Two Ballarat board members to join Women’s Governance Scholarship Program

TWO Ballarat community board members have been recognised for their devotion to the city.

YMCA board member Keryn Crebbin will join Sovereign Hill Museums Association board member Sari Baird and 32 other women to the Women’s Governance Scholarship Program. 

The state government program, which began in 2012, provides a $7000 professional development course to women serving on community boards by the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

Ms Crebbin has sat on the YMCA board for five years and is currently deputy chair. 

“This course is very significant. It sounds good because you become a member of the AICD,” she said.

“It will provide me with education and up-to-date information on the way boards operate.”

Ms Crebbin said she believed women were under-represented on community boards, however the Women’s Governance Scholarship Program would help to balance the gender gap.

“This scholarship specifically aimed at women is changing that (gender gap),” Ms Crebbin said.

“As for me for some one who is recently retired, it’s a great opportunity to stretch the mind and generate those brain cells more.”

The 59-year-old grandmother – who also sits on the BGT board as deputy chair – said she loved her role on both boards as it allowed her to give back to the community.

“The YMCA is a fantastic organisation. It isn’t just about fitness and pools, we have a really strong connection to disadvantaged people and building families,” she said. 

Ms Crebbin and Ms Baird were selected from 179 applicants who were judged on their experience as a board member and the extent to which the scholarship would assist them in attaining future leadership positions.

Ms Baird said her development would benefit Sovereign Hill. 

“I’d like to build my capabilities in understanding of context, my confidence and capacity to balance risk with opportunity, skills in influencing and communication and listening,” she said.

“My hopes are that Sovereign Hill will benefit from more effective board decisions that support the organisation’s future.”