Founder & CEO
Mikaela is an MBA-qualified lawyer, who has spent many years in corporate settings providing insurance, risk, governance and regulatory compliance advice.
Mikaela has served as a company director on government boards & industry associations and was Chief Examiner for insurance law at Monash & Melbourne Universities.
In 2019, she founded a social enterprise called WomenCAN Australia and a charity called The Placement Circle.
The mission for The Placement Circle is to assist women become employment capable by connecting peer supported communities of women, with vocational
training and onto employment. The first pilot is being rolled out at Chisholm Institute in Dandenong now with further pilots scheduled for Footscray, Bendigo and Shepparton.
WomenCAN connects qualified tradeswomen to places where vulnerable women are accommodated for the purpose of providing facilities maintenance and support services.
In 2020, Mikaela was awarded a Myer Innovation Fellowship.
Catarina has more than eight years’ experience in business management and development.
She has led several ventures from start-up through to sale and corporate acquisition, having recently led the expansion of a major Portuguese retail company in Southeast Asia.
Before her transition to business administration, Catarina spent several years in operations roles, working with suppliers and staff to create valuable experiences for her clients in the competitive industry of luxury fashion.
Catarina also led corporate franchising in several markets and was responsible for all aspects of brand compliance, contract management and business development.
Catarina is known for her ability to communicate effectively with people from all backgrounds while driving commercial outcomes. She is drawn to WomenCan Australia’s dedication to community service and excellence.
Ronia is excited to work with WomenCan whose mission greatly aligns with her own personal values.
Ronia, a Ronad E. McNair scholar, has worked in the non-profit sector for the last four years and assumed various titles.
Her work as a Community Integration Specialist foster partnership with local organisations to provide community development and relations for society’s most vulnerable.
Her research interest includes ageing, public education, and the feminisation of poverty.
Ronia has written and created blueprints for several non-profit programs in the United States. She looks forward to connecting with women within The Placement Circle and being a part of their support team.
Michael began his career as an engineer working in the construction industry and later in a marketing capacity in the manufacturing sector.
After completing an MBA, Michael has since practiced as a management consultant specialising in the field of philanthropy and has also held senior development roles within the tertiary and research sector.
He served on the Board of On the Line (social and mental health) from 2006 to 2016 and is currently a Director of The Gertrude Opera.
Specialising in Major Gifts Philanthropy, he has established numerous multi-million-dollar partnerships, conducted organisational reviews, campaign feasibility studies, strategic planning, fundraising and business development programmes.
Michael has worked with a broad range of organisations in various fields including health, professional sport, medical research, social welfare, environment/conservation and tertiary education.
Indira arrived in Australia in 1995 as a refugee.
Indira has worked in marketing and sales. She primarily helped companies to attract visitors and to provide spaces for migrant women to promote their small businesses.
Indira's passion can be traced back to her pre-professional days. Whether it is helping a friend or a complete stranger, having had a rather minimalistic upbringing, Indira continues to value hard work and frugality above all else.
Growing up very poor taught her that hard work and thrift are sometimes the only thing a person can achieve.
In her free time she enjoys spending time with her daughter, teaching and practising Zumba for kids, exercising and of course everything that involves human interaction. Indira also enjoys reading and is very passionate about our human brain and how it works.
Tamara is passionate about any project that helps empower women and recognised an opportunity to do so through volunteering with WomenCan.
She is currently studying a Bachelor of Science/Arts at Monash University.
Tamara also works as a barista, enjoys regular ocean swims and has taken up painting during Covid isolation.
As a final year social work student, Rachel has demonstrated determination for working and assisting for the marginalised populations within our community.
Rachel is currently studying her Bachelor of Social Work at Victoria University. She received her diploma of community services work from Melbourne Polytechnic.
Rachel's practice interests include reducing stigma and barriers among marginalised populations, promoting human rights, embracing diversity, and promoting the health of individuals and communities.
Fouzia Islam was born in the capital of Bangladesh. Currently, she is completing her third year of a Bachelor of Social Work at Victoria University.
Fouzia has always been passionate about helping people. Back in Bangladesh and during her University years in Melbourne she has volunteered for many different communities and worked with people from diverse backgrounds.
Fouzia's volunteering experiences fulfil her purpose of giving back to the community and bringing about positive change. She has the ability to work in a multicultural setting and be respectful of cultural aspects. She can communicate effectively with people from diverse communities and backgrounds.
Being involved with WomenCan gives her a wonderful opportunity to be a part of the empowerment and growth of all beautiful women out there in all communities because she too believes that "Women Can".