In July 2015, we inducted our inaugural Board of Directors. They govern our organisation and also help us build our profile, fundraise and advocate for women’s leadership.

In addition to two of our founders, Kate and 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.


Goopy Parke Weaving

Goopy has 14 years’ experience in international development, most recently working in a senior business development management capacity with the International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA) across Asia-Pacific programs, and developing and managing IWDA’s GenderWise social enterprise unit since inception. She identifies as both Aboriginal and feminist. Goopy has provided extensive NGO/NFP governance and management advisory support to feminist organisations across the region and has a strong commitment to social justice and intersectional feminism. She has also worked in project management and support roles with Australian Volunteers International in Asia, including Cambodia, in the Solomon Islands as a technical adviser on governance to the Solomon Islands and Australian Governments, as well as with the Solomon Islands Electoral Commission. We know Goopy will provide us with expert guidance on international programming, governance and compliance.


Sonali Hedditch

Sonali has worked to empower entrepreneurs, including women, in over thirty countries across the Pacific Islands, Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and Indigenous Australia. She has led World Bank Group projects, programs and teams, including in the field of Women’s Economic Empowerment, that have served to remove the legal, procedural and institutional constraints that hinder entrepreneurs, as well as increase their skills and access to finance. Sonali will be invaluable to The Global Women’s Project as we develop and improve our women’s training and economic development programs.


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.


about us

The Global Women’s Project is a non-profit organisation based in Melbourne, Australia. We support grassroots women’s organisations in developing and disadvantaged communities to provide education, livelihood and leadership opportunities for women.

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