Committee of Management
Julia Cookson: Chair
Executive Director, Advisory Chair M.Com (Bus), BA (Psych), GAICD, Certified Chair.
Julia brings over 25 years of senior leadership, strategic development, and executive experience, including working as a qualified Director (AICD) on Health Services Boards. Her passion for health, aged care and community support services began when she worked as an Executive in a national genomics facility when technology started reshaping medical discovery. Since then, she has held Executive roles in large aged and disability care NFPs, national mental health and Family Violence providers. Her expertise spans Diversity and Inclusion, Governance, Strategy, HR, Finance, Risk and digital transformation through various stages in growth cycles, giving her a diverse perspective and deep understanding of shaping culture. Juila joined the Project Respect Committee of Management as Chair in November 2021.
Charmaine Jessup: Secretary
B.Arts, Grad Dip in HR, M in Business Administration
Charmaine works within the professional services industry, working with clients to solve their most pertinent people related business challenges and working on large scale business transformation programs across government and utilities clients. She focuses on delivering pragmatic solutions to clients and leaders, utilising her strong governance expertise through her career and studies in human resources and Masters of Business Administration. Charmaine strives for inclusion and reducing the barriers to gender inequality for all. Charmaine joined the Project Respect Committee of Management in 2018.
Patricia Saca: Treasurer
Patricia has 20+ years of experience in operations management and holds an MBA from Emory University. She is passionate about advancing women’s empowerment and choice through her work in non-profit organisations and women’s charities. Patricia is the Treasurer at Project Respect and uses her international career experience to enhance her volunteer work. Patricia joined the Project Respect Committee of Management in 2019.
Dr Sarah Ogilvie: Risk & Strategy Sub Committee Chair
Doctorate in Psychology (Industrial/Organisational – Conflict Resolution)
Sarah has extensive experience in assessing and addressing a range of workplace culture risks and issues, and brings her background and training in organisational psychology and psychological research to her consulting, board leadership and volunteer work. She has worked across a diverse range of social issues with groups who have diverse backgrounds and needs and is passionate about the role of leadership in delivering evidence-based approaches to sustainable social change and equal opportunity endeavors. Sarah joined the Project Respect Committee of Management in 2018.
Bettina Twyman: Deputy Chair
B.Education. M. Habilitation. 20 years in the social welfare sector.
Bettina has 20 years of experience in working in welfare and community services across Sydney, Melbourne and the Northern Territory within case coordination and program delivery roles and a focus on empowering Women, Youth and CALD communities. She is an Academic Fellow through the Department of Education and ISSI foundation and she leads education, training and welfare assistance program delivery to local communities in her role as Project Coordinator for Yarraville Community Centre. She is passionate about supporting women to achieve their pathways and goals. Bettina joined the Project Respect Committee of Management in 2019.
B.Bus Mgt, M.Counselling, M.Social Work, M.Public Policy
Christine is a senior government advisor in the Department of Health, a founder of Generation 414, and a human rights advocate. She has international experience in combating sexual exploitation, human trafficking and mental health and addressing social issues through public policies and legislation. Christine is a Multicultural Ambassador for Mental Health Foundation Australia and a member of the Regional Advisory Council to the Victorian Multicultural Commission. Christine joined the Project Respect Committee of Management in 2020.
Carolyn Gowers: Executive Director
B.Comm, CA (CA ANZ), Grad Dip Psych, Dip Quality Auditing
Carolyn has extensive career experience in senior management in community services and family violence sector organisations, collaborating with practice experts in developing frameworks for clinical governance, quality and risk management. She is a strong advocate for inclusion and access, particularly for marginalised communities, for gender equity, and for the amplification of lived experience voices. Carolyn is a systems level thinker with a social justice imperative and takes joy in the development of people, promoting healthy organisational culture, and creative problem solving. Carolyn joined Project Respect as the Executive Director in 2022.
Fiona McLeod AO SC
B.A, LLB, M.(PUB & INT) LAW, GAICD
Fiona is a leader in the Australian legal field having led the Law Council of Australia, Australian Victorian Bar and Australian Women Lawyers. Fiona is passionate about advocating for survivors of trafficking and their rights to access support and compensation. Fiona is a fierce advocate for the implementation of a National Compensation Scheme as well as the removal of barriers for survivors to access support – both critical for survivors to heal and recover from their experience of trafficking. Fiona became Project Respect’s first ambassador in 2020.