Kathryn Lenton (BSW and MCouns)
Kathryn Lenton is the Program Manager for the Australian Childhood Foundation in lutruwita / Tasmania. Kathryn holds a Bachelor of Social Work and Masters of Counselling and has been working in the area of grief, loss, and trauma for over 20 years. Kathryn has also worked in implementing mental health policy into education curriculum, suicide postvention, generalist counselling, disaster recovery and older people’s care. She has practiced in Australia, Scotland and India. Kathryn has a particular interest in responding to the impacts of family violence, and practices from a strong anti-oppressive feminist framework.
Kathryn moved to Tasmania 4 years ago and now proudly calls herself a Tasmanian. Outside of work, Kathryn loves hiking with her partner and dog, reading, travelling, and spending time with friends.
Karen Hind, (CA, BComm, FAICD )
Karen is a Chartered Accountant with extensive local and international executive finance experience. She has worked in both corporate and not-for-profit environments including Southern Cross Austereo (Aust), EMI Music Publishing (UK), Marie Stopes International (UK) and Scotch Oakburn College (Aus).
Karen was first introduced to Engender Equality as a counselling client during her own lived experiences of family and domestic violence. Karen knows firsthand how essential this exceptional organisation is for supporting survivors to manage complex, dangerous relationships and advocating the end of violence in Australian families.
Outside of Engender Equality, Karen is Founder of Evidently App. She is managing the development of Evidently App’s forefront technology that equips family violence survivors with evidence collection tools to assist in escaping dangerous and toxic relationships.
Driven by her desire to see entrenched toxic cultural attitudes about violence towards women wiped out, Karen aspires to see today’s young girls experience equal and safe relationships when they reach adulthood.
As both a survivor of family violence and a finance professional, Karen brings to the boardroom table a dynamic combination of executive expertise, empathy and a strong passion to realise Engender Equality’s mission.
- Awarded a Tasmanian Government Board Diversity Governance Scholarship in 2018 and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors
- Featured by Smart Company as “a fearless female founder to watch in 2018"
- Awarded scholarships from Tech Ready Women in 2018 and ING Dreamstarters in 2019 to support the critical social initiative, Evidently App
Hon Ruth Forrest MLC Independent Member for Murchison
Ruth was born and educated in North Western Tasmania. Ruth worked as a Registered Nurse and Midwife, childbirth and sex educator from 1982 - 2005. She is a member and past president of Australian College of Midwives (ACM) (Tas Branch) and awarded ACM Fellowship in 2001.
May 2005, Ruth was elected to Tasmanian Legislative Council (Independent Member for Murchison) and re-elected in 2011 and 2017, elected Deputy President and Chair of Committees (2018) and member and Chair of a number of Parliamentary committees.
Ruth completed a Master of Midwifery Degree (2010), Tasmanian Leaders Program (2011), Australian Institute of Company Directors Course (2012), Graduate Certificate in Business (2013) and Australian Futures Project Parliamentary Leaders Program (2017). In 2019, named as one of AFR’s 100 Women of Influence.
Ruth supports a number of community organisations including being Patron of Huntington’s Tasmania and also serves on the Board of Unconformity, an arts organization supporting Tasmania’s West Coast.
Dr Lisa Schimanski (PhD, BAppSci(Env))
Lisa is an experienced leader in the Tasmanian Community Services Industry, most recently in the role of CEO with peak body Volunteering Tasmania.
Lisa has a passion for changing the systems and structures that act as barriers to gender equity; a major contributing factor to violence against women. She spearheaded a campaign for Women in Research at UTAS that gained national traction and has maintained support and advocacy for equity for women throughout her career.
She has extensive experience in governance, strategy, government relations, policy, advocacy, program design and operational management across a range of peak bodies and service delivery organisations in Tasmania. She was also a Research Manager at the University of Tasmania for close to a decade.
Lisa has held several board roles in both Tasmanian and national organisations as well as key consultative and advisory groups in the community service sector. She completed the AICD Company Directors Course in 2021.
Alina Thomas (BSSc Comm Serv, GDip WomenSt)
Chief Executive Officer
Alina Thomas has an established career in the Community Sector with over 20 years of experience across a range of health and community projects, with a focus on women and wellbeing.
Alina leads the team at Engender Equality with vision, passion and expertise that combines consultation with clear strategic management.
Alina’s skills include enabling marginalised communities, community development, project management, financial management, community education and evaluation, and has a reputation as a progressive change agent committed to developing community-driven solutions to inequality, marginalisation and dis-engagement.
As the CEO of Engender Equality, Alina has increased the capacity and standing of the organisation to become a known thought leader and advocacy body against domestic and family violence. Alina has a sound standing as a spokesperson on domestic violence and gender inequality in Tasmania. In her representation of victim-survivors, Alina considers the diversity of the community and strives for inclusion and equal access of all people regardless of their lived experience, identity or socio-economic background.