Our Board of Directors

DVConnect is governed by a Board of Directors whose primary purpose is to provide strong governance and strategic framework. This governance will guide and support the management team in the development and financing of the organisations activities.

The Directors also acts as a reference point for specific issues that require expertise beyond the core capability of the organisations’ professionals. The Directors undertake duties and obligations as required by the Corporations Act, the Service Agreement and other funding service delivery guidelines issued by the Department of Communities.

For previous Directors, please view the Annual Reports.

Shaan Ross-Smith, CHAIR

Appointed Chair 20 July 2015.  Appointed Director 20 July 2015

Shaan Ross-Smith has been Director of the MATE program within the Violence Research and Prevention Program at Griffith University  since late 2016. Prior to commencing at Griffith University Shaan spent sixteen years working with the Queensland Corrective Services through various managerial and director roles, including Director of Offender Rehabilitation and Management across Queensland.  Shaan chose to diversify this experience in 2014 to work with victims/survivors at the Domestic Violence Prevention Centre as the Integrated Response Manager.  She did this while continuing to work with perpetrators through a behaviour change program. Shaan is passionate about ending gender-based violence.

Shaan was inducted into the Queensland Government’s inaugural Domestic & Family Violence Prevention Honour Roll in 2020.

Shaan holds post graduate qualifications in Psychology.


Appointed Deputy Chair 21 August 2017

Enid is a strategic thinker and experienced management consultant bringing to the table broad executive capabilities across; business strategy, HR management, project management, brand management, organisational change and information technology. Her experience covers the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Enid is focused on performance; with a passion for business transformation through technology and organisational change.

Enid is an advocate of women at all levels and in all walks of life and is an active mentor.

Enid holds a Master of Business Administration and Bachelor of Applied Science (Computing).

Linda Dreghorn, SECRETARY

Appointed Secretary 22 February 2015.  Appointed Director 20 July 2010

Linda Dreghorn is currently Company Secretary for Green Cross Australia, and Manager, Business Performance – Governance at Arts Queensland. Previous roles include Company Secretary and Legal Counsel for Major Brisbane Festivals Pty Ltd, General Manager of Brisbane Festival 2006, Secretary and Director of the Secretariat of the Queensland Law Society Inc., Co-ordinator of Due Diligence for SunWater’s acquisition of major water infrastructure and Lecturer in Law at the Queensland University of Technology.

Linda has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland, a Graduate Diploma in Company Secretarial Studies and is a graduate of the ACID Company Directors’ course.

Ben Bjarnesen, DIRECTOR

Appointed Director 19 August 2019

Ben Bjarnesen is a 2016 Churchill Fellow, who has conducted international research on how Police forces and support services can best respond to domestic violence incidents in LGBTI communities. He is a training facilitator for the Queensland AIDS Council Domestic Violence Awareness Training and is involved with various other not for profit organisations. Ben is a guest lecturer and key note speaker both internationally and across Australia on the topic of domestic violence in LGBTI communities.  He is a member of the Queensland Government’s LGBTI Roundtable, which facilitates government engagement with LGBTI communities and provides a mechanism for communities to highlight issues, challenges and opportunities with Queensland government agencies.

Ben is an operational Police officer and has served in metropolitan Brisbane and outback Queensland, including the regional town of Roma where he spearheaded the development and implementation of the community support group, “Anything but Straight.” This group provides support, education and referral services to LGBTI clients and in 2011 Ben was nominated for the Young Australian of the Year Award for this initiative. Ben is the Regional Coordinator (Brisbane Region) of the Queensland Police Service LGBTI Liaison Officer Program and in 2017 was named as one of the top 50 most influential and inspiring LGBTI Australians by Cosmopolitan Magazine.  In 2020, Ben founded the LGBTIQ Domestic Violence Awareness Day, which is held on 28 May every year. 

Ben was inducted into the Queensland Government’s inaugural Domestic & Family Violence Prevention Honour Roll in 2020.

Ben holds a Diploma of Public Safety (Policing), as well as Certificate III Security Operations.

Muna Ibrahim, DIRECTOR

Appointed Director 19 August 2019

Muna Ibrahim is currently working as Disability Services Manager as well as Coordinator of Community Action for Multicultural Society (CAMS).  She has been with Islamic Women’s Association of Australia (IWAA) since 1992 in various roles: volunteer Treasurer on board of Management Committee, became employed as Settlement Officer in 1995 (10 years) but at the same time job shared coordination of disability services (2 years), Home and Community Care Coordinator (7 years), Coordinator of Aged Care for people with Dementia project (1 year). Muna was Office Coordinator for 4 years until 2011 and this role included human resource coordination, workplace health and safety officer and newsletter editor. She was also involved as researcher into domestic and family violence in the Arabic speaking Muslim Community (2 different projects), presenting information sessions and cross cultural training to organisations, hospital, schools. Muna has volunteered in doorknock appeals for Leukaemia Foundation & Heart Foundations and she is a Justice of the Peace. Muna speaks Arabic, English, Hindi/Urdu and is learning AUSLAN.

Muna holds an Advanced Diploma of Management (HR), as well as an Associate Diploma of Business (Computing).

Matthew Jones, DIRECTOR

Appointed Director 16 September 2019

Matthew Jones is a Torres Strait Islander from Darnley Island, he is a Chartered Accountant and as the ninth Indigenous Australian to be accepted as a full member of Chartered Accountants – Australia and New Zealand. He has worked in public practice specialising in reconstruction and recovery as well as in a risk management role for a financier.

Matthew holds a Bachelor of International Business and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Griffith University and is completing his Masters of Business Administration at the University of Queensland. His focus lies within the small to medium sized business sector concentrating on process improvement and sustainable organisational growth.

Fiona Maxwell, DIRECTOR

Appointed Director 18 September 2017

Fiona Maxwell’s career has spanned the non-profit, government and university sectors in Australia and the USA. Prior to becoming CEO of Brisbane Powerhouse, Fiona was Queensland Manager for Philanthropy Australia, establishing the Brisbane office and supporting philanthropists and non-profits alike to grow the sector. Fiona has extensive experience building strong relationships with stakeholders in various industries including the service industry, internet start-up sector and philanthropic sector.

Fiona holds a Bachelor of Arts from Queensland University of Technology, a Masters from the University of New South Wales and recently completed the Executive Program for Non-profit Leaders at Stanford University.

Naomi Meade, DIRECTOR

Appointed Director in 18 November 2019

Naomi Meade is an employment law and employee relations specialist, with experience in both the public and private sector. Currently, Naomi is a Human Resource Manager at QIC, a government owned investment company. Previously she worked as the Queensland and Northern Territory Manager for employment relations case management at Qantas and as a practicing solicitor in workplace law with Crown Law in the Dept of Justice and Attorney General. She started her legal career as a family law solicitor, working in private practice, at the Women’s Legal Service, and at the Family Court of Australia as a Legal Associate in the appellate division.  

Naomi holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), a Bachelor of Business (BIntBus) Law. She also holds a Graduate Diploma Practical Legal Training, Law.

How your donation will help

  • Provides operational support to fund our bridging accommodation residence Bella's Sanctuary.
  • Provides emergency transport and accommodation for Queenslanders in crisis due to domestic and family violence.
  • Provides safety planning, crisis counselling and information to those impacted by domestic and family violence.
  • Educates Queenslanders on how to help family, friends and colleagues who have experienced, or are experiencing domestic and family violence.