About us

Our Vision:
To create an empowering community for women to experience giving with impact

Our Mission:
Changing lives by empowering
women to give with impact

“Be confident. Think smart. Act big.”                                               – Colleen Willoughby

Women and Change was founded in 2014 by six women wanting to create a way for women to experience high impact giving.

The six founders were Genevieve Fraser (Warrego Pty Ltd), Joanne Garner (Strategic Grants), Lesley-Anne Houghton (Actrua) Fiona Maxwell (Powerhouse), Lesley Ray (Mater Foundation), and Heather Watson (McCullough Robertson).

The founders came together at an event held by the Australian Women Donors Network. The Network had brought the ‘mother of giving circles’, Colleen Willoughby, from Seattle to Australia to advocate for women to get involved in collective giving.

Colleen Willoughby shared her story of bringing together 100 smart, talented, and motivated women in her home city of Seattle who agreed to combine resources to tackle the most complex issues facing their community. The Washington Women’s Foundation has grown since 1995 to a circle of over 400 women.

The founders of Women and Change established their circle (then known as the Queensland Women’s Giving Circle) as a sub-fund of the People First Bank Foundation. All donations are held within a sub-fund until they are donated to grant recipients following the annual Voting Night in November each year.

Women and Change was the first giving circle established in Queensland. We are part of a growing network of giving circles in Australia bringing together like-minded people who know one large donation of collective funds has a big impact and changes lives.   This community includes the Impact 100 chapters in various capital cities and the Australian Women Donors Network.

What difference do we make?

Since 2014, Women and Change members have given more than $800,000 to charities changing the lives of Queenslanders in need.  Members have also supported charities by facilitating large in-kind donations worth over $20,000 and many contribute their time on charitable boards or as active volunteers.

Our members generosity has supported teenage carers, children suffering chronic pain, refugee women moving from welfare to work, and victims of sexual assault in regional Queensland. Read more about the organisations that have received Women & Change Grant funding here.

Our Vision: To create an empowering community for women to experience giving with impact.

Mission: Changing lives by empowering women to give with impact.


  • We facilitate high impact giving that changes lives.
  • We are a trusted and responsible custodian of member’s funds.
  • We are a responsible donor that commits funds and reports back to members.
  • We are a respectful community where meaningful conversations occur.

To find out more about becoming a member, click here.

To find out more about our Committee, click here.