Management and Staff

 

Women with Disabilities Australia (WWDA) is managed by a National Management Committee, which is elected each year at the Annual General Meeting. All committee members are women with disability. The WWDA National Secretariat is managed on a day to day basis by an Executive Director, who reports directly to the National Management Committee. WWDA Management Committee members and WWDA staff are detailed below


EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS


  image of Tricia Malowney (Board Member)

President –Tricia Malowney

Tricia Malowney is a proud woman with a disability who is passionate about advocating for women and girls with disabilities needs.

Tricia believes it is important to provide women and girls with disabilities the information they need to make their own decisions and works hard to make disability and women’s organisations consider the rights and needs of women and girls with disabilities when delivering services.

Tricia understands that it is important for women and girls with disabilities to be able to contribute to policies and decisions that affect them and wants to work to improve barriers to participation created by ableism, misogyny and other forms of prejudice and discrimination.

Tricia has experience in Women’s and Disability Sectors and is skilled in governance as a Director at Scope Australia, Western Health, Independent Disability Services and Australian Orthotics and Prosthetics Association. She was also the first chair of Women with Disabilities Victoria.

 

 


Potrait Image of Jessica White (Board Member)

Vice President – Jessica White

Jess is committed to the staff and members of WWDA, having represented WWDA since 2014. She has degrees in arts, international relations, law, and has worked in a range of government roles as well as not-for-profit.  An abuse and violence survivor, Jess is passionate about supporting other survivors access appropriate help and assistance. She is primarily focused on the safety of women and children, self-advocacy, and helping those who are marginalised raise their voices and making sure they are heard.
Jess has a young family, loves gardening, nature and legal research. She encourages all members of WWDA to raise their voice and get involved with the work of the organisation in whatever capacity they feel comfortable.

Portrait image of Pamela Menere

Treasurer – Pamela Menere

Pamela lives in Corryong in North East Victoria and has been involved with WWDA for many years, having held positions of Secretary and Treasurer of the Management Committee. Pamela has been involved with several advocacy and disability related groups including the Victorian Women with Disabilities Network, Towong Shire Community Access Committee and the Hume Region DHS Disability Advisory Committee. Pamela is also actively involved with numerous other community organisations in her local area. She has worked in part time paid employment as an outreach employment counsellor with a disability employment agency.


COMMITTEE MEMBERS


Portrait image of Allirra Honner(Board member)

Allirra Honner

Allirra Honner is a proud woman with disability (vision impairment) and lives on the South Coast of New South Wales (NSW), Australia.

Allirra recognises that women with disability face barriers in all areas of life.

Allirra holds a Bachelor and Master degree in the areas of International Law and Human Rights and is currently studying a Bachelor of Law. Allirra currently works for the NSW Public Service and has worked in disability advocacy and legal support for women facing domestic violence. Allirra is an active member in her local community and a strong advocate for students with disability

Allirra understands that women and girls with disability face barriers and discrimination in all areas of life and is enthusiastic about advocating for disability rights.


Portrait image of Jen Lowe (Board member)

Jen Lowe

Jen Lowe has worked in the community and education sectors for 13 years in a variety of roles. She is currently the Practice Leader for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in Tasmania, which involves the management of state operations, as well as advocacy and policy work. Jen has had a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis for 8 years now but does not believe it defines her abilities. Jen is a strong advocate for women with disabilities and has a specific interest in  neurological conditions. Jen is currently the Secretary of the Neurological Alliance of Tasmania.

Outside of work, Jen is a mum to a three-year-old daughter who she is determined to raise as independent, open-minded and kind.

As a woman living with MS and working in the disability sector, Jen has a lot of knowledge of the state of disability services in Australia and has a passion for advocating that the rights of women and girls living with disabilities are upheld.


Portrait image of Monique Crowden (board member)

Monique Crowden

Hi this is Monique Crowden. I am the President of Speak Out Tasmania. I am a part of WWDA. I volunteer with Girl Guides 7 to 10 year old girls age group. I have been a mentor. I help with the local breakfast club at the high shool. I am very passionate about working with young girls with disability. I am very passionate about inclusion. I have loved being a part of a recent project with WWDA and 1800RESPECT making an app for woman and girls with disability going through violence & abuse.


Portrait image of Cherohn Rule (Board member)

Cherohn Rule

Cherohn is an active member of Women With Disabilities Australia, volunteering for data entry and various other tasks as required. Cherohn has lived experience as a woman with disabilities and she also has the experience of being a sister to and daughter of women with disabilities. She identifies as a member of the LGBTQIA community and believes we are all born free and equal. Cherohn believes the world would be a better place if all nations put into action the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Women. She says. “We are as much a person as any man and should have the same opportunities rights and responsibilities.”


Portrait image of Jody Barney (Board member)

Jody Barney

Jody Barney is a proud Birri-Gubba/ Urangan Deaf Aboriginal/South Sea Islander woman. Jody is currently living in country Victoria. She is culturally connected to many women with disabilities across Aboriginal communities and importantly women who are within the justice system as a cultural disabilities consultant.

Jody is passionate about improving the voice and visibility of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women within various sectors.  Jody delivers training across many communities to improve the needs of Aboriginal women.

Jody has board experience on the Koori Women Means Business and Deaf Victoria Boards. She is also currently the inaugural board member of  Koondee Woonga-gat Toor-rong, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Community Led Philanthropic Fund in Victoria and a Senior Fellow with Atlantic Fellows Social Equity Australia.

 


STAFF


Portrait Image of Carolyn Frohmader

Carolyn Frohmader

Executive Director

Carolyn Frohmader is the Executive Director of Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) and has held this position for more than 20 years, working at the national and international levels to promote and protect the human rights of women and girls with disabilities. Under Carolyn’s leadership, WWDA has received a number of prestigious awards for its ground-breaking work including the National Human Rights Award and a number of national and state violence prevention awards. Carolyn also has an extensive background in women’s health, health policy, primary health care and community development.

Carolyn has a Masters Degree from Flinders University where she won the inaugural Michael Crotty Award for an outstanding contribution in Primary Health Care. In 2001, Carolyn received the ACT Woman of the Year Award in recognition of her contribution to the promotion of women’s rights in the ACT. In 2009, in recognition of her human rights work, she was inducted into the Tasmanian Women’s Honour Roll, joining her late mother Wendy, who was posthumously inducted into the Roll in 2008 for services to education. In late 2009, Carolyn was selected as a Tasmanian finalist for the Australian of the Year Awards (Tasmania). On International Human Rights Day, in December 2013, Carolyn was announced as the winner of the National Human Rights Award [Individual] for her work for and with women and girls with disabilities at the national and international levels. Carolyn is based in Hobart, Tasmania.


 

Media & Communications Officer – Dana Endelmanis

 


Portrait image of Naomi Thomson

Naomi Thomson

Project Manager – Virtual Centre for Women and Girls with Disability Project

Naomi has over nine years project experience within the public health and not for profit sectors and has completed a Bachelor of Communication (Multimedia production), Graduate Diploma in International Health and a Masters in Human Nutrition.

Naomi’s particular interests include human rights, gender equity, disability inclusion and food security. Most recently she managed a project for the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) that involved developing a new online general practice education support program for international medical graduates.

Naomi also previously managed the Vision 2020 Australia Global Consortium, a partnership of six Australian organisations that implemented projects to address avoidable blindness and vision impairment in the Asia Pacific region. Naomi managed the implementation of seventeen projects in seven different countries during her three years in this role and gained excellent insight into effective, sustainable and inclusive cross-cultural project design and implementation.

Naomi’s other positions have included working on an Australia-Africa Food Security Initiative and delivering a website design training program for Mission Australia.


 Portrait image of Heidi La Paglia

Heidi La Paglia

Senior Content Officer – Virtual Centre for Women and Girls with Disability Project

Heidi La Paglia is a young woman who is currently the Senior Content Officer for the Virtual Centre for Women and Girls with Disability with Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA), and has previously completed a Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachler of Philosophy and Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degrees with the University of Tasmania (UTas).

Although young, has nearly a decade of experience advocating for women’s welfare. Throughout her time at University, Heidi held various voluntary and paid roles advocating for the welfare and rights of young women and women students and has been involved in several projects and campaigns promoting women’s right to access education, social, health and reproductive services and to be free from gendered violence.

One of the largest scale projects Heidi has contributed to was the National Survey into Sexual Violence against university students in which she worked with the Australian Human Rights Commission to implement.

Heidi has also held positions advocating for women on several boards such as the Tasmanian Women’s Council (TWC), the Australian Women Against Violence Alliance (AWAVA) and the University of Tasmania Council.


Sharon Williams

Office Manager/Executive Assistant