Meet our Board of Directors and Advisers
Villagehood Australia is privileged to have a team of highly experienced and accomplished professionals from various industries who provide invaluable guidance and insights to help us achieve our goals.
Advocate for maternal mental health, Dinah Thomasset is the Founder of the charity Villagehood Australia, a unique village of support for mothers designed to help women overcome the struggles of motherhood and live a positive life with their families.
Since its launch in March 2020, Villagehood Australia has welcomed 1000+ women and children at its location in West Adelaide, South Australia and has recently launched a second hub in the North East.
Dinah’s advocacy efforts are inspired by her lived experience overcoming postpartum depression and anxiety and despite the challenges within the system, Dinah has created a number of programs to provide mothers with the tools to better support their mental health and wellbeing and “mum” with more confidence.
In 2021, Dinah was awarded the SA Woman Heart Award and the South Australian Women’s Honour Roll. She holds two Master’s Degrees, a Bachelors, and is a Certified Life Coach and Circle of Security Facilitator.
Kerstin has a bachelor of performance arts, majoring in marketing, she is a life coach, business coach, public speaker, author, and a mother of three. She has over 25 years experience in marketing, finance, administration and management, and over 15 years in coaching and business development. She sits on a number of boards across South Australia.
Moreover Kerstin started her mothering journey as a single mother in her early 20’s and is proud to raise 3 spirited, inspiring, beautiful children whilst she works passionately to make the world a better place for all mothers and their children through her business The Mothers Lighthouse.
Villagehood Australia shares the values, ethos and beliefs Kerstin holds close to her heart.
An experienced senior procurement executive with more than 15 years of experience in the government, defence and administration industries, working for large organisations with complex spends, regulatory pressure and high risk challenges. As a results orientated profession, Kendall is capable of leading project teams, building and maintaining professional relationships with internal and external stakeholders and fulfilling changing requirements that demand innovative and strategic thinking. Kendall offers a verifiable record of success in delivering multi-million dollar contracts for goods, services and construction. She does so by thoroughly understanding the needs of stakeholders allowing her to develop a strategic and customised plan of action to resolve the organisational issue at hand.
Assoc. Professor Marilyn Wise
Public Health Adviser
Over a career spanning more than 30 years, Assoc. Professor Marilyn Wise, BA, MHP, PhD have held a number of managerial and professional roles in the public sector (health and education). Some are listed below:
Director, Health Promotion for an Area Health Service
Head, Division of Allied Health Services, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Executive Director, Australian Centre for Health Promotion, University of Sydney
Manager, Healthy Public Policy Program, UNSW Centre for Health Equity Research and Evaluation
Senior Advisor, Health Equity Research and Development Unit, Sydney Local Health District
Marilyn has served on multiple professional boards/committees including two terms (twelve years) on the Board of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education – a global professional membership organisation; and President of the NSW Community Health Accreditation and Standards Program; and chaired the NSW Branch of the Australian Health Promotion Association.
Marilyn was a Director, NSW Centre for Overweight and Obesity, and a Member of several Advisory Boards, including for example, UNSW Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity; National Heart Foundation.
Marilyn is an author on more than 50 publications.
Dr Rebecca Hill
Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Adviser
Dr Rebecca Hill is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Medical Unit Head with Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Services at the Women’s and Children’s Health Network.
For 20 years her focus has been on perinatal and infant mental health, beginning with women’s mental health during her Psychiatry training in Arizona USA, followed by work at mother and baby inpatient psychiatric units in Victoria and in SA.
A small private practice has allowed her to enjoy individual work with perinatal women in addition to her public sector work for over 10 years.
Rebecca has completed a Graduate Diploma in Infant and Parent Mental Health at the University of Melbourne, has a particular interest in the application of mother-infant therapy, and has pursued research in postpartum psychosis and the mental health of infants admitted with their mothers to a mother and baby inpatient psychiatric unit.
She has convened the annual Helen Mayo House conference since 2018.
Risk & Financial Adviser
Daniela is a risk management advisor with more than 25 years’ experience. Her experience includes financial and operational risk analyses, the implementation and oversight of risk management and governance frameworks, and the provision of Board reporting.
She has extensive analytical experience in various public and private sector organisations, as well as local and international markets.
Daniela’s risk management career began at Westpac and progressed through Standard & Poor’s, Australia Ratings, the Australian Taxation Office, and Bank First where she is Head of Regulatory Reporting.
Daniela has also contributed her time and expertise to the community, and currently is a member of the advisory committee to the Board of a private girl’s secondary school.
Daniela is a Chartered Governance Professional, and holds a Master of Applied Finance and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne.
Professor Mary Wlodek
Professor Mary Wlodek, BSc(Hons), MSc, PhD; GAICD is an inspirational and visionary research leader and executive who makes a real difference to the health and wellbeing of women, mothers and infants and aspiring scientists. She has been internationally recognised as a world leader in Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) research.
Her research expertise informs global understanding of how early life environments impact lifelong health and disease risk and is highly respected and accomplished research fundraiser (~$10million) and researcher (~200 publications).
Mary was Professor of Physiology at University of Melbourne for 24 years where she held senior executive roles including as Associate Dean and then Deputy Dean of the Melbourne School of Graduate Research; Coordinator Researcher Development; and Associate Dean (Research) Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.
With a passion for mentoring and career development, Professor Wlodek has delivered numerous Career Development workshops Nationally and Internationally and through “Wlodek Consulting” is coaching small groups and individuals on achieving career success incorporating career-life balance.
Mary’s commitment to mentoring has been recognised with prestigious awards at the university and by the Australian Government.
Marketing & Strategy Adviser
Maryanne is Digital Strategist and Marketing Executive who works with purpose-based brands, across different categories and markets. Over the years she has established a successful career building up disruptive companies that challenge the market and provide more innovative consumer solutions.
Maryanne's passion is time spent working with business leaders and individuals to build their brand recognition and ensure they achieve the highest possible engagement across social media platforms, and lead conversion long-term. Using her innate ability to draw people's stories out, she facilitates and creates cohesion between the 'why' and strategic action.
Maryanne's career has predominately been in Marketing however she is also a qualified Kinesiologist. Treating clients for more than eight years means that Maryanne has a unique and engaging style that is driven by her passion for thinking outside the box and creating thought-provoking actions that allow people to get the most out of themselves and their businesses.
Mothers who are caring for a baby or a young child can experience a unique type of loneliness and at times become deeply lonely and isolated. The impact of this can be devasting. Villagehood Australia helps women to find peer support and greater joy. I joined the team because their work is vital.
Through my role at the University of South Australia, as a Project Manager in Advancement, my focus is to open pathways for the community to connect and grow opportunities for students and researchers. I have worked in the higher education sector for six years and also have experience in the arts and cultural development. My partner and I have two primary school aged children and you will often find us walking our very active one-year-old puppy Ray at the beach. We live and work on Kaurna Land.