Our People

Brenda Gaddi

Founder | Managing Director

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.

Dr Varina Michaels

Executive Director

Dr Varina Michaels (she/her) is an Executive Director of Women of Colour Australia. She lives on the land of the Cammeraygal people of the Eora nation. Dr Michaels was awarded a PhD in Intersectional Identities from UNSW Business School and is Founder and Director of Paisley Group, a global consultancy focused on People Strategy, Intercultural Management and Diversity and Inclusion. Dr Michaels is a neurodivergent, second-generation migrant and mother of three.

Jade Hoskins WOC profile

Jade Hoskins

Non-Executive Director

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

Non-Executive Director

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.

Sigma Sultana

Volunteer Fundraising Lead

Sigma Sultana (she/her) is the Fundraising Lead at Women of Colour Australia. She was born in Bangladesh and migrated to Australia at the age of one. She resides on the lands of the Darug people of the Eora nation. Sigma is passionate about social impact, helping people, and supporting causes she connects with. Sigma identifies as a generalist, with over nine years experience working in the financial services sector.

Vanessa Hetherington

Volunteer Grants Coordinator

Vanessa Hetherington (she/her) is of Caribbean descent, born and raised in London, UK. She is a chartered quantity surveyor, with over 15 years of experience in the construction industry. She moved to Australia in 2019 and resides on the traditional lands of the Cammeraygal (Gamaragal) people. Vanessa is a Property Industry Foundation Future Leader Committee member and a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors APC Assessor.

Annie Chan

Volunteer IT Lead

Annie Chan (she/her) has extensive experience in the banking industry, having worked in analytics, data governance, and operational risk management. She resides on the traditional lands of the Cadigal, Wangal, and Bediagal clans of the Dharug tribe. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion and is a committee member on the D&I employee network groups at her workplace. Annie is an advocate for Women in Data and actively volunteers for initiatives that support building awareness and educating women in the field of data. 

Shazya Khan

Volunteer Mentorship Team Member

Shazya Khan (she/her) was born in Fiji and is Fijian-Indian. She migrated to Australia with her family in 2003 and lives in Warrane (Sydney). She has a bachelor’s degree in tourism management and a background in events, advertising, public relations, and sales. Shazya is currently an account manager and has extensive experience managing large corporate portfolios. She uses her organisational and communication skills and a strategic and consultative approach to increase company retention and growth. Her passions are helping people grow and cultivating wellbeing, particularly for women.

Ofa Fitzgibbons

Volunteer Marketing & Comms Group Director

Ofa Fitzgibbons (she/her) is the Marketing and Communications Director for Women of Colour Australia. Born in Aotearoa (New Zealand) and raised in Australia, Ofa is grateful to live and work on the traditional lands and waterways of the Awabakal and Worimi peoples. Ofa is a senior marketing and communications professional with over 15 years’ marketing communications experience across Australia, the Asia-Pacific, and the United Kingdom. She brings expertise from multiple industries, including research, healthcare, technology, and start-ups. 

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