Executive Team

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

Michelle Phillips

Chief Executive Officer

Bachelor of Business, Chartered Accountant

Location: Gubbi Gubbi Land (Sunshine Coast, Queensland)

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.

Joanna Mallon

Joanna Mallon

Director, Organisational Capability and People

Bachelor Social Science, Member of AHRI (Australian Human Resources Institute)

Location: Gadigal Land (Sydney, New South Wales)

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.

Faisal Mukhtar

Faisal Mukhtar

Chief Financial Officer

MBA, CA, ACCA, Grad Dip in Management, Grad Dip in Applied Corporate Governance, B.Sc. (Hons) Applied Accounting

Location: Gadigal Land (Sydney, New South Wales)

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., a Non-executive Director and Chair of Finance Committee of the Australia Performing Arts Conservatory, a founding trustee of Sedum School of Special Children and a former director of Asian Association of Management Organisation secretariat.

Hannah Murray

Hannah Murray

Company Secretary

BA (International Studies), M. International Relations, GIA (Affiliated)

Location: Naarm (Melbourne, Victoria)

Hannah started with YWCA Australia in 2017, amassing a vast amount of historical knowledge about the YWCA movement and governance knowledge in that time. She is the proud owner of a Certificate in Governance Practice from the Governance Institute of Australia, a creative and effective communicator and lover of frameworks and processes to improve governance structures. Hannah is a firm believer that feminism without intersectionality is the patriarchy in a new hat and looks forward to working with YWCA as it transitions from emerging intersectionality to embedding it into practices.

Helen Waters-Silvia

Helen Waters-Silvia

Director, Service Delivery

Diploma of Management, Certified Change Practitioner (ProSci), Accredited Executive Coach, GAICD

Location: Gadigal and Wangal Lands (Sydney, New South Wales)

Helen’s career in social services spans over 25 years, specialising in homelessness and housing, holding a variety of senior management and executive roles. Helen’s work focuses on improving systemic responses and driving innovative service delivery to marginalised people, particularly women and children impacted by domestic and family violence and the prevention of gender-based violence.

Appointed to the National Housing Supply and Affordability Council (interim Council 2022 and permanent Council in 2023) and is a non-executive Board Director of Homelessness NSW.

Helen is a mother to three young adults and lives on Gadigal and Wangal lands in Sydney’s Inner West.

Kate Whittle

Kate Whittle

General Manager, Advocacy and External Affairs

Bachelor of Laws, Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, Master of International Studies

Location: Jagera and Turrbal Land (Brisbane, Queensland)

Legally qualified, with a background in advocacy and government relations, Kate brings a wide range of skills and experience in advocacy to government, policy development, and media relations.

Kate has worked with leading decision-makers across government, not for profits, corporates, and peak bodies, and has secured a variety of legislative and regulatory change through her advocacy work. Prior to joining YWCA Australia, Kate was a senior ministerial advisor in the Queensland Government. 

With deep and practical understanding of the workings of government, Kate is focused on achieving outcomes through strategic advocacy, effective stakeholder engagement and building partnerships to drive change.

As a professional spokesperson, Kate has appeared before state and federal parliamentary committees and inquiries and featured across all major media platforms such as The Australian, Australian Financial Review, ABC, Sky News and Bloomberg. Kate’s upbringing in social housing has fostered an unwavering commitment to advocating for safe and secure housing for women and gender diverse people. For her, the personal is political, fuelling her passion to create inclusive and equitable housing solutions for those that need it most.