Pink Belt Project Inc. is run by a Board of Management with a carefully selected range of professional skills and lived experience relevant to our work.
BOARD OF MANAGEMENT
Project Founder Kristy Hitchens
Kristy is a newspaper journalist by trade and a Communications and Policy professional having worked in the local government and sustainability sectors. She lives in the South West of Western Australia with her husband and two teenage children. She has a Black Belt in Kukkiwon Taekwondo and is now working her way through the coloured belt ranks of Goju Ryu Karate mixed with some cardio boxing for fitness.
Since launching the Pink Belt Project concept in 2018, she has collaborated with experts internationally on the evidence-backed benefits of martial arts as a tool for recovery from, and prevention of violence. Kristy also lead national research in 2021 on the health and wellbeing outcomes on training in the traditional martial arts for Australian women.
She has been an Australian of the Year (WA) nominee twice.
Kerryn is an experienced general insurance actuary, having spent time working in reserving, capital, reinsurance and risk management. She is currently working in risk management at QBE, where she is undertaking bespoke reviews, analysis of top risks, and risk appetite lifecycle management. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia, FIAA.
Kerryn holds a black belt in GKR Karate (Shodan) with over 20 years teaching and training experience. A global pandemic brought about a required break in training, however, Kerryn and her family have recently begun their martial arts circle again taking up Taekwondo. They are enjoying the new challenges and meeting new people.
Megan is the Chief Financial Officer for Good Samaritan Industries. She has over 7 years of experience in senior finance roles in the not-for-profit sector across a range of areas including youth at risk, AOD, mental health, aged care, homelessness, disability services and disability employment. In addition she has experience in senior finance roles in both the mining and retail sectors. Megan has a Masters of Accounting, is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors(GAICD) and a certified practicing accountant (CPA).
Aaron Kearney OAM
Aaron (OAM) is a multi-award-winning broadcaster, photojournalist, sports commentator, five-time New York Festival award winner, AIPS Sports Award Silver Medallist and Prodi Journalist of the Year.
He’s won a Walkley Award for emergency broadcasting and forged a career across newspapers, television, radio and social with Fairfax, Channel Seven Australia, the ABC and others.
He is the ABC International Development Director of International Engagement and works tirelessly across the Indo Pacific region to amplify the voices of indigenous populations. An inaugural Summer Fellow at Reuters Institute for Journalism at the University of Oxford, he holds a Masters Degree and Graduate Certificate from Griffith University, specialising in broadcast for development.
In 2020, he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for services to broadcasting.
Megan has more than 20 years’ experience in strategic planning, market intelligence, and advisory services. Megan was based in Asia for 14 years, managing commercial licences and providing market insights for firms such as Factiva, Thomson Reuters, and PwC. Megan also held a Director role with KPMG Singapore providing strategic advisory services across the broader Asia region.
Megan lives in Melbourne with her two children and holds bachelor’s degrees in both Commerce (Economics & Marketing) and Arts from Deakin University. She also holds a master’s degree from Monash University (Economics, Banking and Finance). She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).
Lisa-Marie is a Taekwondo Black Belt and head instructor at her club in Tasmania. She is a family violence advocate and runs Taekwondo Empowerment classes for women and girls in her local area. Through her instructing, Lisa-Marie also mentors Pink Belt Scholarship recipients.
She has a passion for getting more women into martial arts and seeing them rise through the ranks into the next generation of leaders in martial art. In addition, Lisa-Marie has experience in the early childhood and disability sectors.
Dianne, is a 6th Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo is a Commonwealth Champion and a two-time recipient of the Australian Business of the Year award. With a martial arts journey spanning over 35 years, she has played a pivotal role in developing and nurturing talents, guiding individuals from as young as 3 years old to Olympic athletes. Dianne’s expertise seamlessly spans local, state, national, and international levels, accentuated by her Level 2 International Coaching accreditation.
She is a two-time board director for Australian Taekwondo NSW, and has volunteered on the Australian Taekwondo board, demonstrating her commitment to the sport at an administrative level. Dianne’s leadership extends to being an Australian Team Coach on numerous occasions, including the Pacific Games, an Olympic run event, where she led and coached than half the team to gold.
As well as running her own successful club in Sydney, Dianne serves on the State Training Board for NSW, adding her expertise to the broader community.