The Trust was established under the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Trust Act 1994 to govern the Centre, which acts as a statutory authority consistent with the meaning of ‘public body’ in section 3 of the Financial Management Act 1994. The Trust comprises up to 12 members, appointed by the Governor-in-Council on the recommendation of the Minister for Women, to fulfil the following obligations as prescribed by the enabling Act:
Manage the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Trust land and use it for the purposes of a facility known as the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre
Provide on the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Trust land, services and facilities for women including health information services, rest and meeting rooms, and other services and facilities
Provide information in relation to the services and facilities provided by the QVWC
Provide for the management, operation, use and promotion of the Centre
Provide for the efficient financial management of the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Trust land and Centre and seek funding for the Centre; and
Undertake any other functions that are conferred on the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Trust by the Act
The Trust is a not-for-profit organisation with charitable status. Members of the Trust meet regularly to fulfil the Centre’s strategic directions, policies and philosophy.
Profiles of Trust Members
Van Badham - Chair
Van Badham is a Victorian writer, critic, trade unionist, feminist, activist and occasional broadcaster, an internationally award-winning theatremaker and one of Australia’s most controversial social commentators. She is a columnist for Guardian Australia, and a regular guest of both The Drum and Q and A. She tweets via @vanbadham.
Jenna Davey - Burns
Jenna Davey-Burns is a gender and human rights policy specialist with extensive experience across both Not-for-Profit and Government sectors. Jenna has worked closely with women affected by the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires, undertaken inter-governmental policy work with the United Nations Inter-Agency project on anti-human trafficking in Bangkok and most recently, advising on implementation of the Royal Commission into Family Violence with Djirra. Other career highlights include management of the Victorian Multicultural Commission grants program, a United States Congressional internship and travelling to Japan as the Department of Premier and Cabinet representative for the 35th sister state anniversary between Victoria and Aichi. Jenna values wisdom in leadership and has completed the Cranlana Colloquium and holds a Masters in International Politics and a Bachelor of Arts (Criminology and Gender Studies) from the University of Melbourne. A passion for creating change has led Jenna to mentor through Leadership Victoria, teach English at AMES and the Sudanese-Australian Integrated Learning School in Dandenong, volunteer in a remote Aboriginal community and provide respite to children with disabilities. Jenna was also a Director on the board of Cambodian Kids Can from 2014 to 2018, dedicated to improving educational opportunities for young women in Cambodia.
Constantina Dertimanis is a public policy professional who has extensive experience as a senior advisor to State and Federal Ministers. She is a passionate advocate for cultural diversity, human rights and dignity for people living with a disability. She has worked on high profile United Nations projects advocating in partnership with global NGO’s. Ms Dertimanis’s wide-ranging experience in community engagement ensures that she gives voice to culturally diverse communities at the Board table. Over a career spanning more than 20 years across the corporate, Government and non-Government sectors she has a strong track record of driving change to assist marginalised communities. She has a Diploma in International Studies and a Bachelor of Arts – Majoring in Government, Philosophy and Economics.
Meghan Hopper joined the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre Trust in May 2018. Meghan is a policy, media and campaigns professional who has worked primarily in the fields of women’s representation, equity and safety, and social change. She is completing a PhD in Monash University’s School of Media, Film and Journalism, researching the mainstream print media’s reporting of female candidates during Australian federal election campaigns. An experienced board director, Meghan has previously served on the Council of Monash University and the board of CERES Environment Park, and for four years was an elected Councillor in the City of Moreland, including one year as the City’s youngest-ever female Mayor. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Institute of Victorian Government’s Women of Boards and Leadership Program.
Marion Lau OAM JP
Miss Lau, OAM JP is currently the Secretary of the Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria.
She is passionate about pursuing the principles of equal access and inclusion, and social justice for the whole community. Miss Lau has professional experience working for government in the areas of health, aging, and small business, and is currently a member of the Victorian Multicultural Business Ministerial Council and the Justice Health Ministerial Advisory Committee. Miss Lau is a long-time leader of the Chinese community and advocates on diversity issues, and is Past President of the Chinese Health Foundation of Australia and Chinese Community Society of Victoria. Her other roles include: Member of the Small Business Mentoring Service and the Chinese Professional and Business Association, Former Director of Doutta Gala Aged Services, and inductee into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women.
Merrin is the CEO of the Victorian Law Reform Commission and has many years of experience in legal policy and research with government agencies including both the Commonwealth and Victorian Parliaments.
Before moving into policy and research work, Merrin practiced law in positions with community legal centres in NSW and Victoria. She also worked for the Legal Aid Commission of Western Australia in Port Hedland, undertaking court circuit work in small towns throughout the Pilbara region. She spent two years working with the Vanuatu Women’s Centre, a family violence crisis centre.
She has served on the management committees of two Sydney youth refuges and the Darebin Community Legal Centre.
Merrin has a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in sociology and women’s studies) and a Bachelor of Laws from the Australian National University, and is admitted to practice law in a number of Australian states, and the Republic of Vanuatu.
Florence is a human resources and finance leader with extensive professional and board experience. Her experience has been gained in Australia and several emerging markets in a variety of sectors including professional and financial services and communications. Florence is passionate about community diversity and empowering marginalised groups and as result, actively participates on various community boards. She currently serves as Treasurer on the boards of African Music and Cultural Festival (AMCF) and Safe Futures Foundation. She is a qualified accountant (FCCA) and has served as a panel member representing Victoria and Tasmania on the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Australia and New Zealand member panel. She is also a member of Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (MCIPD) and has a Masters of Business Administration from Murdoch University, Western Australia.
Sharmini is a Principal Lawyer with Aitken Partners and the head of the Family Law department. She is an Accredited Family Law Specialist. Due to her extensive experience in the area of family law, Sharmini is passionate about women’s rights, gender equality in the workplace and issues related to family violence. Currently, Sharmini is a member of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, the Law Institute of Victoria and the Asian Australian Lawyers Association. Throughout her professional career, Sharmini has been involved with other organisations including the Tamil Ladies Club of Western Australia, the Women’s Migrants’ Legal Information Committee and the Association for Services to Torture and Trauma Survivors; all aimed at providing women and migrants with care and support.
Traci Williams has over 20 years professional experience in government, corporate and not for profit workplaces in federal government policy, communications and media roles. She spent 6 years with ABC TV News as a journalist in Melbourne and Sydney before joining the Australian Foreign Service (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) as a diplomat where she undertook a posting to London for three years lobbying and undertaking international negotiations on Australia foreign policy and reporting on political developments in the UK on human rights, environment and non-proliferation issues. Later, in the Corporate Affairs team at Qantas, over three years she led the company to become recognised as a corporate leader in the field of reconciliation and Indigenous affairs in particular, when she managed the company’s community investment function.
Traci now runs her own consultancy advising corporates, government and not for profits in the areas of fundraising and grantmaking, social investment and policy, Indigenous affairs and engagement, and communications strategy.
Traci is a former Churchill Fellow to the USA and Canada, Chevening Scholar and Wolfson College Press Fellow at Cambridge University in the UK. She has an MA (International Relations) from Deakin University, an Executive MBA from Melbourne Business School and an MA (Social Investment and Philanthropy from Swinburne University. Traci is currently researching a PhD through the Centre for Social Impact a Swinburne University in the field of Social Investment.