As an MBA-qualified lawyer admitted to the High Court of Australia, she spent many years in senior roles in corporate settings providing insurance, risk, governance and regulatory compliance advice. Mikaela served as a company director on government boards & industry associations and also taught insurance law at Monash & Melbourne Universities where she held the position of Chief Examiner.
Five years ago, she sought a different connection with work & community and moved into the not-for-profit sector. She served as a community health service board director, and then as an NFP CEO, first of Legacy Melbourne, and later Kidney Health Australia. She is presently the Deputy Chair of CERES.
Her experience in these roles has exposed her to the challenges facing our environment, our military veterans & their families, and vulnerable groups of people in our community including those with chronic health problems. More importantly, Mikaela has also learnt about the value of cross-sectoral collaboration and of peer- and community-led solutions to complex problems.
Mikaela has founded a social enterprise called Women Can. The purpose is to assist women become financially independent by linking them to education, employment and peer support opportunities.
Skilled women engaged in meaningful employment are less vulnerable to the risks of homelessness and poverty in their later years, especially if they have financial autonomy and a sense of belonging to a community that treats them with dignity and respect.
In order to fund the social enterprise, Mikaela is building a facilities maintenance business that offers all-women qualified trades crews to facilities where vulnerable women are accommodated including residential dwellings. Mikaela has recently been accepted into the ‘Pathways to Politics’ program, the Cert IV in Building and Construction and competed the Williamson Community Leadership program at Leadership Victoria in 2018.