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White Ribbon Australia Board


The White Ribbon Australia Board and its members are responsible for meeting all obligations as company directors as defined under the Australian Companies Act. The Board is responsible for governance, strategic direction and overall management of the organisation, and for delivering and monitoring performance in accordance with the organisation’s goals and objectives.


Board Profiles

Ian Carter AM Director
Nicholas Cowdery AM QC Chair
Trish Egan GAICD Director
Nick Mazzarella Director
Carole Molyneux Director
Bernie Pearce Director
John Rosewarne Director
Vanessa Swan Director
Sean O'Brien Director

Ian Carter has served as the CEO of Anglicare WA since 1995. Anglicare WA is the largest provider of DV services in WA concerning victims and perpetrators and children affected by it, as well running a Women’s Refuge and early intervention services.

Ian’s career in community service, particularly in community capacity building and social justice, has been extensive and prolific. He has been involved in both creating and governing a wide range of community organisations at local, national and international levels.

Ian was a member of the Prime Minister’s Council on Homelessness and the WA Ministerial Roundtable on Affordable Housing. He is a member of the WA State Government’s Partnership Forum, a coalition between leaders in the State Government and not-for-profit organisations.   In 2009 he was appointed as the Chairperson of the WA State Government’s Social Housing Taskforce. He is a Founding Board Member and current Chairman of Foyer Foundation, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Anglicare Australia and on the Board of White Ribbon Australia.

Ian has held the positions of Deputy President of the ACOSS, President of WACOSS, President of Family Services Australia, Chairman of the State Taskforce on Poverty, Chairman of the Ministerial Housing Advisory Committee, Chairman of the Anti Poverty Week Steering Committee in WA and was a founding Director on the Boards of JOBfutures, Leadership WA and the WA Community Foundation.

He was inducted into the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2009.

A barrister since 1971, Nicholas was the Director of Public Prosecutions for New South Wales for over 16 years until 2011 and in that capacity had close professional experience in dealing with the consequences of violence against and abuse of women and children. He has served as an acting Judge of the District Court of NSW. He served two terms as President of the International Association of Prosecutors and was inaugural Co-Chair of the Human Rights Institute of the International Bar Association.

Nicholas now holds a number of honorary university academic positions and teaches courses in criminal justice. He consults for a number of organisations, including the United Nations and the Commonwealth Secretariat and is engaged in criminal justice development projects worldwide.

Nicholas is a member of the National Human Rights Committee of the Law Council of Australia, the University of Sydney Institute of Criminology Advisory Committee, the Criminal Law Committee of the NSW Bar Association, former member of the NSW Sentencing Council and currently serves on other bodies in law and in other areas.  He is an author and commentator on criminal justice and human rights issues.

Nicholas joined the Board in February 2016. He has been a White Ribbon Ambassador since 2009.

Trish is the Chief Operating Officer of Diabetes NSW&ACT, Australia’s largest member-based diabetes support and education charity. She joined the White Ribbon Australia Board in January 2018.

Trish holds a Bachelor of Business Studies, Marketing from University of Technology, Sydney and spent her early business years working in Sydney, London and New York in consumer marketing with Unilever. She has held senior marketing and communications and general management roles in the consumer pharmaceutical and food industries. The brands she has managed include global icons such as Ponds, Panadol and Kellogg’s.

Trish’s first engagement with the Not for Profit sector was as the inaugural General Manager, Marketing and Fundraising at Vision Australia, the organisation formed over ten years ago following the merger of four blindness and low vision agencies across Australia. Through her business experience Trish brings to the Board a strong focus on the consumer, change management, marketing and communications and exposure to the development of successful fundraising strategies.

Outside of her business career, Trish is an active participant in the thoroughbred horse racing industry as the Vice-Chair of Australian Turf Club and a Trustee of the Racing NSW Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Trust.

Trish is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Nick is manager of the City of Whittlesea’s Major Projects department. He has a wealth of experience in both Local and State Government. He is currently responsible for overseeing the capital New Works Program and is a member of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia (IPWEA).

Nick is a White Ribbon Ambassador. He was one of 14 men who attended a white ribbon breakfast at Darebin Council back in 2007. Following this breakfast he helped to establish the Darebin White Ribbon Action Team, which continues to this day.

Born and educated in London, Carole graduated in 1969 with an Honours degree in Psychology from the University of Liverpool UK. She migrated to Australia in 1971 and has occupied a number of senior roles in the retail industry including General Manager of Grace Bros Sydney City store and 18 years as CEO of specialty fashion chain Suzanne Grae. In June 2013, Carole started CMR Consulting, which specialises in helping a Company use its unique ‘DNA’ to develop effective business strategies.

Carole is a past Member of the National Council of the Australian Retailer’s Association (ARA) and a past Non-Executive Director of Bantex Australia P/L and Paraquad NSW. She is a currently a Non-Executive Director of Webster Holdings, Nick Scali Furniture and a Board Member of Racing NSW in addition to White Ribbon Australia.

Carole is also a Director and Member of the Zonta Club of Sydney.  Zonta International is a global organisation of professionals empowering women worldwide through service and advocacy with a particular focus on violence prevention.

Under Carole’s stewardship, Suzanne Grae formed a strong and highly successful community partnership with White Ribbon in 2007, which lasted for nine years.  As an employer of a largely female workforce over many years, Carole has first-hand experience of the impact of domestic violence in the workplace.

Bernie has been a proud White Ribbon Ambassador since 2011.

A social worker since 1992 in Australia and internationally, Bernie is clinically specialised in family therapy, grief and loss and surviving domestic violence; health policy and social development, including gender equality policy and practice; and humanitarian response, including UNSCR 1325 – Women, Peace and Security.

From 2011 to 2012, Bernie was Ending Violence Against Women Adviser for the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), which included advising WHO’s global Sexual and Gender Based Violence prevention program.

Bernie is currently a Fragility and Conflict Adviser in Australia’s Development Cooperation Program, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Bernie also holds a position as Vice President of EveryMan Australia, ACT.

John was appointed to the Board in June 2011 and undertook the role of Treasurer until he took over as Chair in February 2014.  He stood down from that role in February 2016 but has continued on the Board.

He has had extensive experience at senior levels in the financial services industry, specialising in operations, human resource management and change management.  During his time in the industry, John was heavily involved with two major Bank mergers and spent time on secondment as the Banking Advisor to the Australian Banking Industry Ombudsman (now the Financial Ombudsman Service).  After retiring from the finance industry in 2004, John and his partner established a consulting company, of which he continues to be Director and Company Secretary.  He holds several tertiary qualifications covering finance, superannuation and management, including a Master of Business (Banking).

John is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia.

Vanessa Swan is the Executive Director Offender Development for the South Australian Department for Correctional Services. Prior to this she was the Director of the South Australian Office for Women a position she held for four and a half years.  She was previously the Director of Yarrow Place, Rape and Sexual Assault Service for nine years, the South Australian forensic sexual assault service.

Vanessa was a member of the Parole Board of South Australia for nine years and a member of the National Council to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children.  She was the chair of the National Association of Services Against Sexual Violence, the peak body for sexual assault organisations.  She has also been chair of the South Australian Attorney General’s Victims of Crime Ministerial Advisory Committee for two years and a member of Medical Professional Misconduct Tribunal for five years.  Prior to this she worked in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Vanessa is the recipient of a Public Service Medal and has been inducted onto the South Australian Women’s Honour Roll and joined the board of White Ribbon Australia on 1 June 2018.

Sean has over 30 years’ experience in the media industry. Since 2013 he’s held the position of  Managing Director Adelaide for the Nine Entertainment Company. Previous to this he was the General Manager of two radio stations – Nova 919 and talk station FIVEaa for the DMG Group.

With previous board experience at Channel 9 Telethon and Down Syndrome South Australia, Sean currently sits on the White Ribbon South Australia State Committee and is a proud White Ribbon Ambassador.

Sean joined the board of White Ribbon Australia on 1 June 2018.

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