Our Board

Emma Benson

Chair


Carol

Carol Bergman-Wells (MBA)

Secretary

Carol has extensive experience in a variety of management roles within the Local Government, Medical and Higher Education industries. Carol completed her Masters Degree in Business Management as a mature age student and has volunteered as a tutor for adult literacy programs. She completed her governance training for Volunteer members of boards and is also a Justice of the Peace.

Carol was introduced to Engender Equality through her own lived experience of family violence and participated in the Advocates for Change training. Carol has been an active member of the Advocates group speaking and presenting at a number of events and organisations on the impacts of family violence.

Carol is an affiliate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a University of Tasmania Alumni, a member of the Association of Justices of the Peace and a member of the University student mentor program.

Carol has worked in a number of roles during her career at the University and is currently a Business Partner for College Services.

As both a survivor of family violence and a management professional, Carol brings to the board a deep understanding of the dynamics of domestic violence, her extensive knowledge and insight about the experience and impact of domestic violence and her previous board experience.

In telling her story as a survivor Carol has found a powerful way to reclaim her voice, educate others about the realities of domestic violence, a mission to empower others to speak out and building solidarity with other survivors.

Karen Grey

Karen Hind, (CA, BComm, FAICD )

Treasurer

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
Orla Grey

Orla Baker (BA BTeach)

General Member

Orla commenced her career in Business Development working for a leading Australian Managing Contractor where she was responsible for managing large complex aid programs in developing countries. On top of that, she has a broad depth of experience that crosses many sectors including education, not-for-profit and business.

Orla was privileged to provide strategic business development advice to a small not-for-profit in Melbourne whose core mission was to assist young people who are hard to reach. Most recently she has been appointed as the Business Development Manager - Education for CSIRO, whose mission is to solve Australia's greatest challenges through science and innovation.

Between her time in business development roles, Orla spent time teaching in the most remote Indigenous community in Australia and setting up education engagement programs to re-engage hard to reach young people in Melbourne and Launceston.

Orla is passionate about social justice and is excited about what the future holds for Engender Equality.

Ruth Forrest 2017 2

Hon Ruth Forrest MLC Independent Member for Murchison

General Member

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.


Board Photo ZB 3

Zoe Bok (BA, GDip PM, GDip Sc Psych)

General Member

With a background spanning the Public, Private and Community Managed Sectors, Zoe is currently the Team Leader of an advocacy and engagement team in the Community Managed Mental Health Sector. As a member of the Engender Equality Board, Zoe is particularly interested in the relationship between mental ill health and the experience of family violence (for both those with a direct lived experience and the people who support them).

Zoe is passionate about community development approaches to working with people and making change. It is important to Zoe to hear and support the voice of lived experience in all of her not-for-profit roles.

Zoe is committed to Engender Equality's mission and recognises the lived expertise of the people Engender Equality works with and learns from.


Alina Grey

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.