Our Board



Our Board Directors are committed to ending homelessness and domestic violence and they are recruited on the basis of the skills and experience they can contribute to Wayss being a well governed and strategic organisation.

Cath Evans

Chair
Joined Board: 2020

Steve Peterson

Director
Joined Board: 2015

Nigel Neal

Director
Joined Board: 2016

Diana Brown

Director
Joined Board: 2019

Sue Brown

Director
Joined Board: 2019

Vijay Susarla

Director
Joined Board: 2019

Alan Studley

Director
Joined Board: 2020

Sharmiah Sritharan

Director
Joined Board: 2020

Cath Evans

Cath brings a wealth of business acumen gained from high-profile executive leadership roles in Australia and the UK, and from a portfolio of Board, Committee and Advisory roles. During a successful legal career focused on delivering legal services to consumers and the SME market, Cath has also contributed to major initiatives such as the NDIS scheme and to law reform across various jurisdictions.

Steve Peterson

Steve has a Bachelor degree in Sports Management and has held a number of senior and executive management roles.  Today, he is the Managing Director of his own events management company, Sport Projects.

Steve’s passion for Wayss is an ongoing tribute to his late mother, Janice, the driving force behind the established of Wayss first refuge for women and children escaping family violence.    

Nigel Neal

Nigel is an experienced strategist with a 20+ year career in senior strategy, commercial and general management roles. He has worked in New Zealand, London and Melbourne for leading financial and digital companies and currently holds a Strategy and Planning Director role at Sensis.

Nigel holds a First-Class Honours Degree in Finance and Quantitative Analysis.

Diana Brown

Diana is a business and technology strategist with deep experience in planning and delivering technology led change in a range of corporate and not-for-profit environments. Diana led the Google sponsored design and delivery of Ask Izzy, an award winning cross-sector collaborative initiative connecting people in need with services, including homelessness and family violence, across Australia. 

Diana holds a Bachelor of Psychology, Diploma of Business Governance and is a member of the Community Directors Institute.

Sue Brown

Sue holds a Bachelor of Business in Marketing and Economics and is an experienced marketing and communications practitioner with strong strategic business and change management experience. A member of the Executive Team at Southern Migrant and Refugee Centre, Sue’s experience comes from working in diverse sectors including manufacturing, financial services, not-for-profit and community health

Vijay Susarla

Vijay is an experienced company director with extensive experience in governance, strategic planning, policy development and risk management in Australia, India and Pacific region.

Vijay has a strong passion for social justice and he holds a Master’s degree in engineering and other qualifications in quality management, governance and risk management.

Alan Studley

Alan Studley has worked extensively in the Health and Not for Profit sectors in executive roles and he has held voluntary and paid Director positions on numerous Boards for over 20 years. Alan has qualifications in accounting and marketing and has a Master’s of Business Administration.

Sharmiah Sritharan

Sharmiah is an experienced solicitor with direct links to Wayss local community networks.  She currently delivers significant social impact within the Springvale Monash Legal Centre where she often support people who also access Wayss services. 

Wayss in the 1990s

Then in September 1997 the organisation became WAYSS Limited with a Board of Directors and day to day management by the Chief Executive Officer.

Wayss underwent further transformation with the restructure of community housing and the funding of the Transitional Housing Management (THM) program. The Regional Housing Council ceased operation and transferred direct service operations to Wayss in 1997.

During this decade Wayss became responsible for the then South East Women’s Domestic Violence Outreach Service. Funding was also received to establish a Children’s Services Worker within the outreach service. SAAP funded Women’s Outreach Program was also transferred to Wayss in 1999.