We make
a difference in
women’s lives

What We Do

Women and Mentoring (WAM) began operating in the City of Yarra (in Melbourne) working with the Neighbourhood Justice Centre in 2009, and in 2015 received funding from the Melbourne Women’s Fund to replicate the program in the Sunshine Magistrates Court precinct.With recent funding from the Victorian Legal Services Board we aim to support over 200 women over the next three years to get their life back on track, navigate the overwhelming criminal justice system, and build their capacity and skills to improve their life outcomes. As such, we now also receive referrals for women presenting at Melbourne & Heidelberg Magistrates Courts.Over the coming months we will also have opportunity to bring the program to Frankston Magistrates Court, and then Broadmeadows by 2020.WAM offers a unique, early intervention program that supports women charged with a criminal offence by matching them individually with a supportive female mentor. The volunteer mentors are trained and resourced to provide appropriate support to the program participants, to share their skills and to contribute to the wider community.The program has made a significant positive difference to the participants’ confidence, coping mechanisms and capacity to respond to their legal matters and address the issues that underlie their offending. The vast majority of the participants have avoided a prison sentence and have not re-offended.The WAM program has always been strongly community-based. We rely on relationships within the community to support the program and to refer participants to it.

Ann_PolisAnn_Polis

“Our mission is to assist women in their early interaction with the justice system through the provision of a formal mentoring relationship. This will provide them with a pathway to develop and use positive life skills.”

Ann Polis (Founding Chair)

Our Team

Tricia Ciampa

Executive Officer

With over twenty years in the not-for-profit sector, Tricia has expertise in program design, social impact evaluation and forging collaborative partnerships to deliver positive and life-changing outcomes for vulnerable people in our community.Tricia has very relevant experience in mentoring and the Victorian criminal justice system, including volunteering as an Independent Person providing support to young people during police interviews under the Youth Referral and Independent Persons Program.

Mary Latham

Operations Manager

Mary has been with WAM since 2014. She is a chartered accountant who has experience in both corporate and not-for-profit roles; including professional accounting firms, financial services, disability and youth mental health. Mary has strong experience in finance, governance, project management, reporting and budget control.

Gen Anderson

Intake Coordinator

Gen has been with WAM since 2016 and holds a Diploma Community Services (Alcohol, Other Drugs, and Mental Health), Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, and Master of Social Work. Through her role as Intake Coordinator, Gen is able to combine her passion for direct practice work and seeing the outcomes of women getting together to support one another.

Sharlene Farrugia

Mentor Coordinator

Sharlene has been with WAM since 2015 and is responsible for the successful growth of WAM into the Western Suburbs. Sharlene’s qualifications in Social Policy-Social Inclusion and Masters in Human Rights complements her specialised understanding of structural discrimination, Advocacy, Application of feminist and human rights framework and Critical thinking skills.

Sarah Nyssen

Frankston Coordinator

Sarah has a strong background of working in the early intervention and prevention space, with extensive experience including working in the women’s health sector and coordinating a youth mentoring program in the south east. Sarah is driven to create supportive relationships to achieve better outcomes for vulnerable people in our community.

jQuery(document).ready(function() {
jQuery(‘#slider_886’).owlCarousel({
items : 1,
animateOut : ‘fadeOut’,
smartSpeed : 200,
autoplay : true,
autoplayTimeout : 5000,
autoplayHoverPause : true,
smartSpeed : 200,
fluidSpeed : 200,
autoplaySpeed : 200,
navSpeed : 200,
dotsSpeed : 200,
loop : true,
nav : true,
navText : [”,”],
dots : true,
responsiveRefreshRate : 200,
slideBy : 1,
mergeFit : true,
autoHeight : false,
mouseDrag : true,
touchDrag : true
});
jQuery(‘#slider_886’).css(‘visibility’, ‘visible’);
});

Our Board

Ann Polis

Founding Chair

Ann Polis has played a significant role in the establishment and development of WAM from 2008. Ann has been active in her local community, including as a board member of the Wellington Inc, a council member of the Fitzroy Primary School, an executive member of the Fitzroy Residents’ Association and a community member of the Neighbourhood Justice Centre in many facets of its work. From 2000, Ann worked as a volunteer mentor with the VACRO program for women leaving prison. Ann has previously worked as a trainer with the Trade Union Training Authority (TUTA) and was the founding editor of The Melbourne Times newspaper.

Stacey Zuluaga

Director

Stacey is an accountant with over 11 years’ experience in public practice. She is a CPA and holds a Bachelor of Business and Commerce (Accounting and Management) and a Diploma of Financial Planning. Stacey is the Chair of the women’s committee at CPA, she chairs the CPA Mums and Bubs discussion group and she writes material for a CPA education product. Stacey brings to the board of WAM accounting experience across a range of industries, a broad understanding of the issues women can face, especially financial, and a passion for empowering others.

Keren Murray

Director & Company Secretary

Keren is an experienced lawyer, policy advisor, and non-executive director. She is Principal of K Murray Consulting, a legal policy advisory service. Previously, Keren was Principal Lawyer at the Law Institute of Victoria and worked in criminal law reform at the Department of Justice, Victoria, and law reform commissions in England and Victoria. Keren is currently a Board member and Secretary of The Stella Prize and was previously a board member of the YWCA Victoria.

Sam Payne

Chair

Sam Payne retired from a long career in Business Administration in 2005. She joined the WAM pilot program as a Volunteer Mentor in 2010, one of the first volunteers. Sam has mentored three women participants in WAM and continues as a Volunteer. She joined the WAM Board in 2014.

Anne Rudd

Director

Anne is a serving member of Victoria Police and over the past 17 years she has performed duties within the Bayside area, Prosecutions Division, Family Violence Command and more recently, the North West Metro Region in Melbourne and Yarra. Anne is a lawyer and an experienced prosecutor within the Magistrates’ Court and Children’s Court where she specialised in prosecuting sexual offences and family violence matters. Anne was previously a member of the Therapeutic Treatment Board and is a current Director of Court Network.

Sally Dobell

Director

Sally is the CEO of a creative agency, Cornwell, which is renowned as one of Australia’s most innovative and respected brand experts. With nearly 20 years of experience, Sally is a passionate and dedicated business person who also sits on the Board of Open House Melbourne.

Virginia Murdoch

Director

Currently, Product Manager at Culture Amp, Virginia works with a cross-functional team of engineers and designers, focused on turning large amounts of data into actionable insights. Virginia has previously worked in professional development, learning and distribution platforms, both in Australia and overseas. Virginia has previously been the Deputy Chair of the Writers Victoria board.

jQuery(document).ready(function() {
jQuery(‘#slider_719’).owlCarousel({
items : 1,
animateOut : ‘fadeOut’,
smartSpeed : 200,
autoplay : true,
autoplayTimeout : 5000,
autoplayHoverPause : true,
smartSpeed : 200,
fluidSpeed : 200,
autoplaySpeed : 200,
navSpeed : 200,
dotsSpeed : 200,
loop : true,
nav : true,
navText : [”,”],
dots : true,
responsiveRefreshRate : 200,
slideBy : 1,
mergeFit : true,
autoHeight : false,
mouseDrag : true,
touchDrag : true
});
jQuery(‘#slider_719’).css(‘visibility’, ‘visible’);
});