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.
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.
OWN NSW Ambassador
Jane is a Walkley Award winning Australian columnist, author, novelist, broadcaster, documentary maker, feminist and social commentator. She spent 35 years as an award-winning copywriter and 7 years teaching Advertising Creative in the School of Communication Arts at Western Sydney University. These days she is a full-time writer, social commentator, speaker and broadcaster.
She has published thirteen books, including three novels Just a Girl, Just a Queen and Just Flesh & Blood – a trilogy on Elizabeth Tudor, a memoir, Plain Speaking Jane, and Accidental Feminists about the life story of women over 50. Her latest book, her first novel for adults, The Mother, is a bestseller.
She appears frequently on ABC Western Plains, The Drum and Sunrise. She created and presented 5 documentary series for ABC Compass. She writes a regular column in Nine Media and her opinion pieces and articles appear frequently in The Saturday Paper, The Guardian and The Big Smoke.
Jane recently threw her hat in the ring to stand as a candidate for the Senate in order to push for better policies on climate change, gender equity and integrity in politics.
As a feminist who is ageing in interesting times, it is an absolute pleasure for me to be an Ambassador for OWN NSW and to lend my support for the important causes to end homelessness of older women and to also stop violence against women, especially older women. It is outrageous that we’re seeing growing numbers of women retiring into poverty and homelessness.”
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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Lorraine has a strong business background in senior management position for small to large organisations. She holds a Master Project Director qualification (MPD).
She relocated to Coffs Harbour from Sydney in 2008 and has taken up board member position since 2008 with Enterprise & Training Company Ltd (ETC), including Chair 2011/12 and currently holds the position of Deputy Chair.
In 2009 she joined Coffs Harbour Writers’ Group and held the President’s position for 5 years. During this time she obtained incorporated status for the group. She project managed two annual Grassroots Writers’ Weekend Events in 2015 and 2019.
2020 Lorraine together with three other businesswomen commence Coffs Harbour Older Women’s Network. She holds the position of Coordinator for this group.
Julie is a writer and publisher of three age-positive books, is currently co-authoring a book on eco-affordable housing for older women and producing a community radio show for the over-50s (called ‘Feisty, Fabulous & 50+’ after her first book).
She has been a member of a range of female-focused boards and committees, including three years as National President of Women Chiefs of Enterprises (WCEI).
She moved to the Blue Mountains after managing her own Sydney-based speakers and trainers bureau for over 20 years.
Julie formed OWNBM in February 2021 and continues to passionately advocate for the rights of women, particularly older women.
Sue has a background in executive positions in the Health Regulation and Adult Education industries and in business and management consulting. She now runs her own business called ‘Grand Stories’ where she records people’s life stories in their own voice as a legacy for future generations. She is a member of the OWN Creative Writer’s group and is writing a novel.
Sue (with Fiona Ninnes) formed the Southern Highlands OWN (SHOWN) group in December 2020. She is an advocate for Voluntary Assisted Dying and is the Coordinator of the ‘Dying with Dignity’ group in the Highlands. She has been a Rotarian for over 25 years and was the District Governor of Rotary District 9675 in 2019-19.
Jane is a lifelong researcher and activist who has worked for over 50 years on community initiated, collaborative projects, on caring, wellness, housing, and violence against older women. She has been working with OWN NSW since the mid 1990s.
Jane is a woman with disability, and is the very lucky, grandmother of 5 beautiful grandchildren.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.