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Our People

Our Centre is governed and staffed by a dedicated and highly experienced team of professionals committed to the prevention and elimination of sexual assault and family violence in our community and to supporting people in their recovery from trauma.


Our Board

Our Board members take ultimate responsibility for the governance of our organisation. For the Board, good governance means employing effective systems, processes, policies and behaviours that underpin excellent organisational performance. It also includes the important relationship between the Board (which sets strategic direction and upholds its values) and the Chief Executive Officer (who has the responsibility for the overall management of the organisation in its day-to-day operations).

Jenny McMahon Chairperson View Profile »
Jenny McMahon Chairperson

Jenny McMahon is the Director City Life at Wyndham City Council. Prior to that she held the position of General Manager, Community Services, City of Greater Geelong.  Jenny has worked in local government in various senior roles for many years.

Jenny joined our Board in November 2012 and was Chairpersonfrom October 2013 – October 2015 followed by her current role as Chairperson commencing August 2016.

Jenny holds a Bachelor of Business – Industrial Relations and Human Resources, as well as qualifications in Applied Social Sciences. She is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Jenny’s board positions have included the Western Region Health Centre, Healthwest, IPC Health and the Local Government Professional Association.

Renee Fiolet Deputy Chairperson View Profile »
Renee Fiolet Deputy Chairperson

Renee, has a strong interest in women’s issues and family violence and is a member of the Melbourne Research Alliance to End Violence against women and the children (MAEVe). Renee is the Victorian representative of the National Rural Women’s Network and was the founding member of the UN Women Australia Geelong Chapter.

Renee is also an associate researcher on a study at the University of Melbourne looking into a technological intervention for women to use for relationship safety.

Ben Meeke Treasurer View Profile »
Ben Meeke Treasurer

Ben is a fully qualified CPA and holds a public practice certificate. He completed his Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in accounting and financial planning at Deakin University in 2002 and has been working in the public practice accounting field since then.

Ben joined the Board in 2009 and became the Treasurer in 2011, a position that he holds today.

Ben started his own accounting practice, Financially Free Accounting, in South Geelong in 2013 and enjoys working closely with clients advising them on a range of matters including business improvement, structuring, taxation and business consulting.

Jodie Haydon Board Member View Profile »
Jodie Haydon Board Member

Jodie Haydon is the General Manager of Human Resources at Viva Energy Australia; accountable for developing and implementing the People Strategy with the CEO and executive team. Viva Energy Australia was established in 2014 and is the exclusive supplier of Shell Fuels and Lubricants in Australia.  Jodie has played a lead role in this transition and transformation of the company into a stand-alone local Australian company.

Jodie joined our Board in February 2018 and holds a Bachelor of Economics and a Postgraduate Diploma in Japanese from Monash University. Jodie is a commercial HR leader; with deep experience in delivering HR outcomes aligned to the business strategy, and experienced in delivering significant change. Jodie is also a graduate of the Company Directors Course from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Megan Jenner Board Member View Profile »
Megan Jenner Board Member

Megan is an advocacy professional with extensive governance and management experience. Currently the Executive Advisor (Employee Relations) at Wyndham City, Megan has also held senior management roles in the student services sector and worked on behalf of union members in the local government, Social & Community Services, water and energy sectors.

Megan joined our Board in February 2018 and was previously a Director of the national buying co-operative Tertiary Access Group and the Australasian Campus Union Managers Association and a Co-convenor of both the Victorian and Australian Gay &Lesbian Rights Lobby.

Megan has a strong commitment to social justice and has chosen a career focused on building inclusive policies, structures and communities. Megan holds a Diploma of Business (Governance), a Masters of Social Science, Bachelor of Arts and is currently completing a Graduate Diploma in Employment and Labour Relations Law.

Dr Sarah Leach Board Member View Profile »
Dr Sarah Leach Board Member

Dr Sarah Leach is an active executive in healthcare and holds over 30 years’ experience working in healthcare and community services, or as a Board Director or volunteer. Sarah holds qualifications in senior nursing, academia, clinical governance and service quality, and as a health and business consultant. Her professional practice has focused on key stakeholder management, strategic planning, corporate and clinical governance practice, research, service & program development, attainment of philanthropic support, leadership development, and risk management.

Sarah’s joined our Board in 2015 and her Board experience includes Barwon Health, the Geelong College Council, Bethany Community Services and the Barwon South West Regional Women’s Health Committee.Sarah is currently General Manager at GMHBA, a Board Director of the Australian Centre for Health Research, a member the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an Honorary Fellow of Deakin University’s Faculty of Health.

Tess Lye Board Member View Profile »
Tess Lye Board Member

Tess Lye is General Counsel and Director, Corporate Governance and Risk for Epworth HealthCare, with responsibility for corporate and operational legal services, corporate governance advisory services and risk management.  Prior to moving into the healthcare sector, Tess worked in a range of in-house legal services roles in the banking and mining sectors, and in volunteer roles in the arts and community legal services.

Tess joined the Board in February 2018 and holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland and a Master of Laws from Queensland University of Technology, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Sheridan Salmon Board Member View Profile »
Sheridan Salmon Board Member

Sheridan is the Marketing & Fundraising Manager for the Give Where You Live Foundation, a Geelong based community foundation aiming to address disadvantage within the Geelong region.  Sheridan is responsible for the foundation’s brand and fundraising; including business and individual donor relations, bequests, workplace giving and events.

Sheridan joined our board in 2016.  She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University and is an alumni of the Leaders for Geelong Program.

Kate Stowell Board Member View Profile »
Kate Stowell Board Member

Kate Stowell is a solicitor with the Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service, representing people who have experienced sexual assault or family violence. Kate has also represented people in public hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and is closely following law reform in Victoria.

Kate joined our board in October 2015 and holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney and a Master of Laws from the University of Edinburgh.Prior to entering the law, Kate worked as a journalist with ABC News.


Executive

Helen Bolton Chief Executive Officer
Helen Bolton Chief Executive Officer

Our Team

We employ over 100 people across the Barwon and Wimmera areas and Western Melbourne. We ensure all our people are highly capable, qualified, professional and experienced in their role. Our counselling staff are qualified social workers, psychologists and family therapists who are dedicated to assisting the recovery of adults, young people and children who have experienced sexual assault, family violence and exploitation.

Our case managers are social workers who hold many years in this specialist field, and are able to assist women and children experiencing family violence through support and assistance, including court support, high risk management and short term accommodation.

Our gender equality and professional training team is made up of skilled educators with qualification in public health and gender studies with practical expertise in the area of sexual harm recovery and family violence primary prevention.

Our administration team includes a highly dedicated group of people providing customer services, finance, communications, quality services, and human resources.

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