Guest Speaker for Opening of Conference of Clubs
Dr Mimmie Claudine Ngum Chi Watts MPH GCTE PhD
Academic, Board Director, Entrepreneur, Advocate, Thought Leader, Commissioner, Victorian Multicultural Commission, Australia
Dr Watts has extensive experience and well-developed skills in governance and management and recognised for her strategic engagement capabilities. She is a strategic thinker, advocate, a public speaker and a Public Health Expert and a leader in women’s health, gender health and international health. As an academic at Victoria University for eleven years she developed and led the Bachelor of Health Science in the College of Health and Biomedicine. Her expertise includes: women’s health, social inclusion, chronic disease prevention and management, health promotion, migrant and refugee health, strategic planning and health policy as well as curriculum development and teaching research methods. Indeed, migration and migrant health needs have formed a significant part of Mimmie’s research expertise and she has published in refereed academic journals as well as being a reviewer and editor in public health related journals. She has participated in many International conferences and summits including the Gender Pre-Submit on Gender by the African Union. Improving health needs for women, increasing education opportunities particularly for girls and disadvantaged persons are key areas of interest for Dr Watts.
Dr Watts was recently appointed by the Department of Health to the reference group responsible for the implementation of the first Victorian Sexual and Reproductive Health Plan for the state. She served on the Federal Government Reference Group for the FGM Prevention Plan. Dr Watts is a Commissioner at the Victorian Multicultural Commission; Deputy Chair, Board of Directors at Women’s Health West, a former Board Director at Western Health and currently serves on the Board of AMES Australia. Dr Watts Chairs the Australian African Academic Network. She recently convened the Successful Inaugural African Diaspora Women Summit attended by some 300 participants over two days. Dr Watts is a respected public speaker, strategic thinker and academic with local and global networks within academic institutions.
Informative and Inspiring Women
Molly Harriss Olson
Molly Harriss Olson is the CEO of Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand. She served nearly six years on the Board of Fairtrade International and as Chair for the final two.
Recognised for her leadership on sustainable business and development for more than three decades, Ms Olson has convened, led and been a member of numerous boards, business leadership and sustainability initiatives, including The World Economic Forum’s Global Leaders of Tomorrow.
In 2014 she received The Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Award.
Ms Olson worked at the White House as the founding Executive Director of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development, appointed by President Clinton in 1993.
Stephanie is an international award winning social entrepreneur who began Seven Women at the age of just 22, after meeting seven disabled women operating out of a tin shed in Kathmandu, all struggling to make a living and enduring harsh discrimination.
Since 2006, Seven Women has been working to empower marginalised Nepalese women by equipping them with the skills and know how to thrive. Twelve years later, over 5,000 women have been educated, trained and employed, transforming their lives and their communities.
Stephanie is one of only six worldwide to have her work recognised with a Rotary Responsible Business Award, presented at the United Nations in New York.
Joanna currently sits on the Ministerial Advisory Council for Women’s Equality in the Victorian government.
She has worked in the international development, human rights and social justice sector for 30 years.
Joanna was awarded an AO in 2018 for distinguished service to women in the areas of gender equality and individual rights through leadership and policy development roles and for the promotion of global health, peace and security.
In 2013, Joanna was named as one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence and in 2016 Joanna was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women.
Joanna was the CEO of International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) from 2010 -2017.
Kristi Van Es
Kristi Van Es is the Founder of Offspring, a not for profit organisation working with young women rescued from sex trafficking in Kolkata, India.
Kristi left her job as a high school teacher and moved to India in 2014, where she established a trauma informed transition center to work with survivors in the areas of vocational training, education and emotional support. Offspring aims to help reintegrate these young women back into the community, with a renewed sense of hope for the future.
Dr Sita Balshaw
Dr Sita Balshaw is a health scientist who works in the field of public health and wellbeing protection.
She has 15 years’ experience working as an independent researcher, private consultant and as a public servant for State government where she has been responsible for the development of health protection response and intervention programs for chemical contaminants in the environment.
In this capacity Sita has focused her career on advocating for health protection through community engagement and the protection of the air we breathe, the food we eat, the earth we live on, and the water we drink.
Currently employed as the Senior Policy Advisor – Contaminated Sites for NSW Health, Sita provides high level technical and strategic advice with regards to contaminated sites and environmental hazards where public health issues require appropriate government response.
Heather Machin RN MBA PhD Candidate
Heather is a Nurse with duel responsibilities across the global ophthalmic nursing and eye bank sectors. Working directly with ocular transplant services, seeking to protect donors and improve equitable eye transplant allocation processes globally, she has led national and global bioethical tissue framework projects and sector education and capacity development projects, and has published widely - receiving numerus awards and nominations.
Heather has worked in over 30 countries, previously with ORBIS International’s Flying Eye Hospital out of New York, and now as a consultant to the Fred Hollows Foundation NZ working in the Pacific Islands. She is Chair of the Australian Ophthalmic Nurses Association National Council; Project Officer to the Lions Eye Donation Service, Centre for Eye Research Australia (a World Health Organization Collaborative Centre for Blindness Prevention) University of Melbourne Project Officer to the Eye Bank Association of Australia and New Zealand; and Developer for the Global Alliance of Eye Bank Associations.
SISWP 40th Birthday Celebrations
Emily J Roycroft
In 2017 Emily was the recipient of the Dame Margaret Blackwood Soroptimist Scholarship, for The University of Melbourne.
Emily is currently a PhD candidate at The University of Melbourne and Museums Victoria. She is broadly interested in the application of genomic data to understanding both macro and micro evolutionary processes. (Experts in genomics strive to determine complete DNA sequences and perform genetic mapping to help understand disease.)
Her PhD focuses on understanding evolutionary pattern and process in the rapid radiation of murine rodents in Australia and across the Indo-Australian Archipelago.
She undertook her BSc in Genetics and Zoology at Monash University.