Empowering alumni leaders championing women’s healthcare needs

Discover six of our empowering leaders championing women’s healthcare needs, and find out how their work is changing the world for the better.

La Trobe has been at the forefront of women's health and healthcare since it was established. Through innovative research that's helping outcomes for women, a commitment to building a sustainable healthcare workforce, and an educational approach that empowers students to become job-ready, La Trobe is supporting our graduates to make a real impact in their communities and across the world.

Discover a few of our finest graduates who are championing women’s healthcare needs, and find out how their work is changing the world for the better.

1) Gen McGlashan, Vice President of the Australian College of Physiotherapists

Currently serving as one of the two Vice Presidents of the Australian College of Physiotherapists, Gen McGlashan is a Specialist Women's, Men's and Pelvic Health Physiotherapist (as awarded by the Australian College of Physiotherapists in 2010) and was founding co- Director of Fitwise Physiotherapy – a large private Women's, Men’s and Pelvic Health practice.

With over 25 years of experience, Gen is passionate about empowering women to achieve their health goals, specialising in pelvic health and safe exercise programs for women of all ages.

Her active engagement in the Australian Physiotherapy Association committees, supervision of university students, and advocacy work reflects her commitment to creating a sustainable career pathway for fellow physiotherapists.

With a focus on fostering strong relationships within APA national groups and collaborating with stakeholders, Gen McGlashan continues to shape the future of pelvic health and inspire positive change in the physiotherapy community.

Gen holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy) from La Trobe University.

2) Ros Ben-Moshe, Laughter wellness, positivity expert and academic

Ros Ben-Moshe is an internationally recognised laughter wellness and positivity expert, inspiring people to embrace intentional laughter for positive life transformation. As an adjunct lecturer at La Trobe University, she shares her knowledge in positive psychology and health promotion. Ros is a Global Laughter Ambassador and frequent commentator in Australian media, as well as an author.

With over two decades of experience, Ros has researched the health impacts of laughter therapy for seniors in aged care facilities through her Laugh out Loud program and also patients undergoing dialysis treatment. She coordinates the first ever Australian Laughter, Resilience, and Wellbeing online short course for professionals at La Trobe. Her most recent book is The Laughter Effect: How to Build Joy, Resilience and Positivity in Your Life. Ros Ben-Moshe's dedication and expertise continue to spread the benefits of laughter for wellbeing across Australia.

Ros holds a Graduate Certificate in Health Promotion from La Trobe University.

3) Professor Mimmie Watts, Associate Professor and Director, Industry Cooperation, Institute of Health and Wellbeing at Federation University

Professor Mimmie Watts is an Associate Professor at Federation University. A dynamic Public Health expert and academic, Professor Watts is deeply passionate about International Partnerships in Education, Health, advocacy for minority people and promoting gender equality.

With a keen focus on research and health policy development, she has presented at numerous national and international conferences as keynote and actively serves on various statutory boards. Professor Mimmie Watts is the Chair, African Science Research and Innovation Council, African Union Commission, for the Australian chapter. Professor Watts has garnered recognition for her impactful work in Australia and internationally, particularly in addressing improving education for disadvantaged individuals, improving women’s health, and championing opportunities for marginalised groups.

Her areas of expertise span Health policy, Leadership, Social Inclusion, Teenage Pregnancy, Refugee Health, Migrant Women's Health, Adolescent and Child Health, and Chronic Disease Prevention/Management. Her commitment to the betterment of women’s health continues to shape a brighter and healthier future for communities worldwide.

Professor Watts holds a PhD in Public Health from La Trobe University and a Master of Public Health from the University of Melbourne.

4) Holly Gordon, Program Officer at the Australian Research Council

Holly Gordon, an experienced art therapist, community development worker, and mental health educator, has dedicated over a decade to empowering women's health and wellbeing through creative approaches. Holding a Master of Art Therapy from La Trobe University (2012), she made significant contributions at Wellsprings for Women in Dandenong, Victoria—a women-only, not-for-profit center championing social justice, human rights, and gender equity.

Holly has utilised art therapy to support women from migrant and refugee backgrounds to empower themselves into pathways to education and employment. Three of the programs Holly managed won Victorian Learn Local Awards, which recognise the transformative impact of adult community education.

Holly also implemented the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Program at Wellsprings, gaining them Gold Standard MHFA Workplace recognition. She has also trained hundreds of sector workers and volunteers, and helped set up the MHFA peer support model for Neighbourhood Houses in Southeast Melbourne, and was a finalist in the Monash Health, Health Promotion Awards in 2021.

Holly is also facilitating the MHFA program in her new role as Project Officer at the Australian Research Council.

Holly holds a Master of Art Therapy from La Trobe University.

5 & 6) Rebecca Liberatore & Karina Coffey, Co-Directors of Melbourne Pregnancy and Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy

Rebecca Liberatore and Karina Coffey are the Directors of Melbourne Pregnancy and Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy. With their combined commitment to women’s health, they’ve held leading positions and gained extensive experience since graduating from La Trobe.

In 2022 Karina and Rebecca launched ‘Pregnancy and Pelvic Physio Mentor’, a mentoring program aimed at post-graduate physios both in Australia and Overseas to provide ongoing clinical support and education educate in the pelvic health field and in
business development. Also in 2022, both Karina and Rebecca were awarded Victorian State Finalist in the prestigious Telstra Best of Business Awards.

Rebecca is a Clinical Expert Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist and co-director of Melbourne Pregnancy and Pelvic Floor Physiotherapy. With extensive clinical experience in the private and public sectors, she has held leading positions at Mercy Health and Western Health. She successfully designed and implemented the first Physiotherapy-led Advanced Practice Service in Urogynaecology, earning a Highly Commended award at the Victorian Public Healthcare Awards in 2019.

Rebecca's qualifications include a Graduate Certificate in Sports Physiotherapy and expertise as a Clinical Pilates instructor. With over seven years of experience in treating women with breast cancer and Lymphoedema, she is a seasoned practitioner with a passion for women’s health.

Karina, a dedicated Women's Health physiotherapist, graduated from La Trobe in 2007. With a specialisation in pelvic floor and continence, she’s garnered extensive experience in both Australia and the UK. Her career has seen her working at renowned maternity and gynaecology units, including St Thomas’s Hospital, University College Hospital, and King’s College Hospital in London.

Her leadership roles within Public Health Services have been instrumental in establishing the first Advanced Practice Physiotherapy in Urogynaecology clinic at Western Health, earning a 'Highly Commended' recognition at the Victorian Public Healthcare Awards.

Rebecca graduated from La Trobe University with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy with Honours (2007) and a Graduate Certificate in Sports Physiotherapy (2010). Karina holds a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (2007), a Graduate Certificate in Health Services Management (2013), and a Master of Health Care Administration (2017) from La Trobe University.