Meet the Board of Directors

Emily Milton Smith

Board Chair & State Commissioner

Emily Milton Smith is the 20th State Commissioner of Girl Guides NSW, ACT & NT. At 29 years of age, this appointment which coincidentally coincides with the celebrations of a century of Guiding in NSW, is illustrative of the Association’s commitment to its centenary theme, empowering future women. 

State Commissioner Emily Milton Smith said of her appointment: “Girl Guides empowers girls and young women to make a positive change in the community. It is a vibrant space where girls and young women develop confidence and build resilience to navigate their world. This has been at the heart of the Girl Guide movement for the last 100 years and our purpose burns bright for our next century. Every day, we shine a light on girls and young women as today’s leaders and tomorrow’s future.” 

“Like all our members, past and present, Girl Guides is part of my story. I know its impact firsthand. As a young girl, it was a place where I carved my journey and lay the foundations for the woman I am now. It is the reason I became a volunteer: to guide the next generation of girls on their own path.  

“I’m honoured to lead the organisation in its next chapter as we continue to deliver a place to grow – for every girl and any girl” concluded Emily.

Emily is an award-winning leader and education specialist in the for-purpose sector, engaged in social impact, sustainability, and youth and community services.  

With extensive experience in women's empowerment, and a research background in digital media, communication technology and visual culture, combined with professional experience in advocacy, marketing, and PR, Emily brings a unique perspective to what the Association can achieve. 


David Van Gogh 

Honorary Treasurer

David uses his corporate and risk experience to contribute to the Board’s important role in driving the empowerment of girls. He supports the Guiding model of developing leadership skills in girls through skills-based education and active community participation.

David leads Amstelveen, a specialist team of governance, risk, compliance and assurance professionals. He has 15 years of corporate experience spanning risk advisory, internal audit, corporate governance, and major technology and business change projects.

David is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has qualifications in Business Law and Technology. He was previously a Director in Deloitte’s Risk Advisory practice and has served as a Lieutenant in the Australian Army Reserve. He contributes to public policy, including on the importance of encouraging girls to undertake STEM studies.



Irini Agollari

Co-opted Director & Chair of the Risk Committee

Irini is a trained lawyer by background, with a postgrad in Economics. She brings extensive experience in risk and compliance management and has worked in the private and public sector, both in Australia and overseas. Fluent in 4 languages, Irini is a strong people-leader with a passion for digitising and building scalable systems that drive active risk management.

Irini is an advocate for gender equality and diversity, and a mother who cares deeply about sustainability, climate change, and building a world that is more equal for women.

Irini started her career in civil litigation, and quickly moved into the world of risk and compliance, first in the Commonwealth Department of Industry, and later in the private sector. She has worked across a variety of businesses where she successfully built high performing teams, developed Risk Management Frameworks and set the foundations for a strong risk culture with a focus on integrity and systems-transformation.


Virginia Brown

Elected Director

Virginia holds a qualification in Project Management and offers extensive experience in change management, risk management, stakeholder engagement and leadership. Virginia brings a pragmatic, risk-based approach to the Board. She has worked for many years in the delivery of large programs and projects, and has established and maintained strong internal and external stakeholder relationships. Virginia has a strong background in managing both perceived and actual risks.

Virginia also offers rich Guiding experience. She has been a Leader of Youth and has held various Region and State roles. Virginia has experienced the positive impact of Guiding on young women and girls, and the benefits that are a consequence of being part of an organisation that truly values its youngest members. 


Aine Leonard

Elected Director

Aine is currently a Company Director, Committee Member of a Not for Profit and is a Company Secretary and Chief Financial Officer. Aine offers rich experience in finance, compliance, legal and risk management roles. She is now working with a number of businesses to evolve their finance and governance functions at Board level, as well as within operations, financial and risk management. Aine is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds several qualifications in Governance.

As well as her rich professional experience, Aine has demonstrated a consistent passion for Guiding. In Ireland, Aine was a Brownie and Guide Leader and served as Grant Secretary, a Member of the Finance Committee and has represented Irish Girl Guides at world events for many years. She is currently a Junior Guide Leader in Haberfield.


Jo Tonon 

Elected Director 

Jo is currently a teacher in Special Education and part way through a Master of Education (Special Education). Jo has worked extensively with children from low socio-economic, First Nation and trauma backgrounds. Jo is an active member of the local Aboriginal Education Consultive Group. Prior to teaching, Jo worked as a company administrator, managing logistics and completing risk assessments. Jo was also heavily involved in managing the finances and tax activity statements for various companies.

Jo offers rich Guiding experience and has been actively participating in the governance of Guides at a region level for nearly twenty years. Jo brings extensive knowledge of the Australian Guide Program and a strong passion for Girl Guides. 


Jo Higgins 

Co-opted Director 

Jo has held a number of corporate roles in the UK, Singapore and Australia, developing capabilities across corporate strategy, marketing & brand strategy, risk & governance, product, data, privacy, organisational design and operational HR.

She’s fascinated by innovation and human-centred design. Having participated in a start-up accelerator program, she currently mentors high school and university students as they explore the innovation ecosystem.

She’s also passionate about diversity and inclusion and is proud to support a number of NFPs looking to drive a broader conversation about equity and belonging. Through her role on the Board, she’s excited to support the Girl Guide mission of empowering the future generation of female leaders.  


Bev Orr OAM 

Elected Director 

Bev has been a Girl Guide Leader and Manager for over 30 years. She has concurrently held leadership roles at local, regional, state and national levels, including as a Board Director and Company Secretary.

Bev holds a number of post-graduate qualifications in governance, leadership and business applicable to the corporate, not-for-profit and government sectors. She uses her expertise and knowledge to improve the quality of governance within organisations and mentors women throughout their governance journey.

Bev is also a recognised subject matter expert in child safety and protection. She has led and participated in domestic and international research and influenced policy development and strategic change processes as well as evaluated local and national programs and systems. Bev practically applies her expertise through her contribution to child safety by designing and implementing policies and frameworks that support child safe organisations to ensure the safety of children and youth. Her work includes her contribution to the development of the Child Safe Child Friendly Framework for Girl Guides Australia.

Outside of Guiding, Bev has been a foster carer of more than 300 children and provided support and counselling to countless others in her work as a therapeutic counsellor. Bev is a passionate advocate for marginalised and vulnerable children, working to improve their quality of life and outcomes through her involvement with several national child and family organisations.

Bev has been recognised at state and national levels for her community sector work. She was awarded ACT Woman of the Year twice, ACT Australian of the Year Local Hero, ACT Senior Australian of the Year nominee, and has received an Order of Australia Medal. 

Charlotte Weatherall 

Elected Director 

Charlotte holds a Master of Business Psychology and has extensive experience working and volunteering in several Not for Profit organisations. As well as having completed training in building corporate partnerships, Charlotte has a decade of experience connecting with Rotarians across the State and around the world. She is currently a Rotary Club Board Member and has previously held roles of President, Secretary and Membership Director for the club.

Charlotte has been a member of Girl Guides for 18 years. She is highly passionate about innovation, inclusion and the leadership skills that will empower Girl Guides members to continue thriving in all areas of their lives. 


Cecily Zhu 

Elected Director 

Cecily has been involved with Girl Guides since she joined as a youth member and she continues to serve today as a leader of her local unit. Outside of Guiding, Cecily is a nationally accredited mediator and admitted solicitor, with degrees in Law and Finance. She is the director of a dispute resolution firm that specialises in commercial and workplace conflict. Cecily helps individuals and organisations to resolve disputes effectively through mediation, facilitation, and training. She is also a lecturer of Business Law and Mediation, both in Australia and throughout Asia.

As a young member from a CALD background, Cecily has a special interest in championing diversity and brings a unique perspective to the Board. Cecily takes enormous pride in her involvement with Girl Guides as she has observed the real and positive impact of Guiding on girls and their communities. She is committed to contributing to the governance of Girl Guides NSW, ACT & NT to ensure the organisation can continue empowering girls and young women for generations to come.


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