Our Staff

Meet the women of WHISE

Kit McMahon - Chief Executive Officer

kit.jpgKit McMahon has nearly two decades of experience across education, training and not for profits. Her work has ranged from overseeing and developing national workforce plans for sport and recreation, tourism and retail, overseeing and managing the closure of a range of private training providers including supporting up to 17,000 student’s tuition assurance needs, a trainer and assessor for vocational education and training, government and corporate affairs manager, commissioning and leading research into skills and workforce needs and heading up NGOs.

Prior to joining Women’s Health in the South East as CEO, Kit was CEO and Company Secretary of Girl Guides Australia, Chief Operating Officer of the Australian Council of Private Education and Training and General Manager and 2IC of the Industry Skills Council, Service Skills Australia. She is also a Director of Women’s Health Association of Victoria (WHAV).

Proudly the daughter of two feminists from south western rural Victoria, Kit has consistently and passionately advocated for gender equality, empowering women and girls. A strong believer in the importance of collaboration and partnerships, Kit has championed on the value of embracing diversity and tolerance in our communities, workplaces, education institutions and governments.

Kit has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from Monash, a Graduate Diploma in Action Learning, a Master of Adult Education (Organisation Development) from UTS and is currently completing her MBA from Macquarie University. She is a member of the AICD, Women on Boards and Emily’s List.


Deb Pugsley - Operations Manager

Portrait of Deb Pugsley

Deb began at WHISE in January 2011 as a Project officer. Her work at WHISE involves Quality Improvement, document control, supporting funding submissions and assisting the CEO and staff in reviewing and implementing improvements in internal systems and processes.

Deb has accumulated experience in State Government, Local Government, Corporate and Private Sectors. Deb holds a Diploma of Business and Project Management, Diploma of Quality Auditing, Cert 1V in Training and Assessment and Certificate of Emergency Management.

Prior to joining WHISE Deb was a Project Officer for VBRRA the (Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority) and with the Shire of Murrindindi Council.


Laura Ardley - Health Promotion Manager laura.jpg

For nearly a decade Laura has worked in community services and health promotion across multiple settings and agencies. Her experience includes supporting Victorian communities for Australian Red Cross as, managing and leading the implementation of a range of community service programs including community visitor schemes, home visiting programs, food security, justice programs, patient transport services and social connection programs in both regional and metropolitan Victoria.

Laura’s organisational experience also encompasses local government where most recently she led the delivery of Home and Community Care programs for young people with disabilities and Commonwealth Home Support Care Programs to assist older residents to remain living independently in the comfort of their own homes. Laura has significant experience in organisational design, policy and continuous improvement and, at WHISE she has lead the Health Promotion team since October 2017.

Laura has a Bachelor of Public Health and Health Promotion from Deakin University, which cemented her passion for improving health and wellbeing outcomes for all and believes that to reduce social and health inequities, a shared responsibility and collaborative approach is essential.

Katrina Szetey - Finance Officer

Portrait of Katrina Szetey

Katrina is the Finance Officer at WHISE and arrived in early 2014. She brings with her many years of experience working as a book keeper in many industries, including several years working in the Community Legal Centre space. She holds a Cert IV in Bookkeeping, but also a bachelor degree, graduate diploma and masters in Music Performance; and is currently studying part time at Monash University for a science degree.

Katrina is passionate about gender equity and combating sexism, particularly in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) sector.


Jess Elsworth - Health Promotion Officer

jess.jpg Jess commenced at Women’s Health in the South East in November 2017 as a Health Promotion Officer.  Jess holds a Bachelor of Public Health and Health Promotion from Deakin University. Prior to joining the team, she worked at Women’s Health Goulburn North East, a rural women’s health service. Jess has a strong interest in sexual and reproductive health and brings her passion to WHISE where she will implement health promotion initiatives to challenge social norms and empower women to take control of their sexual and reproductive health. 




Renee Heckman - Health Promotion Officer  renee2.jpg

WHISE. New to the team in 2018, Renee brings with her an Honours degree in Public Health and Health Promotion, obtained from Deakin University. Her experience prior to joining the WHISE team include teaching, assessing and researching for Deakin university in the field of public health and health promotion, researching for La Trobe University in the College of Science, Health and Engineering, and volunteering and conducting HIV/AIDS research in South Africa. Renee is passionate and eager to create awareness towards gender equity issues that impact on the health and wellbeing of women and their communities.


Erin Fradd - Project Officer, Family Violence


Erin joined WHISE in 2018, as the Preventing Violence Together Project Officer. Erin brings an in-depth understanding of family violence to the health promotion team, having worked as a lawyer appearing daily in the Magistrates’ Court in family violence matters. 

Erin also brings a strong human rights focus to her role through her post-graduate studies and her experience with United Nations tribunals and courts in Europe and Cambodia. 

Erin is passionate about protecting and promoting the rights of women to live their lives free from violence. 

Marian Salvage - Settlement Services Officer

Portrait of Marian Salvage

Marian is a Settlement Services Officer for the Settlement Services Program.

Marian has had a varied employment history from Public service in Canberra & Darwin then teaching swimming, integration aide, to working with marginalised teenagers, through to front line office manager in Drug & Alcohol Rehab and then to WHISE for the last 4 years.

Along the way she has done short courses in Mentoring, MYOB 1 & 2, Family support worker with Family Life, Cert IV in Workplace Training & Assessment, and Women’s Studies, Aboriginal History & Literature at Monash as part of a Social Science Degree part time for 10 years!

Marian loves her current role at WHISE working closely with refugee women and alongside the most amazing team of volunteers.


Shehani Cramer - Settlement Services Officer


Shehani is a Settlement Services Officer for the Settlement Services Program and she started her role in July 2015.

Shehani holds a Bachelor of Social work from Victoria University and a Diploma of Community welfare work from Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE. In her previous employments Shehani has conducted intensive case management with asylum seekers as well as family support work within an educational setting.

Shehani is passionate about empowering and strengthening women in an effort to promote confidence in decision making. It is her belief that with appropriate support women can improve their lives, the lives of their children, families and the wider community.


Doseda Hetherington - Communications Officer

Portrait of Doseda Hetherington

Doseda joined our team as Communications Officer in August 2016.

Doseda holds a Bachelor of Business from Swinburne University of Technology and was employed at the university for 10 years. Doseda has worked in a number of marketing and communications positions at Swinburne, with her last role being media and communications adviser within the Corporate and Government Affairs team at the university.

Doseda has developed an interest in community-based communications work, with the aim of improving the opportunities of people who are most disadvantaged.