Committee of Governance

Committee members are drawn from the local community and bring a variety of professional skills or local knowledge to their voluntary work. The Committee of Governance governs CNLC and sets its overall strategic direction, mission and values.  The commitee is transparent and accountable for all matters pertaining to CNLC and is responsible for monitoring financial and organisational viability and compliance with all legal and ethical obligations. Meetings are usually held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at 6pm.

If you are interested to volunteer on the Committee, we welcome expressions of interest. Please complete an expression of interest form, and send it to the Executive Officer at



Denise Patience, Chair

Denise has been teaching English to international students at RMIT REW since 2015. Prior to this, she owned and operated a small retail business for 17 years. Going back even further, she worked as a producer in the film and television industry, with her own production company. Although these jobs may at first seem quite disparate, they share the common threads of communication and creativity, and provide the wealth of experience that she brings to the Committee.

Carlo 2 colour

Carlo Zabotto, Treasurer

Carlo is a comparatively new committee member, appointed in May 2019. Born in Melbourne, to Italian migrants, he has lived in the Carlton/Fitzroy area for over 30 years, and studied at the University of Melbourne obtaining a degree in Electrical Engineering and a MBA. He has extensive corporate experience with a number of multinational companies and has expertise in the areas of Strategy, Business Planning and Business Development. He loves the community spirit of inner Melbourne and has two children both raised in the local community.

Karen West, Secretary


Alberta Gray 1 colour

Alberta Gray

Alberta has worked and volunteered in multiple community settings and feels strongly about challenging disadvantage and creating stronger communities. She loves spending time in the CNLC garden with Michelle. Alberta holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Masters of Law from Monash University.



Leanne O’Donnell

Leanne joined the Committee in June 2020. She is a non-practising lawyer,  working in the telecommunications sector with a focus on regulatory affairs.  She has a long-standing interest in matters where human rights, technology, law & policy intersect.

Leanne is a long-term resident of Carlton.  In the non-profit sector, she has been a member of a board which provides services for women experiencing homelessness and has been actively involved in digital rights organisations.




Nicholas Manuelpillai

Nicholas joined the Committee in 2020. He is a medical doctor practising in Melbourne and has been living in Carlton and Carlton North since 2013. Nicholas has bachelor degrees in Commerce, Engineering and Medicine and has recently completed a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology at the University of New South Wales. He has worked and studied internationally, and recently returned from The Netherlands where he helped build digital health programs for developing countries. Nicholas believes in the importance of community organisations in advocating for, and meeting, local needs and is excited to contribute to the work of the CNLC.

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