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. Her work has ranged from overseeing and developing national workforce plans for sport and recreation, tourism and retail, overseeing and managing the closure of a range of private training providers including supporting up to 17,000 student’s tuition assurance needs, a trainer and assessor for vocational education and training, government and corporate affairs manager, commissioning and leading research into skills and workforce needs and heading up NGOs.

Prior to joining Women’s Health in the South East as CEO, Kit was CEO and Company Secretary of Girl Guides Australia, Chief Operating Officer of the Australian Council of Private Education and Training and General Manager and 2IC of the Industry Skills Council, Service Skills Australia. She is also a Director of Women’s Health Association of Victoria (WHAV).

Proudly the daughter of two feminists from south western rural Victoria, Kit has consistently and passionately advocated for gender equality, empowering women and girls. A strong believer in the importance of collaboration and partnerships, Kit has championed on the value of embracing diversity and tolerance in our communities, workplaces, education institutions and governments.

Kit has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from Monash, a Graduate Diploma in Action Learning, a Master of Adult Education (Organisation Development) from UTS and is currently completing her MBA from Macquarie University. She is a member of the AICD, Women on Boards and Emily’s List.

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Deb

Deb Pugsley

Operations Manager

Deb began at WHISE in January 2011 as a Project officer. Her work at WHISE involves Quality Improvement, document control, supporting funding submissions and assisting the CEO and staff in reviewing and implementing improvements in internal systems and processes.

Deb has accumulated experience in State Government, Local Government, Corporate and Private Sectors. Deb holds a Diploma of Business and Project Management, Diploma of Quality Auditing, Cert 1V in Training and Assessment and Certificate of Emergency Management.

Prior to joining WHISE Deb was a Project Officer for VBRRA the (Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority) and with the Shire of Murrindindi Council.

Zoe Francis

Health Promotion Coordinator

Zoe joined WHISE in July 2019 as the Health Promotion Coordinator for the Prevention of Violence Against Women. Zoe has been working in the prevention sector for the last 8 years and is dedicated to actively engaging both women and men on gender equality. Building positive relationships to enhance new and existing prevention partnerships, is what makes Zoe thrive at work. Prior to joining WHISE, Zoe was a Senior Health Promotion Officer at EACH, a role that saw her initiate and coordinate programs across the cycle (including design, action-research and evaluation) in gender equality, respectful relationships, healthy masculinities, Aboriginal Cultural inclusion, gambling harm, youth mental health and family relationships in a digital age. Zoe holds a Master of Public Health and is an Honorary Fellow at Deakin University. She has gained experience in action-research, evaluation, and journal writing. Her research work has resulted in publishing in peer-reviewed journals.

Prior to working in health, Zoe developed strong business acumen and persuasion skills in both in the adventure travel industry in Melbourne and wholesale hotel industry in the UK and France. Zoe also loves learning foreign languages and has a Bachelor (Hons) in French and Spanish.

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Dos

Doseda Hetherington

Communications Officer

Doseda joined our team as Communications Officer in August 2016.

Doseda holds a Bachelor of Business from Swinburne University of Technology and was employed at the university for 10 years. Doseda has worked in a number of marketing and communications positions at Swinburne, with her last role being media and communications adviser within the Corporate and Government Affairs team at the university.

Doseda has developed an interest in community-based communications work, with the aim of improving the opportunities of people who are most disadvantaged.

Denise Paxinos

Finance Officer

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 ranging from software development to allied health providers in the aged health care sector. 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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Rachel

Rachel Bush

Research Officer

Rachel joined WHISE in January 2021 as a Research Officer. 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.

Rachel has a keen interest in researching, understanding and improving the mental health and wellbeing of women and people from minority backgrounds and their access to appropriate services. Her work has included examining help-seeking behaviour of sexual minority women; gambling among LGBTIQ+ communities; and suicide among LGBTIQ+ communities. Of note is the original co-designed culturally tailored SMS alcohol intervention she developed for sexual minority women as part of her PhD, which she completed at Deakin University, School of Psychology.

Rachel has a strong interest in community-based work and making change at the grass-roots level to improve gender equity and women’s health and wellbeing.

Meet the Board

Robinette Emonson - Chairperson

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.

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.

Reena Dahiya - Treasurer

Reena is a highly experienced Chief Financial Officer with international experience across a diverse range of organisations. Her focus is on building finance functions that balance traditional accounting requirements with business partnering and driving value through timely data insights and analytics. In addition to finance leadership, she has successfully led large scale transformation projects within Fortune 500 organisations in the last 10 years. Reena is a FCPA, recently completed a Global Executive MBA with Monash Business School and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Deakin University.  Reena is a proud Indian-Australian having migrated from India at a young age and enjoys calling two countries home. Early lessons in resilience came from overcoming cultural and language barriers to develop the confidence and make your mark in Australia despite the obvious differences. Crediting her parents values of equality and inclusion in shaping her success as a professional and a single mother, she is a champion for diversity and equal rights for women. Reena is passionate about girl child education and supports related organisations.

Sinfree Chirunga

Sinfree is a Business Manager at Peninsula Health and has extensive experience in senior financial and management accounting roles in the health public sector as well as the private sector in Australia, UK and Africa. She holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) majoring in Business Consultancy from Deakin University; Bachelor of Accounting Science (BCompt.) from University of South Africa; Diploma of Business Accounting from Chartered Institute of Management Accountants CIMA UK; and a Diploma of Project Management from Swinburne University of Technology.

Sinfree is passionate about innovation and continuous business process improvement and believes that leadership is about empowering others to do great things.

Sinfree was born in Zimbabwe where her interest in voluntary work started at an early age when she partnered with Compassion Ministries in caring for destitute children and widows.  She migrated to the United Kingdom in the mid-90s and relocated to Melbourne 10 years ago.

Sinfree is committed to gender equality, empowerment of women, freedom from oppression and an end to family violence.

Kerry Bradley

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.  Kerry is currently a Director with Breastscreen Victoria and a Ministerial appointed member of the Victorian Clinical Council.  She has served on the Boards of Baptcare, Victorian Cytology Service  and Mercy Hospitals Inc. 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.

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.

Cinzia Theobald

Cinzia has worked in the pharmaceutical, education and health sectors in Australia and the UK and holds a Bachelor of Science and an LLM Masters in Medical Law. She has held senior executive roles at Monash Health in community and ambulatory care and is currently the Director of Programs and Communication at enliven Victoria. Cinzia has significant experience in strategic planning, business process review, service redesign and model development, clinical governance, and community health and wellbeing initiatives.

Cinzia is enthusiastic about continuing to increase her knowledge and expertise in health promotion, prevention, and health literacy. She is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of women and the prevention of violence against women.

WHISE Organisational Chart

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