Season 5

lead women

Kate Wickett: All boats rise with community-centred leadership

Kate Wickett, Former CEO, Sydney WorldPride, believes the growth opportunities you can access through volunteering are invaluable. Plus, she shares the gaps and gains in diversity and inclusion, and her success formula to not only back yourself but also the person standing next to you.

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Season 4

Kristal Kinsela, Owner, Kristal Kinsela Consulting, is a proud Jawoyn and Wiradjuri woman. In working with corporate and government organisations, she's helping to bridge critical gaps between Indigenous people and other Australians in the business landscape.

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Australian newsreader, Walkley Award-winning journalist and social justice advocate Tracey Spicer explores how machine learning is reinforcing gender bias in her latest book, Man-Made. Discover the lessons from the past and opportunities we have now to create a more equal and inclusive future.

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By-the-book crisis management went out the door for most leaders when COVID-19 hit. Felicity McGahan, Group Chief Executive Officer of Strand, shares how she and her team adapted in a time of uncertainty.

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Tarsi Luo, Founder of Seed Planet, has navigated a unique path to leadership. In balancing her Eastern and Western identities, she was faced with two options: change her name to mask her identity or start her career over from scratch.

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Michele Adair, CEO of Housing Trust, Chair and non-executive director takes us on her zigzag leadership journey sharing heartwarming stories of generational strength and the lows of falling on hard times with homelessness.

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From the depths of academia to scaling Silicon Valley and navigating the breadth of boardrooms, Genevieve Bell AO, Director of the School of Cybernetics and Founder of 3A Institute, shares her three-part formula to great leadership.

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Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith, astrophysicist, author and Australian Government Women in STEM Ambassador, shares how family and community are key to engaging children in STEM and creating clear pathways for young women in the space.

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For Alisi Tutuila, Founder and Managing Director of Aspire Indigenous and Chairperson of Aboriginal Housing Company, communication is key in creating positive outcomes for Indigenous youth. Driven by a deep sense of responsibility, she's working to make lasting change in the community.

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Angela and Tarla, Co-Founders of Agenda Media, are at the helm of a 100% women-owned independent media company. They share their journey from early career uncertainty to tapping into their purpose, finding their flow and igniting their entrepreneurial spirit.

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Season 3

Amanda Healy, CEO and Founder of Kirrikin and Founder of Warrikal, is an Aboriginal woman of the Wonnarua nation taking the fashion world by storm. Amanda draws deep connections to country through fashion and encourages us all to be fierce.

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Shivani Gopal, CEO and Founder, The Remarkable Woman, is helping women channel their ambition into reality. In this reverse interview with Leading Women's host, discover how Shivani is blazing a trail as an entrepreneur, speaker, advocate and business thought leader.

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With over 35 years of leadership experience, Josephine Sukkar AM, Principal, Buildcorp, continues to be influential in the Australian business landscape across commercial, sporting, the arts and not-for-profit arenas. Sharing an insightful story on service-based leadership, Josephine delves into the importance of staying relavent and what makes an effective leader.

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As CEO, Arrilla Indigenous Consulting and Partner and Board Member, KPMG, Shelley Reys AO is driving change to leave a legacy of a more culturally inclusive Australia. Shelley insists that diversity is not simply challenging the status quo, it's about having more informed discussions that lead to making more informed decisions.

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Sallie Jones, Co-Founder and Director, Gippsland Jersey, is driving social change in rural mental health and encouraging a culture of kindness. Discover how Sallie leads with courageous conversations and embraces the power of the breath, and how a humble piece of butchers paper plays a role in igniting change.

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It's imperative to focus on the compass not just the clock, according to Jane Adams, Executive General Manager, Human Resources for Technology Operations, CommBank. Jane discusses how ambition drives growth, the importance of giving girls in STEM relatable experiences, the value of career sponsorship and how your skills sit in a box called your mindset.

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Sally-Ann Willams, CEO, Cicada Innovations, shares how she seeks out murkiness and ambiguity in her roles to effect meaningful change. Blending her purpose-based leadership style and self-awareness, Sally-Ann steps up when others believe in her and is passionate about improving Australia’s economic base.

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Lucy Foster and Catherine van der Veen, both General Managers, Strategy and Growth, Challenger Limited, talk about combining their formidable yet distinctive leadership styles to redefine the narrative of leadership and designing their roles to suit them.

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Di Mantell, CEO, Celsus, the Royal Adelaide Hospital, is blazing the leadership trail in building sustainable social infrastructure and dissolving the hierarchy from the very top. Di shares how she champions diversity, challenges the norms of what leadership should look like and celebrates every win of her team along the way.

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Tory Archbold, CEO and Founder, Powerful Steps, shares how her values, passion and integrity drives everything she does. From launching the world's biggest retail names like Zara in Australia to coffee dates with the White House, Tory talks about the power of your networks, owning your own story and trusting your intuition.

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Season 2

Stella Avramopoulos, CEO, Good Shepherd, shares how she relentlessly drives innovation to disrupt systemic road blocks and how we can all find a golden thread in someone to start an authentic conversation to build a shared purpose.

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Kathy Richardson, Executive Director, Our Community, talks about her have-a-go attitude for harnessing curiosity, how a team-shared manifesto guides her leadership and an insight into the staggering $100 billion world of not-for-profit grants.

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Samantha Read, CEO, Chemistry Australia, believes backing yourself can be your greatest super power. She shares how leading with strategic thinking and creating formidable partnerships can ensure a more sustainable future.

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Brigid Price, Founder, Rural Resources Online, talks about diversity in agriculture and leading an intergenerational rural family business, with insights on the value of storytelling, the responsibility of stepping up and the role technology plays in the succession of emerging leaders.

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Clare Morgan, Executive General Manager Small Business Banking, CommBank, shares how redefining what success looks like to you supports self-leadership. Clare gives insights into leading from the eye of a GFC storm and the one simple factor that can derail your leadership.

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According to Judith Barker, CEO, St John Ambulance Australia (NT) Inc., saying "yes" can unlock possibilities beyond our expectations. Along Judith's journey, she's found empathy plays a crucial role for all and that leadership can come from anyone at any time in the workplace.


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Find out how Gill Minervini, Director, Vivid Sydney and Gill Minervini Creative, creates memories that last long after the lights go out. Gill covers why bringing stakeholders on the journey is vital and her secret superpower that gets her through everything.

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Tanya Van Der Water, CEO, Buckaroo Leatherworks, talks about the advantages of failing fast, the power of a brand story and the responsibility of delivering quality Australian-made products.

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Leading teams with a focus on results and outputs is where Kelly Taggart, CEO, Roses Only Group, has truly excelled. Kelly shares the importance of a considered hiring process and onboarding experience, and how instilling an owner's mindset encourages the team to thrive.

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Cecily McGuckin, CEO & Managing Director, Queensland Steel & Sheet, is the only female CEO in the steel manufacturing industry. Cecily leads with integrity, gut instinct and a no-ego rule as the foundations for a successful culture. Here, she dives into how we can build leadership confidence through tough experiences.

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Season 1

Shadé Zahrai, Director and Chief Positive Influencer, Influenceo Global Inc, shares her experience of and research on imposter syndrome, women's tendency to focus on the gaps and what's possible when we play to our strengths.

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Tanya Denning-Orman, Director of Indigenous Content, Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) Australia, talks about the importance of bringing your whole self to work and how respect, inclusion and a focus on the legacy we’re leaving should factor into every decision we make. 

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Priscilla Rogers, Director and Co-Founder, DOFTEK, shares her experience of delivering vital solutions and the excitement that comes with it. Plus, she talks about the challenges of navigating career junctures and her tactics to thrive in high-risk and high-stakes environments.

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Sian Lewis, Group Executive Human Resources, CommBank, shares insights into the opportunities of career sequencing, the power of transferable skills, making brave calls and backing your decisions.

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Mary Hamilton, CEO, Hugh Hamilton Wines, talks about her unique leadership path with stories of tenacity, sideways transitions and embracing mistakes to find your place in leadership.

 

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Louise Adams, Chief Operating Officer Australia and New Zealand, Aureconshares, believes authentic and collaborative leaders create a followership and lay the foundation for a solid team fabric. Plus, Louise talks about the power of visibility for leading in a new era.

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The inspirational Caitlin Figueiredo, Founder and CEO, Jasiri Australia, shares the key to shaping our democracy, the power of the collective and her magical moment with Meghan, yes, Duchess of Sussex, that will inspire us all.

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Julie Drago, CEO, Hero Properties, shares why the relationships we've built are worth nurturing, how to be seen and heard in a male-dominated industry, and the importance of being involved at an industry level.

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Anna Marsden, Managing Director, Great Barrier Reef Foundation, dives into navigating lightning strike moments in leadership, quietening our inner critic and embracing dual psychology to thrive in the new normal of business. 

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The essential leadership podcast

Shift your leadership goals from aspirational to actionable. We unearth the real, rich and relatable experiences of Australia's most inspiring women across the business and community landscape.

Join our hosts Shivani Gopal, CEO and Founder of Elladex (Seasons 3, 4 and 5), Rebekah Campbell, serial entrepreneur, author, speaker and mentor (Season 2) and Shade Zahrai, award-winning business woman and leadership expert (Season 1), as featured guests offer sage advice for your leadership toolkit.

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Keep reading

lead women

Jalbi Australia: how lifelong friends seek to change the supply chain

Beyond neatly packaged and botanically scented products, Jalbi Australia offers more than meets the eye. Founders Mandy Gadsdon and Kym Hawkins share a deep desire to give back to the community in a tangible way through their business.

Women leader

AI-led mental health companion drives greater inclusion

Founder and technology pioneer, Esha Oberoi, understands the power of technology to drive inclusion better than most. Her latest venture leverages AI to bring mental health support to people who need it.

women leader

How to build a personal brand and stand out

Tory Archbold, one of Australia’s most powerful publicists, shares her experiences and tips on how women can build powerful personal brands.

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Things you should know

  • Guests featured in the podcast are speaking from their personal experiences only. As this podcast has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs, you should, before acting on the content consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. CommBank does not necessarily endorse the views of a particular individual or guarantee the accuracy of the information provided.