The Executive Leadership team is supported to execute our strategic plan, by an experienced and committed Board of Directors.


Nerida Nettelbeck

Nerida is an accomplished executive with over 30 years’ management and leadership experience in the non-profit and social enterprise sectors. Nerida’s experience is across Consulting in Non-profit Management and Governance, delivering International Community Development, management & development of Psychiatric Employment and Social Enterprise sectors. Nerida has facilitated planning workshops with a number of organisations and is a qualified deep democracy facilitator. Nerida is a director for a number of organisations and has 15 years’ experience working with Aboriginal people in remote communities. She specialises in developing workplaces where all staff are able to perform well. Nerida also has 10 years’ experience working with people with disabilities in employment services which use innovative social enterprises to create new market economies for people excluded from the labour market.  Her areas of expertise are in governance and management, establishing new business systems and workforce development.

Qualifications: Graduate Diploma of Business (Organisational Change and Development) RMIT, Graduate Diploma of Business Deakin University, Bachelor of Economics, Monash University.

Vice President

Margherita Coppolino

Margherita Coppolino is an Intersectionality consultant.

Margherita has undertaken the Australia Institute of Company Directors training and has sat a several Boards in Executive and non-executive positions. Recently was appointed Co-Chair of ILGA Oceania & member of the ILGA World Board. In 2020, was appointed as ILGA Oceania first Disability Sub-Committee Chair and is the current Vice Chair on Drummond/&Queer-space Board.  She is the immediate past President of the National Ethnic Disability Alliances. Has been appointed two terms to the Victoria Ministerial LGBTI Taskforce in 2020 and SBS Community Advisory Committee since 2019. Previously, she held the position of Chair on Arts Access Victoria and Australia Federation of Disability Organisations (AFDO) Boards.  Non-Executive positions on Spectrum Migrants Resources Centre and Action on Disability Within Ethnic Communities, Women with Disabilities Australia and Short Statured People of Australia.

In both 2018 and 2021, Margherita was invited to be a panellist member and Moderator on the LGBTIQA side events at the United Nationals CRPD (Convention of the Rights of People with Disability) COSP11 (Convention of the State Party) & COSP13 in New York.

Margherita is a first-generation Australian born to a Sicilian mother who migrated in 1959. She was born with a Short Statured condition and is a proud feminist and lesbian.

In her spare time, you will find Margherita either taking photos, volunteering, working out in the gym, travelling wine and whisky tasting and chilling with friends.


Jennifer Brook

Jennifer is a Director at Ipsos Public Affairs Australia, a social research consultancy. She specialises in designing and executing qualitative and quantitative research that helps government and public sector clients to make better, evidence-based decisions in relation to policy, services, communications and behaviour change campaigns.  Her research areas of interest include public transport; vulnerable populations; safety & emergency preparedness; and sustainability.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Geography from the University of Melbourne, and subsequently completed a Masters of International Development and Environmental Analysis at Monash University.  Prior to working in social research, she worked in the not-for-profit sector.

She is a member of The Research Society and a Fellow of the Institute of Community Directors Australia.

Board Members

Professor Alun Jackson, BA, Dip Soc Studs, MSc, PhD.

Professor Alun Jackson is a Director of the Australian Centre for Heart Health, Honorary Professor in the Office of the Pro-Vice Chancellor Health at Deakin University; Honorary Professorial Fellow of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne; and an Honorary Professor, at the Centre on Behavioural Health at the University of Hong Kong.

Frank Lamari

Frank holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws from the Australian National University. He has also completed a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice.

Frank was first admitted to legal practice in 2004 and became an Accredited Family Law Specialist in 2013. Frank joined RNG Lawyers in 2006, became a Partner in 2013 and the Managing Partner of the firm in 2022.

Frank’s experience as a family lawyer covers all matters relating to separation, divorce, property settlements, children, child support and maintenance for married and de facto couples.  Frank is committed to resolving matters without the need or expense of court proceedings and is actively involved in representing clients in Mediations, Conciliation Conferences, round table conferences and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.

Frank also holds a breadth of experience managing and operating the running of his legal practice.

Frank is a current serving board member of Drummond Street Services (DSS) having first joined the board of DSS in May 2008. In his spare time, Frank volunteers for the Kensington Junior Soccer club as a coach for his son’s soccer team and assistant coach/referee for his daughter’s soccer team.

Martina Polaskova, BSc(Hons), MBA

Martina holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Business Administration from Melbourne Business School.

Martina has a breadth of experience providing strategic business advice to governments and the private sector in Australia, Asia, the USA, and Europe. Martina has also held a strategic marketing role in a state-owned company, helping to improve the experience of its most vulnerable clients.

Martina is currently studying a post-graduate degree in Education and is a member of the Master of Teaching Advisory Board at Deakin University. Martina has recently co-authored a paper (submitted for publication), which provides an example of how teachers can analyse a text produced by an Indigenous author to embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and culture into subject English.

In her spare time, Martina volunteers as a Scout leader in the second largest Scout Group in Victoria, supporting fifty children (aged 11 to 15 years old) through the Scouting program.

Megan Phelan, MSc, GAICD

Megan has an extensive public sector career leading policy, strategy and implementation across a broad range of social and economic portfolios. Her executive roles have spanned public health, mental health, international health and international trade and investment working in international, state and regional settings.

Megan has a strong interest in building sector, business and community partnerships around shared objectives and realising the potential of coalitions within and across industry ecosystems to achieve coherent strategy and policy and meaningful outcomes for communities.

She is committed to self determination for First Nations people and to bringing the voices and experiences of people with lived experience to her work.

Elena Campbell, Associate Director of Research, Advocacy & Policy, Centre for Innovative Justice

Elena is a lawyer, speechwriter and former political staffer who has worked in legal and social policy for over 20 years. Elena’s expertise includes family, domestic and sexual violence, therapeutic justice, women’s decarceration and human rights. 

At the CIJ Elena oversees a program of research which predominantly focuses on family violence, as well as the way in which trauma can push people into contact with the criminal justice system. In this capacity, Elena has led projects for Government departments and courts to support the implementation of recommendations from Victoria’s Royal Commission into Family Violence. 

Elena has been involved in ANROWS funded projects focusing on interventions with adult perpetrators of family violence. She is also lead researcher in a program of research focusing on young people’s use of violence at home, including the capacity of legal and service systems to respond to the complexity of need across families and communities. 

Previously Elena worked as a legal adviser and staffer in the Victorian Government and was also employed as a consultant for a range of social policy and justice organisations, including the Australian Human Rights Commission. 

Finance Subcommittee

Jennifer Brook, Alun Jackson, Frank Lamari

Chief Executive Officer

Karen Field

Bringing over 30 years of experience in developing, managing and delivering a range of evidence-based programs and services, Karen is committed to the wellbeing of individuals and families.

With experience across the public health spectrum, including primary and mental health welfare, tertiary education, employment, and justice, Karen has worked for government in Senior Policy roles, and community based organisation including Beyondblue and Centre for Adolescent Health.

Passionate about contributing to family focused public policy research and advice, Karen is building drummond street services capacity as a centre for evidence based practice and research, contributing to research and evaluation in early intervention; and representing the contribution of small NGOs.

Karen also sits on the Board of Directors of the Family & Relationship Services Australia peak-body and is the National Chief Executive of Stepfamilies Australia.