Our Staff

Kristine Olaris – Chief Executive Officer

Kristine commenced at Women’s Health East in February 2012. She has much experience in the health sector including in the acute, subacute, private, Aboriginal health and community health sectors. Kristine holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Physiotherapy and a Master of Health Administration. She has robust leadership and management skills and knowledge developed through her studies and through many years in senior management positions. write my essay

Kristine is passionate about health promotion and has been responsible for many innovative and responsive programs targeting disadvantaged populations. Kristine sits on the Independent Advisory Board implementing recommendations of the VEOHRC report into sex discrimination and sexual harassment in Victoria Police. She is also a member of the Ministerial Council on Women’s Equality and the convenor of Gender Equity Victoria, the Victorian peak body for gender equity, women’s health, and the prevention of violence against women. 

Melissa Tully – Finance Officer

Melissa started at Women’s Health East in October 2012.  She holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) and has been a practising CPA for over 10 years.  Melissa has worked in various industries including Printing, Pharmaceutical and Internet Service Provider and is passionate about now being part of the non-profit sector and the team here at Women’s Health East.




Colleen Russell – Quality/Project Officer

Colleen started at Women’s Health East in December 2003. She has had a diverse career in the local government, state government and not-for-profit sectors, as a social worker, social planner, program manager and consultant. Colleen has degrees in Social Work and Arts and a post-graduate management qualification. Her work with Women’s Health East includes compliance and risk management, development and review of policies and procedures and continuous quality improvement.

Autumn Pierce – Health Promotion Manager

Autumn Pierce joined Women’s Health East in April 2018. She has a Master of International Public Health and her work overseas has shaped her commitment to resource maximisation, strategic partnerships and sustainable impact. She has worked for the Australian Red Cross in Sydney and most recently for Positive Women Victoria, where she focused on multi-level advocacy and organisational and community capacity building. With a background in Public Relations, she is looking forward to applying her change management communication skills within a rapidly evolving interdisciplinary sector. Autumn is passionate about Indigenous women’s health and trauma-informed care and practice, and particularly enjoys international travel for its cross-cultural learning benefits.

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Vanessa Czerniawski – Health Promotion Officer

Vanessa began at Women’s Health East in 2011 as a volunteer helping to organise International Women’s Day, and later that year joined the health promotion team as a Research Assistant. Vanessa was appointed as a Health Promotion Officer after she completed her Bachelor of Health Science Degree at Deakin University at the end of 2013 where she majored in Health Promotion. Vanessa grew up and currently lives in the EMR, and is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of women in the region through her role as a Health Promotion Officer at Women’s Health East.

Jayde McBurnie – Together for Equality & Respect Manager

Jayde began at Women’s Health East in 2015 as a student volunteer for the Evaluation Working Group of the ‘Together for Equality and Respect’ Partnership. Following graduation from her Bachelor of Health Sciences degree with majors in Health Promotion, Jayde joined Women’s Health East as a Health Promotion Officer in December 2016. In July 2018, Jayde commenced in the role of Together for Equality & Respect Manager. 

Jayde is passionate about improving health and wellbeing for all women.



Lara Gerrand – Health Promotion Officer, Sexual and Reproductive Health

Lara Gerrand began her role as Health Promotion Officer in 2017, and focuses on sexual and reproductive health. Lara has a Bachelor of Public Health & Health Promotion & a Diploma in Youth Work. Her previous work gives her extensive experience working with youth in delivering reproductive health services and education.


Claire Butselaar – Health Promotion Officer, Sexual and Reproductive Health

Claire began her career as a registered nurse, working in several of Melbourne’s major tertiary hospitals before completing a Master of Public Health, specialising in Sexual and Reproductive Health.  Claire worked as a SRH nurse and clinic manager with Marie Stopes International Australia for several years before spending a year working as quality assurance advisor to Marie Stopes International Vietnam’s clinic network.  She has gained considerable experience in sexual health and family planning education and advocacy through her work at Marie Stopes International and then as National Peer Education Program Manager with YEAH (Youth Empowerment Against HIV/AIDS), before joining WHE in August 2016.



Ari Milecki – Speaking Out Coordinator and Communications Coordinator

Ari has a Bachelor of Journalism and is currently finalising a Master in Public Health. She has worked in a variety of roles in corporates and community organisations (in strategy, communications, management and operations) and has been involved in the provision of support to women who have experience violence through WIRE – Women’s Information and Referral Exchange phone service. Ari is a passionate feminist and human rights advocate, and through her varied experience and studies, she is dedicated to addressing the social determinants of health. Working with women, combating gender inequality and preventing violence against women is her goal and she is very excited to join the Women’s Health East team.

Dima Al Tarsha – Health Promotion Officer

Dima began her role as a health promotion officer at WHE in September 2018.

Prior to commencing at Women’s Health East, Dima worked for Cohealth in Melbourne as a refugee community health project coordinator.

Dima has a Master in Public Health from the University of Liverpool UK and a Bachelor’s degree of Dentistry from Syria.

Dima came from Syria with her family to settle in Melbourne in 2016. She has extensive work experience in planning and implementing health education programs and campaigns targeting disadvantaged populations including those under the threat of diseases during war time. She has also work experience as a researcher and national trainer in the public health department/centre for strategic health studies in Syria.

Dima seeks to explore new ideas and continually looks for creative solutions to achieve desired outcomes. In 2014 she created a hand wash song and video for children for a Hepatitis A mass media campaign in Syria. She also designed children’s games as a part of a water sanitation and hygiene promotion program. Dima is passionate about improving health and wellbeing for all women; combating gender inequality and preventing violence against women. 

Taylor Nally  – Health Promotion Officer

 Taylor first came to Women’s Health East in 2016 on a student placement whilst studying a Bachelor of Health Sciences at Deakin University. Taylor went on to complete a Bachelor of Public Health and Health Promotion (Honours) with her research exploring the use of resources to support the creation of gender equality in Australian workplaces. She joined the team as a Health Promotion Officer in 2018 following completion of her studies. Taylor has an interest in gender equality and the prevention of violence against women, and is passionate about contributing to the creation of a society where all people are valued and offered equal opportunities

Luisa Salvo  – Health Promotion & Training Officer

Luisa began her role as Health Promotion and Training Officer at Women’s Health East in October 2018. 

Luisa has a Bachelor of Social Work and is a lifelong learner.  Luisa’s experience in the community sector spans over 20 years.  Her experience includes direct practice in Mental Health, Multicultural Services and Aged Care.

Luisa is passionate about health promotion and supporting women to address issues such as disease prevention, gender inequality and prevention of violence against women.

Training, coaching and mentoring has been an integral part of Luisa’s management and leadership style.