Our Board are passionate about fostering healthy, connected communities.
Their experience spans community based services, finance, law and business consultancy
Dr. Karen White, Chair
Dr. Karen White joined the CC board in 2018. Karen is a social work professional with experience in mental health practice, policy, social work education, research and evaluation. An experienced board director with NFP and community committees, Karen brings expertise in governance, evaluation and consumer participation. Karen has a strong interest in the benefits of community gardening as a catalyst for promoting wellbeing and connection.
Chris Newey, Treasurer
Chris (CPA, GAICD) joined the board in May 2019. Chris is a senior finance, corporate governance and risk management professional with 27 experience working in the mutual banking sector. He has a passion for working in organisations that exist to serve their communities and in his spare time enjoys growing and sharing produce from his backyard wicking beds.
Robert Kershaw, Secretary
Robert has been on the board of Cultivating Community for the past 11 years. He currently works as Design and Production Manager in the Communications division of the Bureau of Meteorology. Previously, he has held managerial roles in large public manufacturing companies, run a small business, and consulted for both Federal and State Government. He lectures in both Aquaponics and Publishing, and enjoys his time in his award-winning garden.
Dayo Sowunmi (GAICD), General Member
Dayo Sowunmi (GAICD) brings to the board over 25 years’ experience in executive and business consultancy gained in Australia, UK and Africa. With a Masters degree in Artificial Intelligence (AI) from Monash University, Dayo guides organisations on how to explore AI’s offerings. Dayo is a Mentor with Leadership Victoria and with Australian Business Community Network mentoring high-school students.
Jane Hadjion, General Member
Jane joined CC board in January 2018. Jane brings expertise in business development, systems thinking and design thinking. Jane is particularly inspired by the benefits of community gardens as a tool to build well being and as a spring board for economic participation. She is currently self employed and supports business leaders who seek to align their business purpose and strategy.
Louise Doyle, General Member
Louise has worked at Executive level in Human Resources and Change in a number of “blue chip” organisations including BHP, National Foods and the University of Melbourne. She consults to a number of small to medium sized organisations in both the not for profit and corporate sectors. Louise’s career has been characterised by her identification of the need for change and the active implementation of constructive change within the organisations.
Dr Chris Williams, General Member
Dr Chris Williams joined the CC Board in February 2020. He is an Honorary Fellow at the Burnley Campus of the University of Melbourne where he specialises in urban agriculture. Chris’ Novel Crops Project focuses on bringing ‘new’ species into cultivation, especially those with links to migrant communities. Chris lectures in urban horticulture and provides advice on landscape management and horticulture to government, community and business organisations.
Maggie McKeand, General Member
Maggie (joined July 2021) is a community engagement specialist and has over 10 years experience in the public, private, and NGO sectors as well as a Masters of Environment. She is passionate about sustainable development and purpose-led business models that enable us to reduce our carbon footprint and enhance community wellbeing.