Our Leadership Team
Chief Executive Officer
Licia Heath is the inaugural CEO of Women for Election and she’s dedicated to inspiring and equipping more women across the country to run for public office at the local, state or federal level. In addition to training women to run for office, Licia is also focussed on engaging more women in Australia’s political process and educating them on the various roles they might like to take to help another woman get elected. She sets the tone that gender-balanced governments improve quality of life not just for women and girls, but for all of society.
Licia ran in the high-profile Wentworth by-election in October 2018 and helped shape the political debate on a national platform.
She spent over 19 years in the finance and asset management sector and worked at Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse in London and Australia. She helped establish Ironbark Asset Management, an Australian-based asset management business.
Phillipa Dobbin GAICD
Phillipa is a Board Director, Advisor and Founder, specialising in helping businesses deliver sustainable results through change and growth.
She has worked with fortune global 500 companies such as Telstra and Westpac, in Australia and Asia, with responsibilities ranging from 400 – 10,000+ employees. In addition to her role with WFE, she now advises and helps businesses who are on the verge of expansion – this could be through acquisition, transformation, or explosive growth.
Phillipa is passionate about enabling women from any background and circumstance to be successful and has a life-long interest in politics.
She is currently on the Board of Dress for Success, Sydney.
Katrina Van De Ven GAICD
Communications & Relationship Manager
Katrina brings over a decade’s experience as a public and foreign policy professional, having led the development and execution of policy solutions across four continents. She has also applied her deep knowledge of stakeholder engagement to develop the inaugural philanthropic strategy for the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, one of the nation’s largest publicly-funded research agencies.
Katrina served for five years as COO of Young Australians in International Affairs. She has also served as a Director on several non-profit boards, including for the United Nations Association of Australia, Water Aid, Women in Nuclear, and the University of Sydney Business School.
Katrina holds a MBA from the University of Sydney Business School, and a Bachelor of Psychology (Hons) and Master of International Relations from Griffith University. She is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds professional accreditations in communications, and media relations.
Program Manager - Women in Public Office
Amanda is a project and communications professional with over 15 years experience in program, project, and stakeholder management, advocacy, community engagement and campaigning.
She has worked with and consulted to governments, legal professionals, NGOs/civil society and not-for-profit organisations. Her previous roles with NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby, Women’s Electoral Lobby, NSW Council for Civil Liberties and the Aurora Group – A Ruby Foundation, have spanned community engagement and consultation, campaigning for freedoms and civil liberties, climate justice, the rights of asylum seekers and refugees, social justice, limiting police powers, privacy and management of data retention, LGBTIQ+ rights, women’s rights and gender equality.
Amanda has served on the Board of several not-for-profit organisations, holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons), a Masters in Communications, a Diploma of Project Management, and a certification in Business & Human Rights (Global Campus of Human Rights).
Shirley was appointed as Chair of the WFE Board, effective 1 June 2023. She brings a diverse set of expertise across law, financial services, the NFP sector and journalism. She is admitted to practice law in Australia and New York and has worked across Asia and Australia in the corporate and for-purpose sectors.
In addition to her role with WFE, Shirley is currently Chair of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects and a non-executive director on the boards of the Australian Associated Press and Northrop Consulting Engineers. She is also on the Advisory Boards of Mentor Walks, an organisation making mentoring accessible for women, and Propel, empowering companies and individuals to manage digital reputation.
Lisa Annese has been the Chief Executive Officer of Diversity Council Australia since 2 June 2014. In this role she leads debate on diversity and inclusion in the public arena.
Under her leadership, DCA delivers innovative diversity practice resources for Australian businesses and supports in them improving their inclusion capability. She has led a broad array of ground-breaking, evidence-based research, including Australia’s first national index on workplace diversity and inclusion, seminal research on the economics of the gender pay-gap and original work on Counting Culture and building Asian Leadership Capability, as well as research supporting individuals being “Out at Work” and main-streaming flexible work.
In 2018, Lisa was named one of the AFR’s 100 Women of Influence. In 2019 she was elected to the Board of Amnesty International Australia and she is also Executive Producer of DCA’s podcast, The Art of Inclusion. Lisa has had a long career in the diversity and inclusion space across the corporate, government and not-for-profit sector.
Amanda is the CEO at ‘Xplore for Success’, an Australian consultancy that specialises in ‘Driving Gender Equality’ and Career development and advancement for women – and men.
Amanda Webb is an experienced and highly respected Human Resources practitioner with over 25 years business expertise in banking, finance, professional services, FMCG and management consulting, having worked for a number of Australian, global and private companies including Deloitte, Westpac, AMP, and the Sydney Olympic Games.
Amanda is an advocate for women and human rights and is committed to driving gender equality. She is a Board Member of Dress for Success Sydney, and an Ambassador for Human and Hope Association, Cambodia.
Philip Busfield M.A. (Hons) Cambridge University (Mathematics) is a risk and finance consultant to the Private Equity and banking industry. He has three decades of experience in various senior executive roles in merchant banking and investment.
Philip has founded and chaired a charity for Parkinson’s sufferers, been actively involved in local community regeneration projects, and is the Treasurer of Dying with Dignity NSW and Your Last Rights Australia, as well as various roles including Co-Chair, Treasurer & Board member of Twenty10 Incorporating GLCS, NSW largest LGBTIQA+ youth charity.
Born and raised in the UK, he now calls Australia home, and in March 2018 became an Australian citizen! He is driven by his passion for Human Rights and particularly the rights of individuals to freedom of expression, speech, and life choices.
Founder & Emeritus Chair
As a diversity and inclusion consultant, Jenny is a strong advocate for supporting female talent. She has been providing human resource advice and training to organisations since 1986 and founded The Orijen Group in 2000. Since then, Jenny has been responsible for the research, design and implementation of a range of bespoke coaching and mentoring programs in corporations, government and non-government organisations.
In 2014 Jenny received the AFR’s 100 Women of Influence award for her contribution to “creating a bolder and more diverse future for all Australians.”