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North Shore Temple Emanuel

a Progressive Jewish Congregation

Our Board of Directors

Meet our 2020/2021 Board of Directors

Gwen Harrison -  President






“Over the years, NSTE has given my family a sense of community in a modern Jewish context. I want to support and promote this community so that others may enjoy the same.”

Gwen Harrison is serving her sixth year on the NSTE Board, becoming Vice President in October 2016 and appointed as President in May 2018. She dedicates as much time as she can to fulfil her NSTE responsibilities each week.

With 23 years’ experience as a Patent Attorney, Gwen brings analytical and organisational skills to the Board.

Portfolio Responsibilities

  • Education, NSTE Meah Hebrew & Religion School, Chair of Executive

Current Projects / Task Forces

  • Strategic planning

Volunteering – NSTE

  • Lay leadership

Edward Baral - Vice President






“As a member, I was incredibly impressed with the approach that the board transition team was taking with the Community Conversations held in 2016.  At a time of significant change, it would have been tempting to find quick solutions but most organisational mistakes are made in haste and our board took the brave decision to step back, engage deeply with our members to truly understand their needs and wants before committing to a path forward. I respect and admire this considered and strategic approach and was keen to find out more about the team behind it. The more that I discovered, the more that I wanted to join them and help our community to navigate our way into a successful future.”

Edward Baral and his family have been members at NSTE for 15 years and recently celebrated both his son’s Bar Mitzvah and daughter’s Bar Mitzvah.  Edward is actively involved in communal life.

Edward joined the NSTE Board in late 2016, becoming Vice-President in 2018.

Currently, Executive Manager, Commercial at Westpac, Edward has a background in E-commerce, marketing, and digital media.

Portfolio Responsibilities

  • Membership & Marketing

Geoff Wolf - Vice President







"NSTE is at a unique point in its history and I am honoured to join the Board of Directors and make a contribution to the organisation that has provided so much to my family  and to the community."

Geoff and his family have enjoyed a lifelong association with NSTE, with his parents being founding members and Geoff meeting his wife, Jenny, in the early days of our youth groups. In later years, Geoff and Jenny married on our campus (incidentally it was the last wedding in the former Sanctuary, now occupied by the Preschool!), and they saw both their daughters attend the Preschool and experience their B’nei Mitzvah with us.

Geoff’s background is in the hospitality and hotel industry and he is currently involved in the retirement and aged care sector.

He was appointed as Vice President in May 2018.

Portfolio Responsibilities

  • To be confirmed

Volunteering – NSTE

I have been an NSTE member for most of my life and have helped in a variety of capacities over many years including:

  • Volunteering at the NSTE fetes that were held in the now Westfield carpark
  • Co-chair for several Jubilee events
  • Volunteer at many  Senior Citizens Concerts
  • Warden

Julia Selby - Treasurer/Secretary






"I hope to contribute to the long-term sustainability of NSTE for future generations, building on the work of others to maintain its welcoming presence as a Progressive synagogue for our community, as well as demonstrating a commitment to the wider community through tikkun olam. "

Julia has been associated with NSTE since her parents joined as early members in 1961, when she was in primary school.  She became a member herself over 20 years ago when she returned to Sydney after living interstate and overseas as her career developed. Since 2017 Julia has chaired NSTE’s Jews for Social Action (JSA).  Julia joined the board in 2018 and assumed the Secretary/Treasurer role in 2019.

In her career, Julia worked in student administration and management at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) from 2004-2015, and was also Company Secretary from 2008-2016. Prior to joining NIDA, she had a long career with the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), including serving overseas as a Trade Commissioner, as well as having a range of roles in Australia.

Julia’s not for profit board experience includes being on the board of an independent school for more than 10 years.

Portfolio Responsibilities

  • Finance, General Executive responsibilities, Governance, NSTE Programming Committee

Volunteering – NSTE

  • Jews for Social Action
  • Warden

Dr Catherine Fisher - Board Member







Dr Catherine Fisher, joined NSTE in 2019 and has been active in the community serving on the shammash team, participating in community-led Shabbat morning services in the COVID era and reading Torah.  She is also active in the wider Jewish community (serving as marketing co-chair for Limmud Oz and NZ Online 2020 and as a Big Sister with JewishCare.  Catherine is currently a Senior Policy Officer with the NSW Department of Education and holds a PhD in history from ANU. 

Jennifer Ruskin - Board Member







Jennifer Ruskin joined the Board in 2018. She has engaged in different aspects of the NSTE community, including playgroup, Meah and the Community Families Club since 2012. 

Drawing on her career as an academic in work-integrated learning and social entrepreneurship, as well as prior experience as a manager in the non-profit space, Jennifer brings facilitation, research and program development skills to the Board.

Portfolio Responsibilities

  • BPJE (Board of Progressive Jewish Education) director
  • NSTE60 in 2020

Volunteering - NSTE 

  • NSTE Playgroup
  • Young family service activities

Ingrid Amoils - Board Member






Ingrid Amoils joined the Board in 2018. Originally, she qualified as a Chartered Accountant in South Africa. Currently, Ingrid is the principal of Bamboo Associates, a niche strategy consultancy focused on founder-led businesses.

Ingrid has broad financial, commercial, leadership and implementation experience in a diverse range of environments. She is delighted to share this experience to assist with the advancement of NSTE's strategy. 

In prior years, Ingrid was a teacher at Meah and hence, provides additional support from the Board to the Meah director when required. 

Portfolio Responsibilities

  • Support NSTE Board strategic planning process

Volunteering (within and outside of NSTE)

  • Within NSTE - as requested 
  • Outside NSTE - since 2008, Ingrid has been a trustee of the Friends of Mthimkhulu Trust, based in South Africa, which provides support to vulnerable children.  

Robin Braun - Board Member

Rob grew up on a dairy farm in George, South Africa where he learned to milk the cows. This was a skill which he later put to good use on a kibbutz refet when living in Israel. His schooling was at SACS in Cape Town. Rob and his wife Cathy have three children. They moved to Australia in 1998.

After working in industry for 10 years, he turned to academia and is now Professor of Telecommunications Engineering at University of Technology Sydney.

Rob is passionate about turning his skills and experience to benefit the community. He is thrilled to be able to join the Board of NSTE and make whatever contribution he can.

Sat, 17 April 2021 5 Iyar 5781