Skip to content

Women's Estate Reference Committee


Women are the largest growing cohort of the prison population. The Department has established the Women's Estate Reference Committee to advise on initiatives concerning the women’s estate and identify proposals that address specific issues.

The Committee will:

  • identify and promote opportunities to enhance the welfare and wellbeing of women in contact with the corrections system
  • advise on culturally competent and responsive services for Aboriginal women and their families
  • identify and encourage innovative service design and delivery, and the commissioning of new services for women throughout the state
  • enhance the provision of constructive services to women in metropolitan and regional prisons
  • identify options to make community corrections more effective and strike an appropriate balance between punitiveness, community safety, and rehabilitation
  • ensure continuous evaluation and improvement of programs and services delivered to women and their families
  • raise awareness about the complexity of social, economic and individual factors that are associated with female offending.

Membership of the Committee

The Committee members bring a wealth of expertise to the Department and will be able to provide advice on the specific needs of Aboriginal women prisoners, potential links with industry and the best ways to support prisoners with substance abuse issues.

Membership of Committee as at October 2015 is as follows:

  • Mala Dharmananda, Chair, Department of Corrective Services
  • Mary Cowley, Aboriginal Family Law Services
  • Ashley Reid, Ngala
  • Karen Shepherd, Barrister and Solicitor
  • Karen Farley, Legal Aid Western Australia
  • Laurel Sellers, Yorgum Aboriginal Corporation
  • Deidre Willmott, Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Mandy Wilson, Curtin University
  • Gningala Yarran-Mark, United Group Limited

For any queries please contact the Committee's secretariat at

Page last updated: 17-Oct-2016