WLIA celebrates new Fellows, Dr Michelle Evans and Stacey Ong

Women’s Leadership Institute Australia (WLIA) is thrilled to announce two new WLIA Fellows: Dr Michelle Evans and Stacey Ong, two women who bring a wealth of experience and expertise to our cohort. We are so proud to support them to accelerate their work, elevate their voices and demonstrate what’s possible.

Fellowships are awarded to those who are leaders in their respective fields, women who have innovative approaches and the courage, conviction and capacity to create real change. Through advocacy, policy and research fellowships, WLIA is building a community of leaders focused on achieving tangible gender equality in Australia.

Dr Michelle Evans is inaugural Director of Dilin Duwa Centre for Indigenous Business Leadership. She holds an Associate Professorship of Leadership at the Faculty of Business and Economics (FBE) and the Melbourne Business School (MBS).

Michelle is the Associate Dean (Indigenous) at FBE/MBS and is co-Founder of Australia’s number one Indigenous Business Master Class program, MURRA, based at Melbourne Business School, founder of WALAN MAYINYGU Charles Sturt University’s Indigenous entrepreneurship Pop Up innovation hub program and founder of the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development at the Faculty of Victorian College of the Arts and Music.

Michelle, a Fulbright scholar, has a unique combination of professional experience in management, community engagement and facilitation coupled with her excellent track record in research. Michelle has attracted five highly competitive Australian Research Council grants, including a Discovery grant to investigate Australian Indigenous political party participation and leadership and most recently to conduct a program evaluation for Indigenous preferential procurement programs. Michelle has personally taught and mentored over 350 Australian Indigenous business people through various Indigenous business programs and serves on a number of committees nationally and internationally that focus on Indigenous advancement and rewarding excellence in engagement.

As the political and cultural power of First Nations people finds greater distinction in the social life of Australia it is more important than ever to understand the aspirations and challenges faced by First Nations people who seek to contribute through parliamentary structures. Although there are more First Nations representatives now than at any previous time, we still know little about how First Nations people enter Australia’s legislatures. The WLIA fellowship will support my work by showcasing the first comprehensive study of First Nations political party participation and representation to the public.

– Dr Michelle Evans

Stacey Ong is an experienced management consultant with over 17 years’ experience in both private, public and community sectors and a leader in social policy.

Stacey is the Executive Director of One Red Step, a social equity consulting practice that she founded aimed at improving the lives of women and girls of colour. One Red Step works with governments and NFP organisations to bring greater community participation and voice in social policy development and implementation.

Stacey is a Board member of Safe and Equal and Melbourne City Mission, and a Honorary Fellow within the University of Melbourne in Law. Prior to establishing One Red Step, Stacey was a Director at a Big 4 consulting firm leading their social policy practice, working on projects such as early intervention for school students experiencing family violence, developing gender impact assessment tools and supporting childcare services to transition to the new childcare funding arrangements. Stacey was the inaugural staff lead of the firm’s cultural diversity and inclusion network, engaging over 7,000 staff, partners and clients in conversations about culture and race.

The WLIA Fellows community also includes Danielle Wood, Dr Leonora Risse, Dr Ramona Vijeyarasa, Isabelle Reinecke, Dr Andrea Carson, Prof Cordelia Fine, Dr Anjalee de Silva, Emma Dawson. To learn more about our WLIA Fellows, visit our website.


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