We believe in diversity of thoughts, ideas, and lived experiences. True innovation and creativity thrive in diversity, and it is important for us to have a leadership team that looks and thinks differently, consciously beyond default views and perspectives. We strongly believe that having a culturally rich, racially & ethnically-diverse board with an intersectional approach to solving systemic issues facing Australia’s women of colour of today and in the future is what’s fundamentally going to help us drive the change that we want to see in our communities, our societies, and the world.
Dr Faiza El-Higzi (she/her) is Chair and Non-Executive Director of Women of Colour Australia. She was born in Khartoum, Sudan and now resides in Meanjin country. Faiza is a recognised social advocate for her work as a social change expert. While her current focus is gender and social inclusion, her professional experience includes strategic economic and social policy at both state and Federal government levels in Australia. She is an adviser on gender and culture diversity and sits on a number of Australian government committees and not-for-profit organisation boards to build institutional capacity.
Brenda Gaddi (she/her) is the Founder and Managing Director of Women of Colour Australia. She is a Filipina settler living on the sovereign land of the Wallumattagal clan of the Darug nation. She was born and raised during the Martial Law era in the Philippines. She has been building women-focused communities and championing women’s voices for over a decade. She is passionate about racial, social, & economic justice, gender equity, and intersectionality. She was part of the inaugural Changemakers Program, a campaign shining a spotlight on individuals using LinkedIn to drive genuine change in the world of work.
Debbie Morgan-Frail (she/her) is a Non-Executive Director of Women of Colour Australia. Debbie is a direct descendant of the Boree people from the Wiradjuri Nation whose sovereign dharuwaay (traditional community and country) lies at the foot of Guunah-Bulla (Mt Canobolas) located on Molong Creek/Bell River waterways. With forty years of experience working across sectors in First Nations engagement, projects and programs Debbie works as a Diversity and Inclusion Adviser in a major not for profit organisation within the Social, Emotional and Wellbeing sector.
Atheena Peter (she/her) is the Secretary and a Founding Non-Executive Director of Women of Colour Australia. She resides on unceded lands of the Gadigal and Wangal peoples of the Eora nation. She was born in Kozhikode, Kerala, India. She is an established teacher, a lifelong learner, a facilitator, and a strategic, human resources advisor with over 10 years’ experience.
Jade Hoskins (she/her) is a Non-Executive Director of Women of Colour Australia. She lives on the land of the Gadigal and Wangal peoples of the Eora nation. In her current role with the NSW Government, Jade manages partnerships between NSW government agencies to ensure effective governance, service delivery, and regulatory operations. Jade is born to immigrants from Malaysia and England.
Tekan Cochrane (she/her) is a Non-Executive Director of Women of Colour Australia. Tekan resides on the country of the Bunurong Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung peoples of the Eastern Kulin nation. Tekan is proud Kooma and Yuwaalaraay. She is an established lawyer practising in Victoria. Tekan is passionate about anti-racism, particularly in the legal sector. She is a board member of the Tarwirri-Indigenous Law Students and Lawyers Association, Victoria.
Eshna Khadka (she/her) is a Non-Executive Director of Women of Colour Australia. She was born in Kathmandu, Nepal and now resides on the land of the Gai-mariagal people of the Eora Nation. Eshna has worked in the NFP sector for over ten years. She has worked in the mental health, aged care, and disability sectors in senior leadership roles, where she has been a critical part of the organisation’s transformation.
Jessica Taylor is a Non-Executive Director of Women of Colour Australia. She is a proud Yuwaalaraay woman from the outback town of Lightning Ridge, currently residing on Gubbi Gubbi, Kabi Kabi, and Jinibara Peoples Country on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. She is passionate and driven in her commitment to creating opportunities for First Nations people and is an experienced professional with a demonstrated history across a multitude of industries. She is the CEO working in the NFP space assisting in the delivery of programs and services that are focused on assisting local First Nations individuals and families in a real and practical way.
Gemma Martin (she/her) is a Non-Executive Director of Women of Colour Australia. She resides in the traditional lands of the Whadjuk Nyoongar people. She is a qualified social worker with 14 years of experience in the NFP and government sector in a variety of leadership roles including Regional Manager of Mental Health Services, Senior Social Worker, and University Lecturer. Gemma currently sits on the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and the Care Plan Review Panel for the Department of Communities.
We acknowledge the Wallumattagal clan of the Darug nation as the Traditional Custodians of the land upon which Women of Colour Australia is situated. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present. We acknowledge and honour the strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women with whom we stand in solidarity. We acknowledge that as settlers on this stolen Aboriginal land, we are beneficiaries of the dispossession, genocide, and ongoing colonial violence against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We believe that it is our collective responsibility and moral imperative to help dismantle the systemic barriers and structural inequities oppressing the original inhabitants of this land. We are also painfully aware that this land was taken forcibly, without a Treaty or reparations made. We have taken a practical step towards honouring sovereignty by paying the rent – and we invite you to do so too. This land is and always will be Aboriginal land. Sovereignty was never ceded.