We inducted our inaugural Board of Directors in July 2015 to provide governance and strategic oversight, and to help us build our profile, fundraise and advocate for women’s leadership.

In addition to our Co-Founder, Briony, we have five more exceptional women on our Board.


Shalini Samuel (Chair)
Shalini’s primary area of expertise is corporate sustainability. She has worked for the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors (ACSI), the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment, and previously conducted ESG research and proxy voting at AMP Capital Investors, and at the Sustainable Investments Research Institute. She continues to conduct research on corporate sustainability and social business for various universities in Melbourne. She holds a Masters of Environmental Science from Monash University, and graduate qualifications in Chinese translation and Mandarin interpreting. For over 10 years, her passion for thriving and diverse communities led her to take on legal, medical and community interpreting. She taught the Advanced Diploma Course in Chinese to English translation at RMIT University and continues to teach English as an additional language to new migrants. Shalini’s role at The Global Women’s Project is a reflection of a belief she shares with one of her most respected trailblazers, Burmese Stateswoman, Aung Sun Suu Kyi, that the education and empowerment of women cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful world.


Natalie Ruuska (Deputy Chair)

Natalie holds a Bachelor of Information Technology and a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Marketing. She currently works in a Senior Sales Management role at DuluxGroup and is an active member of their Diversity Council. In fact, she’s helped drive the company’s dramatic improvement on diversity metrics over the last two years. She is passionate about gender and development, having travelled extensively through the developing world, particularly in both Cambodia and Timor Leste where her partner has been based with Engineers Without Borders.  Natalie’s extensive experience in marketing, communications and customer engagement will be an asset to us as we continue to build our communications portfolio and supporter base.



Christina Hobbs

Christina has ten years of private sector and NGO experience and has spent the last seven years as a senior humanitarian and development worker with the United Nations World Food Program (UN WFP) across Africa, the Middle East and Asia – including three years in Nepal. She was elected to the UN WFP Global Women’s Rights Committee in 2012 and is currently working as the Head of Strategy for Future Super, establishing Australia’s first superannuation company that does not invest in fossil fuels, armaments or companies associated with forced labour. Christina has just returned from a stint in Nepal following the earthquakes to coordinate the UN WFP’s relief effort and to support our partner, Women’s Foundation Nepal, in their efforts to provide assistance to those affected.

Betty for website

Betty Katirtzidis

Coming from a Greek migrant background and having travelled extensively through developing countries in Asia, Africa, South America and Eastern Europe, Betty has seen first-hand the poverty that often traps women in a cycle of servitude and impoverishment. Having forged a reputation in the professional and academic community in Melbourne she is determined to help other women have the same opportunities by lending her hand to The Global Women’s Project.

Betty is a Director of The CFO Institute, a private consultancy that specialises in Merger & Acquisitions, Business Strategy and Financial Due-Diligence. Betty is also a Tax Law lecturer at Cambridge International, and formerly a founding Partner of a mid-tier CPA and Financial Services practice. She is an accomplished  author and lecturer, having spent time at both the Centre Of Professional Development and Swinburne University. Betty formerly held the position of CFO at The Global Women’s Project and now brings her wealth of financial expertise to the Board.

about us

The Global Women’s Project believes every woman should be able to determine her own life. We give women across the developing world the tools they need to build better lives for themselves. The Global Women’s Project is a DGR accredited non-profit organisation based in Melbourne, Australia.

ABN: 38 921 975 017

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