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 is currently Chief of Staff, 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.
Christine is a Chartered Accountant with 30 years’ experience in the profession and private sector, with particular expertise in risk and treasury management, structuring and tax. She is currently the CFO of a private company with extensive property portfolio. Christine is a Director of Scalzo Food Industries and Australian Plant Proteins. She also represents landowners in residential land developments in Geelong and the Illawarra. Christine is Chair of the Scalzo Foods Audit and Risk Committee and the Larkfield Management Tax and Governance Committee.
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. Currently General Manager, Property, at Australia Post, she manages one of Australia’s largest property portfolios. She is responsible for the delivery of strategic and operational benefits through portfolio management and supply of services to the business. Michelle has extensive experience in commercial services, investment strategy and asset management, including senior roles at 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.
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
General Manager of Residential Business – Stockland
Professional background: Senior executive roles in property development. Bachelor of Urban Planning and Development and Graduate Diploma in Construction and a Masters of Business (Property) from RMIT. Vice President of the Property Council of Australia (Victorian Division)
Skills and experience: Experience in all aspects of property development in Australia with 7 years leading Stockland’s Victorian Residential business as General Manager. Responsible for a portfolio featuring some of Victoria’s largest residential developments.
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.
Director and General Manager Operations – JG King Building Group
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 – Westpac Private Bank, BT Financial Group
Professional Background: Financial Management
Skills and Experience: Financial Strategy, Business Management, Marketing and Communication
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
Lead Creative Strategist, MamaTray
Professional background: Marketing, branding and advertising
Skills and experience: Extensive experience in brand strategy development, marketing and communications.
Executive General Manager – Development, Vicinity Centres
Professional background: Senior executive roles in property development sector including as CEO and Deputy CEO of Grocon.
Skills and experience: Property development, strategic direction setting and driving cultural and operational change.
The WPI team
Tenancy and Property Manager
Tenancy and Property Manager
P. Joy Villalino
Fundraising and Relationships Lead