Emma House

Board Members

Our Board

Board Chair Sue Kelly

Sue Kelly Sue has extensive experience in Human Resource Management and is the Director of HR4Business, a Human Resource Management consultancy in Geelong. Her passion for giving back to the community is achieved by contributing in a professional sense by sitting on Boards and Committees of Management which she finds very rewarding. In her volunteer roles Sue shares her broad business acumen and insight and skills in HR and people management. In addition to Emma House, Sue is currently a member of a local Football Club Committee in Geelong, is Convenor of the Australian HR Institute Geelong Network and previously sat on the Barwon Network of Neighbourhood Houses Committee of Management for many years.

Sue is an avid supporter of the work the staff at Emma House undertake and is proud to be part of an organisation which creates a difference to the daily lives of individuals affected by family violence

Board Deputy Chair Simone Renyard

Simone Renyard Simone is passionate about women and children having access to services like Emma House in times of need.  Much of her professional life has been spent in the counselling areas (B Arts – Psychology)  locally from community health, student support, after hours crisis teams and research.  She owns and operates a Dairy Business with her husband in Timboon and has Chaired a Strategic Board for the last seven years in extension and business support for dairy farmers.  She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Director’s Course.   She is very pleased to be on a Board with other purpose driven women to ensure Emma House is there well into the future for the region.

Board Secretary Leah Heinrich

Leah Headshots With a background in journalism and communications, Leah brings to Emma House 25 years’ experience in writing, editing, content creation and public relations. After many years in the media and in local government, she now works as a freelance writer, editor and content creator.

Leah is passionate about educating younger generations of women about gender inequality and what they can do to change the story, and has embarked on an advocate and campaigning journey in the family violence space, with personal experience as a victim-survivor guiding her. She has taken part in a PhD study as a victim-survivor and in 2018, presented at a state-wide family violence conference alongside prominent campaigner Rosie Batty.

Leah wants to us her experience – both personal and professional – for good as a board member of Emma House.

Board Treasurer – Sophie O’Keeffe

Sok Picture Sophie is a Registered Nurse and has worked in a variety of clinical areas including oncology, the operating suite, and rural health. She currently works as a University Lecturer. Sophie has governance experience from other local health related organisations, including in leadership positions, and she hopes to bring this experience to her role at Emma House. Sophie is passionate about rural and regional health issues including access to care and wants to use her professional and personal experiences to ensure all women and children have access to vital services such as Emma House. Sophie is very excited to be working with the Emma House team and is looking forward to contributing to the organisation’s future.


Education background: Bachelor of Nursing; Graduate Certificate in Cancer and Palliative Care; Master of Public Health and Tropical Medicine; Graduate Certificate of Higher Education Learning & Teaching; Master of Education (Leadership & Management).

Board Member – Sandie de Wolf AM

Sandi De Wolf Pic BA(hons),Dip Soc Stud, Master in Human Service Management and FAICD

Sandie has spent her professional life working with, and advocating for, vulnerable children young people, women and families, initially in the Department and since 1989, the community sector.

Sandie was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2009, received the Robin Clark Inspirational Award (2008), the Vida Goldstein Award(2001), a La Trobe University Distinguishes Alumni Award(2017) and is a life member of the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare(2001) and VCOSS(2017).

She left Berry Street in December 2017 after 26 years as CEO having significantly grown its reach, impact and reputation.

Since leaving Berry Street, Sandie has continued her contribution through the Interim CEO role at DVVIc (Dec 2018-June2019), the Deputy Chair of the Victorian Children’s Council (since 2007-2020), a member of the boards of Family Planning Victoria and Kilfinan, and the Suitability and DET Safety and Well-being Panels.

She is currently the Chair of FVREE (formerly EDVOS), You Matter and the Western Integrated Family Violence Committee.

She feels honoured to be able to contribute to achieving the vision of Emma House- a society where women and children live free from family violence.

Board Member – Tess Lye                          



Tess Lye is the General Counsel of Western Health and is the Deputy Chair of The Sexual Assault and Family Violence Centre, that offers free and confidential specialist services for adults, children and young people who have experienced sexual assault or family violence across the Barwon, Wimmera and Western Melbourne areas of Victoria. Tess is a commercial lawyer who has worked in a range of in-house legal roles in the healthcare, banking and mining sectors, and in volunteer roles in the social and affordable housing, arts and community legal services sectors.




Board Members