Meet the Board of Directors

Emily Milton Smith

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. 


Michelle Kothe

Board Chair

Michelle has a background and qualifications in law and marketing/commerce but her professional focus is digital technology and software engineering, a field in which she has worked for over 20 years. Michelle has long term experience as a company director and executive in technology businesses, including cofounding a successful technology startup. She is extremely passionate about womens' participation in STEM fields including bringing the Greenlight For Girls program to Australia.
In addition to a wide range of professional experience, Michelle also has a passion for the not for profit sector. She has been involved in Guiding at local, region and state levels for over 40 years and also currently sits on the ACT National Science Week committee which she has chaired in the past. She has also previously been in management and frontline roles in organisations such as St John's Ambulance and the Australian Breastfeeding Association. 

Lisa Walters

Honorary Treasurer

A senior executive and Chartered Accountant Lisa is a graduate of the Australian Company Directors Course, Lisa has demonstrated financial management and reporting skills with a strong background in reporting and decision support at a Board level. 
She possesses strong operational cross functional knowledge including Finance, Information Technology, Human Resources and Sales and Marketing and has proven business development capabilities including the strategy development and implementation.
Lisa brings a fresh and modern perspective to Guiding.  She has extensive corporate and not for profit experience which, combined with her Guiding experience and “can do” attitude means she truly understands the needs of Guiding.

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.


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.


Race Barstow

Elected Director (Casual Vacancy)

Race has over 18 years working with and on boards and community groups facilitating community engagement and innovation. Through her community involvement, Race has remained a passionate advocate for women and girls, particularly in providing platforms and avenues for women to develop and grow in self and leadership.
An experience Business Manager, Race is an innovator and creative at heart and brings with her a background as a Rehabilitation Counsellor and Career Practitioner. She understands the complexities in managing programs and operations which provide direction and profitability while ensuring sustainability and overall holistic well-being to individuals and stakeholders.
Race is currently District Manager of East Maitland where she was previously a Unit Leader. She has served on the Governance Committee of Girl Guides NSW, ACT & NT since mid 2022.

Nav Johal

Elected Director (Casual Vacancy)

Nav is a human resources and policy professional by background. Nav commenced her career in the private sector, followed by over a decade in senior business partnering and human resources roles in various NSW Government agencies.
Nav has extensive experience enabling organisations to deliver their strategic plan, build leadership capability and high performing teams, specialising in talent management, change management, governance, inclusion and diversity. Nav holds a Master’s in Leadership and Management and governance certifications.
Nav has volunteered for various not-for-profit organisations. Some previous roles include: mentor to the Girl’s Advisory Panel, District Manager and member of Girl Guides Australia Asia Pacific Conference Team 2022. Currently, Nav is serving on the Governance Committee Girl Guides NSW, ACT & NT, and for a period was a Chair. Nav is excited to continue her commitment to Guiding now in the role of Board Director, with the mission to empower future generations of women.


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.


Andrew Da Silva 

Co-opted Director 

Andrew has an undergraduate in psychology and film from Sydney University, a Masters in marketing from UTS and has studied advanced leadership and management from Harvard Business School. He is an experienced Director with expertise in marketing and strategy and has worked across various sectors including media and communications, travel and entertainment, financial services, consulting, automotive and not-for-profit. In addition to Andrew’s passion and experience in not-for-profit and community organisations, Andrew is keen to apply his skills in marketing and media strategy, customer and member experience, data analytics, segmentation and channel improvement to help deliver business results. 

Andrew is a Director of Business Consulting at EY and helps to lead their global Financial Services Transformation Team, focusing on helping organisations to improve revenue and customer experience while reducing cost and risk. 

Andrew is also a volunteer surf life saver (where is serves as a board director), is a father and is passionate about helping support and empower the next generation of girls and young women to become leaders in their world. 


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