Our Board

Helen Geard Chief Commissioner

At the end of 2013, Helen completed a 3 year term as Chief Commissioner for Girl Guides Australia.  Prior to that role she was the Tasmanian State Commissioner for Girl Guides.  On 1 January 2017 she commenced a nine month term as Acting Chief Commissioner / Chair of the Board.

Helen works part time as a Natural Resource Management Facilitator / Project Officer with the Southern Midlands Council in Tasmania working with landholders and the wider to community to achieve positive environmental outcomes.

She enjoys volunteering for a number of organisations including the Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania, the Uniting Church of Australia, Volunteering Tasmania and the Midlands Tree Committee. 

Helen is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program and is a strong advocate for the important role Girl Guides plays within our community.




Rosemary Derwin

Rosemary Derwin: Girl Guides NSW and ACT Director 

Rosemary Derwin has extensive Guiding experience and is currently a Director and the Honorary Treasurer for Girl Guides NSW & ACT.  She is a former Assistant Chief Commissioner of Girl Guides Australia and has been awarded the Red Kangaroo for service to Guiding.  Rosemary brings to the Board experience in governance, strategic planning and process and a strong commitment and belief in the fundamental importance of the contribution not-for-profits make to the community as a whole.

Rosemary has been a Director of UN Women (formally The National Committee for UNIFEM in Australia) and was a member of the UN Women delegation to the Commission on the Status of Women in 2007 and 2008.  Rosemary was integral to the establishment of the White Ribbon Foundation. 

Professionally, Rosemary has a background in business and financial management and is a director of an award winning financial planning practice.


Janelle Howell: Girl Guides Victoria Director






Kate Alcorso: Girl Guides Tasmania Director




Dawn Borchardt

Dawn Borchardt: State Commissioner SA

Dawn is the State Commissioner for Girl Guides SA Inc, leading SA’s Guiding volunteers to deliver great Guiding programs for girls and young women.
Dawn has fulfilled several state and national management roles including Program Consultant and Learning & Development Manager; she has had over 20 years’ experience in training and is a WAGGGS Facilitator.
Having been involved in Guiding since her youth, Dawn has achieved the Queen’s Guide Award, the Olave Baden-Powell Award, the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, several leadership qualifications, camping and canoeing qualifications and most recently, GGA’s Learning & Development Qualification for Trainers.  The fun and learning experiences of youth membership have developed into a love of learning new things, trying them out and sharing with others.
Dawn said, “I love the outdoors and those special experiences like a promise ceremony in canoes on the Murray River or the breathtaking view from the top of the cliff I’ve just climbed with such a sense of achievement or that very special feeling of Sisters in Guiding that you get from sharing the campfire’s glow.  I am passionate about young women and the amazing opportunities Guiding offers.”
In this new and challenging role, Dawn is really excited about the possibilities and opportunities the future holds.
Linda Elezovich

Linda Elezovich: State Commissioner WA

Linda is the State Commissioner for Girl Guides Western Australia.  Working with two units in the Perth Hills aged from 6- 15, Learning Partner and Trainer.  Linda has previous experience as a Region Manager and Region Managers representative to Management.  Being relatively new to Girl Guides Linda is working on increasing Girl Guides profile in Western Australia and is committed to positive Guiding Experiences at unit and State level.

Professionally Linda works as a Safety & Training Specialist.  Working with all industries Linda builds Safety Management systems, develops curriculum and delivers training programs and qualifications.  In addition Linda is the Subject Matter Expert for AVELING for Safety and Emergency advice and develops leadership training to meet the needs of organisations.  Linda holds Advanced Diploma in WHS, Diploma in Business Management, Diploma in Training and Education, Certificate in Psychology and has 30 years’ experience in all aspects of Safety Leadership and Training.

photo to come 

Anne Lilley: State Commissioner NT

More information to follow

Velia Nicholls

Velia Nicholls: State Commissioner QLD

Velia Nicholls commenced her role as State Commissioner for Girl Guides Queensland in April 2014. Prior to becoming State Commissioner, and Director of GIrl Guides Australia, Velia facilitated the "Working together Project" from 2005 – 2008; has been an MC for a great variety of events and activities both for Girl Guides Queensland and Girl Guides Australia; was a  Member of the Girl Guides Queensland State Council from 2010;Chair of GGQ HR Committee; assistant to the GGQ Outdoors Manager; coach and mentor to national Volunteer Manager. Velia was also Acting General Manager for GGA for an 18 month period and has received an Asia Pacific Award for Excellence in Leadership for her work at GGA .

In addition to her leadership in Australian Guiding, Velia is Director of Courage to Speak a HR and Performance Consultancy based out of Brisbane Queensland. 

Janet Torney

Janet Torney, Treasurer

Janet Torney is a professional director and strategic management and investment consultant. She has broad non-executive and executive experience in the financial services sector, notably in superannuation, investments and markets, and in the engineering sector. 

Janet’s business management expertise covers governance, strategy, risk management and change, both operational and cultural. She has extensive investment expertise covering investment governance, strategy, analysis and forecasting, management and advice.

In addition to her role as non-executive director of GIrl Guides Australia, Janet is Chair of Whitehelm Capital, is a Member of the Advisory Panel on Investments & Defined Benefitsfor the Association of Supernnuation Funds of Australia and Principal of JT Consult.

In addition to this breadth and depth of experience, Janet and her family have strong Girl Guide connections. In addition to being Guide, the Torney family and friends established a fund in memory of her mother - Wilma Torney. To this day the Wilma Torney Fund provides support to assist in developing the capacity of Leaders in Australian Girl Guiding.

Paul Giles

Paul Giles: Appointed Director

Paul Giles is a highly experienced corporate and public affairs professional, with over two decades of experience across Financial Services, Peak Industry Associations, Professional Services and Government. He was Chief of Staff to the Federal Assistant Treasurer and also served as a Senior Advisor across a range of portfolios in the Howard Government.

He has held a number of senior executive positions in the financial services sector and has a deep and informed understanding of the superannuation, banking, markets and insurance sectors.

Paul has advised CEOs, Boards, regulators, consumer groups, media and Cabinet Ministers on a wide range of strategic corporate and communication issues. He has successfully developed and implement considered strategies to achieve desired organisational goals.

Paul earned his Bachelor of Arts with Honours Political Science University of Tasmania and Graduate Diploma International Relations Australian National University.

Chio Verastegui

Chio Verastegui: Appointed Director

Chio joined Bain as an associate consultant in 2003 in the Dallas office although, as part of the Latin American practice, she spent most of her first two years in different parts of Latin America. In 2005, Chio moved to the Australian practice, her permanent base now. 

After being promoted to Consultant, Chio took a leave of absence to complete an MBA at INSEAD and travel afterwards for a few months. She went back to the Sydney office in May 2009 and was promoted to Manager, in December 2010. In 2013, Chio started a strategic transfer to the Johannesburg office (along with her husband, who is also a manager at Bain), where she is now a Principal. 

Chio got a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Management at ITESM, in Mexico City (where she is from) and rounded up her education with an MBA from INSEAD (both in the Fontainebleau and Singapore campuses) in 2008.

Chio’s past experience includes being a purchasing manager for a small engineering firm in Mexico and a summer internship in Technoserve, a non-profit consulting firm in Tanzania.

Chio has worked in more than a dozen industries, including airlines, private equity, retail, telco, beer, dairy, consumer goods, yellow pages, agricultural products, security equipment, insurance, banking and non-profit in the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Swaziland, Rwanda and Benin.

Her focus is on Customer Strategy and Loyalty and Results Delivery, although she also works on major transformations, corporate strategy and organisation issues.