Rosemary Derwin is passionate about the opportunities Girl Guiding provides girls and young women across Australia to explore who they are enabling them to be the best they can be. Since making her Promise as a Brownie, Rosemary has had extensive Guiding experience. She was honoured to be appointed Chief Commissioner on 1 December 2018. Rosemary previously held the role of Acting Chief Commissioner from 1 January 2018 – 30 November 2018 and prior to this was the appointed director to the Girl Guides Australia Board from Girl Guides NSW & ACT. Rosemary 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.
Professionally, Rosemary has a background in business and financial management.
Girl Guides Australia Chair & Treasurer
Janet is Chairman and Treasurer of Girl Guides Australia. She is a professional non-executive director with deep experience in the financial services sector and in the member-focussed sector, notably female and sport related. Her expertise covers governance, strategy, business management, change – both cultural and operational – and investments.
Janet’s other non-executive director roles include Chairman of Club Plus Superannuation; Chairman of Whitehelm Capital, Member of the Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation and Director of the Australian Cricketers’ Association. She is actively involved in mentoring both executives and young women.
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.
Girl Guides Director – NSW and ACT
Sarah Neill was appointed to the role of State Commissioner, Girl Guides NSW & ACT, in May 2016 and is the appointed director to the Girl Guides Australia Board from Girl Guides NSW & ACT.
Having been involved in Guiding for many years across a range of roles, prior to being Sate Commissioner, Sarah held the role of Region Manager, South Coast and Highlands Region, for three years. Sarah also represented the Region Management team on the Girl Guides NSW & ACT Membership Management Committee; has previously been a member of the Girl Guides NSW & ACT Finance Management Committee; various Region and District Committees; and previously undertook District Manager, Learning Partner and Support Group roles.
In addition to Guiding, Sarah has spent over 20 years leading Volunteers in a range of Organisations and Community Groups, as well as running her own business and maintaining a career in accountancy.
Sarah is committed to ensuring that our membership is actively engaged and supported in achieving our 2015–2020 Strategic Plan. Through her many roles and her time in Guiding, Sarah has continuously demonstrated diverse leadership skills and experience at local, regional and state levels. Sarah is absolutely dedicated to the mission of Guiding and wherever possible personally strives to develop, support and mentor young women in achieving their absolute best.
Girl Guides Director – Victoria
Girl Guides Director – Tasmania
Kate Alcorso is the appointed director to the Girl Guides Australia Board from Tasmania and currently chairs the Board of Girl Guides Tasmania. Kate is also a leader of Guides aged between 5 and 10 in Launceston, Tasmania, known as the Rainbow Star Guides. Kate has been a Guide for about 30 years, starting as a 7 year old and keeping going ever since. In particular, Kate has always taken up the leadership opportunities available to her within the organisation and had served on the Girl Guides Tasmania board prior to her current appointment.
Professionally Kate works as a senior associate lawyer for a Launceston law firm practicising in commercial and estate law, with a particular focus on business transactions. Kate is a member of the Taxation Institute of Australia and keeps abreast of developments in corporations and taxation law. Kate has also been involved with other local boards within the community sector.
Kate is passionate about Guiding and seeing the development of the girls in her own Unit. Guiding has offered Kate personally many opportunities, including attending overseas events, and she is thrilled to contribute to the governance of Guiding in Australia as a member of the Girl Guides Australia Board.
Girl Guides Director – South Australia
State Commissioner WA
Alongside a professional role at the Aboriginal Legal Service, Katrina Lane volunteered as the Assistant to previous State Commissioner Linda Elezovich for over three years. She is also a current Unit Leader, a Learning Partner, and has previously held roles as the International Manager and four years as the Program Manager.
Katrina’s Guiding story is a familiar one. She tried to drop her niece off at the Morley Girl Guide Unit and never left!
Katrina has helped organise major events and even met a Prince through Guiding. She says she is trying to become a better outdoor Guide. But as much as she has given to this organisation, Katrina believes it has also given a huge amount back to her. It has allowed her to honour her parents and the commitment to volunteer work they instilled in Katrina as a young woman. And it has given her to opportunity to stay closely connected with her nieces.
Katrina has this to say about her approach to leading Girl Guides WA: “Girl Guides WA has undergone tremendous change over the past few years and is ready to take on new and bigger challenges. I am passionate about this organisation and have seen what it has done for me personally and for my family. I want nothing more than to be here for the next young woman who needs Guides, for whatever reason. With the help of our Unit Leaders, Managers and staff I am looking forward to the future of empowering girls and young women to grow into confident, self-respecting, responsible community members.”
Katrina is looking forward to the continued growth of Guides in Western Australia
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.
Katherine is the Chief Executive Officer of Fundraising Institute Australia, the peak body for professional fundraising. Prior to her current role, Katherine was the Director of Communications & Customer Experience at Australia’s largest marketing association, the Association for Data-driven Marketing & Advertising (ADMA).
Her experience encompasses both established and start-up, commercial and not-for-profit companies including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and SBS, Australia’s national multilingual and multicultural broadcaster, where she spent more than seven years as Head of Group, responsible for all marketing communications for SBS programs and services. While at SBS she managed large internal and external agency teams to achieve award-winning, highly-effective campaigns that engaged audiences and stakeholders. Her achievements include the launch of the now iconic SBS brand refresh ‘Six billion stories and counting…’ and the launch of SBS’s digital platform SBS ON DEMAND as well as the establishment of connected communities for SBS content areas.
Katherine was previously on the board of Synergy & TaikOz, Australia’s leading percussion ensembles and Kim Carpenter’s Theatre of Image.
Katherine grew up in Minnesota, USA, where she was in the American Girl Scouts for many years.
Tara Waniganayaka is an experienced not-for-profits director and management consultant with Nous Group. She has worked with both public (State and Federal) and private sector clients, with industry experience across the health and ageing, central and economic, financial services and not-for-profits sectors. Prior to Nous, Tara worked in government consulting at PwC, and holds a Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) from the University of Sydney.
Tara has a strong understanding of organisational strategy and change, especially in public policy settings. She has been involved in a number of large policy projects in such areas as integrated health care, domestic violence, treasury forecasting and data processing.
In addition to her role as a non-executive director of Girl Guides Australia, Tara is a director on the boards of Acquired Brain Injury Services (a disabilities services not-for-profit) and the Stepping Out Housing Program (supporting victims of sexual and domestic violence). She has also previously been a mentor with the Women’s Justice Network.
Tara’s mother was a Girl Guide in Sri Lanka, giving her a strong passion for women and girls’ leadership and development