Meet our Team

Meet the dedicated team working to achieve our common goal of empowering women as they age

Get to know our ENTHUSIASTIC, collaborative, & Committed team

In 2001, OWN NSW was incorporated as the peak body for affiliated groups in NSW, of which there are currently 17, including 7 Wellness Centres.

OWN NSW is governed by a nine-member Board. All members of the Board are volunteers. Caroline Baum, author and journalist is the OWN NSW Ambassador.

Our Ambassador

 

Caroline Baum

Caroline Baum

OWN NSW Ambassador

Author and journalist Caroline Baum was born in the UK and educated at the Lycée Charles de Gaulle and the University of York. She worked for the BBC, Time Life and Conde Nast in the UK before moving to Australia in 1984. In Australia she has worked in all media from print to radio and television, as well as co-producing a documentary.

She is the author of ONLY:A Singular Memoir, describing her complex life within a family traumatised by history and domestic violence.In 2015, Caroline was awarded the Hazel Rowley Fellowship and is currently working on her second book, a biography of French woman Lucie Dreyfus. She has been a judge for the Stella Prize, the Premiers Literary Awards and the Ned Kelly Awards.

Caroline has written about aspects of ageing, ageism and aged care for the Guardian and the Griffith Review (issue 68 :Getting On). She has hosted and moderated national forums and webinars on aspects of elder abuse for COMPASS and Seniors Rights Services, a forum on age and mental health as part of the Big Anxiety Festival in 2019 and COTA’s national policy forum in 2019.

Caroline is also her elderly mother’s primary carer.

For some time, I have felt a natural affinity with OWN, its community and its values. I am honoured to be appointed Ambassador for this dynamic organisation at a time when we see ageism in so many aspects of public life, as a conscious and an unconscious bias, whether we are talking about housing or health care or the way older people are seen on our TV screens – Caroline.

Our Board

 

BEVERLY BAKER

BEVERLY BAKER

Chair

Beverly has served as the President of the Federation of Parents and Citizens Associations (NSW) advocating for parents with students in public schools.

She has been instrumental in the establishment and running of a number of charities, notably the FSHD Global Research Foundation.

Bev is a committed feminist. She is the current CEO of the Aboriginal Education Council.

Beverly brings her energy and enthusiasm to assisting older women retain their dignity and relevance in a society that too easily marginalises them.

LARISSA BERGMANN

LARISSA BERGMANN

Treasurer

Larissa was a paid member of OWN Sydney for several years before she became active in the organisation in 2013.

In 2015, Larissa was elected as Treasurer to OWN NSW and, in October 2017, she was elected as Treasurer to NOWN, continuing to help and contribute to the rights and wellbeing of older women.

LORRAINE SLADE

LORRAINE SLADE

Secretary

Lorraine joined OWN in 2017 as the
Board representative for the Women’s
Electoral Lobby.

Although she has been a member for only a short time, she has known about OWN for many years through her membership of WEL. OWN and WEL members have often joined together for the Sydney International Women’s Day march.

Her working career involved some years in the State Government (the Home Care Service) and some years with Local Government (Warringah Council).

Menaka Cooke

Menaka Cooke

Management Team

Menaka is a psychotherapist and coach in private practice. She also consults in Human Resources and Organisation Change. She is on the boards of Economic Security for Women, Women’s Electoral Lobby and the Indian Crisis Support Agency.

Her book ‘Monsoon Woman – wouldn’t take NO for an Answer’ (2019) is a memoir of her life starting as a migrant single parent in Australia in the early 1970s, then educating and empowering herself and reaching the Executive team in publicly-listed corporations.

Her early experiences in Australia encountering systemic, overt and covert racism and sexism led her to become a passionate feminist, joining various women’s and CALD organisations to advocate for women’s rights and empowerment.

CATE TURNER

CATE TURNER

Management Team

Cate Turner has been a member of OWN since 1994. She was the convenor of the Women In Community Housing and a member of the OWN Aboriginal Support Circle and the OWN Housing Group.

She joined the Management Team in 1998 and saw the formation of OWN NSW in 2000.

She was on the management team of the newly formed OWN Sydney and helped start many new OWN groups.

She also served as Treasurer for OWN Australia and is the treasurer for OWN Sydney.

CAROLYN NEUMANN

CAROLYN NEUMANN

Management Team

Seeking a creative retirement, Carolyn Neumann found one with a social justice message in the older Women’s Network Theatre Group.

Carolyn joined the OWN NSW Board in 2018 after several years as a member and after a working life in tertiary education and various private organisations.

Alice Mantel

Alice Mantel

Management Team

As a lawyer with over 30 years’ experience, having practised in criminal law, in government lawyer and 10 years specialising in family law and elder law, I am convinced that it is of the most importance that women are well informed when making the critical decisions about their own lives. Women usually are the main carers in their families and yet often are deliberately excluded from making the financial and legal decisions that impact their lives.

I continue to write about family and criminal law professionally and more recently published, Every Woman’s Guide to Retirement, a comprehensive guidebook aimed to inform and assist women transitioning into retirement.

By joining the OWN board I hope to be able to contribute my knowledge to making womens’ later years, safer, more financially secure and more respected in our community

Joan Harcourt

Joan Harcourt

Management Team

Joan joined the aboriginal Support Council of OWN a few years ago.

She has been a member of the Women’s Reconciliation Network since she moved to Sydney 9 years ago from Cambridge.

A psychotherapist and BodySoul leader, she led workshops for older women in Cambridge and then in Sydney.

Norma Christian

Norma Christian

Management Team

From humble beginnings in Scotland, Norma came to Australia as a “10 pound pom” and brought up three children in the suburb of Gymea.

As a single mother, she put herself through university and completed a degree in applied science in nursing then a master’s degree in mental health.

Norma worked at St George hospital as a clinical nurse specialist, working in drug, alcohol and mental health, retiring 8 years ago.

Norma is currently enjoying life, her three beautiful granddaughters and the fantastic classes at Bankstown Wellness Centre.

Our staff

 

Yumi Lee

Yumi Lee

Manager

Yumi has been a peace and women’s rights activist for many years, and worked in communications, fundraising, advocacy and lobbying, both in Australia and abroad. She is honoured to support the strong tradition of OWN in raising awareness of the issues of concern for older women. She is driven by a strong sense of social justice, and the belief that our society will be enriched when we have the full participation of those who are currently marginalised.

Christine Hall

Christine Hall

Project Manager

Christine has a background in education, and product and marketing.

She came to OWN NSW in a communications, admin and project management role.

She hopes to spread the word about the issues of importance to older women by working on special OWN projects and through the communication of the issues important to women as they age.

She comes from a family of strong independent women.

Natalie Kanawati

Natalie Kanawati

Administrative officer and research assistant

Natalie has a Bachelor of Social Work (Hons) from the University of New South Wales. She became a part of the staff at OWN NSW after her final social work student placement in late 2020.

Natalie is delighted to be a part of the important work of OWN NSW.

Katy Kavanagh

Katy Kavanagh

Coordinator BWC

After a quarter of a century at the ABC, Katy has taken a new direction as the coordinator of our Bankstown Wellness Centre.

She is aware of the importance of a strong and connected community that’s able to represent the interests of its members, to provide them with information and support.

Our Volunteers

 

Fiona Ninnes

Fiona Ninnes

Volunteer

Having met several members of the OWN Theatre group in 2018, Fiona was keen to join the group when she finished working.

Fiona became active in OWN NSW in 2019 and is now putting her varied work experience to use in the OWN NSW office (as a volunteer) and the Theatre group.

Amanda Armstrong

Amanda Armstrong

Volunteer

Amanda Armstrong is a final year History student at Sydney University.

She had a long career at the ABC as a radio producer and manager before deciding to finally finish her arts degree.

She has a particular interest in oral history and has long been impressed by the work of the Older Women’s Network.

About Us

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