As part of International Women’s Day and Harmony Day, MWA presents ‘Challenge with Purpose’. This event aims to bring together local and state stakeholders and women’s service providers to reflect and look back on the challenges and successes which shaped the present, to realign and move forward together, in better supporting communities.
We invite local service providers to be part of the conversation with women leaders and CEO’s across NSW who were and continue to be instrumental in the women’s movement.
When: Tuesday 16th March 2021
Time: 12pm to 2pm
Where: MWA Lakemba, 47 Wangee Rd Lakemba NSW 2195
- Maha Abdo – CEO, MWA
- Denele Crozier – CEO, Women’s Health NSW
- Hayley Foster – CEO, Women’s Safety NSW
- Katherine McKernan – CEO, Homelessness NSW
- Joanna Quilty – CEO, NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS)
- Sharlene McKenzie – General Manager Inclusion and Engagement, 3Bridges Community
About our Panelists
Maha Abdo – CEO, MWA
Maha Abdo OAM is a passionate advocate for social justice and uses the common language of faith to clarify in the community how Islam regards justice and equality. She serves as the CEO of Muslim Women Australia (MWA), a community-based organisation that caters to the educational, religious, social, recreational and welfare needs of Muslim women from all backgrounds.
Maha knows the migrant experience firsthand having moved from Lebanon to Australia with her family in the 1960s. She has completed a Bachelor of Social Work, a Masters in Social Science, and Graduate Diploma in Family Dispute Resolution.
Today Maha represents and gives voice to Muslim women abroad as well as in Australia. She advises government on policy, services and strategies to create a harmonious community for Muslim and non-Muslim women. In 2016 Maha was the NSW Seniors Week Ambassador as well as the BreastScreen NSW Ambassador. In 2015 Maha was a finalist for the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Human Rights Medal, and in 2014 she was the NSW Human Rights Ambassador for 2014-15.
Sharlene McKenzie – General Manager Inclusion and Engagement, 3Bridges Community
Sharlene McKenzie is a Wiradjuri woman who grew up on the South Coast of NSW. She is the mother of three adult children and a Grandmother to one. Her work in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities began at a young age. Sharlene was a Board member of her Local Aboriginal Land Council and participated in the piloting of many programs such as the Circle Sentencing Program.
Sharlene moved to Sydney some 13 years ago. She completed a Diploma of Community and Social Development at UWS and began working in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities of South East Sydney
Sharlene also has a deep passion for supporting people with complex mental health issues and is a member of the Suicide Prevention Lived Experience Network. She also works with and advocates for community members who have acquired brain injuries and in contact with the criminal justice system.
Sharlene is also very passionate about building the capacity of organisations to successfully engage with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and aiding them to form respectful partnerships that will enable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to deliver the programs that they have designed to community.
Sharlene delivers Cultural Awareness Training to organisations and individuals. She also provides Cultural Supervision to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff working in the wider NGO sector. Sharlene is a strong Aboriginal woman who aims to form sustainable, culturally appropriate working partnerships with other sector members, to walk alongside her and help to address this issues of marginalised community members.
Denele Crozier – CEO, Women’s Health NSW
Denele Crozier is currently the CEO of Women’s Health NSW – the peak body for 21 community Women’s Health Centres located across NSW. Denele has a 37 year history of working in community non-government services with a focus in nursing, health promotion, drug and alcohol, community legal services, women’s health, effective management and accounting.
Ms Crozier has specialised in understanding, advocating and promoting women’s health needs from a social model of health care and an understanding of the effects of gender on health outcomes to improve health and welfare services, law, public policy and practice.
Denele is currently on a variety of Boards and Councils including the Australian Women’s Health Network, Women’s Legal Service NSW, NSW FGM Education Program Advisory Committee and NSW Women’s Alliance Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.
Denele is also a Member of the Order of Australia.
Hayley Foster – CEO, Women’s Safety NSW
Hayley is the Chief Executive Officer of Women’s Safety NSW. She holds a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours and University Medalist), a Bachelor of Business, and post graduate qualifications in mediation, family disputes resolution, financial planning and political economics.
Hayley is deeply passionate about the work of women’s specialist services and the importance of having diverse women’s voices represented in addressing the issues of gender inequality and gender-based violence.
Hayley has over 15 years’ experience in the domestic and family violence sector across the following areas: frontline specialist women and children’s services; violence prevention; accredited men’s behaviour change; family law practice; family disputes resolution; policy; law reform; advocacy; sector development; and organisational management.
Throughout this time, Hayley has worked with diverse population groups and organisations in metropolitan, regional, rural and remote settings across the government, non-government and corporate sectors.
Hayley has particular expertise in integrated, multi-sectorial strategies to address domestic and family violence, child safety, and family, civil and criminal injustice and brings a focus on evidence-to-action and genuine participatory research to Women’s Safety NSW’s work in legislative, policy and practice reform.
Hayley holds advisory positions on the Australian Women Against Violence Alliance and the Australian National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety and is an endorsed trainer with Our Watch.
Katherine McKernan – CEO, Homelessness NSW
Katherine joined Homelessness NSW as the Chief Executive in February 2015 and has been a member of the Homelessness Australia Board since 2016. During this time she has been a strong advocate for ending homelessness and in 2020 worked alongside the NSW Government to secure nearly $100 million to support people experiencing homelessness to remain healthy and well and access long term housing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In her time in the role, she has also focused on highlighting the breadth of homelessness with policy and research work on older women and homelessness, financial inclusion and the impact of debt on homelessness and linkages between domestic and family violence, child protection and homelessness. She also has experience in working more broadly with the NGO sector and has experience in social policy areas such as mental health, preventing violence against women and disability.
Joanna Quilty – CEO, NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS)
NCOSS CEO, Joanna Quilty is a strong advocate for building strong, inclusive and diverse communities where individuals and families can thrive in all facets of life. Her experience spans across both the public and not-for-profit sectors public service experience spans across human rights, social policy, economic analysis and transport and infrastructure initiatives.
Joanna joined the NGO sector in 2013, holding various leadership and change management roles including Deputy CEO of NCOSS, leading the roll-out of the NDIS for mental health organisation Flourish Australia and, as Director of Operations at Relationships Australia NSW, driving rigour and results in service delivery for survivors of institutional abuse and families impacted by domestic violence.
Joanna is passionate and enthusiastic in her desire to work in collaboration with communities to bring an end to poverty and disadvantage across NSW.
Lunch provided. Places are limited and registration is essential to ensure a COVID safe event.
For more information contact us on 02 9750 6916 or firstname.lastname@example.org