Banner with photo of new WHISE Board Member Claire McMahon

Interview with Incoming WHISE Board Member, Claire McMahon

WHISE Marketing & Events Officer, Jo French, spoke with Claire McMahon about her recent appointment as a WHISE General Board Member.

Q: Who is Claire McMahon and why is joining the Board of WHISE important to you? Why did you choose WHISE? 

A: I started work as a lawyer and after several years moved across to KPMG in 2015, where I still work today. I have been working in London for the past few years and just moved back last year in August. I couldn’t get back due to COVID, so it is lovely to reconnect with family and friends. 

I love running, I play netball, I do some photography (very amateur) and love reading. 

I originally started doing legal policy work, but now focus on social policy, with family violence work and child safeguarding with a bit of a legal lens – but much more focused on the social policy aspect. I have also done a lot of health workforce work which was largely in UK with the National Health Service (NHS). 

Q: What skills and expertise do you bring to the Board?

A: I think that with my career across [both] professional services and internationally, and the work I do day to day, that I have a breadth of experience across different issues of central importance to WHISE, for example family violence, health workforce development and mental health.   

Having international experience and a legal background, I also have a strong network across the Victorian Government with insight into current issues and discussions across various sectors. 

Q: What do you hope to see, do, achieve or be a part of as a Board member? What are you excited about? 

A: I think the workforce, particularly in the health context is largely feminised and therefore it is important to maximise the development and support for that workforce.  

One of the key reasons I wanted to join an organisation like WHISE is from two lenses, the broader family violence and safeguarding context and on the flip side, making sure that health outcomes for women also include supporting those in the health workforce. 

I was impressed by the aspirations WHISE has and how that translates into real world impact and real-world policy. That real focus on local networks and relationships and helping to drive that is important to me. 

Q: What book are you currently reading?

A: I am absolutely loving Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. It’s a nice, easy read but it is also full of great messages. 

Q: You are hosting a dinner party on Saturday night. Who is coming and what’s on the menu? 

A: Well, I’ve just got back from several years in the UK, I and am loving having time right now with my family so, it would be my parents and my three brothers and my boyfriend. 

I’d probably cook a Spag Bol, a good one, and find a nice bottle of wine to go along with that. It all sounds very basic but, after being away for so long, I’m really enjoying the small pleasures at the moment.