Our Board


JENNY McMAHON  – Chairperson

Director Community Development, Wyndham City Council

Jenny McMahon is currently the Director City Life at Wyndham City Council. Prior to that she held the position of General Manager, Community Services, City of Greater Geelong.  Jenny has worked in local government in various roles for many years. 

Jenny joined the Board of Barwon CASA in November 2012 and was the Chairperson position from October 2013—October 2015.

Jenny holds a Bachelor of Business – Industrial Relations and Human Resources, as well as qualifications in Applied Social Sciences (Child Care). She is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Jenny has previously held board positions on the Western Region Health Centre, Healthwest, and the Local Government Professional Association.

RENEE FIOLET - Vice Chairperson

Lecturer School of Nursing and Midwifery, Deakin University

Our Vice Chairperson Renee, has a strong interest in women’s issues and family violence.  A member of the Melbourne Research Alliance to End Violence against women and the children (MAEVe), Renee commenced her PhD at Melbourne University in 2016 and is researching working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to design a culturally appropriate and accessible intervention for family violence.  

Renee is the Victorian representative of the National Rural Women’s Network and was the founding member of the UN Women Australia Geelong Chapter. Renee is a committee member for the Barwon Month of Action to Stop Violence against Women and their Children. 

Renee is a lecturer in nursing and midwifery at Deakin University and is currently an Associate Researcher on a study of a service model for prevention of family violence in the Karen and Karenni communities in Geelong. 

Renee is also an associate researcher on a study at the University of Melbourne looking into a technological intervention for women to use for relationship safety.

BEN MEEKE – Treasurer

Owner/Accountant, Financially Free Accounting

Ben joined the Barwon CASA Board in 2009 and became the treasurer in 2011, a position that he still holds today.

Ben is a fully qualified CPA and holds a public practice certificate. He completed his Bachelor of Commerce degree, majoring in accounting and financial planning at Deakin University in 2002 and has been working in the public practice accounting field since then.

Ben started his own accounting practice, Financially Free Accounting, in South Geelong in 2013 and enjoys working closely with clients advising them on a range of matters including business improvement, structuring, taxation and business consulting.


Dr Sarah Leach

General Manager of Health, GMHBA

Dr Sarah Leach has been active as an executive in healthcare and community services, or as a Board Director or volunteer for over 30 years. She holds extensive expertise and qualifications in senior nursing, academia, clinical governance and service quality, and as a health and business consultant. Her professional practice has focused on key stakeholder management, strategic planning, corporate and clinical governance practice, research, service & program development, attainment of philanthropic support, leadership development, and risk management.

Sarah was a Board Director at Barwon Health from 2008 to 2015, and was Deputy Chair for a three year term. She is also a Director of The Geelong College Council, a role she has held since 2004. Sarah was Chair of Bethany Community Services for five years and served as a Board Member for 10 years inclusive of her Chair position. In 2016 Bethany awarded  Sarah a life membership. She was the past Chair of the Barwon South West Regional Women’s Health Committee.

Sarah is currently General Manager of Health at GMHBA, a Board Director of the Australian Centre for Health Research, a member the Australian Institute of Company Directors and an Honorary Fellow of Deakin University’s Faculty of Health.

Helen Long

Project Manager - Skills and Jobs, Gordon TAFE

Helen Long joined the Board in November 2016 from the former Minerva Community Services Board.  Helen is currently the Project Manager for Skills and Jobs within the Industry Engagement Department of The Gordon TAFE.

Helen has lead economic development and social inclusion community placed based projects specialising in working with collaborative partnerships between all tiers of government, industry, schools and community organisations who are working together to identify opportunities for improved economy, jobs and education and training outcomes for residents who are experiencing disadvantage in the Geelong Region.

Helen is a trained Facilitator and key note speaker on the issues that face disadvantaged communities.


Sheridan Salmon

Marketing & Fundraising Manager, Give Where You Live

Sheridan is currently the Marketing & Fundraising Manager for the Give Where You Live Foundation, a Geelong based community foundation aiming to address disadvantage within the Geelong region.  Sheridan is responsible for the foundation’s brand and fundraising of up to $3 million per annum; including business and individual donor relations, bequests, workplace giving and events.

Sheridan joined our board in 2016.  She holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Deakin University and is an alumni of the Leaders for Geelong Program.



Kate Stowell 

Lawyer, Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention & Legal Services Victoria (FVPLS Victoria)

Kate Stowell is a solicitor with the Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service, representing survivors of sexual assault and family violence. Kate has also represented survivors in public hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and is closely following law reform in Victoria following the 2013 Betrayal of Trust parliamentary inquiry into child abuse in non-government organisations. 

Kate joined our board in October 2015. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney and a Master of Laws from the University of Edinburgh.

Prior to entering the law, Kate worked as a journalist with ABC News.