Kat Reed (they/them/theirs)
Chief Executive Officer
Kat is a human rights advocate, community builder, avid intersectional feminist and political performance artist. They were recently awarded 2021 Young Canberra Citizen of the Year.
Their activism and community building work spans many different intersections. Since the age of 17, they have advocated for the rights of people of colour, queer youth, trans and non-binary people and people with disabilities. Kat has also made appearances on ABC Radio, Canberra Times and Win News speaking about survivor rights and sex education.
Kat’s leadership experience is diverse – they’ve held positions of leadership in both local and national organisations including the ANU Students’ Association and led the Australian Queer Students’ Network as the National Co-Convenor. Kat was a Council member on the ACT LGBTIQ+ Ministerial Advisory Council and advised on issues affecting queer youth from 2015-2018.
Policy & Advocacy Officer & “A Better COVID Legacy” Project Officer
Megan joins us as our new Policy & Advocacy Officer. She is also researching the gendered issues that arose for women with disabilities in the ACT during the pandemic and recovery period as part of the COVID Legacy Project. Please send an email at email@example.com if you want further information!
Admin & Communications Officer
Ruth is responsible for our social media, our newsletters and communications and for supporting the team. Please send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get in touch!
Project Officer (Disability Royal Commission Project)
Sophia is working on our new engagement project for the Disability Royal Commission. The project will involve providing information to members on how to submit to the DRC as well as some research on the issues CALD, LGBTIQ+ and First Nations women with disability in the ACT experience. Please an email at email@example.com if you want to connect!
Kerry Marshall (she/her/hers)
Kerry has been a Canberra resident for over 30 years. Following a career in the Commonwealth public service where she led small teams and worked in many areas of social policy including gender equality, child protection, disability, and reducing violence against women, Kerry left in 2015 to undertake a Masters in Social Work.
Kerry now works as a school counsellor. She is passionate about improving the profile, status and lives of women with disabilities in the ACT and Region and has a keen interest in mental health, mentoring, inclusion, human rights and social justice.
Dianne McGowan (she/her/hers)
Di is a qualified bookkeeper and has worked extensively in both the disability sector and the private sector. She has been a member of WWDACT since it was first formed in 1995 and has supported the organisation with financial advice since its inception. She worked as the bookkeeper for Women With Disabilities Australia (WWDA) for a number of years when the national office was located in Canberra. She retired from her employment as the Accounts Manager for Eric Martin & Associates, a specialist in access architecture at the end of October 2017. Di has lived with disability all her life, and from a young age she has known that keeping active is an important part of maintaining mobility. In her youth she was a keen netballer and tennis player. She continues to uphold this philosophy with two exercise classes per week and in retirement will do more exercise. In her down time she is an avid reader of mystery novels and loves to spend time with her three grandchildren. She will continue to support WWDACT in her retirement.
Isobel Moss (she/her/hers)
Isabel is a young woman with lived experience of disability and an advocate for the Queer* community. She is passionate about promoting intersectionality, especially to ensure neuro-divergent young women and young Queer* people are provided a platform and an accessible space to advocate for change.
In 2019, Isabel was appointed to a Senior Resident role in Warrumbal Lodge. She provided guidance and wellbeing care to 50 students and provided personalised support for members of the community with disability. Drawing on these experiences, in 2020 Isabel took on the role of Human Relations Officer for the Canberra Student Housing Cooperative, working to maintain accessible and affordable housing for students. In particular, Isabel led the review of the housing application process to promote racial, sexual and disability inclusivity.
From her studies and work in policy, Isabel has a strong background in the systemic issues that are facing women with disabilities, especially Queer* women in the ACT. However, her work with students, and her own background, has also exposed her to the many lived experiences of women with disability in the ACT and the importance of empathy when approaching peer support.
Katie Shoemark (they/them/theirs & she/her/hers)
Katie is a twenty-something who begrudgingly has come to realise that she embodies the sentiments of cross-stitch cushions such as “be the change you want to see in the world.” Katie is currently a trainee on the WWDACT board; through the ACT Government’s Audrey Fagan Leadership program, she was fortuitously matched with Sue and Di as her mentors. She has relished the opportunity to be more actively involved in the disability sector and would love to continue on WWDACT’s board in 2020.
She originally moved down to Canberra from Sydney in 2012 to study at ANU. Throughout university she was involved in a variety of advocacy positions and fought for a range of (often intersecting) social justice issues. Finishing her Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts in 2017, Katie moved to Florida to intern at Disney World. While “making magic” everyday is one of the best jobs you can have, Katie felt the need to return to Australia to put her legal and policy skills to work.
Katie is passionate about tacking issues at the systemic level, but wrestles with how to work as a systemic advocate while also trying to see positive changes at an individual and community level. Having spent the last two years as a management consultant, Katie has recently moved into a policy position at a peak mental health body. In her (very little) spare time, Katie plays roller derby. She cares deeply about integrity in sports, of which inclusion and celebration of people with disability is core.
Having struggled with feelings of being “not disabled enough” or “too high functioning” to engage in spaces for folks with disability, Katie has spent her 20s trying to unlearn her internalised biases and engage with these spaces. Living with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, fibromyalgia and clinical anxiety, she has been so overwhelmed with the kindness and support she has found in WWDACT and wants to continue to give back to the organisation as a board member.
Nb. This bio uses she/her pronouns throughout but Katie also uses they/them pronouns.
Josephine Jannsen (she/her/hers)
Josephine is a Senior Consultant in PwC’s Transformation Design and Delivery business, with experience in delivering change management to ensure successful business transformations. She has worked on large transformation projects in the public sector supporting strategic communication, change activities and stakeholder engagement. Josephine is deeply passionate about gender equality and has dedicated much of her adult life towards it; co-finding the ANU Women In Leadership Initiative for students and the ANU Women’s Alumni Network. She is interested in cultural reform, particularly in the uptake of more diverse and inclusive policies and behaviours. As a young woman living with a chronic illness Josephine is eager to combine her personal and professional experience with her passion for supporting all womxn.
Louise Bannister (she/her/hers)
Louise has been involved with WWDACT since 1998 and works to promote health and wellbeing for women with disabilities including improving access to women’s health screening services. She is passionate about right for individual choice and control and about creating a fully inclusive community through mentoring, education, advocacy, and leadership. Louise represents WWDACT on the Ministerial Advisory Council on Women; and on the ACT Disability Reference Group. She is the former Deputy Chair of the Disability Advisory Council, and continues to work with ACT Health and the government to improve women with disabilities’ access to services and education. Louise has been recognized for her work in the community. She was awarded the 2012 Chief Minister’s Award for Inclusion by an Individual, and was a 2009 Finalist in the Women of Spirit Awards, and a National Finalist in the 2006 Australian Centre for Leadership of Women Leadership Achievement Award.
LewChing Yip (she/her/hers)
LewChing (LC) grew up in Singapore and came over to Canberra in 2017. She is am currently studying Psychology at the Australian National University. She also intends to pursue a Masters of Social Work upon graduation.
LewChing grew up in an environment with a lot of stigma surrounding mental health and she was not able to seek help or diagnosis until she arrived in Australia. Her experiences have sparked her interest in advocacy.
LewChing is the former International Students’ Officer in the ANU Student Association and a former board member of the ANU Academic Board where she advocated for the needs of International Students during the start of the pandemic and border closures. LewChing believes every board needs to be a representation of its members and community, and she wants to highlight the voices of people of colour.
Christina Ryan (she/her/hers)
WWDACT Public Officer
Christina is a leadership and executive coach who embeds inclusion and ethical frameworks across organisational structures & culture. She has held CEO, senior management & team leading positions across both government & non-government sectors for 20 years, is a high level strategic thinker & noted innovator, using design thinking & collaboration to build new approaches. Christina founded the Disability Leadership Institute in 2017 to create a professional hub for leaders with disabilities, so that Australia builds & supports its disability leaders. She has been a leader in the Australian disability community, working at an international, national & local level to change the diversity agenda, while coaching numerous people with disabilities to their own leadership success.