Department of Health

Victorian Women's Health Advisory Council

Get to know your Victorian Women's Health Advisory Council.

Women often experience barriers when accessing the services they need to support their physical and mental health.

To bridge the gap in women's healthcare, the Victorian Government is investing more than $153.9 million to completely change and improve how women's health issues are treated in our state.

A Victorian Women's Health Advisory Council will lead the rollout of this investment in women's health. It will give independent, expert advice on delivering our women's health package, including how to improve women's health outcomes, reduce gender health disparities, enhance research, and strengthen the safety and quality of care provided in our state. It will be led by women, for women, to guide reforms that will support an integrated and equitable Victorian health system.

The Advisory Council will explore how the health services within our public health system can work together to deliver improved care and better health outcomes across the life course for all women and girls in Victoria.

We're committed to working together to deliver coordinated, inclusive and integrated care for all women in Victoria.


This Advisory Council will be chaired by the Minister for Health Hon Mary-Anne Thomas, with the Parliamentary Secretary for Women's Health, Kat Theophanous, MP, as the Deputy Chair.

Dr Adele Murdolo

Executive Director, Multicultural Centre for Women's Health

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Dr Adele Murdolo, an accomplished Executive Director with a strong academic background in History and Women's Studies, is dedicated to promoting the well-being of culturally diverse communities.

As the Executive Director of the Multicultural Centre for Women's Health, she leads initiatives addressing challenges faced by immigrant and refugee women. As an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Dr Murdolo's extensive research on gender-related issues within immigrant communities provides valuable insights into family violence and community-led responses. Her work informs policy development, establishing her as a respected thought leader driving positive change in women's health and community development.

Professor Danielle Mazza

Professor and Head of Department of General Practice, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University

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Professor Danielle Mazza AM is a highly accomplished and esteemed clinician scientist and Head of the Department of General Practice at Monash University's School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. Her exceptional contributions to women's health have been widely recognised through prestigious awards, including the Member of the Order of Australia which she received for significant service to medicine and medical research, especially in women's health.

Danielle's achievements, commitment to evidence-based practice, and dedication to achieving better outcomes for women's health has impacted the lives of countless individuals and helped shaped the future of healthcare for women nationally and internationally.

Professor Sue Matthews RN BA MHScN DPH Wharton Fellow

CEO, Royal Women's Hospital

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Professor Sue Matthews is the Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Women's Hospital (RWH) and an adjunct professor in Nursing and Midwifery at Latrobe University. Sue has held leadership positions in acute care hospitals, home and community care and government. She sits on several Boards and Advisory Committees and currently is the Chair of the Victorian Healthcare Association.

Before joining RWH, Sue was the Provincial Chief Nursing Officer with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, where she advised Ontario's Premier and the Minister for Health on nursing, health system issues, and provided strategic leadership and advice on health system transformation. Sue was also the interim President and CEO of the Niagara Health System in Ontario, Canada.

Professor Matthews holds a Doctor of Public Health and a Master of Health Science Nursing from Charles Sturt University. She was named one of Canada's top 100 most powerful women by the Women's Executive Network and received the Canadian Nurses Association Centennial Award. She is recognised for her vision, passion and advocacy for patients, clients, residents, and health care practitioners.

Dr Kate Seear

Associate Professor, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, La Trobe University

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Associate Professor Kate Seear is a highly accomplished academic professional and a practising solicitor. Kate is a Principal Research Fellow at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, an Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2021-) and an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow from 2016-2019. Her research is socio-legal and empirical in nature and typically explores connections between law, alcohol and other drugs, health, gender and the body. Her interests include intersections between harm reduction and the law, drugs, gender, human rights, stigma and the law.

Before commencing with La Trobe University, Kate was an Associate Professor in Law at Monash University. Kate is the co-editor of Contemporary Drug Problems (with Professor Kylie Valentine of UNSW). She has also contributed significantly to the legal field, working as a lawyer at Women's Legal Service Victoria and as the inaugural Academic Director of the South-Eastern Monash Legal Service.

Katherine Stanley

Director, EndoHelp Australia

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Katherine Stanley has a strong psychology, research, and community support background. Katherine is the Director of Endo Help Foundation Australia, where she develops strategies to support individuals with endometriosis and pelvic pain. In this role, she coordinates support groups, facilitates counselling sessions, and designs pain education and well-being programs.

Her advocacy efforts with patients, medical professionals, and politicians demonstrate her commitment to improving the lives of those affected by endometriosis and pelvic pain. She has an unwavering passion to change the pelvic pain space and to break the stigma and silence around menstruation, pelvic pain and women's health.

Madeleine Harradence

Assistant Secretary, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Victorian Branch)

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Madeleine Harradence has a diverse skill set, with expertise in nursing, industrial relations, governance, and leadership. In her role as Assistant Secretary at the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (Victorian Branch), she has excelled in advocating for her members, contributing to the Branch's strategic planning, and coordinating various campaigns and projects such as the Branch's Alcohol and Other Drug project, driving environmental and sustainable change in healthcare, and improving member engagement post the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health system.

From 2013-17, she was an ANMF Victorian Branch Councillor before becoming an Industrial Relations Organiser in 2017. In addition to executive and industrial relations roles, she worked clinically as a Registered Nurse at St. Vincent's Hospital Melbourne, predominantly in the Emergency Department. She holds a post-graduate certificate in emergency nursing, and her experience in critical care and disaster management further highlights her capability in critical situations. She is also the Junior Vice President of the Victorian Trades Hall Council.

Maree Cuddihy

CEO, Central Highlands Rural Health CHRH

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Maree is an engaging leader with extensive senior executive experience in public health in Victoria. With an illustrious three-decade career in healthcare, her experience spans across small and large metropolitan and rural organisations. Maree is a visionary and accomplished leader who has excelled in clinical and executive roles. Progressing from a nurse to a Chief Executive Officer, she has dedicated her career to driving healthcare outcomes and innovation. Her extensive experience showcases her expertise in clinical governance, including contributions to statewide reviews and committees for healthcare excellence.

In recent years, along with the Boards of Hepburn Health and Kyneton District Health, she led the voluntary amalgamation of the two health services, forming Central Highlands Rural Health. Maree holds a Master of Business Management from RMIT and a post-graduate degree in nursing. Maree has represented her profession and organisation on several State, National and Ministerial committees.

Nadia Mattiazzo

CEO, Women with Disabilities Victoria

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Nadia Mattiazzo, is a prominent figure in Vision Australia and the broader blindness and low vision community. She has been recognised with a Vision Australia Award for her advocacy efforts to ensure people who are blind or have low vision can live the life they choose. Nadia is currently a member of the Vision Australia Client Reference Group (CRG), with specific expertise in employment, engagement of NDIS participants and the provision of Seeing Eye Dogs. Nadia Mattiazzo is a professional with a strong background in leadership, policy development, and advocacy in the disability sector. She has dedicated her career to empowering individuals with disabilities.

As the Chief Executive Officer at Women with Disabilities Victoria, she leverages her exceptional management and strategic skills to advocate for women with disabilities at various levels of government. With extensive experience in advocacy, project management, and collaborative partnerships, Nadia is poised to drive positive change in the disability and advocacy sector.

Nicole Bartholomeusz

CEO, cohealth

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Nicole Bartholomeusz is a seasoned and highly skilled board director with extensive experience in public health and government executive and non-executive roles for over 20 years. Nicole has been the Chief Executive Officer at cohealth since 2019. She is passionate about community health and committed to improving health in partnership with individuals and the community. She feels privileged to have led an organisation that has consistently delivered outstanding services for communities that experience disadvantages.

A values-driven leadership approach, exceptional relationship-building capabilities, and profound insights into healthcare and patient requirements complement her strategic mindset. Nicole possesses a unique blend of corporate acumen, clinical expertise, and business insight, enabling her to govern with efficacy.

Sarah White

CEO, Jean Hailes for Women's Health

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Dr Sarah White is an experienced and accomplished public health researcher and practitioner with a strong background in stakeholder engagement, organisational management, and strategic communications. She has expertise in influencing policy and driving behavioural change. She is known for forging partnerships between government, public sector, and not-for-profit organisations, navigating complex political and social landscapes to enhance organisational impact, and delivering outcomes to improve public health and well-being. Sarah has extensive experience in medical research, public health and women’s health across the UK, USA and Australia.

Before her role as the CEO of Jean Hailes for Women’s Health, Sarah was the Director of Quit, where she was at the forefront of national work to minimise harm from tobacco and related products through education, research, policy development, and advocacy. Prior to her role at Quit, Sarah was the Director of Communications and Foundation at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne and the Director of Communications for the international Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research based in New York City, USA. She has a PhD (Paediatrics) from The University of Melbourne and is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow with the School of Psychological Sciences at The University of Melbourne.

Professor Beverley Vollenhoven AM

Director of Gynaecology and Research, Women's and Newborn Program, Monash Health, Monash IVF

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Professor Vollenhoven AM, is the Carl Wood Professor and Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Monash University and the Director of Gynaecology and Research at Monash Health. She is a senior clinician, a certified Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility Specialist at Monash IVF. In her Monash University role, she has supervised postgraduates and is an esteemed mentor and role model to all students. As Head of the Department, she has brought together researchers and clinicians to collaborate successfully in current and future research to inform research translation better.

Beverley specialises in hormone disorders in women and has a long track record of successful research collaborations in IVF and Embryo Implantation, Endometriosis, Uterine Fibroids, PCOS and other ovarian disorders. In 2019, she was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women. In 2021, she was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. She has a proven track record in academic, clinical, and research roles, significantly contributing to medical education and patient care. She is a respected researcher, educator, and clinician with a history of pivotal contributions to women's health.

Jill Gallagher AO

CEO, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation

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Pending appointment

Jill Gallagher is a proud Gunditjmara woman from Western Victoria and is an accomplished and experienced strategic leader, championing the needs of the First Nations community. Jill has spent more than 20 years advancing Aboriginal health and wellbeing through her work with VACCHO and has over 30 years of experience in leadership roles.

As a respected Aboriginal leader who has dedicated her life to advocating for the community, Jill has been inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women (2009), awarded the Order of Australia (2013), and inducted into the Victorian Aboriginal Honour Roll (2015). From 2016 to 2019, Jill served as Victoria’s first Treaty Advancement Commissioner. She received her degree of Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa by the University of Melbourne in 2023.

Reviewed 05 March 2024


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