Meet our committee

Gen Collective is run by a passionate group of volunteers who believe that the key to a happy and successful career is a network of like-minded women who are each other's best advocates.

To get in touch, or to express your interest in joining the volunteer Gen Collective committee, please email info@gencollective.com.au or use the contact form here.

 
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JENNIFER PARKES

PRESIDENT

Jen has been a passionate supporter of the Gen Collective since its inception, better known then as genXwomen. She is a solicitor with Hicksons Lawyers based in Newcastle, and loves living as a part of the wonderful, diverse and creative Novocastrian community. 

Outside of work, she is a committee member of the Gen Collective, mum to two “genZers”, a coffee aficionado, a slave to fashion and a lover of local markets. Her favourite thing about the Newcastle business community is its strong, inspiring women leaders and through Gen Collective, it has been a privilege for her to meet many of them at our past events and as key speakers.

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ELLE BUYERS

VICE PRESIDENT 

Elle is a Business Analyst with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. She’s passionate about delivering the best possible outcome for her clients, to help them achieve their hopes and dreams. Elle has always had a love to learn, so far completing 2 Bachelor degrees, a Diploma and seizing many learning opportunities within CBA.

Her loves are spending time with family and friends, fitness, board-sports, camping, travelling and live music. She strives to make a difference supporting local charities, doing missionary and volunteer work. Elle’s Newcastle/Hunter born and bred and passionate about seeing women of all ages connect and build community with Gen Collective.

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HANNEKE NIESTEN

SECRETARY

Hanneke is a highly skilled and energetic change management professional. Hanneke has experience across the public, healthcare, hospitality and facilities management sectors. She is passionate about assisting organisations to increase service levels and customer satisfaction by setting standards and influencing people’s individual behaviour.

In 2015, Hanneke relocated to Newcastle from the Netherlands with her husband and two small children. She joined the Gen Collective committee in 2015 as a way to integrate into Newcastle's culture. Hanneke has a passion  for exploring other cultures, spirituality and healthy food.

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KYLIE DIEHM

TREASURER

Kylie has been a part of the Taggart Business Advisors team for more than 10 years. She provides critical support to the accounting professionals and oversees the efficient running of Taggart’s busy headquarters in Hamilton.

Kylie is also trained in bookkeeping and human resources, and draws great satisfaction from helping small business owners fulfil their potential and achieve long-term success.

Kylie enjoys a wonderful home life with her partner and daughter, and is a passionate member of the Gen Collective committee.

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EMILY GALLAGHER

COMMITTEE MEMBER

Emily is a Client Manager with Purser Corporate Communication. As an all-round professional communicator Emily is passionate about working with businesses to connect with their customers, establish their position in the market and assists business leaders to build their profile through a communication and public relations.

Emily moved to Newcastle in 2013 from the chilly capital, Canberra with her husband Andy and joined the Gen Collective committee in 2014. Emily also sits on the Board of Octapod, a Newcastle based arts and cultural organisation. Her three passions are cooking, great coffee and summers at the beach.

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CHARMAINE PIPER

COMMITTEE MEMBER

Charmaine is a Senior Consultant with GWG Partners and specialises in recruitment for the Digital, IT, Marketing and Communication sectors. Charmaine began her working career in radio after completing a Bachelor of Communication at The University of Newcastle. Charmain transitioned into employment services to utilise her degree and previous experience to help candidates and clients achieve their own and organisational goals.

Charmaine joined the Gen Collective Committee in 2016 and is passionate about contributing to a support community that enables people to develop both personally and professionally.

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MELANIE HAMILTON

FOUNDER & COMMITTEE MEMBER

Melanie is a Director at Taggart Business Advisors.

Melanie founded genXwomen (now Gen Collective) in 2008 as an avenue where young business professionals could connect with like-minded women. Since then the network has grown and evolved including a change of name in 2016. 

Melanie is a member of CPA Australia, and joined the Taggart team more than 15 years ago while studying for a bachelor of Commerce at Newcastle University. She is active in the local business community as the founder and Vice President of Gen Collective

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KATE BERNARDINO

COMMITTEE MEMBER

As an accomplished events organiser and project coordinator, Kate has successfully managed a number of significant charity, business and community activities for clients. Her wide range of skills, from media relations to co-ordinating and managing client assignments, Kate is passionate about delivering outstanding outcomes for clients. 

Kate is a lover of all things fashion, coffee and community. She began working in Public Relations after completing qualifications in Marketing, Fashion Design and Technology and Business.

Joining the Gen Collective committee in 2017, Kate is excited to continue to create valued connections and relationships in the Gen Collective community.

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