Jill Bowman

Jill Bowman

As the new chair of GFS Perth I would like to thank my predecessor Josie Steytler.  Josie has been part of GFS for many years undertaking a variety of rolls.  Josie has guided the organisation through some significant changes in recent year and should be commended for her commitment.

As I read through the history of GFS Perth I have been delighted and in awe of the courageous and entrepreneurial character of the woman who have been associated with the organisation.  They have reached out to remote communities, bought and sold properties and invested in woman and girls across the state developing opportunity for learning and leadership.

I have been a member of GFS for several years and have benefited from the support offered to me in my roles with children’s ministry in my local church. I have found the warmth offered in friendship to be very encouraging.

When the opportunity arose for me to step forward into the role of chair, I was excited by the prospect of been able to be part of the next steps GFS takes.  As with all things nothing stays the same, GFS Perth included. We need to adapt to the world finding where we can make the most difference in the lives of woman and girls.  There is a well-documented pandemic of loneliness within our communities, across the nation, in fact throughout the world.  Loneliness that can be address by a smile, an inclusive welcome, an acknowledgement, an opportunity to create a sense of belonging.

I have a strong background in the disability sector including, piloting, providing and managing community support services as well as recreational and sporting opportunities for people with a disability and their families at local and national levels.  I have been and still am, involved in community activities with a strong inclusion focus. I have worked in the not for profit area, Local Government and the State Government within a national framework of inclusive practice.

I have experience on not for profit boards over many years.  I have developed opportunities for inclusive practice at the grass roots level in local communities and am currently working alongside others internationally to build inclusive opportunities for those who have traditionally been extremely marginalised.

I understand the importance of developing and maintaining effective relationships with key stakeholders.  I have access to a large network and can identify and build alliances with relevant local and state government agencies. I come with experience in developing policy and procedures, growing volunteer support and change management.

I and have strong advocacy, training and facilitation skills.  I have a willingness and commitment to foster the development of relationships including but not limited to board members, staff, members and the targeted demographic.

I wear many hats; my favourite fun hat is that of Grandma to my 12 beautiful grandchildren.  I am a committed Christian and see the work at GFS Perth as an action of my faith.

My hope and prayer is that I can lead and encourage GFS Perth in undertaking the exciting, plans for growth and development, underpinned by inclusive practice and child safe principals. To support the healing of any hurts that may have come from the pains of change and to assist all the wonderful members to develop life giving friendships that facilitate flourishing in an inclusive environment.