who we are

Women Supporting Women To Generate Change

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The women who form the Women's Spirit Project team are passionate and motivated women on a mission to support other women. They come from a variety of professional backgrounds and roles - bringing lived experience, heart, soul and expertise to the project.

New - 2022 - 2023 Annual Report - Impact and Outcomes

The 2022-2023 Annual Report on Impact and Outcomes provides an overview of the Women's Spirit Project's initiatives and accomplishments during the period 2022 - 2023.

Strategic Plan - 2021 - 2024

The Strategic Plan 2021 - 2024 defines the direction of the Women's Spirit Project, outlining the path from the present to the preferred future.

Annual Report - Impact and Outcomes - 2021 - 2022

The Annual Report - Impact and Outcomes - 2021 - 2022 contains a summary of information about the activities of the Women's Spirit Project, over the period 2021 - 2022.

Who We Are

Chair

Kathy Heffernan - Chair

Dip. of Management – Community Services & Health Management, Grad. Cert. Strategic Human Resource Management, AIP2 Certificate of Engagement

Kathy Heffernan has extensive experience in community & government settings and has facilitated strong partnerships critical to the successful design and delivery of community services, social policy and infrastructure projects.

Kathy has designed and implemented community participation strategies that address and respond to diverse community needs.

Kathy is a feminist who has contributed to improving the health and wellbeing of women as a founding member of Women’s Health in the South East (WHISE), development of local government gender equality policy, management of supported women’s housing and outreach services and the development of peer education programs for young women.

Acting Executive Manager

Jane Price - Acting Executive Manager

Jane is thrilled to support the Women’s Spirit Project in her role as Acting Executive Manager in this time of change, evolution and opportunity. Currently the Founder and Director of JSP Foresight Consulting and Coaching, Jane is a former Director in Local Government with over 10 years of extensive experience in senior management. Jane has held senior roles in Community Health, Women’s Health and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. Her career has involved stints at LaTrobe University and Australian Catholic University lecturing and tutoring in public health and health policy. Jane is currently on LaTrobe University Master of Public Health’s Advisory Committee. With an undergraduate degree in Health Promotion (BAppSc), Masters of Public Health (MPH) and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Director’s Company Director’s course, Jane has most recently completed ICF Coaching accredited training.


She is currently a Board Director at Tweddle Child & Family Health Service and a previous Board Chair of the Women’s Spirit Project. Jane’s professional purpose is to enable thriving organisations to support healthy, vibrant and resilient communities. Jane’s career has largely focussed on improving health and social outcomes for local communities. Applying deep leadership experience in the government, community, health and not for profit sectors, Jane facilitates strategic change at the system, organisation and individual level.

Board of Directors

Catherine Baird - Director

Catherine is an accomplished people and culture professional with senior executive experience working in complex and dynamic roles in large, multicultural, global organisations. She is a transformational leader pushing the boundaries of learning and development who possesses strong commercial and business acumen, approached with a spirit of compassion and care. Catherine is adept at translating vision and strategy into actionable delivery that wins the hearts and minds of teams to create exceptional customer experiences and shareholder value. She is a passionate advocate for inclusion, diversity and cultivating workplaces where people can thrive.

Helen Beeby - Women's Spirit Project
Helen Beeby

Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Certs. In Professional Fundraising and Gifts in Wills, Professional Cert. National Council Training of Journalists.

Helen worked as a newspaper journalist for 16 years before branching out into freelance copywriting, PR and media design. She embarked on a career change into fundraising, developing broad skills in individual giving, community fundraising, corporate giving and gifts in wills. Philanthropic roles at NFPs include international development, community services, performing arts and health. She is now Campaign Director, Include a Charity at Fundraising Institute Australia, supporting the charity sector across Australia. She is also the editor of a monthly magazine for the Uniting Church Adult Fellowship. Her passion for supporting women in fragile environments is long-standing. She is grateful for the opportunity to amplify the Women’s Spirit Project and inspire women recovering from trauma and hardship to flourish.
Rachel Rice - Director & Treasurer

CPA, Batchelor of Commerce (Accounting)

Rachel is a Certified Practicing Accountant with over 21 years’ experience in public practice and corporate accounting. She has experience in working with a variety of industries and loves to assist clients to succeed in their businesses. Rachel has been the treasurer of the Kindergarten her children attended and is in her 4th year as Treasurer of the local Junior Football Club.  Rachel loves the outdoors, camping and exploring our beautiful country with her family and friends. She is excited to be a part of the Women’s Spirit Project and the healthy relationships and lifestyles it is promoting.

Founder

Jodie Belyea - Founder

Masters in Business Leadership, Undergraduate qualifications in Youth Work, Community Development, training and business administration

Jodie has accumulated 25 years working across the corporate, community, government and philanthropic sectors and is a community change maker.

She has an entrepreneurial spirit combined with community development and transformational leadership practice to support systems change and the development of programs that empower individuals and communities. She has led the establishment of local, state and national programs for young people and adults and community building initiatives such as ChangeMaker Training with Family Life and the Tamarack Institute for community sector professionals.

Jodie has undertaken large scale research projects, written successful million-dollar tenders; and led state and national initiatives such as the National Indigenous Youth Leadership Program, Connectus and the pilot project for the Premier’s Drug Prevention Council.

Our Ambassadors

Jackie Galloway - Ambassador

Jackie Galloway is a respected community leader in the Victorian legal assistance sector, working towards a more equitable society.

For the past 13 years Jackie has been the Chief Executive Officer of Peninsula Community Legal Centre, an independent not-for-profit organization providing free legal services across the Sth East of Melbourne.  With a background in welfare and community development, Jackie is passionate about empowering vulnerable clients and effecting social change. Prior to her role as CEO, Jackie served as Deputy CEO, Manager of the Centre’s Consumer Affairs Program and as a caseworker.

Jackie chairs several committees and works collaboratively on a number of state, regional and local steering committees and networks to address social issues such as housing and family violence.

Jackie is committed to improving the lives and wellbeing of women and strives for a society free of violence.  

In 2023 Jackie was proud to be awarded a Order of Australia medal in recognition of her work in the community.  

Operations Team

Birte Moliere - Brand & Impact Lead

Masters in Destination Management, background in business, tourism, brand & marketing strategy and sustainability

Birte combines her global experience, diverse background and business acumen to help organisations achieve best practise, impact driven strategies. Over the years, she has worked with many businesses, governments and communities who’ve welcomed her strategic yet practical approach to driving positive impact. She’s joined the WSP as Project Manager because she believes in the power of women working together to break down barriers and empowering others in our community to thrive.

Emma Rigby - Catch Up & Connect Walk Lead

Bachelor of Nursing

Emma is a registered nurse with over 18years experience who has worked with a diverse population of people, many at their most vulnerable. A passionate walker who loves a challenge, Emma continues to be inspired by the project and is involved in supporting a range of the team’s activities.

Greer Watson - Branding & Design

BVA, Sydney College of Arts, BVC Visual Communication (Hon) UTS

An Australian born designer with a Bachelor of Arts from Sydney College of Arts and a Bachelor of Visual Communication (Hon) from the University of Technology Sydney. Winning an early placement in a renowned Australian advertising agency, Greer has a wide range of national advertising campaigns under her banner; including an award-winning campaign for Amnesty International. After studying and working in London Greer returned to Australia to follow her passion, creating boutique branding for start-up family run Australian brands. With clients from food to fashion, lifestyle, beauty and homewares her business is entirely word of mouth with her clients calling her ‘their best kept secret’! With a skill set ranging from print branding through to packaging, stand and shop design and styling, she has achieved many prestigious industry awards. Every aspect of Greer’s business is about her personal touch. She is unequivocally and enthusiastically devoted to each brand, infusing them with her personal passion and creativity.

Juanita Sanger – Fitness & Wellbeing Lead

For the last 30 years Juanita’s life has been helping people achieve results they never thought possible, empowering people with simple healthy rituals and strategies to elevate wellbeing, sports performance and results in business. Her motto is “Give people the tools and they can become unstoppable!” 

Juanita’s real passion and experience is educating and guiding the way for girls and women as displayed through her work with The Women’s Project, as the Fitness and Wellbeing Lead; within the schooling system as the Head of Physical Education, Health & Outdoor Education at a number of girls’ schools; reviewing and amending the Victorian Girls Catholic Schools Sport Association and coaching girls community sport where she was awarded the Frankston and South East Football Coach of the year in 2021. 

Juanita is also a speaker, nutrition coach, personal trainer and the owner of a fitness and wellbeing studio. Juanita has positively impacted thousands of lives. She has an amazing way of giving people the motivation, skills and strategies to thrive in all areas of their life.

Kate Park - General Member & Bookkeeper

Bachelor of Business

Kate is a successful Office Manager with over 14 years’ experience in office administration and book-keeping. Kate prides herself on being detail-oriented, organised and highly resourceful with strong decision making and problem-solving abilities. With a hospitality background, Kate’s skills lend themselves well to supporting many areas of the Women’s Sprit Project. Kate contributes to the planning of, and participation in a range of aspects of the project.

Kerry Strickland - Cultural Advisor

Registered Nurse

Kerry is an Aboriginal Woman from Wadi Wadi in NSW. She is a registered Nurse working with Healthy Start to Life project at Peninsula Health and is the Treasurer Board Member of Nairm Marr Djambana.
Kim Taylor - Advocate

Diploma in Community Services Child Care

Kim has 20+ years’ experience in varied child care roles in the private sector, State & Federal Government and 15 + years in customer service within the Family Law Jurisdiction. Kim is a founding participant of the Women’s Spirit Project. She enjoys the great outdoors and no longer walks in fear, but walks with a mindset of discovery. Kim is dedicated to supporting the Women’s Spirit Project for others in our community.

Lynn Holt - Fundraising/Grant Writing Lead

Bachelor's Degree in Community Development, Post Graduate Diploma in Health Promotion, Master in Public Health

Lynns passion for addressing social inequality was ignited from a young age and has influenced her pursuing a career in public health. With experience in management, research and evaluation, project management, and community development, she has held positions in community health care, hospitals, state, and national health departments and not for profit organisations.

With a Bachelor Degree in community development, a Post Graduate Diploma in Health Promotion and Master in Public Health, she has also held board appointments in Women’s Regional Health Services and Community Health. Lynn’s interest in inspiring the next generation of public health practitioners provided the impetus for her sessional lecturing positions in the Master in Public Health both in Australia and India.

Having a special interest in healing, Lynn studied therapeutic yoga with the Iyengar family in India. She currently enjoys teaching Iyengar yoga classes and yoga therapy in Melbourne.

She maintains her connection to India, through her regular contributions to the international Yoga Rahasya publications, where she explores the connections of medical science and eastern philosophy.

Melanie Peterssen - Fundraising/Grant Writing Lead

Bachelor of Arts (Youth Affairs), Graduate Certificate in Child & Adolescent Mental Health, Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training

Melanie has worked across local government and community settings for over 25 years, with a background in youth work, program delivery, community engagement and road safety. She brings her skills and experience in grant writing, collaboration and program delivery to the team, with an ongoing commitment to continuous improvement, problem solving and innovation. 

Melanie has a passion for working collaboratively for greatest impact and believes in the immense power and magic of women supporting women. As a former mentor in the Spirit of Transformation Program, she knows first-hand how amazing, transformative, powerful and joyful the WSP programs are and is excited and honoured to play her part in securing funding to support WSP programs and events, now and into the future.

Mel Smith - Operations Coordinator

Diploma of Community Services

Mel has extensive experience at an executive level working within corporate business for over 12 years. Mel was a participant in the WSP pilot program, which was life changing having recently experienced family and domestic violence. Since completing the program, Mel has been studying a Diploma of Community Services and has become an advocate for women experiencing family violence by sharing her story. Mel is passionate and committed to supporting the Women’s Spirit Project and giving back to her community.

The Governance Group

SUCCESS!!

You’re now officially registered for the Walk4Wellbeing from Sat 02 October to Sun 28 November.

Please check your emails (including spam!) for next steps including instructions to get ready and meet our fabulous bunch of fellow participants.

We’re excited to have you on board. We’ll see you in the Facebook group soon (https://www.facebook.com/groups/169324257696064/about/)

Happy Trails,
Women Spirit Project team.