Home > Governance > Board

The Foundation is led by a board headed by our Chair and nine directors.

Find out more about our directors from their profiles.

Anne R. Edwards AO

CHAIR - Appointed Chair December 2012

Anne Edwards is a sociologist who has spent her professional career in universities. Her last appointment was Vice-Chancellor of Flinders University, from 2001-2007.

Her research interests included social policy, power and social inequality, women and gender issues, and ageing. She is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Since retiring from Flinders, she has taken on a variety of board positions. In addition to being Chair of he Board of the National Centre of Excellence, these include President of the Council on the Ageing SA, Deputy Chair of the Australian Centre for Social Innovation, Co-Chair of the South Australian Premier’s Council for Women, and member of the board of the Foundation to prevent violence against women and their children.

Maura Boland

DIRECTOR - Appointed Director NSW February 2013

Maura Boland is Deputy Director General, Strategy and Policy at Family and Community Services NSW, a role she has occupied since 2011. In this role she has responsibility for leading the development of major new reform and innovative responses to cross-cutting issues. Since working in Strategy and Policy, her achievements include leading the negotiation of a full NDIS scheme in NSW, leading the development of a whole-of-government domestic and family violence framework, and delivering the NSW Ageing Strategy.

Maura previously occupied a range of senior management positions in Housing NSW, including Executive Director, Policy and Strategy, and Executive Director, Office of Community Housing. One of her most significant achievements in that time was leading a government-NGO partnership to reform the community housing sector in NSW, initiating a more than doubling of size and introducing significant regulation to support investment.

Maura has graduate and postgraduate degrees in biology (genetics), management and communications.

Joslene Mazel

DIRECTOR - Appointed Director South Australia February 2013

Joslene Mazel has worked in the public sector for over 25years and started her career as a social worker in the Department of Correctional Services. Joslene went on to complete a Law Degree and was the Department’s inaugural representative in the Justice Strategy Unit in the Attorney General’s Department. Joslene then took up a position in Cabinet Office in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet and over time took on an increasing responsibility for issues relating to Aboriginal South Australians.

In 2008 Joslene was awarded the Australian Honours Public Service Medal for outstanding public service to Indigenous communities in South Australia.

Joslene was appointed as Chief Executive of the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion in August 2008.

In summary Joslene’s background has been almost exclusively related to social justice and to addressing some of the significant disadvantages that sections of our community encounter.

Cate McKenzie

DIRECTOR - Appointed Director Commonwealth August 2013

Cate McKenzie has worked in a range of portfolios since joining the Australian Public Service in 1985. These include the departments of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Finance, Environment, Primary Industry and Energy and Territories. For the past ten years Cate has worked in the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs on a broad range of issues including housing and homelessness, people with disabilities and their families and carers, disability business services, the communities’ agenda, indigenous policy, welfare reform and programs to assist people with multiple, non-vocational barriers to employment. Cate has also managed the State and Territory network with over 500 staff.

Two of Cate’s most significant roles in the last few years have been working on the National Plan to Reduce Violence against women and their children and the National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children. Cate is currently a senior executive in the Department of Social Services.

Reg Graycar

DIRECTOR - Appointed Independent Director May 2013

Reg Graycar is a barrister practising in NSW and is a member of the Human Rights Committee of the NSW Bar Association. She is Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Sydney, and was Professor of Law there until 2012. Before joining University of Sydney Law School in 1997, she was Professor of Law at UNSW, and has been a visiting professor of law at universities in the USA, France and Canada. She was also been a full time Law Reform Commissioner for NSW, a part time member of the Australian Law Reform Commission and a member of the Family Law Council. She has served on a number of tribunals and has published widely on a range of legal issues.

Simon Phemister

DIRECTOR - Appointed Director Victoria February 2013

Simon was appointed as the Executive Director Policy and Strategy Group in late 2012.

The Policy and Strategy Group drives the strategic direction for the Department of Human Services through the development of evidenced based policy and strategy. The group is also responsible for industry and workforce strategy and reform. The group delivers critical functions that enable the department to deliver core services to vulnerable Victorians.

The key business functions of the Policy and Strategy Group include strategic planning, socio-economic policy, industry and workforce policy and the Centre for Human Services Research and Evaluation.

As executive director Simon plans and supports the Board to develop the strategic direction of the department and ensures that strategic and comprehensive evidence-based policy advice and information is client focused.

Simon is also a member of the Department of Human Services Board.

Simon has an Executive Masters Public Administration ANSOG from the University of Melbourne, a Bachelor of Business (Asia Pacific Studies) from La Trobe University and Honours in International Studies and Mandarin Chinese from Yunnan University, China.

Before being appointed as Executive Director Policy and Strategy Group, Simon’s most recent role was as Acting Executive Director Industry, Workforce and Strategy in the Department of Human Services. Before joining the Department in 2010, Simon held various senior roles in the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Department of Education, and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Victoria Hovane

DIRECTOR - Appointed Independent Director June 2013

Victoria Hovane is an Aboriginal woman from Broome in the Kimberley region of WA. She holds a First Class Honours Degree in Psychology and is nearing completion of a PhD (Forensic Psychology) aimed at informing a cultural dimension in psychological theories of sexual offending against children. Vickie is an experienced researcher and practitioner having worked in a number of social welfare, legal, victim and offender services, research projects and advisory roles over the past 30 years. She currently Co-Chairs the Australian Indigenous Psychologists Association Steering Committee, and is a current member of the national Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Mental Health & Suicide Prevention Advisory Group, the Advisory Panel to the WA FDV Death Review Committee, the WA Mental Health Advisory Group, and the Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault (ACSSA) Reference Group.

Dr Melanie Heenan

DIRECTOR - Appointed Independent Director August 2013

Dr Melanie Heenan is the Executive Director of Court Network, a not for profit organisation that provides support to people going through the court system. Previously, she managed the Preventing Violence Against Women Program at VicHealth that addressed the underlying causes of violence against women. In 2006, she was the first manager of the Respect and Responsibility program at the Australian Football League. In this national role, she was responsible for leading the strategy to build environments that are safe, supportive and inclusive of women and girls in the male dominated football industry.

Melanie’s career has included more than 22 years of research, policy and practice experience. She was the inaugural coordinator of the Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault. She has held positions with the Victorian Law Reform Commission and the Victorian Department of Justice. She was an original member of the Federal Government’s National Council to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children.

Shirley Slann

DIRECTOR - Appointed Independent Director June 2013

Shirley Slann is from Mount Isa, North West Queensland and has worked in the area of Domestic & Family Violence for over 14 years. Shirley is proud of her heritage. Her mother was an Aboriginal woman from Dajarra and her father a Non Indigenous Australian originally from Charleville.

Shirley is currently employed by the North Queensland Domestic Violence Resource Service and has previously been a member of the Queensland Domestic & Family Violence Strategy Implementation Advisory Group, and has been a Representative for the Queensland Domestic & Family Violence Ministerial Advisory Council as Deputy Chair, Queensland Women’s Health Network, Queensland Death Review Advisory Group, Queensland Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Justice Task Force (Just Future Strategy) and Australian Government representative on the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Women’s Gathering Working Group.

Shirley has attended the First World Conference of Women’s Shelters in Edmonton, Alberta in 2008 and did a Key note address on Domestic & Family Violence in Indigenous communities. Shirley also attended the 2nd World Conference of Women’s Shelters in Washington DC. Shirley was the first Indigenous representative to be appointed to the Global Network of Women’s Shelters in Amsterdam in 2011.

Shirley is a strong advocate in the area of Domestic & Family Violence and believes that assistance should be available for both men and women experiencing or using Domestic & Family Violence.

Ian Ward-Ambler

DIRECTOR - Appointed Independent Director August 2013

Ian joined the National Centre of Excellence Board in August 2013 bringing a wealth of corporate and executive management experience. Ian is also Chairman of Hands on Learning Australia and has a number of other roles in community and educational Institutions. Until July 2012, Ian was Chief Executive of Goldman Sachs Asset Management in Australia. During his time at Goldman Sachs (& Partners) he served as a Director, a member of the Management Committee and Risk Committee. He was President of JBWere’s Securities Division in New York from 1995 to 2000. Ian was a Director of the Financial Services Council, the Industry Peak Body from 2010 until 2012. He holds a BA from The University of Melbourne, majoring in philosophy and economics.