Our people

Founder & CEO

Mikaela Stafrace

Mikaela is an MBA-qualified lawyer, who has spent many years in corporate settings providing insurance, risk, governance and regulatory compliance advice.

Mikaela has served as a company director on government boards & industry associations and was Chief Examiner for insurance law at Monash & Melbourne Universities.

In 2019, she founded a social enterprise called WomenCAN Facilities Services and a charity called WomenCAN Australia with its program, The Placement Circle.
The mission for The Placement Circle is to assist women become employment capable by connecting peer supported communities of women, with vocational training and onto employment. The first pilot is being rolled out at Chisholm Institute in Dandenong now with further pilots scheduled for Footscray, Bendigo and Shepparton.

WomenCAN Facilities Services is a woman to woman facilities services offering. It is a unique business where qualified tradeswomen provide trades, gardening, cleaning and other residential services to women in their homes.The mission of WomenCAN Facilities Services is to provide an excellent and safe home maintenance service for women. The business has significant social impact as a result of the connection with The Placement Circle where a pipeline of tradeswomen are being trained through TAFE. On graduation, those women have the opportunity for a structured career in trades and facilities maintenance.  

In 2020, Mikaela was awarded a Myer Innovation Fellowship.

 

Board

The charity is overseen by a Board of Directors, each of whom is committed to achieving WomenCAN's mission.

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Marion Webster OAM

Chair

Marion Webster has a long involvement in the not-for-profit and philanthropic sectors, both in Australia and internationally.

Founding director of Philanthropy Australia, a founding trustee and Chair of Australian Communities Foundation, CEO of the Community Foundation Network in the UK, a founding trustee of Auckland Communities Foundation, a founder and Chair of Fitted for Work, Marion currently is on the boards of The Funding Network Australia Ltd and the progressive, independent think tank Per Capita.

Winsome Bernard

Director

Winsome Bernard is the founder of Quay Appointments. Her experience in recruitment spans over two decades.

Since arriving in Australia, in 1985, Winsome has worked with major Corporates and Government organisations, providing temporary and permanent Business Support Personnel with Quay Appointments gaining a reputation as a highly effective and customer focused business.

Winsome is an advocate for ethical conduct, evidenced by her lobbying and roles with the RCSA’s Ethics Committee. She believes company performance is linked to the quality of relationships and service provided to clients, and has demonstrated this in building a sustainable SME business.
 

 

Jayne Dullard

Director

Jayne's career has been a deep dive into how communication goes wrong, why it matters, and what it takes to get it right.

Her first career was as a journalist, including roles as founding editor of Burma's Myanmar Times and Senior Producer of the Jon Faine program on ABC Radio.

For the last 13 years she has been a strategic communications specialist, with roles as CEO of a national communications agency and Executive Director Communications at The Royal Children’s Hospital.

Now, through her private practice, Jayne helps clients manage media and reputation risks, connect with hard-to-reach audiences, and build awareness and support for change. Jayne also coaches individuals and teams who want to build productivity, influence and impact through powerful communication.

 

Jayne is on the board of Cancer Council Victoria and a mentor with Kilfinan Australia. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and their son.

Tom Palmieri

Director

Tom has been making contributions to the accounting profession for ten years as a trusted advisor. His unwavering focus is to bring to light the invaluable information accountants hold and uncover.

 

Tom is a new generation of accounting professional. His passion for technology and strategic outlook put him unapologetically at odds with the traditional view of the accountant as a historian looking ever in the rear view mirror at transactions that have long been past. He spearheads special projects to assist clients in the start-up, scale up, expansion, M&A, cash flow forecasting and restructure with the aid of these attributes.

Tom is a qualified CPA (with Distinction) and holds a Bachelor of Commerce with majors in Accounting and Finance (also with Distinction) which he earned studying at Deakin University.

Jody Potter

Director

Jody is a marketing and communications professional, currently working in the Brand, Advertising and Media team at Westpac Group.

 

Prior to this, Jody has worked agency-side in PR consulting, creative production and event management.

 

As a freelance photographer, she has also been fortunate enough to travel the globe, working closely with social enterprises and charities.

Jody is particularly passionate about the empowerment of women through education and financial independence, and she joins the WomenCAN Board as part of the Westpac Foundation Board Observership Program.

 

Mark Jowett

Financial Officer

Mark is a CPA qualified Accountant with 20 years of commercial, financial and accounting experience. 

 

Mark has been managing the financial processes for companies in a variety of sectors including professional services, not-for-profit, manufacturing, publishing and construction. 

 

Mark’s experience also includes significant involvement in successful start ups within the Victor Smorgon Group.

Team

Indira Burekovic

Case Worker

Indira arrived in Australia in 1995 as a refugee.

Indira has worked in marketing and sales. She primarily helped companies to attract visitors and to provide spaces for migrant women to promote their small businesses.

Indira's passion can be traced back to her pre-professional days. Whether it is helping a friend or a complete stranger, having had a rather minimalistic upbringing, Indira continues to value hard work and frugality above all else.

Tamara Cole

Coordinator

Tamara is passionate about any project that empowers women and recognised an opportunity to do so through working with WomenCAN Australia.

 

Through extensive travel across South-east Asia, Europe and India and volunteering in Thailand and Turkey, Tamara has developed widespread skills in working in multicultural spaces and communicating across cultural barriers. From having conversations with women across the world, Tamara recognises that empowering women benefits entire communities. She is excited to contribute to such an important organisation whose values align strongly with her own.

 

Tamara is currently studying a Bachelor of Science/Arts at Monash University majoring in Geographical Science and International Studies.

Katie Beach

Intern

Katie is a global remote intern from Reston, Virginia, United States, a suburb of Washington, D.C.

She is a recent graduate of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies with a concentration in race, gender, ethnicity, & class. 

 

Katie is a Peace Corps Prep Program Certificate holder who is passionate about equality for marginalised & oppressed groups, as well as environmental issues.

It was through numerous study abroad programs and travel in Asia, Europe, the South Pacific, & the United States that Katie began to develop intercultural competence and global awareness.

Wyatt Halling

Intern

Wyatt is a senior at the University of Iowa studying enterprise leadership and minoring in communications.

Wyatt plans to either stay in the states and join a nonprofit dealing with social issues or move to Melbourne later this year and join a NGO or nonprofit also dealing with social  or environmental issues after he graduates in May

Reference Group

 

Dr Jill Bamforth

Dr Jill Bamforth is Academic Director of Work Integrated Learning in the Faculty of Business and Law at Swinburne University.

Jill is engaged in research on empowering financially vulnerable women to build pathways through education to employment.

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Rosemary Grieve

For more than 25 years, Rosemary Grieve has been working as a consultant with the boards of major corporations and statutory bodies and with senior executives in complex global organisations.

The focus of her business in Australia has been board and executive team reviews and the development and coaching of senior executives and non-executive directors. Rosemary is also active in the not-for-profit sector consulting with boards and mentoring CEOs.

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Dina Goebel

Leader of strategic change, Dina connects best practices in business innovation, growth strategy and customer-led insights to create successful business futures.

Working with start-ups through to mature organisations, Dina thinks to the future while leadership teams take ownership of the ‘day-to-day’, together they convert market opportunities into sustainable and profitable growth.

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Stephanie Woollard OAM

Women have been employed by the enterprises Stephanie has created including a manufacturing business which exports fair trade products made by the women internationally and a cooking school and guesthouse which target the tourist market in Nepal.

Dedicating her life to make a difference in the lives of some of the most marginalised people on the planet, Stephanie inspires many by sharing her story and practical steps everyone can take to be part of positive change in our world. Her story is a stunning example of how one person can make a difference with passion and persistence and by tapping into the power within to propel us forward.

Gil Aitken

Research & Marketing

Originally from country Victoria, Gil moved to Melbourne in 2018 to study a Bachelor of Commerce at Monash University.

 

Gil is majoring in Marketing and Sustainability and set to graduate in 2021.

 

Gil has a strong passion for social justice and environmental issues.