The Board of Rape & Domestic Violence Services Australia seeks to build a collective sense of purpose and direction to enable the organisation to identify and meet its vision and mission. To achieve this the Board draws on the diversity of the community it serves and seeks members who have the skills needed to provide effective governance. Members of the current Board are passionate and committed women from different cultural and professional backgrounds all of whom believe it is every person's human right to live their life free of violence and when violence occurs it is their right to receive compassionate and skilled support from highly qualified professionals across all layers of the organisation.
Jane Gold – Chair
Having been in community services for 25 years refuge work and Women‘s Health, predominately in Woman’s Services, my experience will provide R&DVSA with skills and knowledge. Board experience (WHNSW 2011 onwards). These years of work range from collective structures to management structures, providing I believe a good balance of feminism, governance, collaboration, inclusiveness, consensus and respect. A significant service like R&DVSA services needs this mix of leadership to continue on the path of supporting our community in the excellent manner it has for many years.
Jane was elected to the Board as Chair on 8 November 2016.
Dianne Nilson – Secretary
1. Founding member of Macquarie Legal Centre including establishing and operating an outreach legal service to people in institutions in Greater Western Sydney and Regional NSW.
2. Founding member of South West Sydney Legal Centre (formerly known as Liverpool Neighbourhood Law Centre) and first Principal Solicitor of the Centre.
3. Provision of legal education workshops under the auspices of TAFE throughout Greater Western Sydney to isolated woman, indigenous woman, unemployed youth and disadvantaged persons located in school halls, a bus, community halls and also TAFE institutions.
4. Co-ordinator of Young Women and Work Programmes operating in South Western Sydney through Liverpool TAFE. This Programme encouraged young women to consider non-traditional areas of work.
5. Partner in litigation firm Appleby and Nilson, Solicitors at Parramatta.
6. Currently Principal at Nilson Legal Solicitors primarily a business and commercial law firm.
Di was elected to the Board on 8 December 2016.
April Acheson - Treasurer
Comprehensive knowledge of R&DVSA finances, practices & procedures as its Hon Treasurer for 12 years from 2003-2015 during which time the organisation grew from a turnover of around $600,000 to the multi-million dollar service provider it is today; until a staff position was created, I was also the (volunteer) accountant.
Board member duties also included governance, efficiencies in service provision, grants, staff recruitment and other personnel/industrial issues, accommodation, liaison with external parties etc.
After retiring from full-time work at the PSA, April gained experience of (NSW) government procedures and practice whilst working on various occasions as relief electoral office for the Coogee electorate (2003-2009); also worked part-time at other NGO’s such as Aid Watch Inc (climate monitors action on aid, trade and debt in neighbouring third-world countries), and CANA (Climate Action Network)
Active unionist and feminist. In the 1980’s at UNSW had helped set up WINU & WITI to represent all women employees on campuses at universities in NSW. As a union representative, involved with all maternity leave, appeals, superannuation etc; as an elected
UNSW Councillor, had been involved in the governance of the UNSW as well as in the governance of any subsidiaries/organisations to which I had been appointed a director by the UNSW Council.
April was elected to the Board on 8 December 2016.
Anna is an Honours student with extensive experience in community organising and leadership. As the Women's Officer for the University of Sydney Students' Representative Council, she campaigned for better service provision and policy reform on campus, and worked directly with survivors of sexual assault in a support and referral capacity.
She is a current Ambassador for End Rape on Campus Australia, and a co-founder and director of fEMPOWER, a not-for-profit organisation that educates high school students about gender, consent and feminism. She is passionate about the right of women to access high-quality support services and trauma-informed care, and in particular about advocacy for young women.
Anna was elected to the Board on 8 December 2016.
Eleanor Campbell is a social justice advocate. She holds qualifications in arts, social sciences and business. She has worked in adolescent health and welfare and is currently a director of a small media company which campaigns for social change. She is currently completing a Master of Social Work.
Eleanor was elected to the Board on 8 December 2016.
Helen Campbell is the Executive Officer of Women’s Legal Service NSW, a state-wide specialist community legal centre for women. She is a lawyer with over 20 years’ experience in the community and public sectors. In addition to her legal qualification she is a Master of Women’s Studies and holds a Diploma in Frontline Management.
Previously Helen managed Redfern Legal Centre, and has also held a wide range of voluntary appointments including Chair of Community Legal Centre NSW, Director of NCOSS and consumer representative on the Council of the Energy and Water Ombudsman.
In 2011 Helen was awarded a medal in the order of Australia for services to the law and to the community of Redfern.
Helen was elected to the Board on 8 December 2016.
Gabe Kavanagh has worked in the community and trade union sectors for the past ten years, and is currently an industrial organiser at the National Tertiary Education Union.
Gabe is a dedicated feminist. She served on the executive of the Women’s Electoral Lobby from 2011 – 2016, co-founded the F Collective in 2009, served on the NSW Rape Crisis Centre Committee of Management, and was active in her university womens collective.
Gabe is currently the Chair and President of Amnesty International Australia.
Gabe was elected to the Board on 8 December 2016.
Having a long history of working in the women’s health sector I can contribute to effective governance through expertise, qualifications in management, community management, Human Resource Management and knowledge of the sector issues and challenges.
Being part of a feminist framework, we ensure women have contact details for R&DVSA to allow access to trauma informed services 24/7, thereby addressing gaps in services in a rural setting including out of hours access. This is an important aspect of the framework of R&DVSA as it progresses into the future.
Gail was elected to the Board on 8 December 2016.
Phillippa Dimakis OAM
Phillippa was a teacher and principal in government English programs for migrants for twenty-seven years and gained a wide knowledge of settlement issues, particularly where they pertained to women and families. She was a member of the Board of the Campsie Migrant Resource Centre for three years. She retired in 1996, and in 1999 was awarded an OAM for services to the migrant English program.
Starting in 2002, she was an R&DVSA board member for fourteen years and was chair of the board for eight of those years. She has a deep commitment to the provision of informed and compassionate services to people who have suffered sexual assault and domestic violence, and believes strongly in the importance of appropriate governance and strategic planning to support the effective delivery of services for those people.
”I see the development and maintenance of partnership within the women’s sector and with funding bodies and other funding sources and agencies as of crucial importance, and believe that the recruitment of well-qualified staff, the provision of equitable working conditions, the provision of effective training and development programs for staff members, and the maintenance of staff welfare, well-being, health and safety to also be of critical importance.”
Phillippa was re-elected to the Board on 8 December 2016.