Meet Toora's Board

Governance

Toora Women Inc. is a not-for-profit governed by a Board and a Constitution.

Our Board

The Board is responsible for the governance of Toora. The Board sets the strategic direction and is responsible for ensuring the continued financial and legal stability of the organisation.

The independent board includes professionals with skills and expertise in financial management, law, marketing, policy development, community services, and works to support the organisation to achieve its vision and mission. The Board is committed to strong governance, community engagement, advocacy and empowerment for those in our community who require support.

Suzanne Muir

Chair

Suzanne Muir was elected to the Toora Board in November 2018. She works in the Australian Public Service and brings skills and experience, including understanding of government process, strategy, risk management and best governance practices, to the Toora Board.

Suzanne is passionate about supporting women to lead safe and meaningful lives and is impressed by Toora’s range of services.
Prior to moving to Canberra, she was member of the inaugural Management Committee and the Volunteer Coordinator for the Toowoomba Refugee and Migrant Support (TRAMS) centre.

Suzanne is an advocate for diversity and acceptance. She values community service and is particularly interested in supporting non-profit community organisations. She strongly supports the ethos of gender specific services that support and empower women to thrive in their communities.


Olivia Turner

Deputy Chair

Originally from the coastal town of Coffs Harbour, Olivia relocated to Canberra seven years ago to commence her university studies in Law, Politics and International Relations. With the attainment of her double degree, Olivia has worked in a private law firm since 2017, and has recently commenced her Masters in Legal Practice. Olivia brings the legal perspective to our board, having strong interest areas of law including human rights law, property law and contract law. Olivia is passionate about feminism and women’s issues in Australia, particularly in relation to domestic violence. She has produced many academic works on both domestic violence and human rights. Olivia will continue to learn about issues relevant to Toora, and endeavour to passionately contribute to the success of our organisation— as have so many passionate women before her.


Kate Yuille

Secretary

Kate works in the Australian Public Service in social policy and has particular experience in policy and legislation development and implementation. Kate is a committed feminist with a keen interest in social justice issues. She is a strong advocate for the importance of the community sector and the role that Toora in particular plays in providing gender-specific services to support women in the ACT. Kate joined the Toora Board in November 2019. This is the first time she has been involved in community sector governance and she is thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to Toora in this way and to learn from the other passionate and dedicated women on the Board.


Gail Freeman

Treasurer

Gail has been a chartered accountant for more than 36 years. She is a registered tax agent, qualified financial planner and SMSF Specialist Advisor. Gail is an experienced board member for government and not-for-profits and Rotary International. She has a Bachelor of Accounting from the University of Canberra.

Gail has been Treasurer of Toora Women Inc. since November 2011 and says she is proud to be a Toora Board member.
In 2013, Gail was awarded one of the 100 most influential women in Canberra over the last 100 years and named a Distinguished Alumni of the University of Canberra the same year.


Flor Sermeno

Community Member

Flor has worked in the ACT Public Service for 26 years in different roles that included front line service and operational policy. Most of her working experience is with women affected by domestic violence, mental health issues, alchohol and other drugs (AOD) and homelessness.

Flor has a qualification in social work and most recently has worked with children and their families in the areas of early intervention, supporting families to achieve their parental capacity and ensure children reach their potential. Flor brings much valued knowledge and insights to the Toora Board.


Naomi Cole

Community Member

Naomi brings 18 years of experience in the Australian and UK public service to her role on the board with a particular focus on policy development and stakeholder engagement. Prior to joining the public service, Naomi was a registered nurse in both hospital and community settings giving her an understanding of the challenges faced in times of crisis. She has a strong community service ethos and has volunteered for several years including with Safe Shelter, on Parish council, and working to encourage voter engagement and democracy. Naomi is committed to supporting women's empowerment as Acting Chair of the gender equality and inclusion network at her workplace. She is proud to bring her commitment and skills to the board of Toora to strengthen and grow support for women across Canberra to achieve their goals for themselves, their families and communities.


Susan Clarke-Lindfield

Executive Director

Since 1989, Susan has managed women’s services in the not-for-profit sector, both in Canada and Australia. Before coming to Toora in 2011 to take on the role of Executive Director, she managed a regional women’s health centre in rural NSW for over 15 years. Susan was also an on-call sexual assault crisis counsellor.

Originally from Canada, Susan has a passion for social justice. Her relevant qualifications include a Master of Social Science (Social Policy) from the University of Western Sydney and a Graduate Diploma in Community Services. She also has a Diploma in Human Resources and Certificates IV in both Mental Health and Training & Assessment.

Susan is a certified professional member of the Australian Human Resources Institute (CAHRI) and a member of the Australian College of Community & Disability Practitioners.


Karina Lockwood*

Staff Advisory Forum representative

Karina qualified in the UK as a person-centred counsellor in 2009 where she began focusing her career in supporting others. She provided one-to-one counselling, delivered a domestic violence (DV) prevention program to groups of men wishing to address and change their violent behaviours, and then progressed on to become a counselling service manager. During this time, she also delivered educational programs to groups of separated parents and provided smoking cessation support to individuals.

Karina gained valuable experience through the above roles and in her own private counselling practice, working with a range of clients covering EAP programs, problem gambling, adult residential college students and addiction.

Karina joined Toora in March 2018 and is currently employed as an AOD Counsellor. She started as a staff advisory representative (non-voting) on the Toora Board in late 2018, and was voted as the Advisory Forum Chair in November 2019.


Elgita Dajsmaili*

Staff Advisory Forum representative (non-voting)

Elgita has settled in Canberra with her family since 2012. Having previously worked in Kuala Lumpur and Adelaide, Elgita brings a wealth of experience into her workplace.

Elgita has an Accounting degree from the University of South Australia, Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resources and Diploma in Community and Welfare as well as Leadership and Management.

Elgita is very passionate about women rights and their place in today's society. She has been working with Toora for the past 4 years and was voted to the Board as an the Staff Advisory representative in November 2019.


* The Advisory Forum provides a communication/participation mechanism between the staff and the Board of Toora Women Inc. It meets monthly, the week prior to the Board meeting. It is attended by representatives from each service. All workers at Toora Women Inc. are members of the Advisory Forum.

Governance

Toora Women Inc. is a not-for-profit governed by a Board and a Constitution.

Our Board

The Board is responsible for the governance of Toora. The Board sets the strategic direction and is responsible for ensuring the continued financial and legal stability of the organisation.

The independent board includes professionals with skills and expertise in financial management, law, marketing, policy development, community services, and works to support the organisation to achieve its vision and mission. The Board is committed to strong governance, community engagement, advocacy and empowerment for those in our community who require support.

Suzanne Muir

Chair

Suzanne Muir was elected to the Toora Board in November 2018. She works in the Australian Public Service and brings skills and experience, including understanding of government process, strategy, risk management and best governance practices, to the Toora Board.

Suzanne is passionate about supporting women to lead safe and meaningful lives and is impressed by Toora’s range of services.
Prior to moving to Canberra, she was member of the inaugural Management Committee and the Volunteer Coordinator for the Toowoomba Refugee and Migrant Support (TRAMS) centre.

Suzanne is an advocate for diversity and acceptance. She values community service and is particularly interested in supporting non-profit community organisations. She strongly supports the ethos of gender specific services that support and empower women to thrive in their communities.


Olivia Turner

Deputy Chair

Originally from the coastal town of Coffs Harbour, Olivia relocated to Canberra seven years ago to commence her university studies in Law, Politics and International Relations. With the attainment of her double degree, Olivia has worked in a private law firm since 2017, and has recently commenced her Masters in Legal Practice. Olivia brings the legal perspective to our board, having strong interest areas of law including human rights law, property law and contract law. Olivia is passionate about feminism and women’s issues in Australia, particularly in relation to domestic violence. She has produced many academic works on both domestic violence and human rights. Olivia will continue to learn about issues relevant to Toora, and endeavour to passionately contribute to the success of our organisation— as have so many passionate women before her.


Kate Yuille

Secretary

Kate works in the Australian Public Service in social policy and has particular experience in policy and legislation development and implementation. Kate is a committed feminist with a keen interest in social justice issues. She is a strong advocate for the importance of the community sector and the role that Toora in particular plays in providing gender-specific services to support women in the ACT. Kate joined the Toora Board in November 2019. This is the first time she has been involved in community sector governance and she is thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to Toora in this way and to learn from the other passionate and dedicated women on the Board.


Gail Freeman

Treasurer

Gail has been a chartered accountant for more than 36 years. She is a registered tax agent, qualified financial planner and SMSF Specialist Advisor. Gail is an experienced board member for government and not-for-profits and Rotary International. She has a Bachelor of Accounting from the University of Canberra.

Gail has been Treasurer of Toora Women Inc. since November 2011 and says she is proud to be a Toora Board member.
In 2013, Gail was awarded one of the 100 most influential women in Canberra over the last 100 years and named a Distinguished Alumni of the University of Canberra the same year.


Flor Sermeno

Community Member

Flor has worked in the ACT Public Service for 26 years in different roles that included front line service and operational policy. Most of her working experience is with women affected by domestic violence, mental health issues, alchohol and other drugs (AOD) and homelessness.

Flor has a qualification in social work and most recently has worked with children and their families in the areas of early intervention, supporting families to achieve their parental capacity and ensure children reach their potential. Flor brings much valued knowledge and insights to the Toora Board.


Naomi Cole

Community Member

Naomi brings 18 years of experience in the Australian and UK public service to her role on the board with a particular focus on policy development and stakeholder engagement. Prior to joining the public service, Naomi was a registered nurse in both hospital and community settings giving her an understanding of the challenges faced in times of crisis. She has a strong community service ethos and has volunteered for several years including with Safe Shelter, on Parish council, and working to encourage voter engagement and democracy. Naomi is committed to supporting women's empowerment as Acting Chair of the gender equality and inclusion network at her workplace. She is proud to bring her commitment and skills to the board of Toora to strengthen and grow support for women across Canberra to achieve their goals for themselves, their families and communities.


Susan Clarke-Lindfield

Executive Director

Since 1989, Susan has managed women’s services in the not-for-profit sector, both in Canada and Australia. Before coming to Toora in 2011 to take on the role of Executive Director, she managed a regional women’s health centre in rural NSW for over 15 years. Susan was also an on-call sexual assault crisis counsellor.

Originally from Canada, Susan has a passion for social justice. Her relevant qualifications include a Master of Social Science (Social Policy) from the University of Western Sydney and a Graduate Diploma in Community Services. She also has a Diploma in Human Resources and Certificates IV in both Mental Health and Training & Assessment.

Susan is a certified professional member of the Australian Human Resources Institute (CAHRI) and a member of the Australian College of Community & Disability Practitioners.


Karina Lockwood*

Staff Advisory Forum representative

Karina qualified in the UK as a person-centred counsellor in 2009 where she began focusing her career in supporting others. She provided one-to-one counselling, delivered a domestic violence (DV) prevention program to groups of men wishing to address and change their violent behaviours, and then progressed on to become a counselling service manager. During this time, she also delivered educational programs to groups of separated parents and provided smoking cessation support to individuals.

Karina gained valuable experience through the above roles and in her own private counselling practice, working with a range of clients covering EAP programs, problem gambling, adult residential college students and addiction.

Karina joined Toora in March 2018 and is currently employed as an AOD Counsellor. She started as a staff advisory representative (non-voting) on the Toora Board in late 2018, and was voted as the Advisory Forum Chair in November 2019.


Elgita Dajsmaili*

Staff Advisory Forum representative (non-voting)

Elgita has settled in Canberra with her family since 2012. Having previously worked in Kuala Lumpur and Adelaide, Elgita brings a wealth of experience into her workplace.

Elgita has an Accounting degree from the University of South Australia, Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resources and Diploma in Community and Welfare as well as Leadership and Management.

Elgita is very passionate about women rights and their place in today's society. She has been working with Toora for the past 4 years and was voted to the Board as an the Staff Advisory representative in November 2019.


* The Advisory Forum provides a communication/participation mechanism between the staff and the Board of Toora Women Inc. It meets monthly, the week prior to the Board meeting. It is attended by representatives from each service. All workers at Toora Women Inc. are members of the Advisory Forum.