The Women’s Health Victoria Board is governed by a group of dedicated women; comprising of twelve voluntary members. Our Board brings a wide range of commercial, not-for-profit and business skills, expertise and knowledge to Women’s Health Victoria.


Its key role is to oversee the strategic direction of the organisation with a focus on governance and associated business functions. It ensures the organisation is working toward its vision of women living well - healthy, empowered and equal.

Board of Directors for 2021


Judy Hacker B.Ec, Dip.Ed, Certificate in marketing
Chair - Elected to Board: Oct 2016

Judy Hacker has over 30 years marketing and communications experience gained in both senior roles in the corporate world and in her own consulting business Maxim Marketing which was established in 2007. She also has extensive experience on numerous not-for-profit boards since her first appointment in 2002. Strategic development, communications, brand strategy and governance are particular areas of interest and expertise.


Emily Howie BA/LLB(Hons), LLM (Columbia)
Deputy Chair - Elected to Board: Oct 2018

Emily Howie brings extensive experience in law, women’s rights, advocacy and campaigning.  Emily is the Head of Legal and Dispute Resolution at the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.  Previously, in her role as Director of Legal Advocacy and Research at the Human Rights Law Centre, she worked to ensure that women have access to reproductive health rights through advocacy and legal action.


Julie Bignell BA, Grad Dip (IR/HR), GAICD, GAIST
Treasurer - Elected to Board: Oct 2021

Julie Bignell is an experienced Board member with extensive experience in corporate governance, risk management, strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, industrial relations and a deep understanding and commitment to women’s reproductive rights and gender equality. She is currently a Director of Austin Health. Julie's previous experience as a board member includes CareSuper, the  Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI), Workplace Health and Safety Queensland, and the North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation. Julie was previously Secretary of the Australian Services Union (Central and South Qld Branch), incorporating a term as National Vice-President.


Kate Broun BAppSc (Health Promotion) (Hons), PGDipAppSci (Org Dynamics); GAICD
Member - Elected to Board: Oct 2016

Kate Broun is an experienced public health professional leading cancer prevention policy and programs to improve population health, with a commitment to reducing health disparities among priority communities. Kate is the Head of Screening, Early Detection and Immunisation at Cancer Council Victoria. She is passionate about women's health and achieving equality.

Elizabeth Dax

Elizabeth Dax Associate Professor AM; MB, BS; MD; PhD; GAIDC
Member - Elected to Board: Oct 2016

Elizabeth M. Dax retired from her career in medicine and science in 2009. She has longstanding experience as a director of not for profit organisations and is now a director on several not-for-profit boards. She brings extensive experience in governance, strategic planning and fundraising and has a strong commitment to women's health and gender equality. Her last appointments (1990-2009) were as director of the National Serology Reference Laboratory Australia and the World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre on diagnostics of blood born viruses.

Sofia Dedes_2021

Sofia Dedes BA (Journalism) M.I.R (Human Rights Law) 
Member - Elected to Board: Oct 2021

Sofia Dedes is an industry leading communications community/stakeholder and government relations professional with over 20 years’ experience in journalism, media advising government and strategic communications advice. Over her career, Sofia has worked in senior levels of government and led the media strategy for large national public facing organisations including the United Nations in Lebanon, the Royal Women’s Hospital and working with Primary Health Networks. 


Shaymaa Elkadi PhD (Neuropsychology), ExecMPA
Member - Elected to Board: Oct 2021

Dr Shaymaa Elkadi Executive is the Executive Director, Strategy and Service Design at the Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network. She is responsible for leading an ambitious organisational wide transformation agenda to read the organisation for expansion, growth and leading sector partnerships for sustainable reform. Shaymaa has held previous senior leadership roles at the Department of Health, Corrections Victoria, Beyond Blue, Forensicare. Shaymaa is a skilled strategist with over 15 years of expertise in leading organisational and service transformation and reform. Having worked across the Justice and Mental Health systems, she is highly versed in complex policy, system and service redesign. Shaymaa is committed to focusing on client outcomes to ensure and maximise excellence, innovation, and value in services to the community.  


Ashlea Gilmore BA (Criminology and Politics) 
Member - Elected to Board: Oct 2021

Ashlea Gilmore is experienced in public relations, politics and government and is currently a Senior Manager, Strategic Development (Business Ventures) at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Prior, Ashlea was a Senior Adviser to the Victorian Minister for Trade and Investment and an Adviser to Australia’s first Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence and Minister for Women. In this role Ashlea advised on the Royal Commission into Family Violence and supported the development of Safe and Strong: Victoria’s Gender Equality Strategy.


Brigid Mahar B. Comm B.PD CA 
Member - Elected to Board: Oct 2019

Brigid Mahar has extensive experience working with not for profit organisations in relation to strategy and operations, specialising in the development of transparent and efficient funding models, policies and processes to support effective decision making.  She is a chartered accountant and has a strong financial background spanning the not for profit and corporate sectors.


Diana Quinn BSC (Hons) Computational Mathematics and Investment Management Certificate (CFA UK)
Member - Elected to Board: October 2020

Diana is a partner at EY with c.20 years of global experience, mainly in advisory roles working with organisations going through change to reshape their businesses and operating models. Diana is a keen advocate of women’s rights. She currently champions initiatives addressing diversity and inclusion, and regularly uses her platform to raise awareness of women’s issues.


Magdalena Simonis MBBS FRACGP DipObst RANZCOG
Member - Elected to Board: Oct 2013-Oct 2015, Re-elected Oct 2017

Magdalena Simonis is a doctor with a passion for women’s health advocacy and chronic disease prevention. She is a Senior Research Fellow with the Department of General Practice at the University of Melbourne and her other appointments include the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Expert Committee for Quality Care, Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) Strategy and Policy Committee, National Coordinator for the Australian Federation of Medical Women, Co-Chair of Medical Women’s International Association Scientific and Research Subcommittee and President of the Victorian Medical Women’s Society. Magdalena teaches and is an RACGP and University of Melbourne Medical Student Examiner. 

Our board members, staff and volunteers work to a values-based code of conduct, which sets expectations about our leadership and integrity; our belief in empowerment of others; our belief in equality of opportunities and rights; our feminist commitment to women’s equality and to challenging gender norms, practices and structures.

Board Director positions are voluntary with expenses reimbursed.

If you are Interested in Board positions please contact the CEO on 96649300