Our Board

Jennifer Morris, Founder and Chair

jennifer-morrisAs a diversity and inclusion consultant, Jenny is a strong advocate for supporting female talent through structured, and facilitated mentoring. She has been providing human resource advice and training to organisations since 1986 and founded The Orijen Group in 2000. Since then, Jenny has been responsible for the research, design and implementation of a range of bespoke coaching and mentoring programs in corporations, government and non-government organisations.

In 2014 Jenny was awarded AFR 100 Women of Influence for “creating a bolder and more diverse future for all Australians”. She is a past co-president of NEEOPA, the NSW Council for NAPCAN and Women on Boards. She co-wrote 52 Ways to Break Through the Glass Ceiling and has brought Women for Election to Australia because of her passion for building equal gender representation in Australia’s most important decision-making bodies.

Joanne Yates, Vice Chair

Joanne Yates C20 Sherpa

Joanne has a diverse and strong history of public policy development and advocacy, coupled with an ability to effectively grasp the  and nuances of any subject matter, within a values framework. She brings a deep knowledge of government and parliamentary processes, combined with significant experience working with boards and committees and operating in high volume, time restricted environments.

Carrie Kellar, Co-Treasurer

Internationally experienced development and fundraiser, specialising in individual giving, direct mail, bequest, major gifts, trust and 2423084foundation and government fund-raising. Carrie has over 14 years’ experience in national roles growing business, leading a successful team and implementing cross-functional strategy.

Karen Iles Secretary


Karen is a corporate responsibility and social change professional. In her current work at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) Karen leads Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Australia and New Zealand. Reporting directly to the Australia New Zealand CEO Karen is responsible for CSR strategy development, execution, reporting, stakeholder relationships and external relations.

With over ten years experience in the non-government sector prior to working at TCS and KPMG Karen has a strong grounding in how to create social change. Working on human rights, international development and labour rights Karen has lead teams of people to create successful campaigns and strategies to support the rights of individuals and groups.

Professor John Simons, Board Member

Professor John Simons spent most of his career in universities in England and Australia and most recently was Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) at Macquarie University. He has worked in universities on every continent except Antarctica and he has done every academic job from part time lecturer to acting Vice Chancellor at some point or other.

Since his retirement from the university, John  continues to write and consult from his home in Hobart, as well as making pickles and jams. He is married to Kate Downhill who is an artist and has one son and one grandson in England.

Heather Forton, Board Member

heatherWith post graduate qualifications and key competencies in business, law and coaching, facilitating, strategic communications, negotiations, issue management & resolution, stakeholder management, program management, advocacy, leadership and change management. Having worked across various parts of North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa, Heather brings a unique blend of experiences both in terms of roles and geographical locations. In addition, she has been involved in federal election campaigns in Canada.

Heather is a facilitator and coach for the DellWITEM Coaching Circles,  Mentoring Women in Defence, and the University of Sydney’s Vice Chancellor’s Sponsorship Program and the University of Sydney’s Professional Women’s Mentoring Program.

Deborah Harrigan, Board Memberdeborah-harrigan-square-wide-lo-rez-linkedin

Deborah Harrigan is a passionate, innovative and entrepreneurial   thinker who has enjoyed a very successful 20+ year executive leadership career with Fortune 500 high tech multinational corporations.  Leading large scale global operations from Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Singapore, Deborah has built a reputation as a transformational leader.  During her tenure with Fortune 500 corporations, Deborah’s specific interest was female entrepreneurs and how to support, encourage and facilitate a local, regional and global like-minded community and network for inspiring and talented women.  With her background in high tech savvy corporations, Deborah has a keen understanding of the key role technology plays in bringing Australian entrepreneurs to the world. As Principal Consultant with The Orijen Group, Deborah facilitates Women Executive Mentoring and Coaching programs.

Christine Foran, Board Memberchristine froan

Christine has 20 years’ experience advising government on policy development, strategy and implementation in the health and human service sector. She has held senior management and executive positions in state level health, housing and family and community services portfolios – most recently in the domestic and family violence portfolio.

Christine’s career has had an emphasis on reform at the intersection between Commonwealth and state health and human service policy, programs and services where she has led national projects advising Ministers in the health, housing and community services portfolios on strategy and reform, and the development of innovative resource allocation model for state housing and homelessness funding.

Louisa Macphillamy, Board Member

louisa macphillamy

Louisa brings substantial experience in corporate, legal and government functions. Having gained global experience working at two top tier law firms in Sydney and Paris, she completed post-graduate qualifications in Law from Oxford University before moving into the political sphere as a Policy Adviser.

Working across a range of portfolios within the Federal Government, including the Women’s portfolio, she brings public policy development experience, thought leadership and extensive stakeholder networks across government, corporate and community spheres.

Elizabeth Crouch, Advisory Committee

elizabeth crouchElizabeth spent 16 years with the Federal government before moving into the private sector where she held various positions, including the role of Chief Executive of the Housing Industry Association.

Elizabeth is the Deputy Chancellor of Macquarie University, a non-executive Director of SGS Economics and Planning, and is a Trustee of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.  She was previously on the Board of Chandler Macleod Group prior to its sale to Recruit Holdings.  Elizabeth chairs a number of audit committees including for the City of Sydney, Health Infrastructure and Railcorp and is a member of the Office of Environment and Heritage audit committee.  Elizabeth is a Director of Optimize International, a strategic consultancy advisory firm and continues to support a range of community and sporting bodies including as the Deputy Chair of the Sydney Rays rugby franchise.

Fiona Lang, Advisory Committee

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAI8AAAAJGRlMWVjZjMzLWNjYWItNGEwNS1hM2U2LTg3YWYwM2YyOTc1MgFollowing her legal career with national law firms Gilbert and Tobin and Freehills, and Berlin based Hogan Hartson Raue, Fiona is now COO of BBC’s commercial arm, BBC Worldwide in Australia and New Zealand. She is responsible for the company’s corporate strategy, business operations, and business affairs and is a board member of BBC Worldwide and its related companies in the region.

She is involved in a range of community activities, including as a mentor for the Women’s College within Sydney University

Jane Counsel, Advisory Committee

Jane brings her extenjane counselsive corporate and media experience, strategic thinking and strong facilitation and presentation skills, positions her to identify and deliver Diversity & Inclusion solutions. She has deep expertise developing and implementing programs & initiatives across Gender, Intergenerational Teams, LGBTI, Cultural Diversity and Accessibility and Workplace Flexibility

Judy Hutchinson, Librarian

Judy Hutchinson

Judy Hutchinson BA (Librarianship), AALIA, is the foundation librarian and is assisting with the establishment of the non-partisan, fully digital collections of The Library at WFEA. This is a project close to the heart of Judy’s professional interests.

Judy spent nearly 25 years (1998 to 2013) providing library services to members of parliament through the Parliamentary Library of the Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra. Previously, she worked at the Library of the Australian National University and at the Library of the Attorney-General’s Department. She graduated as a Librarian in 1977 and is an Associate Member of ALIA (Australian Library and Information Association).

Kriti Colless, Advisory Committee

Kriti is a business and marketing consultant, whose experience spans IAAEAAQAAAAAAAAKrAAAAJGQ5NmNmOTQ0LTc0ZGItNGJhZS05YjljLTBkY2Q3MWNhOTNhNwT&T, Professional Services, Financial Services, Associations and NFP’s. Her previous roles include Director at Accenture and at Deloitte, Director Golden Key International Honour Society, Marketing Specialist McKinsey and Co, and corporate marketing roles in MAA, Telstra, and British Telecom.

Kriti is passionate about promoting cultural, racial and religious diversity in organisations.

Sonia Palmieri, Advisory Committee

Sonia is an expert in gender and political participation, with an emphasis on parliaments. She has 15 years’ combined experience supporting parliaments as well as women’s access to, and participation in, political institutions. She is the author of seminal reports on women in parliament, including the IPU’s (2012) Gender-Sensitive Parliaments: A Global Review of Good Practice, and the OSCE ODIHR’s (2013) A Comparative Study of Structures for Women MPs in the OSCE Region. Having developed effective tools to promote gender equality in the work of parliaments, Sonia has facilitated parliamentary self-assessments in Uganda and Rwanda. She has strong UN experience, having worked with both the UNDP in Viet Nam and UN Women in New York. Her programming expertise is further demonstrated through the work she has done in developing, and securing funding for, a program of parliamentary support for Pacific women MPs worth AUS2.8 million over 5 years.
Since 2012, she has been an Honorary Senior Research Fellow, School of Political Science and International Studies, University of Queensland.