Everyone on the WFEA Team is passionate about getting more women into our parliaments and public service.
Licia Heath, Chief Executive Officer
With over 19 years’ experience in the financial services and asset management sector; Licia Heath has worked in several capacities including analytical, retail and institutional roles at firms such as Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse in both London and Australia. As an active member of CLOSE (Community for Local Options in Secondary Education), Licia has developed a keen interest in improving the quality and availability of public high schools in Sydney’s inner city and eastern suburbs.
Helen Conway, BA LLB FAICB, Chair
Helen Conway is an experienced lawyer, senior executive and director. She spent 10 years in private legal practice, including 7 years as a partner in a major law firm in Sydney, and then moved into the corporate sector where she worked as a senior executive in the insurance, transport, energy, retail and construction industries for 18 years. At the same time, she undertook various directorships in the health, transport and superannuation sectors.
Helen is an expert in workplace gender equality. Between 2011 and 2015, she was the CEO of the Australian Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency, a statutory authority with regulatory and other responsibilities. During her term, she stewarded the seamless implementation of new legislation governing the Agency and led the development of the Agency’s strategic vision and long-term change agenda for driving improved gender equality outcomes in Australian workplaces. This included delivering world-leading unique standardised benchmark gender data, and conducting bold change campaigns and developing innovative educational resources. Helen was also involved in the establishment of the Australian Gender Equality Council including being one of its founding directors.
Helen has a long track record of undertaking a broad range of voluntary activities including those in support of women. She was a member of the New South Wales Equal Opportunity Tribunal for 10 years including 3 years as its Senior Judicial Member.
In 2005, Helen was awarded the Australian Corporate Lawyer of the Year by the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association and in 2015 was inducted into the Women’s Agenda Hall of Fame.
Helen is a director of various commercial organisations in the insurance and energy sectors. She is also a director of not-for-profit entities involved in education, mental health and housing and related services. In addition, she is a voluntary mentor with Kilfinan Australia.
Lisa Annese, Director
Lisa Annese has been the Chief Executive Officer of Diversity Council Australia since 2 June 2014. In this role she leads debate on diversity and inclusion in the public arena.
Under her leadership, DCA delivers innovative diversity practice resources for Australian businesses and supports in them improving their inclusion capability. She has led a broad array of ground-breaking, evidence-based research, including Australia’s first national index on workplace diversity and inclusion, seminal research on the economics of the gender pay-gap and original work on Counting Culture and building Asian Leadership Capability, as well as research supporting individuals being “Out at Work” and main-streaming flexible work.
In 2018, Lisa was named one of the AFR’s 100 Women of Influence. In 2019 she was elected to the Board of Amnesty International Australia and in 2021 to the Board on the non-partisan organisation, Women for Election. Lisa is also Executive Producer of DCA’s podcast, The Art of Inclusion.
Lisa has had a long career in the diversity and inclusion space across the corporate, government and not-for-profit sector.
Some of her career highlights include:
- Developing and launching the #IStandForRespect campaign where over 200 Australian CEO’s have signed up to take a stand against gendered harassment and violence.
- Advocating for policy action in areas including government funded paid parental leave, closing the gender pay gap, achieving Australian Marriage Equality, maintaining protections in the Race Discrimination Act (Cth 1995) and a strengthening of the Workplace Gender Equality Act (2013) and more recently advocating for greater representation of women and girls in STEM careers, reducing the incidence of sexual harassment and violence against women and for greater multi-faith inclusion without regressive religious freedom laws.
- Presenting DCA research at international forums, including recently at the Commission for the Status of Women (virtually) in New York, a UNESCO Summit in Baku, Azerbaijan, at the University of Patras, Greece and the University of Texas, US. She has also represented DCA at the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations in both Doha (Qatar) and Kerala (India).
- At the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (formerly EOWA), developing the first ever census of ‘Australian Women in Leadership’, the first ever ‘Business Achievement Awards’, the creation of the ‘Employer of Choice for Women’ citation and the development and implementation of the policy framework for the EOWA Act (1999) with Australian businesses. For her contribution at EOWA, she was awarded a Medal for Significant Contribution to the Australian Public Service.
- Co-authoring “Chief Executives Unplugged: CEO’s Get Real About Women in the Workplace”.
Coleen MacKinnon, Director
Coleen is a diversity consultant and advocacy specialist with a passion for accelerating progressive social change. She is the Founder of Sydney-based InQ (Inclusivity Quotient), an agency dedicated to co-creating more inclusive companies and communities. She serves as Adviser to the Consult Australia Male Champions of Change and is the co-creator of #Engaging Men, an empathetic approach to authentically involve male leaders in accelerating workplace gender equality.
Deeply committed to increasing the representation of women in parliament, she has worked on a number of political campaigns, both in her native Canada and here in Australia. She strongly believes that our parliaments should reflect the diversity of the country in which we live.
Amanda Webb, Director
Amanda is the CEO at ‘Xplore for Success’, an Australian consultancy that specialises in ‘Driving Gender Equality’ and Career development and advancement for women – and men.
Amanda Webb is an experienced and highly respected Human Resources practitioner with over 25 years business expertise in banking, finance, professional services, FMCG and management consulting, having worked for a number of Australian, global and private companies including Deloitte, Westpac, AMP, and the Sydney Olympic Games.
Amanda is an advocate for women and human rights and is committed to driving gender equality. She is a Board Member of Dress for Success Sydney, and an Ambassador for Human and Hope Association, Cambodia.
Philip Busfield, Director
Philip Busfield M.A. (Hons) Cambridge University (Mathematics) is a risk and finance consultant to the Private Equity and banking industry. He has three decades of experience in various senior executive roles in merchant banking and investment.
Philip has founded and chaired a charity for Parkinson’s sufferers, been actively involved in local community regeneration projects, and is the Treasurer of Dying with Dignity NSW and Your Last Rights Australia, as well as various roles including Co-Chair, Treasurer & Board member of Twenty10 Incorporating GLCS, NSW largest LGBTIQA+ youth charity.
Born and raised in the UK, he now calls Australia home, and in March 2018 became an Australian citizen!
He is driven by his passion for Human Rights and particularly the rights of individuals to freedom of expression, speech, and life choices. To that end he has welcomed the opportunity to recently join the Board of Women for Election Australia (Incorporated ) as Treasurer
Cecilia Timm, Director
Cecilia is a marketing professional, website designer and illustrator who works with small to medium companies and not-for-profit organisations. With a background in Science and the entertainment industry, Cecilia’s experience is broad and varied. She makes a point of working with organisations that share her core beliefs of equality and the need for action on climate change.
Cecilia is an ardent feminist and firmly believes that gender parody within our government will go a long way to addressing gender inequality within our society.
Andrew Butler, Director
Andrew is a communications specialist and runs the Corporate Affairs agency, Wilkinson Butler.
With a background in political campaigning and policy development, Andrew has provided strategic and tactical communications support to organisations from a large variety of industry sectors, including not-for-profits.
Much of his focus is on managing complex issues and long-term reputational challenges.
As Chair of the PR & Government Relations Committee, Andrew brings to WFEA, expertise in strategic communications, campaigning, media engagement, government relations and strategy and stakeholder engagement.
Kat Dunn, Director
Kat Dunn is a humanitarian capitalist with a passion for scaling social ventures. She was the CEO of Grameen Australia, a social business inspired by the work of Nobel Peace Prize Winner, founder of Grameen Bank, Professor Muhammad Yunus.
Kat started her career as a banking & finance lawyer at top tier law firm Clayton Utz and a corporate M&A lawyer at national firm Sparke Helmore Lawyers.
From 2013, she was appointed to lead the regulated fund establishment team for listed company, Perpetual Corporate Trust, and in 18 months led over 40 deals with total funds’ under management in excess of $3 billion. In 2016, Kat was appointed the youngest executive to serve on the senior leadership team of Perpetual Limited. Among other industry roles she has advised the Financial Services Council and Commonwealth Treasury on designing the regulatory frameworks of the APEC Asia Region Funds Passport and Australian Collective Investment Vehicle Regime.
Kat is a board member of Food Frontier (a plant-based meat industry accelerator), Grameen Australia and Little Colossus (a social enterprise supporting youth mental health). She is Co-Chair of the Partnerships Committee of Women for Election Australia, a not-for-profit inspiring and equipping 2000 women to run for public office by 2022.
Kat is the creator of F-OFF: Fear of Failure Forum, a movement to say “F-OFF to your fear of failure and grow your potential” and coaches CEOs and high performing teams on actualising their potential.
Kali Goldstone, Consultant
Kali Goldstone is an international human rights lawyer with extensive experience in lobbying, advocacy and writing policy on behalf of minority and vulnerable groups, focusing on women and refugees, for nearly 20 years across Australia, the USA, Denmark, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kenya. She has consulted with governments, legal professionals, NGO’s, advocates and not-for-profit and private enterprise.
Kali provided high-level advice on policy, legislation, and parliamentary processes acting as the Senior Policy Adviser to Dr Kerryn Phelps. She drafted and negotiated the Medevac Legislation on behalf of Independent MPs and Senators, working closely with the refugee sector to deliver a rare win in Australia’s national Parliament for asylum seekers and refugees.
Her global experience has allowed her to relate and connect with people from all walks of life and establish trusted relationships with external stakeholders.
Dr Lesley Clark, Advisor
Lesley is an experienced politician and parliamentarian from Cairns in Far North Queensland with extensive experience in Australia and the Asia Pacific Region. She served for 5 years in local government before completing five terms in the Queensland Parliament as a member of the Australian Labor Party.
After retiring from Parliament in 2006 she has undertaken a range of consultancy projects to increase the political participation of women designing and delivering campaign workshops and advising international organizations and political parties. She has mentored women candidates in Australia through EMILY’s List, and women MPs in Myanmar through the International Women’s Development Agency. She also has extensive experience with elections, both as a candidate and observer for international organizations in the Asia Pacific region and Africa.
Lesley is currently a member of the DFAT Pacific Women Gender Advisory Panel and the Champion for the Alumni Initiative, a project of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Network (CWP). The CWP Alumni Initiative aims to harness the skills, experience and knowledge of former women parliamentarians to the benefit of newly-elected or sitting women parliamentarians.
Sonia Palmieri, Advisor
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.
Susan Tracey, Advisor
Susan’s background is diverse and ranges from her creative origins in PR, marketing, design, arts and media to a focus now on creating great places that are inclusive, vibrant and sustainable. She has worked in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors specialising in infrastructure and place development and is a specialist in community engagement.
Susan is passionate about helping women achieve their goals and equipping them with the skills and know-how to become leaders in their fields. Her vision is to see more women in decision-making roles to ensure our society reflects and celebrates all of its people.
Kat Henaway, Advisor
Kat is a descendant of the Meriam and Mua people of the Torres Strait Islands who has gained significant experience working in multinational organisations in Sydney, London & Edinburgh over the past 20 years. She has worked for some of the world’s largest private sector companies including Vodafone Hutchison, Arthur Andersons, ABN Amro, Société Générale, Ernst & Young and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. In the public sector, Kat has worked for The City of Edinburgh Council, the UK Pensions Regulator, City of Sydney, UNSW and UTS.
In the women’s development space, Kat worked with UN Women Sydney Chapter and her latest venture is Women’s Business, an enterprise that connects women of colour to leadership opportunities. Kat is passionate about empowering marginalised women and believes that “Investing in women and girls is the most powerful way to change the world!”
Kriti Colless, Director
Kriti’s professional career started in marketing, moving rapidly into strategy, planning and digital transformation across IT&T, Management Consulting, Financial Services, Education, Government, Not-for-Profit and Professional Services. Kriti has a strong commercial background having worked across the globe with organisations like McKinsey & Co, Accenture, Telstra, Westpac and British Telecom. In addition to serving on the board of WFEA, Kriti is also part of the Central Coast Sustainability Association and the millennial think tank, What About Tomorow.
Natasha Short, Advisor
Natasha twenty-five years’ experience working in Aboriginal Development and Community Work mostly within the Kimberley Region. As a descendant of the Jaru people of the Kimberley, Natasha is passionate about social justice and indigenous affairs and she a strong advocate for disadvantaged groups.
Natasha is enthusiastic and positive about her ability to effect positive change by providing opportunities and investing in people within the Kimberley Community. She has a proven track record as an individual who is able to deliver high-quality outcomes, whilst maintaining a high level of integrity and professionalism.