Sign In

We are working for Western Australia.

Member Biographies

Text Size a a a Print Print this page

Michelle Scott


Ms Scott was appointed the inaugural Director of the McCusker Centre for Citizenship at UWA in October 2015. The Centre is focused on building greater capacity in the community to understand, contribute and positively impact on social issues. Ms Scott has over 30 years’ experience leading and influencing government and community organisations to address and reduce contemporary, complex social challenges. She has also been an independent statutory officer, including as WA’s first Commissioner for Children and Young People (6 years), and Public Advocate for WA (5 years).





Helen CreedUntitled-19.jpg

Ms Creed recently stepped down from her role as the Executive Director of the Community Legal Centres Association, having previously worked at the WA Council of Social Service. Originally a social worker, Ms Creed was the WA Secretary of the Miscellaneous Workers Union during the 1990s and went on to represent working people at both the national and international level. She has held a number of senior State government positions including Director of the Office for Women’s Policy and Executive Director, Children and Families in the Department for Communities.




Untitled-118.jpgPip Brennan

Ms Brennan began working in the community services sector in 1999 as a maternity advocate volunteer, and progressed to paid advocacy work at the Health Consumers’ Council in 2006. She returned to the Health Consumers’ Council in 2015 to take up the role of Executive Director. In the intervening decade Ms Brennan worked at the Office of Health Review conciliating health complaints, Reclaiming Voices advocating in the victim services sector, Community Midwifery WA providing childbirth education services, and at the WA Council of Social Service on the Better Health Outcomes project.




Suzi Cowcher

Suzi Cowcher.jpg  

Ms Cowcher is a respected leader within the community services sector with particular expertise and passion in disability, aged and social services. Until early 2018, she was CEO at Ability Centre Australasia Ltd. She has over 30 years’ experience leading not-for-profit organisations to become sustainable and resilient in a changing world. Prior to joining Ability Centre, Ms Cowcher was Chief Operating Officer and deputising CEO at Amana Living, Principal Consultant at Absolute Efficiency, and Donor Services Manager (WA/NT) Australian Red Cross Blood Service. She also held key roles at Silver Chain.






Jonathan Ford Untitled-111.jpg

Jonathan is a Noongar man, and CEO of Moorditj Koort Aboriginal Health and Wellness Centre since 2012. He was previously Programs Manager of Aboriginal Health with the Rockingham Kwinana Division of General Practice, and held senior positions with the South Metropolitan Public Health Unit and Department of Housing. Mr Ford has experience in justice, housing, natural resource management, education, employment and Aboriginal economic development. He is a member of the Aboriginal Alcohol and Drug Service Board and Chairperson of the national Aboriginal Young Leaders Council.




Kate George    Untitled-113.jpg

Ms George is a Martu woman who resides in Perth but maintains connections to and works in the Pilbara. Her work focuses on community development, including Indigenous investment and business initiatives and working with Pilbara communities. Ms George has been involved in Aboriginal affairs for over 35 years and has held senior public service positions, including Ministerial Advisor at a State and Federal level. She has worked in the private, public and non-government sectors.





Louise GiolittoUntitled-114.jpg

Ms Giolitto is CEO of the WA Council of Social Service, leading the organisation’s policy and advocacy work. She has been part of the    community services sector for over 22 years. Her experience includes management of homelessness programs, housing, youth services, Aboriginal support programs, employment, education, training, mentoring, drug education, seniors, and emergency relief.





Neil Guard Untitled-117.jpg

Mr Guard was appointed CEO of the Richmond Wellbeing in 2016, following a career that includes more than 15 years in the corporate sector in the UK and 18 years in human services in both the government and, more recently, not-for-profit sectors in WA. His previous roles include Executive Director of the WA Drug and Alcohol Office (during which period he was seconded to lead the establishment of the Mental Health Commission); Executive Director of Healthway; Director of Accommodation Services in the Disability Services Commission; and Executive Director Professional Services at Communicare.




Dan MinchinUntitled-14.jpg

Mr Minchin is the CEO of Chorus, an organisation which builds on the legacies of Volunteer Task Force, Community First International and Care Options. Previously, he was Silver Chain’s Head of Strategy and General Manager, East Coast where he led the expansion of Silver Chain beyond WA. He has also worked as a strategy advisor and consultant to a number of organisations in WA. Mr Minchin is a member of the Volunteering Community Reference Group established by the Minister for Volunteering.





Tricia Murray  Untitled-123.jpg 

Ms Murray was appointed to the position of CEO of Wanslea in 2004. She has worked in the community not-for-profit sector in NSW and WA for over 30 years, primarily in management positions, with a focus on child protection, homelessness, family violence and children’s services. Ms Murray is the Chair of the Children and Family Welfare Agencies Association; a member of the boards of Community Employers of WA and Families Australia; a member of the General Council of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA and the Ministerial Advisory Committee for Child Protection; and a director of SHINE Community Services.




Vicki O'Donnell Untitled-124.jpg

Ms O’Donnell is a Nyikina Mangala Aboriginal woman from Derby, where she grew up. She has significant experience as a strategic leader in the Aboriginal community controlled health sector, focusing on the delivery and ongoing support of Aboriginal programs at a regional, state and national level. She brings extensive expertise and understanding of Aboriginal health, and multiple perspectives on Indigenous. Ms O’Donnell currently holds the position of CEO for the Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Service in Broome, and was CEO of the Derby Aboriginal Health Service for 12 years.




Maria Osman Untitled-115.jpg

Ms Osman has over 30 years' experience as a senior policy adviser on the intersections of gender equality, multiculturalism and human rights. She has previously held the role of Executive Director of WA's Office of Multicultural Interests and Office for Women's Policy and led the development of equity and access policies and programs in partnership with diverse communities for over 20 years. In 2015 Ms Osman was an Australian delegate to the UN Commission on the Status of Women. She is currently a director on the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura Peoples Trust, the Humanitarian Group, the National Harmony Alliance for Migrant and Refugee Women and the WA Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests' Multicultural Advisory Group.




Carol Pettersen JP Untitled-12.jpg

Ms Pettersen was born at Gnowangerup Mission and raised in the bush at Jerramungup in a family of 17, but has lived most of her life in her traditional country of Albany. She has worked across many government agencies dealing with and advocating for Aboriginal issues at State and Federal levels, and implementing programs at local level. Ms Pettersen currently sits on the Aboriginal Advisory Board to the WA Attorney General and WA Minister for Aboriginal Affairs. She is a former President of the Women's Advisory Committee to the Premier of Western Australia on women's issues, and was named National NAIDOC Female Elder of the Year 2008/09.




Julie Waylen   Untitled-112.jpg

Ms Waylen is the State Manager of National Disability Services (NDS) Western Australia. She began her career as a Social Trainer working with people with disability with complex needs. She has worked for over 30 years in a range of senior executive roles with both the State government and community services sectors, encompassing disability services, child protection, family support, homelessness, domestic violence, community services and health.





Ross Wortham Untitled-120.jpg

Mr Wortham is CEO of the Youth Affairs Council of Western Australia, the peak body representing young people and all those who support young people in WA. His career has primarily been in leadership positions with not-for-profit organisations, both in Australia and overseas, focusing on community development, human rights, child protection services, youth work and community relations.





Debra Zanella Untitled-17.jpg

Ms Zanella is the CEO of Ruah Community Services which provides services principally in the areas of mental health, homelessness and housing, family, justice and domestic violence services. Ms Zanella brings over 30 years’ experience in senior leadership roles in health and community services, particularly in complex areas of service delivery. Her previous leadership experience includes senior roles in specialised Drug and Alcohol Services, not-for-profit private hospital executive management, and other related health and community services. Other key roles include President of the WA Council of Social Service and Board member for the Australian Council of Social Service.




Michelle Andrews Michelle Andrews

Ms Andrews is the Director General (interim) of the Department of Communities appointed from February 2019 for three months while the Government finalises its appointment to the position. Previously she was leading the Policy and Reform Division in the Department of Premier and Cabinet appointed in January 2018. She recently headed the secretariat supporting the State Government's Service Priority Review, a wide-ranging independent review that recommended a blueprint for reform of the public sector. Prior to commencing at DPC, Michelle worked at the former Department of Mines and Petroleum, in which she focused on resource development policy and strengthening the department's relationships across government, industry and the community. Michelle is an environmental scientist with 30 years' experience in the public sector, including at the then Department of State Development and the Environmental Protection Authority. She has also worked as a senior policy advisor for several State Government Ministers. She has served as Deputy Chair of the Minerals Research Institute of Western Australia and is on the Board of the Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute and the Institute of Public Administration Australia.


Dr Adam Tomison Untitled-1.jpg

Dr Tomison is the Director General of the new Department of Justice. Previously he was Director and Chief Executive of the Australian Institute of Criminology, and held various senior executive positions within the Northern Territory Department of Health and Families. Throughout his career he has been active in advising and working with sectoral groups and not for profit agencies, and is recognised for his expertise in the prevention of child abuse and family violence, and the development of child protection and family support systems.




Lisa Rodgers

Lisa Rodgers.jpg

Ms Rodgers is the Director General of the Department of Education appointed in January 2019 and brings to the role nearly 20 years' national and international experience in education. As former chief executive officer of the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL), Ms Rodgers led the national agenda on strengthening school leadership with a focus on principal preparedness, and supporting teacher quality through the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. As Deputy Secretary, Early Learning and Student Achievement and Deputy Secretary, Evidence, Data and Knowledge in the Ministry of Education in New Zealand, Ms Rodgers led significant reforms in assessment innovation, curriculum and the use of evidence for impact at the classroom and national level. It is this commitment to improving outcomes for students that now sees her lead education in this State, with responsibility for both public and non-government education services. Ms Rodgers is also Chief Executive Officer of the School Curriculum and Standards Authority. Ms Rodgers has held substantial posts in justice, health, serving in the British Army, and lecturing and leading research in child mental health at the University of Wales.



Dr David Russell-WeiszUntitled-16.jpg

Dr Russell-Weisz is the Director General of the Department of Health. He attained his medical qualifications in Scotland before moving to Australia, where he worked as a General Practitioner for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and in regional and remote WA. He has held several leadership roles in the health system, including the Chief Executive of the North Metropolitan Health Service and Fiona Stanley Hospital Commissioning.





Darren FosterUntitled-15.jpg

Mr Foster joined the Department of the Premier and Cabinet in March 2017 and was appointed as Director General in July 2017.  Mr Foster has over 30 years of public sector experience as a senior policy and strategy adviser in Commonwealth, State and local governments, in areas as diverse as Environment, Treasury and Finance; Energy; Health; Education and Training; Tourism; Racing and Gaming and Native Title.  Mr Foster has held senior roles in the Department of Fisheries and the Office of the Environmental Protection Authority, and the National Native Title Tribunal.




Jennifer McGrath Untitled-110.jpg

Jennifer was appointed Acting Commissioner of the Mental Health Commission in June 2019. The Commission strives to establish mental health, alcohol and other drug systems that meet the needs of Western Australia's population and deliver quality outcomes for individuals and their families. The Commission also plans, purchases or provides services, with a budget of $942.1million in 2019-20.  Ms McGrath most recently held the position of Deputy Director General, Education Business Services at the Department of Education and has worked in the Western Australian public sector for 14 years, holding senior executive positions in the Departments of the Premier and Cabinet and Finance, as well as the former Department for Child Protection and Family Support.



Commissioner Chris Dawson APM     Untitled-13.jpg

Mr Dawson is Western Australia's Commissioner of Police. Prior to this he headed up the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, and was Deputy Police Commissioner for 10 years. Mr Dawson has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience, and has served in both country and metropolitan positions throughout Western Australia.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.