A dedicated team of female staff and volunteers support WPI, spanning operations, tenancy and property management, property development, finance, communications, and administration.
Women’s Property Initiatives
Women’s Property Initiatives is a non-profit company, limited by guarantee, managed by a voluntary board of women from the private, government, community and academic sectors.
We are also advised by the talented and generous individuals who are part of our Advisory Panel, bringing skills from a wide range of areas including development, property, finance, legal, planning and communications.
Katie is a Chartered Accountant with over 19 years’ experience in professional practice advising clients in a number of industries and sectors both in Australia and the UK. She is currently a Partner in Assurance at Ernst and Young, one of the Big Four professional services firms. Katie has strong technical accounting knowledge, as well as a risk management focus and a deep understanding of the role, workings and challenges of boards and committees. She brings significant experience in financial management, risk management and governance.
Debra has extensive experience in senior leadership roles in the financial services sector and was previously Chief of Staff at Aware Super. She has applied her leadership, analytical and financial skills to lead significant strategic programs in several organisations. She has led a wide variety of functional areas including strategy, policy, corporate affairs, project delivery and technology. Debra holds a Master of Business Administration and is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Sejla is a Partner at SW Accountants & Advisors and has 17 years’ experience in providing accounting, tax and business advisory services to a broad range of businesses. Sejla specialises in advising property developers and property investors on complex commercial, financial and tax matters. Over the past seven years, she has lent her expertise to a number of significant development projects, totalling a combined value of approximately $2.5 billion. Sejla is a Chartered Accountant with a Bachelor of Business (Swinburne University). Sejla is also an active Committee member of the Property Council of Australia (Academy, Property Development).
Carmel has worked for professional membership associations for many years, including Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV) and the Australian Institute of Architects. She is currently Executive Officer (Vic & Tas) for the Planning Institute Australia, responsible for a range of activities, both externally and internally focussed, including policy, advocacy, education, professional development, certification, member services, communications, marketing, sponsorship, finance and administration. Carmel has been involved with WPI for 14 years.
Donna has a Diploma in Law (Legal Practitioners Admission Board), Graduate Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Adelaide University). She is a Principal at Russell Kennedy Law Firm and her areas of practice are Property Law, Aged Care and Retirement Villages, and Due Diligence. Donna is Joint Deputy Convener, Russell Kennedy Women’s Network (2016), a member Victorian Women Lawyers and was recognised by Best Lawyers 2013 – 2018 for expertise in Retirement Villages and Senior Living Law.
Michelle has a Bachelor of Business (Property) and is a Certified Practicing Valuer. Michelle is currently CEO of Aware Real Estate and has over 25 years’ experience in the property industry, leading teams, delivering results and building quality relationships with a large range of stakeholders including executives, investors, customers and service partners. Michelle offers a highly developed strategic approach to the management of Aware Real Estate, the property investment platform responsible for the strategic performance and management of Aware Super’s directly owned Australian property portfolio. Michelle has extensive experience in commercial services, investment strategy and asset management, including senior roles at Australia Post, ISPT and JLL. She is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a committee member of Property Council of Australia.
Nicole is an engineer whose professional experience includes 14 years with ExxonMobil across strategy, commercial, and technical roles, and earlier work in residential construction. She currently leads the Gippsland Pipelines Asset, managing the integrity of licensed oil and gas pipelines both offshore and onshore. Nic is an experienced director, previously serving as Deputy Chair and Governance Chair on the board of a member-owned credit union, and is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Eleanor has a Bachelor of Laws and 20 years’ experience practicing as a real estate lawyer. She leads the Melbourne real estate team at Johnson Winter Slattery where she advises on a broad range of real estate transactions including social and affordable housing projects. Eleanor is also the current Chair of the Property Council Victoria’s Social Infrastructure Committee. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
CEO, Company Secretary
Jeanette has a Bachelor of Behavioural Science and a Graduate Diploma in Business Management. She has extensive experience across the housing sector: from running refuges and local housing groups to management roles in government departments. Under Jeanette’s leadership, WPI’s housing stock has increased from 11 dwellings to 197. By working innovatively with public, corporate, and non-government partners, Jeanette has increased the organisation’s size and influence. Jeanette facilitated WPI’s certification as a Registered Housing Agency and has moved WPI into a highly visible space in the government and public arenas, through constant advocacy for more affordable housing for women and their children.
Our Advisory Panel
Project Director – Stockland
Professional background: Almost two decades of experience leading and managing high performing teams of varied scale and capability across a broad array of industries from property and construction to retail and fast moving consumer goods.
Skills and experience: Experience in all aspects of property development, project management, strategy, marketing and sales with senior roles in Australia with 16 years in a diverse range of senior roles at Stockland.
Partner, Construction & Projects – Maddocks
Professional Background: Lawyer – Construction and Development
Skills and experience: Extensive transactional expertise in the area of property and construction projects. Drafting and negotiation of development agreements, construction contracts and consultant agreements.
Head of Development, Lend Lease Retirement Living
Professional background: Project Management and Business Strategy in the Property Development Sector.
Relevant Skills and experience: Managing large multi-disciplinary teams to deliver complex projects; developing business strategy and processes and developing residential, commercial, retail and retirement projects across Australia.
Professional background: a transformational business leader with 25 years of experience leading high-performance teams in property and construction. She is a graduate of the Melbourne Business School with specialist training and experience in strategy and growth. Jennifer has held board appointments as Chair at RMIT University PCPM and is an advisory committee member of the Building Industry Consultative Council, Women’s Property Initiatives, and Wesley College Property Committee.
Relevant Skills and experience:As Director of Strategy at Built, Jennifer developed and led a tactical approach to deal with Government agencies. The work focused on building relationships and credibility while implementing initiatives that positively impact the property and construction industry. The pipeline grew by 25% in just one year – increasing Government opportunities and project procurement within the business.
Jennifer was responsible for leading impactful teams of up to 150 and managed budgets of over $500M.
General Manager – New Markets, Sherridon Homes
Professional background: Business Management and Registered Builder
Skills and experience: Channel strategy, e-commerce and corporate strategy as a business analyst. Strategic direction setting and implementing growth in the building industry.
Director – Six Degrees Architects
Professional Background: Architecture
Skills and Experience: Design, Construction and Project Management
Special Counsel – Maddocks Lawyers
Professional background: Lawyer: corporate and commercial
Skills and experience: substantial experience in the establishment and governance of charities and not-for-profits, commercial agreements for supply of goods and services and advising on consumer credit, privacy and consumer law.
Director – Hansen Partnership
Professional background: Bachelor of Planning and Design (Hons). Director at Hansen Partnership since 2003.
Skills and experience: More than 25 years’ experience in statutory and strategic planning at senior level in local government and private sector. Appointed a Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia in 2019
Chief Executive Officer – Super Housing Partnerships
Professional background: Senior executive roles in property development sector including as CEO of Vicinity Centres and Deputy CEO at Grocon.
Skills and experience: Property development, strategic direction setting and driving cultural and operational change.
The WPI team
Fundraising, Partnerships & Strategy
Tenancy and Property Manager
Tenancy and Property Manager
Tenancy and Property Worker
Office Organisation Assistant