WDVCAS NSW is governed by a Board of Directors. The members of WDVCAS NSW elect the members of the Board of Directors each year at the organisation’s annual general meeting. The Board meets at least five times each calendar year face to face and through teleconference facilities for regional and rural members. The current board is:
Chair: Tanya Whitehouse
Tanya Whitehouse was the chair for WDVCAS NSW from 2011-2015 and again from 2017. Tanya has been the coordinator of Macarthur WDVCAS for many years and also sits on a number of Domestic Violence Committees in her area. Tanya is passionate about the critical role that WDVCASs have in supporting women experiencing domestic and family violence.
Vice Chair: Kellie Young
Kellie Young has worked in domestic violence specific roles for approximately eighteen years and joined the board of WDVCAS NSW Inc. in 2017. Kellie has been employed as the SAM coordinator at Northern Rivers WDVCAS since 2015, and attends court weekly as a court advocate. Kellie previously worked as a Regional Coordinator and trainer with the Education Centre Against Violence. Kellie brings a regional focus and a large level of experience to her role as vice chair.
Secretary: Helen West
Helen has been with Wagga WDVCAS since 2007, has come up the ranks to be Coordinator. Helen and her team have been activists for women who have been victims of Domestic Violence. Helen’s training includes training in case management, counselling, leadership skills and mental health. She has always been involved in community engagement and is often invited to speak at many regional services, forums and meetings, which has meant she is well trained in public speaking. Helen has chaired the local domestic violence liaison committee for over ten years and through the committee has helped organise regional forums and marches. As part of her commitment in supporting local areas she has facilitated smaller outreach towns to start their own domestic violence liaison committees. Helen has always been a strong and outspoken supporter of gender based issues, she is often speaking to local politicians and high ranking officials to help better raise these issues. Helen’s goal is to continue being an advocate and a voice for women experiencing domestic violence.
Ordinary Member: Tamara Briggs
Tamara is an Aboriginal woman with a range of experience in Family and Domestic Violence. Tamara is the Aboriginal specialist worker and current coordinator of North Western WDVCAS. Tamara has a Cert IV in Aboriginal Family Health, a Cert IV in Family, DV, Sexual Assault and Child Protection and a Cert IV in Workplace Assessment and Training. Tamara is the Aboriginal specialist worker for Northwest WDVCAS and acting coordinator. Tamara has a long history of working in Aboriginal organisations and has extensive community networks. Tamara sits on a Management Committee for a Family Violence unit in Moree as well as the local DVAT committee. Tamara brings to WDVCAS NSW Inc. a wealth of professional knowledge including specialist knowledge about Aboriginal communities experiencing family and domestic violence and a rural perspective of the WDVCAS’.
Ordinary Member: Sarah Priestley
Sarah joined the WDVCAS NSW board in 2017 as an ordinary member. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology) from Charles Sturt University and is currently completing an Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management from TAFE. Sarah has two years experience working with WDVCAS and has previously managed an After School Care service.
Sarah is passionate about supporting women and provides insights to advocacy work, particularly women in regional and rural NSW.
Ordinary Member: Louise Williams
Louise Williams has been the Coordinator of the South Coast WDVCAS for the past two years and joined the WDVCAS NSW board in 2017. She is passionate about advocating for the rights of women and children who experience domestic violence. Louise has worked in domestic violence for the past eleven years in a number of key areas; education programs, crisis services, counselling, case management and advocacy. Louise has extensive community networks and sits on the local Domestic Violence Committee and Family Law Pathways Network Steering Committee.
There are two special advisors to the Board of Directors. The Special Advisors provide a vital link to the Aboriginal and culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) specialist worker networks to ensure the Board’s work is informed by their unique experiences and to ensure the Board membership reflects the diversity of WDVCAS workers.
The Director of WDVCAS NSW is Hayley Foster. Hayley has over 15 years’ experience in the domestic, family and sexual violence (DFSV) sector in a range of roles including practice, policy, law reform, advocacy, and organisational and sector development. Throughout this time, Hayley has worked with diverse population groups and organisations in metropolitan, regional, rural and remote settings across the government, non-government and business sectors.
Most recently, Hayley worked with a feminist law firm in family law matters supporting women to achieve safety and empowerment through access to justice across the local/magistrates, children's and family/federal circuit courts. Prior to this, Hayley held various roles in DFV and SXA, community legal and accredited men’s behaviour change organisations with a focus on innovative service and sector development and violence prevention.
Hayley has particular expertise in integrated, multi-sectorial strategies to address to DFSV, child protection, and family, civil and criminal justice. Hayley is passionate about ‘evidence to action’ and genuine participatory research and has a keen interest in legislative, policy and practice reform, supported by her qualifications in law, economics, finance, political science and family dispute resolution. Most recently, in her Honours study, Hayley undertook an analysis of the application of judicial discretion in the making of parenting orders under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) in the context of family violence.
Currently the NSW Representative of the National Women’s Services Network (‘WESNET’), Hayley sits on the NSW Women’s Alliance and is a Practitioner Engagement Group (‘PEG’) member of the Australian National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety (‘ANROWS’).
Hayley is deeply passionate about the work of WDVCAS professionals and services and brings excitement and enthusiasm to the network in working collaboratively to address systemic issues for women and their children impacted by DFSV.