Meet Our Team
A diverse team, working towards the contemporary relevance of the Whitlam Program.
Leanne Smith is an international human rights lawyer by training, with a Masters in Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton. Leanne has worked in the Australian judicial system, for the Australian Human Rights Commission, in the international NGO sector, regional human rights organisations, as an Australian diplomat (DFAT) and in various roles for the United Nations in New York and in the field, most recently as Chief of Policy and Best Practices for UN Peacekeeping Operations. Leanne has published a number of articles on Australian national identity, Australian foreign policy and international human rights, rule of law and development as well as the United Nations and women, peace and security. She is a visiting fellow at the ANU Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy and the UNSW Australian Human Rights Centre, and a member of the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law Advisory Committee.
Leanne joined the Whitlam Institute in 2017.
Senior program manager | Company Secretary
Sandra has a legal background in the private and community legal sectors including the Public Interest Advocacy Centre as solicitor and coordinator of the Public Interest Law Clearing House. Her work managing its pro bono referral scheme and access to justice program involved a diverse range of projects including indigenous justice, consumer protection, workplace issues for people with disability, unlawful detention of young people, protection for refugees and education and training for not for profit community organisations, enabling her to work closely with the public, private and community legal sectors and a range of community sector organisations and peak bodies.
Lyndal has more than 15 years experience in communications, in not-for-profit organisations, community campaigns and more recently as a political staffer. She has developed and delivered strategies to build audiences, engage supporters and raise funds through media, digital platforms, events and publications. Lyndal holds a Bachelors Degree in Business from the University of Technology Sydney and a Postgrad Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK.
Mantej has more than 15 years experience across community and cultural sectors. He has managed operations and planning for a diverse range of community and cultural facilities and developed and delivered strategies to build audiences and activate places. He has extensive experience across the areas of community programs, exhibition development, event management, property and facilities management, and stakeholder management. Mantej holds a Masters Degree in Arts Administration (Hons) and a Graduate Diploma in Arts Administration from the University of New South Wales, and a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering from India. Mantej is passionate about community cultural development, place making and social impact. He joined the Whitlam Institute in September 2017.
Kylie has previously worked as Communications Director for Not For Profit start up Common Grace, and as a freelance writer and creative director. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Sydney, where she is also currently undertaking her Masters in Creative Writing. Kylie joined the Whitlam Institute in May 2017.
Education and Outreach Officer
Matt has taught in NSW public high schools over the last four years, mostly teaching English to speakers of other languages. He holds a Master of Teaching (History and TESOL) from the University of Sydney and has extensive experience in social justice campaigns from Teachers for Refugees to Save Medicare. Matt joined the Whitlam Institute in July 2017.
Program Support Officer
Georgia has previous experience at Western Sydney University, having worked in the Assessment and Graduation Unit as a Graduation Officer. Her current role sees her supporting all program areas such as our events, exhibitions, schools program and publications. She has a Bachelor of Education from the University of Sydney, and she spends her free time dabbling in various crafts such as cake decorating. Georgia joined the Whitlam Institute in January 2012.
Public Policy Program Officer/Visitor Services Officer
Elizabeth has over ten years' experience in a wide range of administrative positions within both the private and not-for-profit sector. Her previous roles have included providing positive customer service, volunteer engagement and management, travel administration, oversight of WHS, bookkeeping, procedure improvement and event coordination. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Theology and a Graduate Certificate in Social Impact, which she is currently using to complete her Master of Business Administration (Social Impact).
Visitor Services Officer
Steff joined the Whitlam Institute in 2017 on a part time basis. Steff has a background in communications and over 6 years' experience working with not-for-profit organisations. Prior to joining the Whitlam team, Steff worked in the coordination of media, events, volunteer programs and stakeholder relations. Steff holds a Bachelor of Media from Macquarie University.
Valerie joined the Institute as a permanent staff member in 2010. Valerie is very familiar with the Institute having spent several periods on the team in times of peak demand over the past few years. Valerie is greatly valued for her calm and methodical manner and her ability to get the job done efficiently no matter what 'the job' is. Valerie, trained at TAFE and elsewhere, has had a solid grounding in all facets of administration and customer service through her time with Lion Nathan Australia, Malt Shovel and others.
Our Whitlam Institute Fellows are an esteemed group of scholars who contribute intellectual and strategic focus to the contemporary relevance of Gough Whitlam's work, through our public policy program.