WJN Management Committee

WJN Board

WJN is governed and overseen by a Management Committee (The Board), comprising of some very versatile women.

Dr Helen Dunstan (Vice President) – I was the Secretary of WJN’s Board from November 2016 until the 2020 AGM. I was a WJN mentor when I joined the Board and used to visit Silverwater Women’s and Parklea as a volunteer with Prison Fellowship and Vinnies. More recently, I have joined the voluntary Custody Support Team at the local cop-shop, so I get to be there for young people when they’re waiting in the cells. I’m motivated to give time to WJN because it supports women and girls to move on and never go back to those dark days.

I have administrative skills that I use as a volunteer with an Aboriginal organisation in Outer Western Sydney and am an active member of the Greens. I have a Master’s in Counselling and a PhD in History, am a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and have published two books and several lengthy research articles.

Helen Campbell (President) is the Executive Officer of Women’s Legal Services NSW, a statewide specialist community legal centre for women. She is a lawyer with over 20 years’ experience in the community and public sectors. In addition to her legal qualifications she is a Master of Women’s Studies and holds a Diploma in Frontline Management. Previously Helen managed Redfern Legal Centre, and has also held a wide range of voluntary appointments including Chair of Community Legal Centres NSW, Director of NCOSS and consumer representative on the Council of the Energy and Water Ombudsman.

In 2011 Helen was awarded a medal in the Order of Australia for services to the law and to the community of Redfern.

Helen joined the board on the 11 May 2018.

Frances Drake (Board Member) – During my incarceration I was fortunate enough to encounter WJN. I found a flyer in the library and sent it in and of course the rest you know. What impressed me so much was that these women mentor on their own time and from their own hearts, their integrity impressed me. Now that I am out and finished my parole I want to use some of the knowledge I’ve gained to help others going through and exiting the system and by joining WJN I can share my experiences with a group of women whose integrity I aspire to.

So far, I have gained so much from the Advisory Panel and I hope being on the board I will be able to show the picture of what I went through. We learn the best by experiencing. By passing on that knowledge to others I can make them aware of what these women are going through. I hope with WJN we can do great things

Fiona Laverty (Secretary) – Fiona is a financial counsellor, working with clients to resolve their financial difficulties. Fiona integrates her diverse professional qualifications into each matter, combining her legal and chartered accountancy skills as well as her psychology and counselling training. Fiona was employed by KPMG as a tax advisor for 12 years, in both London and Sydney, before choosing to stay home to look after her three wonderful children in Canberra. Fiona applies her professional approach to her governance roles, with previous positions on Shine for Kids, Interchange, and local committees. Fiona recognises the power of mentoring, having mentored a young homeless woman for two years with the support of the Ted Noffs Foundation.

Joanne Noakes (Board Member)

My name is Joanne Noakes. I am 49 years old and live on the Central Coast. I enjoy gardening, reading and jewellery making. My goal is to use some of my life experiences, such as domestic violence, drug addiction and incarceration, to support women experiencing similar difficulties. 
I have two daughters and two grandsons who are the joy of my life, along with a large supportive family. I am now almost 5 years clear of drug use. I have spent this time rebuilding family relationships with my girls and dealing with personal issues at the heart of my addiction. 
I have a Certificate IV in Community Service. I have worked as a mentor to women during their drug rehabilitation and as a Court Support worker at Wyong Court. This work has been extremely rewarding and assisted me to develop new purpose and exciting directions for my future. 

 

Sumithira Thavapalan (Treasurer) was appointed Treasurer in May 2018 and brings strong financial management skills to WJN. Sumithira is a Chartered Accountant with over 15 years’ experience in finance leadership roles in not-for-profit organisations, a top 100 ASX listed company and a top 4 professional services firm. Sumithira is passionate about making a difference in the lives of vulnerable and marginalised people, with a focus on preventing young women from entering the criminal justice system.

Ajanta Malhotra (Board Member) – has a strong background in building partnerships across both the for-profit and not-for-profit sector.
She brings with her extensive experience in the Australian fundraising sector, having worked for organisations such as The Fred Hollows Foundation and Australian Red Cross. She has helped develop fundraising strategies for programs providing equitable services to indigenous communities and women of all backgrounds while championing a need to close gaps and provide more opportunities for all Australians.

Larissa Daniel ( Board Member) – has worked in the Community Services sector for over 20 years in both not for profit and government organisations delivering services in the youth and criminal justice areas. Her passion is creating opportunities for people to thrive, focusing on those that are often not given a chance. For the past eight years Larissa has worked in executive roles including CEO of a community based organisation & currently in the role of Chief Strategy Officer for national criminal justice organisation ACSO. Larissa has held governance roles on boards and committees both in the local community and nationally for over 15 years. She has a Master’s in Business Administration & Diplomas in the Community Services field and an appetite for continuous learning!

Management

Gloria Larman is WJN’s Chief Executive Officer. Gloria has more than three decades experience working in the not-for-profit sector with particular focus on the criminal justice system and the impacts on women, children and families.
Gloria was previously the Chief Executive Officer of SHINE for Kids, which successfully expanded under her leadership and is now operating in four states across Australia. Gloria built up strong strategic partnerships and developed innovative research and programs, positioning SHINE for Kids as a respected service provider to children and families, and she brings that insight to WJN.
Gloria has authored papers detailing the issues faced by children whose parents receive prison sentences, and has made recommendations to government and government agencies regarding solutions to the complex issues involved. She has also presented at international conferences and seminars, as well as regularly appearing in the media.
Gloria holds a diploma in welfare, and degrees in community management and adult education, and brings her passion and commitment for the sector to WJN.