People

Board

Kirsten Mander

Chair

Kirsten is an experienced businesswoman, director and lawyer. She has over 30 years’ experience in the private, government and not for profit sectors, including as general counsel for some of Australia’s top companies including Australian Unity, Sigma Pharmaceuticals and Smorgon Steel Group. She has worked extensively overseas in Asia, the Pacific and former Soviet Union, giving her a strong passion and understanding of the needs in these communities to advance women’s human rights and break down the structural barriers to equality. Kirsten is Chair of legalsuper, a director of rt Health, Swinburne University and Peninsula Health, and is a former director of the Law Institute of Victoria and Women’s Circus. Kirsten holds a Masters of Law from Melbourne University and is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Governance Institute of Australia and the Risk Management Institute of Australia.

Louise Allen

Louise is a global gender, peace and security consultant and an experienced women’s rights advocate. She has worked alongside women, Indigenous, refugee and LGBTIQ human rights defenders and civil society in Australia, in the Pacific and at the UN both in Geneva and New York. She was the Executive Director of the New York-based NGO Working Group on Women, Peace and Security for four years. Before that she led the advocacy efforts of Amnesty International Australia for six years, had been the second in charge of the Government Relations and Public Affairs Practice at Hill & Knowlton Australia, and started her career as a media advisor for the Queensland State Police Service. Louise holds a Masters in International Relations from the University of Sydney, which she graduated with Merit.

Sandhya Chakravarty

Sandhya has a diverse executive career spanning more than 25 years across international organisations including Australian Red Cross, Boston Consulting Group, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Ingersoll-Rand. Previous experience with non-profit boards and finance committees includes the National Association of Women in Operations and the Australian Red Cross Blood Service. Sandhya is currently a board member and treasurer of Link Community Transport.

 

Carolyn Ireland

Carolyn has over 20 years’ experience in a variety of senior Finance and Treasury roles. Carolyn is currently Group Treasurer at Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. She has previously worked across a number of sectors including accounting, banking and finance, venture capital, funds management, health insurance, and private hospitals at organisations including KPMG, Macquarie Bank, Australian Unity  Ltd, and Epworth Healthcare. Carolyn is a Chartered Accountant and graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

 

Linda Kelly

Linda has worked widely in community and international development since the late 1980s, including senior management positions with World Vision and Oxfam Australia. Linda has a strong interest in effective development practice and how to research and assess such practice. Her specialisations include monitoring and evaluation, community development, gender, inclusive practice, international non-government organisational development and capacity building. She has been the Director of Praxis Consultants specialising in strategic management, program design, research and evaluation for international and domestic organisations since 2001. In 2014 she became a co-director of the Institute for Social Change at La Trobe University.

Bronwyn Lee

Bronwyn has a deep practical and theoretical knowledge of the community sector with over fifteen years’ experience in non-profits.  She is passionate about development practices that drive systemic change.  Bronwyn has particular expertise in fundraising, advocacy and digital engagement, and is currently Deputy CEO at the Foundation for Young Australians and Board member of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.

 

Jane Nash

Jane is an independent consultant and board director with expertise in Sustainability, Regulation, Government and Stakeholder Relations, Partnerships and Financial Wellbeing. During an executive career with ANZ Banking Group, she led Australia’s first national survey into the money management capabilities of Australians and subsequently the expansion of financial education programs for low income and disadvantaged groups to 21 countries across the Asia Pacific region. Through her work in Asia Pacific she gained a strong understanding of the need to advance the rights and position of women in Australia’s neighbouring countries. In a finance industry career spanning 30 years Jane also worked in Economics, Marketing, Strategy and Investor Relations. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree from Melbourne University and completed the International Executive Program at INSEAD in France.

Susan Harris-Rimmer

Susan is an Associate Professor at Griffith University Law School, an Australian Research Council Future Fellow, and an Adjunct Reader at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy at the ANU. She has more than 20 years’ experience as a lawyer, researcher, campaigner and policy analyst, most of which has been in the human rights, refugee and women’s sectors.  She was previously the Manager of Advocacy and Development Practice at the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID), and a Visiting Fellow at the Centre for International Governance and Justice, Regulatory Institutions Network, ANU. Susan has previously worked for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the Parliamentary Library. She was a board member of UN Women National Committee Australia and has previously been president of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights. Susan is currently on the board of the Refugee Council of Australia.

Philippa Taylor

Philippa is an experienced and successful non-executive director and advisor to boards and leaders within the corporate, government and non-profit space. She is also an experienced business leader in enterprise wide initiatives across culture, leadership, governance, sales, corporate effectiveness and information systems. She is also currently a director of Western Leisure Services Limited and a mentor to a number of boards through Leadership Victoria. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Certified Member of the Australian Human Resources Institute.

Jennifer Wittwer

Jennifer is a passionate gender expert on women’s equality and empowerment, particularly in peace and security operations. She has over 38 years of experience in leading people through organisational change, cultural and workplace reform, and implementing contemporary and niched gender responsive policy strategies and solutions. Jennifer is also a keynote speaker and author who has worked with organisations such as UN Women in New York, NATO in Brussels and Afghanistan, and international armed forces and police organisations in Australia and overseas in implementing key international commitments relating to women’s leadership in conflict prevention, management and resolution. Various awards have recognised her achievements, including the 2018 Canberra Women in Business Mentor of the Year, 2014 and 2018 AFR Women of Influence Alumni (Global), 2016-2019 Who’s Who of Australian Women, and 2010 Advancement of Women in the Workplace bronze award. Jennifer was also awarded a Conspicuous Service Medal in the 2013 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Jennifer is currently completing a Graduate Certificate in Gender, Peace and Security at Monash University, and has the following qualifications: Graduate Diploma in Strategic Leadership; Graduate Diploma of Resource Management; Graduate Certificate in Administration; Graduate Certificate in Management Studies; Advanced Diploma in Logistics Management; Diploma of Government Financial Services.

Staff

Bettina Baldeschi

Chief Executive Officer

Bettina has been the CEO of International Women’ Development Agency since late 2017. Joining IWDA in 2012 as IWDA’s Director of Communications and Fundraising, Bettina led the transformation of the organisation’s brand identity, media profile and communications strategy. Under her leadership, IWDA was awarded two Fundraising Institute of Australia awards, and delivered the organisation’s most successful fundraising appeal to date. Over 28,000 new supporters joined IWDA under Bettina’s leadership during this time. Bettina later served as the Director of IWDA’s Individual Deprivation Measure (IDM) program, which is a partnership between the Australian National University (ANU), the International Women’s Development Agency and the Australian Government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Working closely with the ANU, Bettina and the IWDA IDM team tested a world-first, gender-sensitive and multidimensional measure of poverty. During this time, Bettina presented the IDM at global events, driving communications strategy, forming international networks, and paving the way for the IDM’s global use by 2020. Before joining IWDA, Bettina held a number of executive roles with Oxfam Great Britain, working across a team of 5000 staff in 90+ countries and she has also worked with UNHCR in Canberra. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and a Masters in Women’s Studies (Gender and Development).

  • Director, Systemic Change & Partnerships: Emily Miller
  • Director, Business Transformation: Gemma Hardie
  • Director, Knowledge Translation & Individual Deprivation Measure: Joanna Pradela
  • Financial Controller: Rochna Banerjee