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Board of Directors

safe steps Family Violence Response Centre is an Incorporated Association governed by a Board of Directors who are responsible for ensuring strategic direction, implementation of governance policies, adherence to regulatory obligations and oversight of performance and management activities undertaken by the CEO.

Click here to view the safe steps Family Violence Response Centre constitution.

The Board of Directors bring extensive experience and diverse skills to support the CEO including specialisations in finance, marketing, communications, legal, government and community services, HR and IT.

Dr Janine Bush – Chair

Janine has held Executive and CEO roles in both the public and non-for-profit sector.  As an Executive, she worked with the Victorian Auditor General’s Office, Parliament of Victoria, and the CEO of Victorian Alcohol & Drug Association and Domestic Violence Victoria.  Janine has served as a Non Executive Director on the Relationships Australia Victorian Board and was a Board Member of community organisations, Fitzroy Legal Service and Women’s Information, and Support & Housing in the North.

Nicole Lee – Director


Nicole is a family violence survivor.  Through her appointment to Victim Survivors’ Advisory Council, she is able to speak for those who have suffered family violence and specifically for those who have a disability and suffered at the hands of a perpetrator.


Jen Allen – Director

Jen has provided workplace coaching for over 13 years and is the Executive Director of Victorian Institute of Counselling and Coaching.  She developed a workplace training tool ‘Working Against Violence Education’ and is a published author on the construct of resilience and capacity building for children.  Jen was one of the first safe steps media advocates and has worked with  McAuley Community Services for Women, Vic Health, Victoria police, the AFL, Federal and State Governments.


Pam Newton – Director

Pam is the Manager Family Youth and Children at the City of Port Phillip.  She is a practising psychologist and has been a member of the Australian Psychological Society for three years.  Pam brings extensive experience in managing human services within Local Government and not-for-profits.

Belinda Bales – Director

Belinda is a lawyer within Victoria Police and works within the Legal Services Dept.  She has worked in several areas of Victoria Police including the Prosecutions Division, incorporating several metropolitan courts and in the Coronial jurisdiction.  She managed the the Specialist Summary Sex Offences Prosecutions Team and holds a position on the Therapeutic Treatment Board of Victoria and the Child Witnesses Services Advisory Committee of Victoria.  Belinda has also worked in other Federal Govt legal Departments including most recently at Australian health practitioners Regulation Agency. 

Penelope Cottrill – Director


Penelope is a Principal at Nous Group, a leading management consultancy.  She consults on strategy, organisation, workforce and leadership.  Penelope has also held voluntary advisory roles in health and education.


Cristina Wolters – Treasurer

Cristina has over 20 years experience in Corporate Taxation and currently leads the Transurban team responsible for  global tax matters incl risk and governance.  Prior to this she was a corporate tax advisor with PwC (Aust. and Brazil) and was a Board Member and Treasurer for Women’s Health Victoria.