Contact us: +61 8 8303 0961
Office for Women

Premier's Council for Women

The Premier's Council for Women was established in December 2002 to provide leadership and advice to the South Australian Government in respect to the needs and interests of women through the provision of well-informed and strategic advice on policies, programs and matters of significance to women.

About us

How we started

The Premier's Council for Women, comprising leaders of various fields, was created in December 2002 to provide leadership and advice to ensure that the interests and needs of women are at the forefront of the South Australian Government's policies and strategies.

Who we are

The Council's members are influential women with expertise in a range of areas such as health, education, disability, business, government, social policy, agribusiness and the arts and include Aboriginal women and women from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds.

The Office for Women provides executive support to the Premier's Council for Women.

Biography of members

What we do

The Premier's Council for Women works at a strategic level to effect change. Its overarching role is to:

  • advise the Premier and Minister for the Status of Women
  • advocate on behalf of women
  • monitor how policies and programs impact on women.

The Council is dedicated to continuous improvement and effective action. It commits time and effort to considering relevant issues  and how to exercise influence and make an impact for South Australian women.

Terms of reference

The role and responsibilities of the Premier's Council for Women are to:

  • Respond to Government with timely advice on matters referred to the Council by the Premier or the Minister for Human Services;
  • Provide recommendations, information and advice to the Premier and the Minister for Human Services, to facilitate a whole of Government approach to ensuring that programs and services match women's needs;
  • Monitor Government policies and programs related to women; and
  • Report once a year to the Premier and the Minister for Human Services with responsibility for the status of women.

PCW Members

Miriam Silva - Chair

Miriam has more than 20 years' experience across multiple industries, including pharmaceuticals, banking and agribusiness, managing large and geographically diverse teams. Miriam is a member of Uni SA Council and South Australian Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission. Miriam volunteers with a number of organisations including Muslim Women's Association, International Women's Day Committee, Rotary International and others.

Maria Hagias - Deputy Chair

Maria has extensive experience in domestic violence and associated issues. Through her position as Chief Executive Officer of Women's Safety Services SA, undertaking community education, as well as the many board and committee positions she has held, she has raised the awareness of these and women's issues generally.

Maria served as South Australia's representative on the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Domestic Violence Advisory Panel.

Maria Hagias

Associate Professor Lorna Hallahan

Lorna is Associate Professor, and Discipline Leader, Social Work at Flinders University. Prior to coming to Flinders, Lorna practiced in a range of settings, including disability advocacy and the management of a loss and grief service. Lorna has been a significant and long term contributor to the development and analysis of disability policy. Her research is currently focused on the Evaluation of the Trial of The National Disability Insurance Scheme through the National Institute of Labour Studies at Flinders. She speaks and writes regularly on issues related to the disability sector and ethical issues for workers in complex human services.


Anna Lee

After a diverse career spanning the higher education, publishing and entertainment industries, Anna established her own women’s development consultancy in 2008, when her first child was 6 weeks old. Over the next six years Anna’s experience of working with women across all levels of organisational hierarchies, from recent graduates to CEOs, confirmed her long-held belief that workplace gender equality will only be achieved when change occurs at both the individual and systemic level.

In 2014, Anna’s desire to impact on the ‘big picture’ led her to join Leed Consulting. This move saw Anna partnering with her brother Diarmid, a specialist in organisational culture, to offer a holistic approach to gender equality consulting. Anna has held various positions on executive and management committees and is currently Chair of her children’s School Council.


Leah Marrone

Leah is a legal aid lawyer with a strong commitment to social justice and human rights. She is the current President of the Women Lawyers’ Association of SA and has worked in the area of gender equity and women’s rights for over 15 years. Leah is the South Australian representative on the National Australian Women Lawyer's Board.

Leah has worked extensively in the area of employment rights and anti-discrimination. Leah also has specialist skills in Statutory Interpretation, Public Law, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice.

Leah was awarded as an Alumni Fellow of the University of Adelaide in 2014 for her contribution to the John Bray Law Alumni, in particular for assisting raising funds to help law students from disadvantaged backgrounds to study Law. Leah recently became a member of the Alumni Council of the University of Adelaide.

Leah also works heavily with migrant communities, in particular refugees and asylum seekers.

Kay Matthias

Kay has had a diverse career in the public, private and not-for profit sectors. This experience has given her a great understanding of the cultures of each sector and experience in providing leadership across the sectors. All of Kay's roles have been in senior management/chief executive level range. She has extensive experience in project management and spent some time working with women in SMEs in Ghana Africa, which made her even more tolerant, particularly when working in difficult circumstances. Kay says this was a "life changing experience".

Evelyn O'Loughlin

The CEO of Volunteering SA&NT since 2008, Evelyn leads the peak body for volunteering in South Australia and the Northern Territory.

Evelyn has 24 years’ experience in senior and executive management roles. Her career has spanned across corporates, government and business, both locally and internationally. Her interest in culture and community has led to a career in the not-for-profit sector. Her work was recognised in 2015 with a nomination to the South Australian Women’s Honour Roll.

Evelyn successfully contributes to the sector with a number of board appointments, including the Volunteering Strategy for South Australia Partnership Board and Together SA’s Board.


Louise Pascale

Louise is a producer, journalist and media consultant with over twenty years of experience. She has worked in Australia and the United Kingdom where her documentaries have been seen on televisions across Europe, the US and the UK. Through her company POP she has worked with NGOs, South Australian businesses and the government sector. One of her longest standing clients is the Mental Health Coalition of South Australia where she uses her skills in communications to help end the stigma surrounding mental illness. Louise is currently a board member of the Women’s Safety Services of SA and has over twenty years of experience with boards and committees. She is a passionate advocate for the right of all women and children to live free of violence.


Nerida Saunders

Nerida is the Executive Director of Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet. Her previous positions have included Director of Culture and Heritage in the Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation Division, General Manager of the Aboriginal Housing Authority and Executive Director of Children Youth and Family Services within the Department of Families and Communities.

Nerida has a long involvement with social justice issues and was previously a member of the Aboriginal Justice Consultative Committee.

In 2016 Nerida was awarded the Public Service Medal for outstanding public service in the provision of leadership and advocacy in the area of Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation.

Nerida Saunders

Vicky Welgraven

Vicky Welgraven is an Adnyamathanha woman, from the Northern Flinders Ranges in South Australia. Vicky has always been passionate about Aboriginal women’s rights, reconciliation and education of the wider community about her culture.

Vicky was formerly the South Australian Representative on the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance (NATSIWA) Board from 2014 -2016.From 2011 to 2014, she held the position of Chairperson of Nunga Mi:Minar – a family violence service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children in Adelaide.

Reconciliation in Australia is another of Vicky’s passions. In November 2015, in recognition of her experience and work on these issues, she was appointed as a board member of Reconciliation South Australia Committee.

Vicky Welgraven

Contact us

Premier's Council for Women - Secretariat

Ground Floor
101 Grenfell Street
Adelaide SA 5000

Postal Address:
GPO Box 292
Adelaide SA 5001

Phone: +61 8 8303 0961
Fax: +61 8 8303 0963

State Government of South Australia © Copyright DHS [sm v5.4.7.1] .

Provided by:
Department for Communities and Social Inclusion
Last Updated:
16 May 2017
Printed on:
24 Jul 2019
The Office for Women website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia Licence. © Copyright 2016