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.
 

 

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.

 

Kelly Wandel

Operations Manager

Kelly Wandel has spent a lifetime supporting executives in both administrative and managerial roles. Kelly approaches her role with a balance of action, intuition, flexibility and forward-thinking.

 

Having grown up in a small country town, Kelly carries the values of sustainability, community and emotional intelligence and provides support like no other.

 

Accompanying these traits with her attention to detail, resilience, and trustworthiness, Kelly has proven herself to be the go-to for clients and employers alike.

 

Kelly now brings this same enthusiasm and accountability to her role at WomenCan.

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

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.