NSW Council for Women's Economic Opportunity
The NSW Council for Women’s Economic Opportunity (CWEO) was established in February 2012 to provide the NSW Government with specialist advice on enhancing women’s economic opportunities and financial security.
The Council is made up of experts from business, industry, non-government organisations, and government to facilitate discussion on strategies aimed at providing women with greater economic opportunities.
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The Council is chaired by the Minister for Women and is made up of experts from business, industry and non-government organisations, and government.
Melanie is an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company where she focuses on bringing global best practice and insights to the Australian public sector, including in health, justice and education. She previously provided strategic policy and media advice to Ministers in the Australian Government, including on domestic violence policy, women’s workforce participation and women’s economic empowerment.
Melanie is a lawyer admitted to the Supreme Court of NSW and formerly worked at King & Wood Mallesons. She has Bachelor degrees in International Studies and Law from the University of Sydney and is currently completing a Master of Laws at the University of Melbourne.
Sarah Coull is the Women in Engineering Manager at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), where she leads the implementation of marketing, communication and outreach strategies to recruit female students into engineering disciplines, as well as develop initiatives to retain and support current female engineering students at the university.
Prior to working at UNSW Sarah was the Head of Strategic Partnerships and Global Community Leader for a Sydney-based start-up that provided mentoring and education to female entrepreneurs. Here she developed commercial partnerships, implemented global ambassador and mentoring programs, and worked with the Office for Women to launch a national scholarship program supporting disadvantaged female entrepreneurs.
Sarah has also worked in educational and trade publishing, and runs her own freelance publishing consultancy. She has a Master of Publishing and Communications and a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications), both from the University of Melbourne.
Margaret Faux is a lawyer, research scholar (University of Technology Sydney), registered nurse and the founder and CEO of global medical administration company, Synapse Medical Services, which has offices in Sydney, India and the United Arab Emirates.
Prior to founding Synapse, Margaret grew up in a rural setting and left school at the age of 16, after which she trained and worked as a nurse. She later qualified as a lawyer and practiced in Sydney in family law and commercial litigation. She also provided free legal advice at the Kingsford Legal Centre (University of New South Wales) in family law, domestic violence, debt and social housing matters.
Margaret is considered Australia's leading expert in the legal and administrative operation of Medicare, and contributes widely to Australia's health reform debate. As an employer she is passionate about strengthening women's financial security and wellbeing. More than half of Synapse's 130+ employees are women including most of the executive team.
Leanne is an executive and leader with over 25 years corporate experience in the mining sector, including 10 years with Rio Tinto. Her experience includes strategic marketing, business finance and compliance and she has led organisational restructures, disposals and acquisitions.
Additionally, she has had significant experience in complex cross-cultural negotiations and international customer and stakeholder relationship management (including governments, communities and investment partners). Leanne holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) from Charles Sturt University and an Masters of Business Administration from the Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne. She is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Director’s and CPA Australia.
Leanne is a Senior Marketing Executive with Inenco Industrial Services and is a Non-Executive director for Orocobre, an ASX200 Lithium miner with operations in Argentina and the Australian Meat Processor Corporation.
She has worked in Australia, Argentina, Mongolia, China, Japan, Singapore, India, the US and the UK.
Tracy is a legally trained senior executive leader, consultant and executive mentor with a background across social services, social justice policy, gender equality and working towards the elimination of violence against women and the safety of children. Tracy has a significant background in government and non-government settings and has led change in complex and sensitive settings and projects, run national campaigns and works across government, civil society and business. She completed a post graduate Certificate in Business at Cambridge University at the Cambridge Judge Business School in 2017.
Most recently, she has held positions as CEO of the NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS), Commissioner at the NSW Law Reform Commission and CEO of Domestic Violence NSW. Tracy was also the NSW government’s appointed representative on the COAG Advisory Panel on Reducing Violence against Women and their Children in 2017.
Hannah graduated with a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and is currently undertaking a Masters of Commercial Law at Melbourne University. After working in a range of manufacturing roles in Australia and overseas, Hannah moved into a role in corporate strategy and is currently a senior analyst in the investor relations team.
In 2016, Hannah was nominated for the Maria Skyllas-Kazacos Young Professional Award for Outstanding Achievement. Hannah was Vice President of the UNSW Chemical Engineering Undergraduate Society and has been a mentor to female engineering students. Hannah has also spoken at several Women in Engineering events at UNSW since graduating in 2011. Hannah has outstanding commitment to supporting women enter male-dominated professions, such as engineering.
Yvonne is the CEO of Early Childhood Intervention Australia, the founding Chairperson of The Sanctuary – The Hills Women’s Shelter, and the Deputy Chair of the Endeavour Foundation, Yvonne has formerly served as the Mayor of the Hills Shire and a Director of the Board of Local Government NSW.
Yvonne started her career as an award-winning TV Producer, and went on to found several successful brands and charitable organisations including: SugarBaby Cosmetics (1997), Hear the Children (2009) and most recently, The Sanctuary (2015). Yvonne has enjoyed a successful media career as a TV presenter, where she was known as the "Pocket Rocket" alongside co-host Michael Caton on “Hot Property” (Seven Network). Yvonne also wrote regular magazine columns for both New Idea and Handyman magazine.
For her work with the vulnerable in NSW Yvonne has been award numerous accolades including 2016 NSW Local Government Woman of the Year and a 2013 University of Western Sydney Woman of the West award. In 2012, Yvonne was named NSW Woman of the Year (People’s Choice) by the Premier of NSW.
Recently, Yvonne led a team of committed community leaders and partners to establish The Sanctuary – The Hills Women’s Shelter, which has swiftly become a benchmark shelter in NSW.
Taleen Shamlian is Principal Consultant at Advisory Street Pty Ltd, an economics and public affairs firm established in 2016. She has advised senior executives in the government, corporate and not-for-profit sectors on a range of public policy issues.
She is currently a member of the NSW Women in Economics Board – a not-for-profit organisation that promotes gender diversity in the economics profession.
Prior to this, Taleen was Head of Government Affairs for Visa and a senior government relations adviser at the Commonwealth Bank. In these roles, she championed programs around financial security, financial literacy, and sustainable financial products to support the well-being of women and other members of the community. She has provided strategic advice to Commonwealth and State governments and assessed the effectiveness of government programs as a senior manager at The Allen Consulting Group. Taleen began her career as an economist at the Commonwealth Treasury working on personal tax, superannuation and economic strategies.
Taleen has a Bachelor of Economics (First Class Honours) where her thesis topic was reviewing Labor Supply and Participation of Women in Long-term Unemployment. She has a Master of Public Policy and is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).
Pallavi Sinha is a lawyer, lecturer and speaker. In 2016, she was selected in the prestigious Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence winner list.
Pallavi works as a Lawyer, Notary Public & Academic. She currently lectures at the University of Sydney Law School & is the Principal of Lawyers with Solutions. She is also an Appointed Supporter of the Joint Federal & State Government campaign to stop DV and is on the Multicultural Consultation Council of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board.
She is a former People of Australia Ambassador and was the only person from NSW elected to the Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils Australia (FECCA) as Women’s Committee Advisory Chair in 2014. She presented submissions before a Senate Committee on Domestic Violence on behalf of FECCA and some of her recommendations were adopted. She was also involved in meetings with the former Minister for Immigration which led to changes to migration policy aimed to increase domestic violence survivors’ access to justice.
Pallavi is regularly interviewed by the media and is a popular and well-known speaker and writer, especially on topics such as domestic or family violence. Her opinion pieces have been widely published, including by the Sydney Morning Herald, ABC and SBS.
Nicola Street is Ai Group’s National Manager – Workplace Relations Policy and shapes workplace public policy and solutions for Australian industry and the community. Nicola drives industry engagement with public policy issues and leads Ai Group’s Diversity and Inclusion network to support greater gender equality and diversity for industry.
Johanna has over 25 years experience as a senior executive in the financial services industry, working in domestic and international banks, exchanges and regulatory bodies. She has expertise in risk management, compliance, regulation, policy and corporate governance. During her career, she has held executive positions within international and domestic banks, exchanges and regulatory bodies, including the Stock Exchange, Citi Bank, Macquarie Bank and ASIC.
Johanna is a non-executive director of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority and an independent compliance committee member for Blackrock Investment Management (Australia) Limited and Fundhost Limited. She also Chairs the Australian Financial Markets Association Professionalism Committee and is a Member of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission Financial Services and Credit Panel.
During her career, Johanna has been an advocate for gender diversity in the financial services sector. Johanna was previously a non-executive director of Women in Banking and Finance Limited (2012-2015), a not for profit organisation that promotes professional development of women in the financial services sector. She has also been a member of the Citibank Diversity Committee and throughout her career mentored many women within the financial services sector.
Johanna holds a Bachelor of Arts and Law from Macquarie University, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia.