L – R: Victoria O’Neil, Natasha Pignatti Morano, Mary Regan, Patricia Robertson, Jane Fulton, Tracey Fay-Stammbach, Anita Belgiorno-Nettis, Ruta Asimus, Cheryl Walmsley.

(Not in photo: Özlem Beldan, Miriam Cheung, Jean White)

Anita Belgiorno-Nettis

After several years of helping the Benevolent Society with fundraising events, Helen Tribe and I decided that we wanted to do more, having many professional friends and colleagues with time and expertise on their hands. With the assistance of Keith Bryant and Tracey Fay at the Benevolent Society, in 2011 “Step into Work” was born.
It is really heart-warming for me to see that what was then a 3 women volunteers’ program (Helen, Victoria and myself), is now a thriving group of professional women all wanting to contribute. Having the support of Australia’s first charity has enabled us to grow and assert our program to the point that, in 2018 we became fully autonomous.
After 13 years of leading the organisation, I decided that it was time to pass on the baton.
Founding and watching “Step into Work” grow has been, for me, one of the most rewarding experiences.

Özlem Beldan

Özlem is a positive psychology practitioner with a corporate background spanning over 15 years, which included secondments to the UK, India and Dubai.

During her corporate career, Özlem witnessed a crippling pattern of burnout among women, including herself, which led her to post-graduate studies in well-being science.

Özlem works with women to prevent and overcome burnout; and with organisations to drive systemic changes that enable women to flourish in the workplace. Her work includes designing research-based programs and coaching individuals. She has a soft-yet-strong approach steeped in compassion. Özlem is passionate about amplifying the voices of minority and multicultural women.

Özlem holds a Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Business from the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). In addition, she is an IECL-accredited coach and certified in several diagnostic tools designed to empower individuals with self-awareness and self-development.

Mary Regan

With over 30 years’ experience in Human Resources and Career and Executive Coaching, Mary has worked across senior positions in the private and public sectors, and with individuals through her current business, Manta HR Consulting.

Mary’s previous employers include BHP, Ansett, Ford and NSW Treasury, working with individuals at all levels, and across many industries.  She also has many years of volunteer experience including NSW Cancer Council, The Helmsman Project and the Glebe Justice Centre. 

In recent years Mary has specialised in Career Coaching. With empathy, gentle motivation and a sense of humour, Mary builds confidence, provides job search skills, and ensures individuals have a resume, an engaging LinkedIn profile, and networking, application and interview skills that will get them the interviews and jobs that best fit with the next step in their career.

Mary holds a Master of Organisational Coaching, Coaching Psychology from the University of Sydney and a Master of Business in Employment Relations from the University of Technology, Sydney.

Natasha Pignatti Morano

Natasha’s career began in publishing in London working for Victor Gollancz for four years, where her primary focus was on producing and editing both non-fiction and fiction.  Having relocated her family across the world several times, Natasha used this life experience to make a career change to become a Relocation Consultant.  In this role she provided corporate relocation solutions and destination services to international executives and their families both in the US and Australia.  

After honing these skills for several years, Natasha expanded her career to take on the role of Recruitment Manager, responsible for hiring Relocation Consultants in the US and Asia Pacific region for four years. Natasha found great satisfaction in sourcing, attracting and interviewing prospective candidates to ensure the right fit for her clients.  A focus on understanding cultural nuances was key to her success in this role.

Natasha brings valuable insights and expertise in recruitment and selection to the Step Into Work Program, as well as lived experience establishing a career in new countries, a key issue facing many Step Into Work participants.  

Jane Fulton

Jane has been volunteering with Step into Work since 2018 and last year became SIW’s President. She has a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Sydney, where she was the Coordinator of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies and later spent ten years in New York at the UNDP in its Environment and Energy Group as part of the Water Governance Team. She is passionate about sustainability and peace with justice, and keen to promote the UN’s 17 Sustainability Goals. She is a founding member of the Sydney Peace Foundation. For Jane, Step into Work embodies many of these core objectives, especially helping women reach their full potential. 

Ruta Asimus

Ruta is a human resources professional, executive coach and leader of change in large organisations. As a director she has led large human resources teams in Australia and across Asia Pacific. She has been based in Hong Kong and Shanghai for part of her career and has worked across a broad spectrum of industries including financial services, retail, information technology, engineering and energy generation. 

Ruta is qualified as an executive coach and has spent the last 11 years supporting senior executives. Ruta senses people, deeply enabling them to face their gremlins recreating their own pathways to success. Her passion is to help women to break the barriers they personally face in taking the next steps. Ruta was able to practise this passion for many years running programs for Women on Boards. She now does that with Step Into Work.

Ruta holds a Master of Business Administration from York University, a Master of Library Science, and a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) from University of Toronto. She is a Certified Professional Co-active Coach (CPCC) and is certified in six diagnostic tools which aid the journey to self-awareness. 

Jean White

With 30 years as a Career Counsellor gained in a number of Sydney’s preeminent High Schools, Jean has a wealth of experience in supporting students to make important choices regarding career and tertiary education. Jean has focused on personal development qualifying in MBTI and NLP methodologies to support others to build the awareness needed for career decision making.  She holds a Post Graduate Education Counselling degree from the University of South Australia.

Jean’s style is collaborative, warm and personable.  She works to meet the needs of the individual and is concerned with helping women to reach their full potential. Throughout her career she has experienced and worked with many cultures and is passionate about the advancement of women, particularly in the world of work.

Victoria O’Neil

Victoria is a Career Coach and Human Resources Professional with 17 years’ experience in the field.  She has a particular expertise in career planning, performance, learning and development, facilitation and coaching.  After working in the finance, resource, transport and retail industries for companies including Caltex, Swiss Re and Myer, Victoria now works as a Career Coach with Directioneering.

Victoria coaches professionals whose roles have been made redundant, assisting them to build a career plan and prepare for the ever-changing world of job search including writing resumes, LinkedIn profiles, networking plans, selection criteria responses and interview preparation.  This work is particularly relevant to the Step Into Work program where Victoria focuses on sharing up to date job search intelligence with participants.

Victoria holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Human Resources and Industrial Relations) from UWS and has completed IECL level 1 Organisational Coaching.

Miriam Cheung

Miriam has over 30 years’ experience in advising and guiding young people and older adults in their career choices.  In addition to running her own business, Miriam has worked with the Department of Education Regional Office assisting in the area of Careers and Vocational Education, at TAFE NSW and at a variety of high schools in NSW over this time period.  She is passionate about supporting clients to plan rewarding careers whether it be at the HSC stage or further on in working life.  Her knowledge of the tertiary education system is a great support to the Step Into Work participants.

Miriam has been associated with Step into Work for five years, she holds a Bachelor of Science, a Diploma of Education and a Graduate Certificate of Human Resources.

Patricia Robertson

Patricia is a lawyer with a background in Public Law .

She worked initially in the Office of The Australian Government Solicitor in Sydney for 16 years where her main area of practice was the review of decisions made under a number of Commonwealth Statutes including decisions under the Migration Act, various Taxation Acts and the Social Security Act. She also worked for a year as principal legal officer on a Commission of Inquiry established under Commonwealth Legislation.

From 1998 until 2008 Patricia practiced as a Barrister at the Sydney Bar where her work continued to be mainly in the area of Public Law, including also the review of decisions made under State Law.

Patricia has been volunteering with Step Into Work since 2019.

Having worked in the area of Migration Law she is aware of the difficulties faced by new arrivals in Australia, particularly migrant women, who often have no knowledge of the opportunities available to them. She is aware of the importance of respecting cultural differences whilst at the same time assisting assimilation into Australia. In this regard helping migrant women through the Step Into Work program is personally very rewarding.

Cheryl Walmsley

Cheryl Walmsley’s career has primarily been in the engineering and project management sector, working in change management, organisational development, human resource management and employment relations. For over 35 years, Cheryl has worked in multinationals, including Elders IXL, Levi Strauss, Cathay Pacific Airways, KBR, Downer EDI, and for Bechtel and Ove Arup on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Project.

Cheryl is on the board of the Antarctic Science Foundation and has also served on the Board of Lifeline Northern Beaches. She was its Chair for two years and continues to be involved in the work of Lifeline. She attained a Master’s in Organisational Psychology from the University of London (Birkbeck College) and is a member of the AICD, AHRI and a qualified mediator.