Our Staff and Board

Meet the women of WHISE

Kit McMahon

Chief Executive Officer

Kit McMahon has nearly two decades of experience across education, training and not for profits. Kit has consistently and passionately advocated for gender equality, empowering women and girls.

Alongside her work at WHISE, she is Deputy Chair/Director of Volunteering Australia as well as Director for Tradeswomen Australia. 

Kit has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from Monash University, a Graduate Diploma in Action Learning, a Master of Adult Education (Organisation Development) from UTS and an MBA from Macquarie University.


Women's Health & Wellbeing Team

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Laura Ardley

Manager, Women's Health & Wellbeing

Laura has worked in community services and health promotion across multiple settings and agencies for over a decade and has extensive experience in organisational design, policy and continuous improvement. 

Laura has led the Health Promotion Team at WHISE since October 2017, has a Bachelor of Public Health and Health Promotion from Deakin University and believes that to reduce social and health inequities, a shared responsibility and collaborative approach is essential. 

Zoe Francis

Acting Manager, Women's Health & Wellbeing

Zoe joined WHISE in July 2019 as the Health Promotion Coordinator for the Prevention of Violence Against Women before becoming Mental Health & Wellbeing Lead in 2022. Zoe holds a Master of Public Health and is an Honorary Fellow at Deakin University, as well as a Bachelor (Hons) in French and Spanish.

Zoe stepped into a role as Acting Manager for the Women's Health & Wellbeing team in August 2023.

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Charlotte Barber

Acting Gender & Mental Wellbeing Lead

Charlotte joined WHISE in April 2023 after three years working in the tertiary education sector. She has experience working in both mental health and gender-based violence prevention and is thrilled to combine both of her interests in this role.
Charlotte holds a Bachelor of Nutrition Science from Monash University and is currently completing her Graduate Diploma in Psychology. Her role at WHISE is to support the innovation and implementation of the Gender and Mental Wellbeing Action Plan, to improve mental health outcomes in the South East Melbourne Region. Charlotte stepped into her role as Acting Gender & Mental Wellbeing Lead in August 2023.

Danielle McCaffrey

Prevention of Violence Against Women Lead

With a background in International Development and Community Development, Danielle has worked for over eight years in Health Promotion in Melbourne’s Inner South prior to joining WHISE in 2022. 

She has worked to increase social connection in place-based projects, with young people around increasing social and emotional wellbeing and in prevention of violence against women, respectful relationships, and gender equity in education settings. Danielle is passionate about building positive and collaborative relationships with a wide range of stakeholders to increase gender equality and prevent gender-based violence. 

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Laura Riccardi

Sexual and Reproductive Health Lead

Laura joined our team in June 2021 as Health Promotion Officer (Sexual and Reproductive Health). She has a Master of Public Health and prior to joining WHISE, Laura worked as Health Promotion Officer at Women's Health East.

Her role at WHISE includes renewing and overseeing the implementation of Good Health Down South, the women’s sexual and reproductive health strategy for the Southern Metropolitan Region and working with stakeholders and partners to advocate for the prioritisation of women’s sexual and reproductive health.

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Tinonee Pym

Health Promotion Officer

Tinonee joined WHISE in July 2023 as Health Promotion Officer in the Sexual & Reproductive Health and Gender & Mental Wellbeing portfolios. She previously worked in research partnerships with health promotion organisations, investigating sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing in the context of digital technologies.

In her role at WHISE, she works with regional stakeholders to help improve sexual and reproductive health and mental wellbeing outcomes in the South East.

Gender Equity, Capacity & Capability Team

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Krissy Nicholson

Manager, Gender Equity and Capability

Krissy joined WHISE in February 2023.  She is a feminist leader with over 18 years in program management, strategy development and behaviour change initiatives globally. Her work spans across disciplines from organisational development and public health, through to gender equality and the prevention of violence against women.   She holds a Master of Public Health; Bachelor of Social Sciences (Gender); Advanced Diploma Group Work Facilitation; and a Certificate in Executive Coaching.

Krissy’s role as Manager, Gender Equity and Capability is to lead the Capability and Capacity Team, whose focus is on refugee and migrant women, and the Research and Policy Team ensuring a strong evidence base to all of our work.

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Heidi Waterson

Intersectional Gender Equity Lead

Heidi joined WHISE in July 2023 as Gender Intersectionality Lead.

Heidi brings with her two decades of working in community development, primary prevention and health promotion, across local government, community health and a specialist sexual assault and family violence service. Heidi holds a Diploma of Business, Bachelor of Public Health, and a Masters in Leadership. Heidi's experience and professional practice is drawn from social justice and equality.

Maks | Malkanthi Walton

Women's Health & Engagement Officer

Maks has 25 years of demonstrated inclusive, transformational leadership and development across communities in 3 states and territories in Australia.

Her Masters in Transformational Development compliments this work along with her lived intersectional and international experiences. #nothingforuswithoutus is a key foundation for her work.

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Natalie Opasinis

Women's Health & Engagement Officer

Natalie commenced employment with WHISE in November 2022 as a Women’s Health and Engagement Officer.

Natalie is a second generation immigrant that is passionate about aligning her professional expertise in health with the lived health experiences of migrants.

Natalie holds a Bachelor in Human Nutrition, Master in Dietetic Studies, and post-graduate certificates in Paediatric Nutrition, Eating Disorders, and Mental Health. Her work at WHISE involves partnering with migrant and refugee communities through respect and co-design to deliver intersectional and culturally sensitive health prevention and promotion initiatives.

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Macy Choudhury

Women's Health & Engagement Officer

Macy commenced employment with WHISE in Feb 2023 as a Women’s Health & Engagement Officer.

Macy is an AASW registered Social Worker with a Master of Social Work from University of Melbourne. She also holds a Master of Business Administration (UK) and Master of Economics (India). She is a passionate advocate for gender equality and incorporates an intersectional feminist approach in her social work practice. Prior to joining WHISE, she worked in project management and executive business administration in the UK and Australia. Her work at WHISE is to work with women from migrant and refugee backgrounds across the our priority areas.

Dr Rachel Bush

Evidence & Policy Lead

Rachel joined WHISE in January 2021 as a Research Officer, before stepping into her current role as Evidence & Policy Lead in 2022.

She has eight years of research experience and has worked on a number of projects at Deakin University and partnered with organisations including Beyond Blue, Thorne Harbour Health, and Turning Point. Her role at WHISE is to lead the collection of evidence and research while collaborating with other members of the WHISE team to increase intersectional gender equity.

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Tara Kortel

Research and Policy Officer

With over eight years of social policy and advocacy experience prior to joining WHISE in 2022, Tara has worked with a variety of non-for-profits. She believes advocacy is central to shifting community attitudes to create social change and has a passion for translating research into advocacy resources. 

Tara holds a Bachelor of Social Science – Legal Studies from La Trobe University, Bachelor of Psychology and Criminology from RMIT and is currently completing her Honours in Psychology at the University of Adelaide.

Operations Team

Denise Paxinos

Manager, Finance & Business

Denise commenced employment with WHISE in March 2019 as the Finance Officer.

Denise holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Melbourne University and prior to joining WHISE has broad management and financial experience across a number of industries. Her work at WHISE is to plan, implement and maintain comprehensive financial systems in order to ensure that our finances are maintained in an accurate and timely manner and in line with all relevant legislation.

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Somaye Sharifi

Administration Support Officer

Somaye Sharifi joined WHISE in June 2022, bringing her enthusiasm and dedication to the role of Administration Support Officer. Currently pursuing her studies in Health Services Assistance at Swinburne University, Somaye is passionate about contributing to the WHISE team and supporting its mission. She enjoys being part of an organisation that works to improve the health and wellbeing of women and girls in our region.

Dalia Bluzer


Prior to joining WHISE, Dalia worked extensively in the corporate sector for over 20 years in marketing and business administration across a range of industries. With a special interest in the prevention of financial violence against women and children, Dalia hopes to empower women, especially mother’s, to be financially aware and independent.

Dalia has a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from Monash University, and Certificate IV in Bookkeeping and Accounting, and Diploma of Accounting from Swinburne University.

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Doseda Hetherington

Communications Lead

Doseda joined our team as Communications Officer in August 2016, before stepping into her current role as Communications Lead in 2022.

Doseda holds a Bachelor of Business from Swinburne University of Technology and was employed at the university for 10 years. Her role at WHISE is to lead the communications and marketing functions at WHISE by designing and implementing communications and marketing strategies.

Jo French

Marketing and Events Officer

Jo joined our team as the Communications, Business & Events Support Officer in March 2021 before stepping into her current role as Marketing & Events Officer.

Jo holds a Bachelor of Arts - Professional and Creative Writing from Deakin University. Her role at WHISE is to facilitate the organisation's marketing engagement and support the running and promotion of WHISE activities and services.

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Mairin Angel

Digital Communications Officer

Mairin joined our team as Digital Communications Officer in October 2022.

Mairin holds a Bachelor of Communications (Media) from RMIT university. Her role at WHISE is to implement and support the WHISE social media strategy and maintain the WHISE website, as well as working across departments for communications support.

Meet the Board

Kerry Bradley - Chairperson

Kerry has over 20 years' senior management/executive experience with strong clinical and quality backgrounds, working in regulation, acute care (both public and private), rehabilitation and aged care. She is a highly skilled leader in leading and managing organisational change at both strategic and operational levels.  She has served on the Boards of Breastscreen Victoria, Baptcare, Victorian Cytology Service and Mercy Hospitals Inc and as a member of the Finance and Audit subcommittee of VicHealth and held Ministerial appointments as a member of the Victorian Clinical Council and previous Victorian Quality Council.

Kerry has over 20 years' senior management/executive experience with strong clinical, risk and quality background, working in regulation, acute care (both public and private), rehabilitation and aged care.

Camilla Radia-George - Vice Chair

Camilla is currently the Manager of Improvement and Innovation at Safer Care Victoria. She holds a Master of Research (OT) and a Bachelor of Applied Science. She is a senior health sector leader, with extensive strategic and operational experience across the care continuum in both private and public settings. Her service improvement and innovation work has focussed on working in partnership to support unmet community need, better integrate existing services, implement new models of care and reduce low value practices.

Camilla is skilled in planning, project and change management, with a strong track record of implementing sustainable practices and solutions. Camilla's multidisciplinary leadership, research and improvement work has centred on building capability, both contributing to the research evidence and its translation into practice. She is committed to extending capabilities of individuals and teams.

Camilla was born in South Africa and has lived and worked in Canada, USA, the UK and Australia. She has two daughters and lives with her family in the Dandenong Ranges. She is passionate about tackling race, class and gender inequality.

Afriyie Richardson - Treasurer

Afriyie Richardson has over 25 years' experience in across healthcare, manufacturing and oil and gas industries specialising in accounting and risk management. 

With a continuous improvement approach Afriyie brings to WHISE significant experience in governance and risk mitigation, and is known for her collaborative, tailored approach to work that fosters long term partnerships and results. Afriyie currently works for Monash Health where she is currently on secondment as Business Manager in the Allied Health division providing financial reporting analysis and budgeting advice and assistance. Previous to this, Afriyie has been Director of Audit and Assurance and Finance Manager where she has undertaken audits for the health organisation during pandemic conditions and transition to the Victorian Standing Directions.  

Previous to her work with Monash Health Afriyie worked for Ixom a water treatment and chemical distributor across Australia and New Zealand with growth in Latin America and Asia, as a Senior Finance Analyst, for Bayer Material Science as a Commercial Analysis where she implemented consistent profit and loss reporting workflows including SAP tools and inventory management tools. 

Afryie has a keen interest in equity issues and has also held Director role on the Board of Incubate Foundation – a social enterprise that connects young people to opportunities through personal and professional development. She is also a former member of the Monash Health CALD Equity Committee. 

Afriyie is a chartered accountant and holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting Major) from the University of NSW.  

Robinette Emonson

For over 30 years, Robinette has advocated for women and girls and served her community, locally and nationally in a range of roles from grass roots community organisations, to national charities. Her work has included Chair and Chief Commissioner of Girl Guides Australia (a role that saw her overseeing the national Girl Guide movement, and support the international movement of girl guides and girl scouts), National Vice President of UN Women (then UNIFEM) supporting the roll out of International Women's Day events nationally, and State Commissioner for Girl Guides Victoria. Currently, Robinette leads the National Girl Guides Awards and Recognition Committee - a committee whose role focuses on the national recognition of volunteer contribution across Australia.

Robinette has extensive and hands on experience of working with local community and women's groups including fundraising, volunteer support and management and governance.

In addition to this, Robinette has extensive and in-depth experience of HR and Operations Management having led Operations teams in the medical and health sector for over two decades.

A community minded, service orientated senior leader, Robinette is committed to developing community, empowering women and supporting the growth of young women and girls.

Katherine Dennis

Katherine Dennis is currently a Special Counsel in the Workplace Relations team at Sladen Legal. She holds a Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Arts. Katherine has provided workplace relations advice to clients ranging from SMEs to family businesses to some of the largest companies operating in Australia and has experience across all areas of employment law, industrial relations and discrimination. Katherine is passionate about giving back to the community and is especially interested in supporting and improving women's rights.

Katherine enjoys spending time with her family and friends and her new son James.

Susie Siggins

Susie has over a decade's worth of experience in leading digital process and transformation change projects.  Susie is passionate about creating a dynamic environment for technical, creative and business people to excel and has a proven track record at scaling digital operations across complex programs, while building high functional teams. With significant capacity in sourcing, capability building and strategic program delivery, Susie's experience includes work in the Banking and Finance Sector, Government, Health and Consultancy sector across national, state and local contexts. In addition to this, she has in-depth experience with complex project management including solution design, risk management, communications and stakeholder management.

Susie has a Bachelor in Applied Science, a Master's Degree in Marketing and a Post Graduate Diploma in Education. She is also a Certified Scrum Master and is a Registered Practitioner in Prince2 Project methodology. Susie brings to the WHISE Board a significant commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of women and, broad demonstrated commitment to community leadership and volunteering. In addition to supporting her colleagues through volunteer participation on committees to improve workplace wellbeing, she was also heavily involved in the Port Melbourne Life Saving Club and managed the Nippers Program for many years. Currently, she is a coach in the Australian African Inclusion Program for NAB and through this work, seeks to develop, support and guide young workers in their career paths.

Kate Whyman

Kate Whyman is currently the Director Operations Performance as part of the Victorian Government's Department of Health, COVID Response Case Contact and Outbreak Management team.  

Previous to this, Kate was General Manager, Monash Medical Centre where she leads a large acute and subacute service across operational, human resources and financial management of systems of the major tertiary metropolitan health service. 

With skills in facilitating transformational change across complex services, Kate has also worked for Eastern Health as Program Director, Specialty medicine, Director of Allied Health and Chief of Clinical and Site Operations (Maroondah Hospital). In these roles she was responsible for enhancement of outpatient services, improvement of length of stay rates, achieving human resource and utilisation targets, and co-authored the health organisations cancer action plan. 

Kate has lived and worked in the Southern Metropolitan Region of Melbourne for over 25 years and has deep care and connections to the community and its health infrastructure. 

Kate has Global Executive MBA (Monash), a Master of Public Health (Latrobe University), Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Coventry University) and Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Latrobe University).

Claire McMahon

Claire is currently an Associate Director in the Public Policy, Economics and Public Impact team at KPMG, having recently returned from several years working in the UK. She has a wealth of experience advising Government clients in both Australia and the UK on a range of public policy and regulation issues, including in relation to family violence, health workforce development and other matters to support community safety and wellbeing. Prior to joining KPMG, Claire worked for several years as a lawyer at international law firm Allens, and supported the development of young women law students through the Victorian Women Lawyer’s mentorship program.

Claire has a Bachelor of Laws (Hons), a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a Master of Public Policy and Management from the University of Melbourne. Having grown up in the Southern Metropolitan Region of Melbourne, she is passionate about supporting the growth, education and wellbeing of women and girls in this area.

Read our article welcoming Claire here.

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