Our Steering Group represents member organisations and oversees the ERA Secretariat.
Sinead O’Connell, Women’s Electoral Lobby Australia (WEL)
Sinead completed her undergraduate degree in English Literature at The ANU in 2014, and started her postgraduate degree at the University of Sydney in 2015, studying a Master of Human Rights – with specific focus on gender and trauma theory. Sinead has been a member of the Women’s Electoral Lobby NSW Executive Committee since early 2016, motivated by a passion for reforming reproductive health legislation in NSW, and elsewhere. Sinead is an active volunteer member in the WEL Abortion Action Group, and is also a member of the WEL Fundraising and Events Committee. Aiming to finish her dissertation in 2018, Sinead hopes to continue her work with WEL and policy reform.
Janette Curtis, Zonta International District 24
Janette is the 2016-2018 Zonta International District 24 Governor. Zonta is a leading international organisation of professionals empowering women through service and advocacy. Zonta International envisions a world in which women’s rights are recognised as human rights and every woman is able to achieve her full potential. In such a world, women have access to all resources and are represented in decision making positions on an equal basis with men and no woman lives in fear of violence. Janette comes from a senior academic background in health combined with community participation and has always advocated for gender equality.
Dientje Van Dongen, CARE Australia
Dientje is a Program Officer in the Humanitarian and Emergency Response Unit in CARE Australia. Dientje graduated from the National University of Ireland in 2015 with a master degree in International Human Rights Law, and moved to Australia afterwards. Her current work includes developing proposals and oversight of humanitarian response projects. This involves advocacy with DFAT, liaison with other NGO agencies, along with preparing for and responding to humanitarian disasters. She is a member of the CARE Australia Gender & Diversity Committee, organising events about sexual orientation and gender identity in humanitarian programming, and internal discussions on feminism. Previously Dientje worked at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where alongside her work responsibilities in the area of rule of law and good governance, she co-founded ‘Out There’, the internal LGBTI network for employees. Dientje volunteers on campaigns focused on women’s rights, equality, and the environment. She speaks two languages and is learning a third.
Hannah Woodward, Girl Guides Australia
As a Board Director of her State Girl Guide Organisation, as well as a trainer and unit leader, Hannah is an active member of Girl Guides Australia from Perth. Through Guiding, Hannah is an advocate for girls and young women nationally and on the global stage, while also working locally empowering girls and young women aged 5-30. Professionally, Hannah is a Policy and Communications Officer at Save the Children, working within the West Australian Place-Based Strategy Team. In this role she develops strategic communication pieces, while exploring opportunities to advocate for early intervention, collaboration and place-based approaches in youth and community services. Hannah is a Behavioural Scientist with a background in Social Justice and Education, and is a passionate advocate for sustainable development, gender equality and youth participation.
Sarah Squire, Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand
Sarah has held several leadership roles, including Manager of the Violence Prevention Coordination Unit at the NSW Department of Family and Community Services, and Manager of the Women’s Policy Development Unit at the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet. During her time at the Australian Human Rights Commission Sarah supported two Sex Discrimination Commissioners, leading policy and advocacy for paid parental leave, and managing a two-year national project on work and family responsibilities. At the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet Sarah chaired a Ministerial Working Group on the development of national gender equality indicators, set up a new Premier’s Expert Advisory Council on Women, led development of the NSW Women’s Plan, and created a new policy package to support the appointment of women to government boards and committees. At beyondblue, Sarah led the development of the organisation’s landmark campaign addressing the impact of discrimination on the mental health and social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. She also led beyondblue’s programs supporting perinatal, parent, children, youth, and older adult mental health. Sarah is currently Head of the Women’s Research, Advocacy and Policy (WRAP) Centre at Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand.
Anna Kerr, Feminist Legal Clinic
Anna Kerr is a founder and Principal Solicitor of the Feminist Legal Clinic Inc., a new service that works to advance the human rights of women and girls by supporting feminist groups and services. Clients are diverse and have included the Coalition for Women’s Refuges, the Women’s Family Law Court Support Service and The Women’s Library. She is also a member of Legal Aid’s Domestic Violence Practitioner Scheme and in this capacity carries out regular advocacy work at local courts in Sydney. Anna has been a practising solicitor for over 25 years, working largely in the community legal sector, commencing her career as a graduate solicitor with the Aboriginal Legal Service and subsequently being employed in a range of centres including Redfern Legal Centre, Shopfront Youth Legal Centre and Women’s Legal Services NSW.
YWCA Australia, Standing Member