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


 Joanna 2 colour

Joanna Buckingham

Joanna’s whole career has been in adult education. Much of that has been in dual sector universities that provide vocational and well as higher education programs, and in the development and provision of literacy courses. Additionally, responsibilities relating to strategic planning, program and people management and regulatory compliance in educational institutions have provided a relevant background for supporting the varied activities and functions of the Carlton Neighbourhood Learning Centre. Joanna loves the work of the CNLC and, while sharing her expertise, she feels that she’s always learning.


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.


Mardi Trompf

Mardi joined the Committee in 2020 as a long-term resident of Collingwood who is committed to community development. Mardi's career includes work as an engineer, project manager, procurement manager and evaluator. She has worked nationally and internationally in the private and public sectors, and in international development, since 2014. Since 2012, Mardi has run her own consulting firm targeting work where she can add value locally and overseas. She admires CNLC's strategy and values, enjoys the richness of its multiculturalism, and is grateful for the opportunity to contribute as a member of the Committee. 




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.


Julianne New



Indya McMahon

 A lawyer at a local community legal centre, Indya spends her days providing free legal advice to vulnerable and low income people in Melbourne’s inner north. Prior to this, she worked at national law firms, advising organisations on compliance, operational and legal matters. Indya is excited to contribute to the fantastic work of CNLC as a committee member, and give back to the vibrant and diverse community in which she lives and works.