Our Steering Group represents member organisations and oversees the ERA Secretariat.
Erin Gillen, National Foundation for Australian Women
Erin Gillen is a senior policy advisor currently working on national efforts to prevent violence against women. Currently a staff member at Our Watch, Erin has convened national coordination efforts on respectful relationships education, developed policy positions such as for the National Inquiry into Sexual Harassment in Australian Workplaces, and provided advice to governments on the development of approaches to prevent gender-based violence. She has experience in a range of policy areas including social, education, multicultural and migration policy. Her work has had a strong focus on gender equality and the role of the Federal Government in enacting policy reform to progress towards this goal. Erin is a member of the National Foundation for Australian Women’s Social Policy Committee (including contributing to the annual Gender Lens on the Budget) and ERA’s Young Women’s Advisory Group. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the Australian National University. Aged 27, Erin grew up in regional NSW and currently lives in Melbourne.
Molly Howes, Children by Choice
Graduating in 2017 Molly Howes has a Bachelor of Mass Communications from the Queensland University of Technology and is currently the Communications Officer at Children by Choice. Children by Choice is a feminist organisation that supports women to freely make their own reproductive and sexual health choices. Molly is a passionate advocate for women’s equality through service delivery and advocacy with a keen interest in healthy relationships and sex education.
Sharyl Scott, Zonta International
Sharyl is the current Governor of Zonta International District 24 (NSW & ACT), professionally she is a NSW Primary School Principal with post graduate qualifications in education and professional mentoring. She is currently completing a Coaching International qualification. Her experience with the alliances has been as a delegate to ERA and eS4W representing Zonta International. Sharyl was also a board member of the one of the original alliances, Australian Women’s Coalition (10 years). She was AWC president for 4 years, leading national enquiries on research for victims of sexual violence, trafficking and slavery with UTS, research on women in prison and projects on young women in leadership in diverse communities. In 2018 she was a delegate for Zonta International to CSW62.
Aloma Fennell, National Older Women’s Network
Aloma Fennell holds a BA (Behavioral Sc) and MA (Adult Ed). Aloma has many firsts to her name: The first woman to be the Chair of the Board of the largest educational institution in Australia: Sydney Institute of Technology; first woman to be the National President of the Australian Institute of Training & Development, where she continues to be an Honorary Fellow, and she is a recipient of a Leadership Award from the University of NSW. Aloma is also the first woman to Chair the Board of the Mona Vale Hospital and she has led her own successful business, for 28 years in Corporate recruitment & training with a client base of leading corporations. Previously chair of Global Alliance for the Rights of Older Persons (GAROP) Australia, Aloma has recently been elected to the international steering group of GAROP and she has attended meetings at the UN in New York. With GAROP she has, among other, input to policy development & positions.
Dakshata Sharma, Girl Guides Australia
Dakshata Sharma is a young woman whose lived experience, in particular her time as a Girl Guide in India, UK and Australia over the last ten years, has cemented a passion for pursuing advocacy and gender equality in all aspects of life. Dakshata is in her final year studying Political Economics, focused on uneven development and eco-feminism, at the University of Sydney. Dakshata believes that advocacy has never been more crucial than it is today; in a society where women form the backbone of political, economic and labour functions, it is important that diverse women of all backgrounds be heard. In the near future she would like to pursue postgraduate study in public policy with the goal to actively participate in initiatives that empower women across Australia. Dakshata volunteers as a Girl Guide Leader of girls aged 7-18 years. In this role she helps girls discover their voice, reach their potential and be changemakers in their world; she strives to empower the next generation of women leaders and change makers of diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds like herself. In 2019 Dakshata attended a Girl Guide global leadership event with a focus on developing leadership mindsets and gender equality.
Jacquie O’Brien, Marie Stopes Australia
Jacquie has worked in public affairs, policy and advocacy for the past 16 years. She is the Director of Public Affairs and Policy at Marie Stopes Australia where she leads the advocacy, policy, research and public affairs portfolio of the organisation. Her recent work has included leading the development of the national White Paper on reproductive coercion and developing and implementing a Partnering with Consumers program at Marie Stopes Australia that won a national Australian Council of Healthcare Standards Excellence Award. Jacquie has also worked in environmental sustainability and wildlife conservation, including leading the national public advocacy campaign on the environmental and social impacts of palm oil. Jacquie has a Master of International Development and Environmental Analysis from Monash University and is currently completing her Graduate Certificate in Domestic Violence at Queensland University of Technology.
YWCA Australia, Standing Member