Prof Jill White AM,
University of Sydney
Prof Jill White AM, University of Sydney
Prof Jill White AM

Jill White AM, RN, RM, BEd, Med, PhD, Professor in the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sydney. In 2011, she was awarded Member of the Order of Australia Medal (AM) in the Australia Day Honours list for services to nursing and midwifery. “Nurses have extraordinary responsibilities working with vulnerable people”, says Professor White, “when I studied nursing, the quality of education was poor and we weren’t necessarily equipped to make life-changing decisions. This experience made me an advocate for better education in nursing.” Professor White helped develop one of the first tertiary nursing programs in Australia, leading to NSW Government recognition of the benefits of formal education in nursing and resultant policy change making tertiary education the only method of obtaining nursing registration, a move that was followed across Australia. As a further shift in the education model saw Nursing become a university degree, “this was a critical juncture for the introduction of research into the curriculum” she notes. Her current focus remains in the area of international policy.

Hester Fraser
Hester Fraser

WPF is proud to announce that Hester Fraser is Ambassador of Women’s Plans Foundation. Joining the eminent Professor Jill White AM, Hester Fraser signifies to a new generation the vital importance of women’s control of their own lives. Hester launched her album GOLDHEIST in 2017, and in 2018 was selected for Sydney’s VIVID Festival. Touring outback and regional NSW, GOLDHEIST toured outback and regional NSW with painter James Needham, performing live art and music, exploring the spirit of place and the ways in which our surrounds impact and inspire. Hester Fraser has charmed audiences as a Finalist for three years running in the Tamworth Country Music Festival, and was Winner of the prestigious People’s Choice Award in 2016, and 2nd Place Winner of the Judges Choice in 2017. In tribute to her grandfather, the late Right Honourable Malcolm Fraser, Hester wrote “The Camellia Tree”, in on-going musical support reflecting Malcolm Fraser’s post-PM years of a humanitarian overseas aid focus.


Alice Arnott Oppen OAM,
Alice Arnott Oppen OAM, Patron
Alice Arnott Oppen OAM

Former teacher of literature, past President Hunter’s Hill Trust, Fellow Australian Company Directors, served on Boards of Arnotts Ltd., ChildFund Australia, FP NSW, SH&FPA, Ethics Committee Cancer Council, editor, Anglican Parish of Hunter’s Hill, currently on External Advisory Committee Dept. Government & International Relations, University of Sydney. Alice is a feminist, environmentalist and activist. Alice founded Women’s Plans in 2002, which was formalised into WPF in 2004.

Evan Oppen, Treasurer
Evan Oppen

Evan is a Chartered Accountant with a Master of Science degree and Post Grad Dip Accounting. He has worked as a Chartered Accountant for 14 years in public practices as well as 2 years at the Macular Disease Foundation Australia. He also has treasurer roles with the Sydney Community Forum and a small ski lodge. Evan has an interest in the Not-for-Profit sector.

Arda Ergun, GAICD
Arda Ergu

Arda Ergun GAICD is a driven leader with 13+ years of combined experience in Technology/SaaS and Management Consulting. Born and raised in Istanbul, she has lived and worked in Canada, The Netherlands and Australia. Arda holds a Bachelor of Business from York University, and an MBA Essentials program certificate from London School of Economics. She currently resides in Sydney and is the Regional Director, APAC Success Architects at Salesforce, where she leads the architecture teams across a few of Salesforce's clouds and products. Arda is passionate about women's wellbeing and advancement, and mentors several women, particularly around career development and progression.

Veronica Volfneuk
Veronica Volfneuk

Veronica Volfneuk is a lawyer specialising in the pro bono, charities and not-for-profit space. She was previously the Pro Bono Coordinator at Clayton Utz in Melbourne, acting for low income and vulnerable people who cannot access Legal Aid, and for the not-for-profit organisations supporting them. She currently resides in Sydney, and is Legal Counsel at The Fred Hollows Foundation. She is passionate about international aid and development, particularly in the area of women's health.

Dr. Penelope Fotheringham
Dr. Penelope Fotheringham

Dr. Penelope Fotheringham, BMedSci, MBBS (Hons), MPH, MSc (ID) FRANZCOG, FAFPHM an Obstetrician/Gynaecologist and Public Health Physician working to understand and improve health systems through improving practiitioner care.

Carolyn Blanden
Carolyn Blanden

Mrs Blanden is the Principal of Warakirri College, a school for disadvantaged young people who are reconnecting with education. In addition to her 30 years experience in public and private sector education, Mrs Blanden has worked in the construction and finance industries, in resource development technology and in international education at tertiary level. Mrs Blanden is a committee member of the National Council of Women.

Marianne Christmann
Marianne Christmann

Marianne Christmann, G.A.I.C.D., holds Master and Bachelor degrees in Law and a Bachelor degree in Science. Marianne has led programs in Commonwealth and NSW State Government, in chief operating officer and regional operational roles working for organisations such as the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and the Family Court. She has a strong focus on women’s issues and worked for the former Department for Women in NSW.  

Samuel S. Durland
Samuel S. Durland

Sam Durland, MSocSc, BE(Hons), is a Certified Management Consultant, a Chartered Professional Engineer and a Certified Executive Coach. Sam’s international development consulting work has taken him to more than 20 countries in Asia, the Pacific, Africa and South America. He has held senior executive positions with private enterprise, statutory authorities and government departments in Australia and overseas. He has served on more than 20 boards of public and private companies, government bodies and non-government organisations.

Jodie Rollason
Samuel S. Durland

Jodie is a nurse and lawyer and has a Masters in Commercial Litigation. She was principal Solicitor of a State Wide legal Service focussed on helping the disadvantaged. Bringing over 12 years’ experience in the Not-for-Profit Sector, Jodie is currently the CEO of MYST (Mountains Youth Services Team). With her passion for helping disadvantaged communities, Jodie thrives on advocacy and is committed to reducing social inequalities and systemic barriers to providing opportunities for the most vulnerable.

Observer 2024

Reena Rihan
Melissa Hanham

Reena Rihan's personal statement:  Reena is currently the Head of Governance and Company Secretary at Opera Australia. Her role encompasses risk, governance and compliance across the organisation as well as working directly with the Executive team and the Board of Directors. Prior to working in the live performance industry, Reena worked in the media and practiced as a solicitor. Reena spent her school years in South East Asia and has a life long connection to the region. She is excited to be able to bring her experiences and skills together with Women’s Plan Foundation to help better the lives of women and families.

Operations and Administration

Natalie Brandon
Natalie Brandon

Natalie has over 20 years’ experience in Finance, Client Services and Office Management. She spent her early part of her career working in London for Total Oil GB and Sotheby’s. When she returned to Australia she worked in the public, private and not for profit sectors. In her spare time, she ferries her two active children to sports training and events.

Evaluation & Research

Sue Funnell
Sue Funnell

Sue worked for some 40 years as a program evaluator, designer, consultant and trainer. From 1999 to 2015 worked as a consultant in several developing countries for AusAID and with several United Nations Organisations (UNAIDS, UNCHS, UN Secretariat, UNDP representing Oceania on an international advisory panel) and World Bank. She served two terms as President of the Australasian Evaluation Society, was an inaugural Fellow of the Society and received several awards for excellence.

Events and Media Committees

Mona Aghdaee, Dr Lucinda Barry, Emma Challen, Tess Connellan, Ros Espie, Jenny Hall,
Jeanette Kalek, Anni Macdougall, Pauline Markwell, Margaret Milne,
Leon Muller, Alice Oppen OAM, Rachel Oppen and Cristina Ricci.

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