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Chalk Circle’s small team is made up of passionate volunteers from all walks of life – students, professionals, disability workers, mums, farm kids, nurses, and tradies – we value diversity of ideas and people.

Michelle Noon, Ph.d

Co-Founder

Michelle has extensive experience in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors as an advisor, consultant, educator, researcher and manager. Michelle has industry expertise in justice and criminology; health promotion; preventing violence; and social change. She commenced her career at Victoria Police in research and policy, and later moved to KPMG as a Senior Advisor to Australian Federal and State Governments.

Later, Michelle worked for Beyondblue leading the Youthbeyondblue team. From here, she commenced her first executive role with White Ribbon Australia. In these capacities Michelle has developed, implemented and evaluated partnerships, projects, programs and services that target diverse groups with a particular focus on gender and young people. In recent years, her Board and Director roles have included those at Left Right Think Tank and Kingswood College in Victoria.

Michelle has a Ph.D from Swinburne University with a research focus on the fear of crime gender paradox, and is qualified as a Clinical Psychologist.  In addition, Michelle runs a small business in which she provides advisory services to not-for-profits and emergency services.  Michelle convenes two subjects at RMIT University, one in criminology and crime prevention, the second in responding to family violence. In her spare time, she provides strategic advice and support to the dedicated team at Chalk Circle, does a terrible job of playing the guitar, and travels to far-away places where she tests the boundaries of airline luggage allowances.


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ELLY TWOMEY

Executive Officer

Elly is an advocate for gender equality, and believes in the power of education to create a better world. In fact, she believes education is the most important foundation for social change. She joined Chalk Circle in 2016 because she believes that by creating a gender literate society, we can begin to break down the rigid gender roles and stereotypes that create gender inequality, drive gender based violence, and limit all of our potential. 

As well as pushing for major social change through her role at Chalk Circle, Elly is completing her Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Criminology and Gender Studies with a particular focus on the primary prevention of gender based violence. 

Elly is a proud member of the LGBTI+ community and passionate in the promotion of their rights across the rainbow. She is currently taking part in the Victorian Government's LGBTI Leadership Program. 

 


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Michelle Li, Md

Deputy Executive Officer

Michelle is a doctor working in public hospitals across Melbourne. She graduated from Monash University with Honours in a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery and has continued to be an advocate for equitable and accessible healthcare. She has a particular focus on education, gender literacy and youth engagement.

Alongside holding committee positions with several medical and women-led organisations, including the Victorian Medical Women's Society, she has facilitated violence prevention programs and advised State Government on LGBTI policy.

A published writer and fiction editor, Michelle enjoys the vibrant arts scene in Melbourne – though not, perhaps, as much as she enjoys its food. She endeavours to eat her way across the city, one smashed avo at a time.

Michelle always wished that these gender literacy conversations came up earlier in her life. Volunteering with Chalk Circle means that she can see this being achieved with the next generation.


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Kate Balharrie

Kate is in the final semester of her undergraduate studies at the University of Melbourne. She is undertaking a Bachelor of Arts – Major in Media and Communications, Minor in Law and Justice and Diploma of Languages (German). Kate hails from Ballarat, but unfortunately does not (yet) have a stock of their Sovereign Hill raspberry drops on hand for meetings. She loves coffee dates and plant sales, in that order. 

Kate has always felt passionate about gender equality and has enjoyed discovering more and more about the issue through her studies and life experiences. Kate appreciates the power that language and conversation can have in shaping one’s identity, and so is glad to have the opportunity to do something about that conversation.


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Morgan Zhou

Morgan completed her undergraduate studies at Monash University, specialising in communications and law. She is extremely passionate about gender equality, particularly issues that surround diverse media representation. She is of the firm belief that gender norms and biases effect everyone, and that gender literacy amongst young people is the solution.

She has worked with institutions that promote social inclusion through both policy-making and practical work. In her spare time, Morgan enjoys long walks on the beach, eating her body weight in breakfast foods, and crushing the patriarchy.

 


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Bridget fejes

Bridget is currently completing her bachelors degree in fine arts. She intends to use her visual arts practice and knowledge as a way to engage with the emotion and experience of others. She is interested in alternative methods of healthy communication and expression, and is always looking to better enhance the way both herself and others are able to express themselves.

Bridget volunteers for chalk circle as she enjoys being active in her community and believes that change comes from open conversation. Having always had a strong drive to empower women and to advocate gender-equality, chalk circle allows her to engage in this constant conversation and to be active in listening and learning more about the experience of others.


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Julian petito

Julian is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies at RMIT, focusing on social and gender studies. He joined Chalk Circle as an intern with experience in working with humanitarian organisations such as Oxfam, taking the opportunity be involved in important and impactful work with young and marginalised people. Passionate about contemporary social issues, Julian recognises the priority of educating the next generation in which understandings of gender norms and dynamics play a very important part.

Julian enjoys film and literature, and has endeavoured to get involved in community activism through volunteering at local elections and with grassroots organisations like the ASRC. Having relocated from Adelaide in 2015, he continues to enjoy exploring Melbourne’s diverse food and youth cultures.


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Aquila van keuk

Aquila has just completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne, with a major in Gender Studies and a particular focus on the prevention of gender-based violence. 

In addition to her studies, Aquila has worked both locally and internationally of Community Development projects related to adolescent sexual health, women’s empowerment/capacity-building, and the primary prevention of violence against women. 

Aquila is just about to head off to India for 6 months. During this time she’ll intern at an NGO that works to prevent violence against women through men’s behaviour change, and will complete an intensive Hindi course.

In her spare time Aquila loves cooking/baking delicious vegan treats (she makes a mean vegan cheesecake!) and hanging out with her Labrador/best-friend, Zambia.


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SARAH ANASTASI

Sarah completed a double degree in Arts and Commerce at Australian Catholic University, majoring in Human Resources and Literature. Her studies in Human Resources and time volunteering at VIC ICT for Women made her realise her passion for equality, and she hopes to do her part to promote equality through her work in Human Resources.

In her spare time Sarah can be found in two possible forms: either a hermit, binge-watching embarrassingly large amounts of Netflix at a time; or a social butterfly, travelling around Melbourne to find the best brunch and hiking spots with friends for her neglected Insta-blog. Her goal is to become Insta-famous enough to get free brunch. It isn’t working.  

"I believe that Chalk Circle’s work is important, because we live in a society where equality shouldn’t have to be debated, yet still is. By working with society’s youth, we can help prevent the biases that create such inequality. Hopefully, we can make the world a place where people don’t need to question their place in society."


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JULIA CHEAH

Julia is very much interested in innovative ways that we can bring about social change and it is this curiosity that has led her to Chalk Circle.

In her work as a Clinical Psychology PhD Candidate and Researcher at Swinburne University, she uses a youth participation framework to develop novel programs for young people in early psychosis.

She is also training as a Clinical Psychologist, where her interests lie in working with, and empowering people from vulnerable communities.

Prior to this, Julia lived in London where she worked in project roles for two dynamic grassroots organisations in the urban renewal and criminal justice sectors.