Last updated on 06/03/2020

The share of women in senior roles globally is increasing incrementally with 29% of senior management roles held by women in 2019, the highest number ever on record.  

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #EachForEqual. The campaign aims to draw attention to the difference individuals can make.

The campaign highlights six key areas: 

  1. Championing women forging tech innovation
  2. Applauding equality for women athletes
  3. Forging inclusive workplaces so women thrive
  4. Supporting women to earn on their own terms
  5. Empowering women through health education
  6. ​Increasing visibility for female creatives

Over the coming days, we will celebrate our achievements and contributions in these areas, and acknowledge the strong and empowering women leading change for people with asthma. We have an amazing cohort of women on our Board, Leadership Team, Consumer Advisory Committee, Professional Advisory Council, Researchers, Asthma Champions, not to mention the extremely supportive team of men and women behind them all with a common vision to help people to live freely.

We thank you for the amazing work that you do and for being the driving force behind the change for people with asthma. 

Here are just a few of our changemakers.  

Women on the Asthma Australia Board 

Rosemary Calder 

Rosemary Calder is a leading health and social policy expert and is a Professor of Health Policy at the Mitchell Institute, Victoria University. She leads the Australian Health Policy Collaboration, a national network of collaborating organisations and experts focussed on population health improvement through translation of evidence to policy and practice. 

She has held positions as a senior executive in health policy and administration in both State and Commonwealth Departments of Health and was head of the Office for the Status of Women in the Commonwealth Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2000 to 2003. She has also served as Chief of Staff to a Victorian Minister for Health. 

Rosemary has extensive experience in policy and organisational management and board governance in the not for profit sector. She is a sociologist and began her career as a journalist. 

Simone Carton 

Simone Carton is CEO of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Palliative Medicine, a specialist medical society that promotes the practice of palliative medicine and facilitates professional development and support for its members. 

Prior to this role, Simone was a corporate lawyer and company secretary for the Advertising Standards Bureau and Australian Advertising Standards Council and has worked in a diverse range of legal, governance and operational roles across the corporate, government and NFP sectors. 

Simone has experience as a director on the Boards of the former Asthma Foundation ACT and the Australian Multiple Birth Association. As a parent of children with asthma, Simone also has personal experience with the challenges facing people with asthma and values the important support Asthma Australia provides. 

Louise Schaper 

Louise has built a career around digital innovation to drive better health.  After completing her Bachelor of Science to be an Occupational Therapist, she experienced firsthand the risks and inefficiencies resulting from our reliance on paper-based healthcare systems.  This led her to her passion for health informatics in shaping a new future for Australian healthcare. 

Louise has a Ph.D. in Information Systems (Health Informatics), 20+ years in healthcare, with 9+ years’ at the executive level.  She has extensive experience leading change and growth in the highly complex health sector. 

She is currently the CEO of the Health Informatics Society of Australia, Honorary Research Fellow and Lecturer at the University of Melbourne, Non-Executive Director of Daylesford and Macedon Tourism Ltd and Owner and Company Director of Comperio Pty Ltd. 

Louise brings to our Board strong leadership and governance experience, entrepreneurial spirit and drive and a passion for driving better health outcomes through technology – a key strategic focus for Asthma Australia over the coming years. 

Samantha Clark 

Samantha is a passionate, commercially minded and skilled strategic executive with 20+ years experience across Medical, Media, Retail, Travel, Sport and Recreation, FMCG and Not-for-profit sectors. 

Samantha spent several years at QML Pathology working closely with Clinical, Medical and operational experts overhauling marketing, governance framework, and policies around integrated health. 

Samantha has experienced firsthand the consequences of severe asthma and the impact it has on wellbeing. Her personal connections to asthma, coupled with an MBA, Industry Fellow and Certified qualifications, allows her to demonstrate strong leadership, diverse skills, and passion in data-led customer-centric transformations, which is the heart of Asthma Australia. 

Currently Group General Manager – Marketing Operations at Super Retail Group and Member of the QUT Alumni Board, Samantha is looking to optimise, progress and empower organisations. 

Women on the Asthma Australia Leadership Team 

Michele Goldman – Chief Executive Officer 

Michele strives for a world free from asthma and leads the organisation’s mission to provide person-centered healthcare services, education, and training, fund, and commission research and undertake advocacy to reduce harmful impacts and support people to live freely.  

She is passionate about driving collaborative approaches to achieve progress and developing partnerships to increase organisational capacity and impact. 

In 2017 she was instrumental in bringing together the Asthma Foundations of New South Wales and Queensland, ACT, Victoria and South Australia to form a unified, national body, Asthma Australia. 

Governance roles include; Chair of The Housing Connection, a not-for-profit committed to supporting adults with intellectual disabilities to lead more fulfilling and inclusive lives, and NonExecutive Director of the Jewish Care.  

Kathy Packenas – General Manager – Marketing, Communications and Engagement 

Kathy oversees Asthma Australia’s national campaigns that seek to improve the lives of people with asthma. 

Ms. Packenas has more than 15 years of experience in senior marketing and communications roles across diverse industries and the not-for-profit sector. 

An award-winning strategist, Ms. Packenas uses emerging technologies and traditional engagement to aim for a future without asthma. 

Jo Williams – General Manager – Programs and Policy  

Jo leads the development, evaluation and continuous improvement of Asthma Australia’s strategy for Programs and Policy to improve asthma health outcomes.  

She believes in empowering individuals to self-manage alongside strengthening the wider support system that enables people to achieve their wellbeing goals.    

Ms. Williams has 20 years of Australian and overseas government and not for profit experience and was instrumental in the integration of the existing programs and services in the unification of Asthma Australia. 

Meg Clements – Manager – People and Culture  

Meg heads up human resources and culture for Asthma Australia’s team across Australia.  

Ms. Clements is building organisational culture through people-centered solutions. She strives to create a culture that is innovative and empowered to drive better outcomes for asthma.  

With a career across government, the corporate sector and not-for-profit organisations, Ms. Clements seeks positive change for communities.  

Professional Advisory Council 

Asthma Australia created a Professional Advisory Council (PAC) as a formal mechanism to engage with the professional asthma community. 

The purpose of the PAC is to support Asthma Australia to better meet the diverse needs of people with asthma and those who care for them by: 

  • providing expert advice on medical, research and other technical or professional matters 
  • assisting with advocacy and policy development 
  • facilitating Asthma Australia’s achievement of its strategic priorities in relation to medical, scientific and health-related matters 
  • advising Asthma Australia on relevant medical and health-related developments 
  • advising and support Asthma Australia in the translation of research outcomes to policy and practice 

We are lucky enough to have seven highly knowledgeable women on our PAC, learn more about them here. 

Additionally, we have eight change maker women on the Consumer Advisory Council (CAC)  

Consumer Advisory Council 

We thank our Consumer Advisory Council for the critical role they play in advising, informing and guiding Asthma Australia, its Board, and management. We thank them for being the voice for people with Asthma and their ongoing involvement with our organisation helps keep the person with asthma at the centre of the discussion.  

View our CAC members here. 

Our individual actions, conversations, behaviours, and mindsets can have an impact on our larger society.