Board of Directors

Chairperson: Darcey Watson is a compliance professional at an Australian work health and safety tech company, overseeing compliance in accordance with several international standards, as well as other certifications and endorsements. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Biomedical Science) with a double major in Microbiology & Immunology and Biochemistry, as well as a first-class honours degree in Molecular and Biomedical Science focusing on ancient viruses at the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, through the University of Adelaide. Darcey is extremely passionate about raising the profile of Science and Technology innovation within South Australia.

Deputy Chairperson: Alexi Paxinos works as Project Manager, Product Development at the South Australian Tourism Commission, where she develops new demand-driving experiences to entice visitors to South Australia. She graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) from the University of Adelaide, and has worked across a number of marketing and content roles across the private and public sector. With a firmly cemented career in tourism marketing, Alexi has won a number of awards for her work including B&T’s coveted 30 Under 30 Award for Marketing.

Treasurer: Karina Albanese is an experienced Finance and Pricing professional with a history of working in the utilities industry. She holds a Bachelor of Quantitative Finance from the University of South Australia and CPA qualifications. Karina has also served as Board Director for YWCA Adelaide and Estuary Care Foundation SA.

Secretary: Kerry Marcinkowski is an accomplished Executive Assistant, SA Regional Admin Team Lead and Facilities Manager working at WGA, a large multidisciplinary and award-winning Project Engineering firm. Kerry supports the SA Regional Manager/Director of WGA and a team of Team Administrators whilst managing facilities across two buildings. Kerry has recently completed a Diploma of Leadership and Management and is participating in the Mentor/Mentee program with NAWIC. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge from sectors such as FMCG, NFP, Manufacturing and Health. She has a passion for supporting and mentoring her team to see their potential whilst working with the utmost quality being top of mind

General Board Members:

Sian Dodd is a highly accomplished Marketing Communications professional specialising in strategic marketing, brand management, public relations, social media and communication strategies. As Group Marketing Communications Manager for Project Management & Engineering Consultancy WGA, Sian is responsible for the management and implementation of marketing communications to increase brand positioning and market share across Australia and New Zealand.

Ashleigh Dumont is an experienced Senior HR Business Partner with a background in Construction, Mining and Defence. Her current role working for Lockheed Martin Australia sees her supporting various stakeholders within some of the largest Defence infrastructure projects. Key capabilities include strong stakeholder engagement, strategic planning, organisational development and employee management; with a strong focus on diversity, inclusion and gender balance within male dominated fields.

Emily Welyhorskyj is a lawyer by trade. She initially practised law at a large corporate firm, has worked as In-house Counsel, and is now Chief Operating Officer at HenderCare. Emily is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors,  holds a Bachelor of Laws, a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, a Master of Business Administration, and is currently taking part in the Governor’s Leadership Foundation course through the Leaders Institute of South Australia.

Shelley O’Connell is the Founder and Principal of O’Connell Family Law. She is a past President and past Vice-President of the Women Lawyers’ Association (SA), former member of the Council and Executive of the Law Society of South Australia, served for several years as a member of the Country Practitioners Committee of the Law Society (SA), the Society’s Family Law Committee and its Women Lawyers Committee (of which she was the Chair). Outside of the legal profession, Shelley has sat on the Management Committee of the Halifax Street Children’s Centre & Pre-School and on the Public Fund Committee of the Adelaide University Theatre Guild.

Madhu Jeyakumaran is the Director of Think Stride, a leadership coaching & training firm that aims to build inspiring workplaces. She combines her 10-year long experience in driving people-centric change in organizations like PwC & HSBC Bank, with her expertise in proven coaching methodologies (Intelligent Leadership (TM),  Meta Dynamics/NLP (TM), etc) to help leaders & teams to shift their mindset, overcome obstacles and achieve desired outcomes. She facilitates leadership programs at the University of SA and the University of Adelaide. She is also the author of the book ‘Stride, a woman’s guide to an extraordinary career, life & leadership’.

Rebecca Bendikov is the Head of Education Programs at Lumination. Her job is centred around creating innovative student-facing programs. Her goal is to inspire and educate teachers on how to incorporate emerging technologies into the classroom, and in turn, contribute to the development of students’ abilities in an evolving technological landscape. Rebecca is particularly passionate about ‘sparking the lightbulb moment’ in young Australian women and girls and introducing them to careers in STEM.

Kacy Ratta is a marketing and digital specialist who is passionate about bringing a human-centric approach to digital marketing. Kacy has led campaigns and projects at Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide Festival Centre and Illuminate Adelaide and now oversees marketing at Car Next Door as Head of Digital.

Current Spence Club Sub-Committees include:

  • Communications
  • Events
  • Sponsorship
  • Membership
  • Governance

Spence Club Board Sub-Committees can comprise members of the Board and representatives from the general membership.

If you are a current financial member of Spence Club and would like to find out more about nominating for a Board Sub-Committee, or to request an Expression of Interest form, please contact


Lauren Zwaans.

Founding Members:

Lucy Travers; Madeline Charlton; Vanessa Jeyapal.

Acknowledgement of Former Board Members:

Angie Gilchrist; Amanda Goodfellow; Leila-Hallak Low; Libby Parker; Sally Woolford; Sarah Curtis-Fawley; Ilona Schultz; Genevieve Lewis; Megan Down; Lauren Novak; Purdie Hider; Jordan Bell; Lauren Zwaans; Tamara Tomic; Kasia Jaruzelska; Lucinda Hewitson; Sally Storey; Briony Kent; Alexandra May; Sarah Collyer-Braham; Catherine Purvis; Evelyn Johns; Emma Finnie; Kelly Graham-Sutton; Rebecca Sandford; Jackie Chen; Serena Gasparini; Lisa Pritchard; Sonali D’silva; Sophie Horwood; Christina Gulliver; Bridie Letford; Candice Keller; Jamie Doran; Natasha Cheshire; Jane Creaser.