest in regional service delivery and linking teams across distance.
She has a background in policy and advocacy with a focus on women’s health, domestic and family violence, homelessness and alcohol and other drugs. As well as supporting teams across the organisation she also manages multiple local, state and federal grants with varying funding agreements, acquittal processes and evaluation methodologies.
Chief Financial Officer
B.Sc. (Hons) Applied Accounting, CA, ACCA, Grad Cert in Management, Grad Dip Applied Corporate Governance, MBA (Final)
Faisal brings significant leadership and strategic experience in business transformation and consolidation, merger and integration, designing and implementing growth strategies, and business expansion.
He has previously worked for some iconic businesses within the not for profit, education, hospitality, private equity investee entities and professional services sectors including Marriott International Inc, University of London, Deloitte, RSM and Australian Institute of Management (a Scientia Education Group business owned by CHAMP Ventures).
Faisal is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Governance Institute of Australia, and Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators. He is a managing director of C-Kandar Pty Ltd., founding trustee of Sedum School of Special Children and a former director of Asian Association of Management Organisation secretariat.
GradCert Social Planning
Jess has had over 20 years experience in not-for profit and government roles, focusing on community, capacity and strategy development, housing, youth and family services predominantly in the Northern Territory.
She has extensive executive level experience in strategic policy, national partnerships, NGO Management and evaluation. Jess has been passionately involved in many Boards and is committed to ensuring effective engagement and consultation, while ensuring clear strategy and objectives.
Jess’ proudest girl-power moment was watching one of her girls get into a locksmith apprenticeship – the only girl to do so in the Northern Territory. And she outshines them all – just ask Jess!
Director, People and Culture
Bachelor Social Science Member of AHRI (Australian Human Resources Institute)
The three words Joanna would use to describe YWCA? Passionate, inclusive and feminist. They’re values she brings to work everyday for her role as Director, People and Culture.
Joanna has more than 15 years human resource leadership experience across the manufacturing, retail, financial services and not-for-profit sectors. She’s also managed sales and service teams as Regional Manager with HCF.
She has particular expertise in developing and implementing programs and advising leaders in organisations on leadership, culture, change management, employment relations, remuneration strategy and WHS. Joanna is passionate about the support and development of people in an organisation and how people initiatives can contribute to an organisation’s strategic outcomes and success.
BA Arts (Journalism and Public Relations), MA Marketing
Renee’s son calls her a ‘good looker’ – because she’s good at finding things!
Aside from finding her son’s missing shoes, Renee’s a senior communications leader with 20 years of extensive experience in brand, marketing, public relations, advocacy and corporate social responsibility. She has held executive and senior management roles across the not-for-profit and corporate sectors. Renee has worked with Good Shepherd Microfinance, where she established the innovation lab and led the co-design and development of a new microenterprise program for women.
Renee is passionate about gender equality and women’s economic wellbeing. As the Director of Communications at YWCA, Renee is responsible for communications, marketing, media, advocacy, memberships and fundraising.
MSc Corp. Gov, BA, FGIA, FCSA
Kate is a firm believer in the power of YWCA Australia. The three words she’d use to describe the organisation? Force of Reckoning.
Kate has over 15 years’ experience in corporate governance and as a Company Secretary in not for profit, corporate and listed entities.
She was previously a contracted Company Secretary and Governance Professional and she provided secretarial and governance services to a range of entities, including a dual listed bank, listed mining company, unlisted public financial services company and various not for profit companies. Kate has also been Company Secretary of an ASX listed Financial Services company and, in the UK, worked for the Financial Services Authority and LogicaCMG a global IT company dual listed on the FTSE and Euronext.
Kate holds a Masters of Corporate Governance and a Bachelor of Arts, and is a fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia and of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (UK)
Director, Projects – Transformation and Integration
B Business (International Business and Management), GradCert Anthropology (studying at UQ)
Sam Isaacs has over 15 years’ experience in program management and leading transformational change in the financial services, mining construction, defence and child care sectors.
She is a specialist at leading organisations through periods of disruptive change and introducing new technologies. Sam has delivered programs in the fields of digital, cloud infrastructure, procurement, finance, distribution and human resources.
General Manager, Song Businesses
Management – Hilton
When he’s not the ski slopes, Jon is manager of YWCA Australia’s Song Businesses. His description of YWCA is simple: inclusive, kind and ambitious.
Jon has over 30 years’ experience including 20 years’ at General Manager level operating Hotels, Restaurants and Events for major Hotel and Event operators including Hilton Hotels and Event Hospitality.
He made the move to Profit For Purpose as he could see that a charity with a vibrant commercial division puts the organisation in a strong position to maintain independence and grow funding for programs and advocacy work.