Board of Directors
Joined: February 2015
Qualifications and experience: Master of Accounting, Bachelor of International Accounting, Associate member of CPA Australia. Yu has experience in accounting and finance areas.
Particular interests: Wellbeing and social inclusion of local community.
Other local involvement: Yu has been a member, as well as a sponsor, of Cerebral Palsy Alliance.
Wennie van Riet
Joined: September 2017
Qualification and experience Bachelor in Sociology and a Research Master in Social Sciences at the University of Amsterdam. Wennie has a background in working and volunteering for several not–for–profit organisations in various research and client facing roles in the Netherlands, South Africa and Australia. Wennie has experience working with CALD communities and people with disabilities and I am currently a Local Area Coordinator for the NDIS.
Particular interests: Building connected and inclusive communities.
Other local involvement: A proud member of various local mum groups.
Joined: June 2021
Position: Deputy Chair
Qualifications and Experience: Certified Practising Accountant (CPA), Bachelor of Business (major in Accounting & Marketing), Australian Institute of Company Directors training and Mental Health First Aid training.
Particular Interests: Freya is passionate about community, sustainability and life long learning. Having traveled a lot as a young child Freya was exposed to many different cultures and experiences which made her appreciate the impact communities and neighbourhoods can have on our lives and on our environment.
Other local involvement: Involved with local running groups as park run Director and volunteer, previously volunteered at Lentil as Anything.
Joined: April 2022 Position: Secretary
Qualifications and Experience: Bachelor of Arts (Social Sciences), Post Graduate Diploma (Public Policy), Graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors, Governance Institute of Australia (GIA) (Affiliated). Member of Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA). Over twenty years’ experience in the public sector in various roles and government sector agencies. Past experience includes responsibility for Corporate and Business Planning, including risk and audit, public policy, project and contract management, and assistant corporate secretary to a Board for a state agency. Also worked as a management consultant in private practice. Presently Senior Manager in an emergency services agency.
Particular Interests: Education and continuous learning, connecting communities, environment and sustainability, social equity and opportunity. Education is a particular interest as it empowers individuals to create meaningful and substantial opportunities for themselves, their families and their communities.
Other Local Involvement: An interest in early childhood development and education led to becoming a member of a Committee of Management at a local community child care centre for three years then a School Councillor for six years, including a term as School Council President at a local Primary School. Activities in this capacity included being a member of School Council sub-committees (such as Finance, Strategy and Policy), volunteering in various activities such as fundraising, fetes, classroom help and working bees. Have also volunteered at the Fitzroy Legal Service and was involved in a local community theatre group, staging Shakespeare plays on the banks of the Merri Creek and one season in the Royal Botanic Gardens.
Joined: September 2021
Position: Board Member
Qualifications and experience: Dual Diploma in Hospitality and Event Management. Currently completing a Diploma in Community Development. Renee has had over 10 years’ experience working in community venues and developing programs and events for and with the community.
Particular interests: Sustainability, social inclusion and engagement in particular for mature Australians and those from culturally and linguistic diverse backgrounds.
Other local involvement: Renee was a member of The Compost Depot and started the swap and go compost system now running at SPAN.
Sub-committees: Marketing and social media
Joined: April 2022
Position: Board Member
Qualifications and experience: Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Education (La Trobe University); Bachelor of Educational Studies (University of Melbourne), Master of Education (La Trobe University).
Jennifer has been a classroom teacher and teacher trainer in many different contexts including China and Indonesia. She has also worked as a program coordinator in the state education system (on-arrivals program) and in community education. In 2017, she was awarded The Australian Red Cross Service Award for her role in in the coordination and delivery of English classes for vulnerable migrants.
Over approximately 10 years, Jennifer also worked as a Hansard reporter in the state parliament and in the secretariat for a parliamentary committee.
Particular interests: Lifelong learning through community connections, language learning, reading and writing.
Other local involvement: Jennifer was born and raised in the local area and was a student at Westgarth Central School and Thornbury High School. She’s now a member of Darebin U3A. She’s a serial volunteer, and as well as volunteering on the Span Board, currently volunteers at Heide Museum of Modern Art.