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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ELLE BUYERS

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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KATE BERNARDINO

vice president

Kate is a Marketing and Communications professional with the University of Newcastle. With her wide range of skills, from event management to media relations and project management, Kate is passionate about delivering outstanding outcomes for her stakeholders. 

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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MELANIE HAMILTON

FOUNDER & COMMITTEE MEMBER

Melanie is the Managing Director of Hamilton 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 a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Newcastle. She is active in the local business community as the Founder of Gen Collective.

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JENNIFER PARKES

committee member

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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AMY HOAD

TREASURER

Amy is a Financial Planner, authorised by Fiducian Financial Services and has extensive experience in financial planning. Amy focuses on holistic financial planning advice to achieve the goals and objectives desired by her clients.

Amy holds a Diploma in Financial Planning, is an Associate Member of the Financial Planning Association and is an appointed Justice of the Peace.

Amy is energetic and driven and enjoys the beach lifestyle of Newcastle, spending time with her family and friends, keeping fit and travelling.

Amy is looking forward to connecting with like-minded women through the Gen Collective community and growing both personally and professionally.

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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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EMILIA CARDILLO

COMMITTEE MEMBER

Emilia is the founder and principal lawyer of Cardillo Commercial Lawyers which specialises in commercial and property law. 

She also launched her own online retail business ROYAL RHINO in 2016 selling trendy children’s clothing.

Emilia has two young boys and is a passionate advocate for Newcastle. She is excited to be joining the Committee in 2019 to help continue the wonderful legacy of Gen Collective.

Emilia has also been a volunteer committee member of PULSE, a fundraising committee of HMRI, from November 2010 to March 2014 holding the position of Vice Chair from January 2013 - March 2014.

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ROSANNA FULLER

COMMITTEE MEMBER

Rosanna is the People and Business Development Manager at Catherine Henry Lawyers and has worked in various HR and management roles for more than 20 years.

Rosanna is passionate about people and helping them reach their full potential in the workplace, together with solving problems and quite simply – making things happen!

As an active member of Gen Collective and formerly GenXwomen over the last 8 years, Rosanna joined as a Committee Member in 2019 and is ready to give back and make an active contribution to what is already a fabulous networking Novocastrian group.

Rosanna enjoys travel, good food, good wine and good company. She loves a good coffee and spending time with her family, pet Spoodle “Nellie” and long walks around Newcastle…having coffee!

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KRISTEN OWERYN

committee member

Kristen is the Manager for Organisational Development and Learning and HR Projects for the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. She is passionate about navigating the future of work - the intersection between technology, workplace, people and culture; and the implications for organisations.

Kristen joined Gen Collective as a way to expand her professional network when she moved home to Newcastle after 6 years working in Sydney.

Kristen is a proud feminist and has a strong personal interest in NFPs and the important work they do in the community of Newcastle - particularly for vulnerable women and children.

Issues close to her heart are efforts to address and combat domestic violence, the gender pay gap and poor female representation in Australia on corporate boards and in our parliament.

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AMANDA FALCONER

committee member

Amanda is the Founder of Bestie Kitchen, a new Australian company with a mission to help people feed their dogs more healthily. Fresh and biologically right food, not fast food! (I’m passionate about food for me and…food for them.)

As a I’m also a veteran marketer, with decades of experience in industrial marketing, these days, Amanda works with Australian and global manufacturers to position products and develop marketing skills within their businesses.

New to the region and Gen Collective, Amanda hopes to share what she has learnt over the years and mix with other interesting, inspiring women.

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ELAINE ABERY

committee member

Elaine is a highly experienced strategic policy, government and stakeholder relations executive and Director of Unravelling Red Tape.

She enjoys the challenge of driving change. Elaine excels at bringing people together and focusing on what everyone has in common to find solutions to key issues. Great at thinking outside the box, her infectious energy and drive break down silos to develop sustainable solutions to difficult issues.

Elaine recently joined Gen Collective as a Committee Member.

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