Our speakers and presenters are acknowledged nationally and internationally as leaders in their fields.
The Executive Challenge Academy (ECA) faculty is a close team who complements and builds upon each other’s work across the programs to ensure a holistic participant experience. Special presenters and speakers are invited in response to emerging issues or transformational change agendas.
Mark Strom loves life-giving ideas. He has a rare gift for sparking and animating new conversations. Mark has been doing this for over thirty five years with parents, communities, businesses and government leaders. Mark’s ability to breathe new life into ideas and conversations is grounded in his own story. After a childhood marked by chronic illness and little formal education, he moved on to a first career as a truck driver and labourer.
Mark is a story-teller who studied philosophy and history culminating in a PhD in the history of ideas. His research constituted a major study of the roots of modern leadership complexities in the traditions that shaped western thought and society. He has advised senior leaders in mining, infrastructure, science, finance, government, education et al on strategy, innovation and engagement.
Mark has extensive high-level experience speaking and leading workshops with some remarkable people such as McKinsey Global Partners, Harvard Club (Brussels), World Presidents Organisation (Vatican), RVVZ Foundation (Armenia), JPMorgan MDs (London) and TEDx (Geneva).
Mark helped found the renowned strategic design firm Second Road and served as its CEO. From 2005-10, Mark was CEO of Laidlaw College where he led the most far-reaching changes in vision, strategy, branding, stakeholder relations, operations and culture since the college began in 1922, and continues to be recognised in NZ as a rangatira by Maori and Pakeha elders. His most recent experience was as Thought Leader on Innovation and Leadership for Accenture Strategy. His latest book is Lead with Wisdom (Wiley, 2014) and you can catch a glimpse of his iconic thinking and style in his TEDx talk. Mark is well-regarded as a strategist, designer, speaker, leadership adviser and historian of ideas grounded in personal CEO experience.
Mark’s current role is as carer to his wife Sue who suffered a debilitating stroke a year ago. He works a day or two gardening, designing gardens, removing rubbish, and building and fixing furniture and, much more rarely, joining in with groups like yours.
Amanda Sinclair is an author, researcher, teacher and consultant in the areas of leadership, change, gender and diversity. Currently a Professorial Fellow, Amanda held the Foundation Chair of Management (Diversity and Change) at Melbourne Business School, The University of Melbourne from 1995 - 2012.
Her books include: Doing Leadership Differently (1998); New Faces of Leadership (with Valerie Wilson, 2002); Leadership for the Disillusioned (2007); and Leading Mindfully (2016). Her latest book with colleague Christine Nixon is Women Leading (2017), which explores the many lessons to be learnt from women who, over centuries and generations, have led change.
With extensive coaching and consulting experience, the focus of much of Amanda’s recent work has been on introducing new approaches to leadership which incorporate insights and evidence from meditative traditions, mindfulness and neuro-scientific research. She has worked with organisations and leadership teams across a wide range of sectors – in corporate, medical and hospital, police, school, union, judicial, university, government and local government settings. As a yoga and meditation teacher her intent is to support people to explore new, sustainable ways of being in leadership. Her four adult children, partner and assorted other animals help her focus on what matters.
Cheryl is one of the National Trust’s 100 National Living Treasures. She was Leader of the Australian Democrats from 1993-1997 and the member for Dickson and a Labor Shadow Minister from 1998-2001.
Her political portfolios included, amongst others, Indigenous Affairs, Treasury, Employment, and Women’s Policy. She played a major parliamentary role in the introduction of compulsory superannuation and Native Title. Her policy interests have been in social justice and social structural reform.
Christine Nixon is a former police officer who was the Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police between 23 April 2001 and 27 February 2009, being the first female Chief Commissioner in any Australian state police force.
After leaving Victoria Police, she was appointed chair of the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority in February 2009 until she stood down from the position in July 2010.
Principal & Facilitator
Before leaving the public service, Jan Archer was the Deputy Commissioner for Fair Trading in Queensland.
She had previously completed significant reform agendas within the criminal justice system, most recently with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, but also with the Department of Corrective Services and the Queensland Police Service.
Jan’s experience includes other significant change management responsibilities including the amalgamation of two local government councils into one new entity; the establishment of new Divisions and transitioning of organizations as part of major government restructures; and the creation of new shared service models and integrated corporate service delivery for four government departments.
Much of Jan’s work in the university, public and community sectors has focused on innovation, reform and the ways in which leaders of public, private and community organizations can engage in adding value to their enterprises.
Jim has senior executive level government experience.
This includes as CEO, in a number of Queensland and Victorian government departments as well as experience in private and community sector organisations. Jim has been elected as the National Chair of the Australia India Business Council. He is also chairing an independent national review of the MoU with the red meat industry for the Red Meat Advisory Council.
John is a professional, trusted advisor to boards, CEOs and business-owners. He specialises in not-for-profit, professional services, primary production, water industry and Government owned businesses.
John has over twenty years’ experience in business management. He has held head of business, chief executive, Chairmanship and directorship roles in a range of companies from multinationals to SME in Europe, Australia and the US.
John specialises in working with boards, CEO’s and shareholders in businesses at a point of inflection due to growth, disruption or business performance. He brings specialisation in governance, communications, business management, investment and stakeholder engagement gained in senior executive roles at Mars Incorporated, Goldman Sachs, JBWere, Schroder’s and Capital International.
John has a strong affinity with the healthcare, not-for-profit, community, primary production and water industry sectors. He holds an honours degree in Veterinary Medicine. He is a:
- Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors
- Fellow of the Institute of Directors (UK)
- Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australia (FINSIA)
- Board leadership Fellow of the NAICD in the USA
- Member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.
John has the Company Directors Course Diploma and has completed the Mastering the Boardroom Course. John is a core, national, and international facilitator for the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has facilitated ‘not for profit’, membership based, government businesses and private companies in mergers, acquisitions, governance and board review processes. He is experienced with the issues of directors and senior managers through his work in education, governance reviews, mentoring and strategic planning.
John has worked regularly with directors and Chairmen in the healthcare, government-owned business, not-for-profit and private sectors to support their board reviews and subsequent reporting to Territory, State and Federal Governments and funding agencies. He brings understanding of the specific legal, governance, compliance and commercial issues.
Martin is an independent advisor and facilitator working at the intersection of policy, public sector management, technology and innovation.
For more than 30 years, Martin has worked in and with government agencies, non-profit organisations, universities and business organisations on policy, organisational performance and reform and social and public innovation.
He was part of the NSW Cabinet Office under Premiers Greiner and Fahey. He held positions as Chief of Staff and policy advisor to a federal Minister in the Fraser Government. He has advised Deloitte and PwC on aspects of their public sector consulting and social impact business. He holds board positions with The Australian Centre for Social Innovation, the Centre for Policy Development and, until November 2017, the Business/Higher Education Round Table.
For 13 years, he led a small team of senior consultants across Asia-Pacific as part of Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group, working with senior politicians and government leaders on the application of technology and new digital capabilities to improve policy making, service design and regulation. In 2009/10 he was a member of the federal government Government 2.0 Task Force.
Martin was one of the three members of an independent panel, chaired by former NSW Premier Nick Greiner, appointed to advise the NSW Government on future directions for regulatory policy reform. The panel reported in September 2017. He also chairs the NSW Digital Government Advisory Panel and the Expert Advisory Group for the federal Department of Human Service Welfare Payments Infrastructure Transformation program (WPIT).
A writer, blogger and conference speaker, in 2014 Martin co-authored a book with former Federal Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner, Changing Shape: Institutions for the Digital Age.
Paul ‘t Hart
Paul ‘t Hart is currently Professor of Public Administration, Utrecht School of Governance, Utrecht University, the Netherlands as well as Associate Dean of the Netherlands School of Government.
He was Professor of Political Science at the Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University (2005-2010). He has been a professor of Public Administration at Leiden University and has had visiting positions at the universities of Oxford and Stockholm as well as the Swedish Defence College.
Robbie has almost 20 years of experience designing and delivering innovative, transformational leadership and talent development programs for a diverse range of organisations and sectors.
His passion is helping individuals and organisations develop the capacity to solve their own problems and overcome the complex challenges they face, using their ingenuity, skill and innovation. The key to this is the ability to learn and adapt in real time, which requires openness, curiosity, experimentation, and resilience.
After Robbie migrated from Scotland to Australia in 1989 he gained extensive experience in both the corporate world and the NGO sector, including managing the Big Sister/Big Brother youth mentoring program for 6 years. For over a decade Robbie was an Executive for Australia’s oldest NGO, the Benevolent Society, where he was Director of Australia’s leading NGO social leadership consultancy, Social Leadership Australia.
Robbie teaches executive level Public Servants with both the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG), on their popular ‘Towards Strategic Leadership’ program. Robbie is an experienced and effective executive coach who has worked with hundreds of senior executives across all sectors, as well as coaching a range of senior executive teams. With his Dutch colleague, Prof. Paul ‘t Hart, Robbie works annually with senior Dutch public servants at the Netherlands School of Government (NSOB). Robbie works with a number of Australia’s major corporations including NAB, CBA, Telstra, BP,Australia Post, Medibank, BHP-Billiton and REST.
Robbie is an Associate of the Australian Institute of Police Management (AIPM) and is lead facilitator of their ground-breakingPolice Leadership Strategy (PLS), developing Police Commissioners across Australia and NZ. He also works regularly with senior global counter-terrorist agents both in Australia and overseas on the Leadership in Counter TerrorismProgram (LiNCT); and has delivered programs for emerging Indigenous leaders; young Muslim leaders, and community leaders in various cultural communities; and works with numerous government departments and agencies in NSW, QLD, Victoria and NT. He is on the teaching faculty of the Australian Adaptive Leadership Initiative (AALI), which runs Masterclasses for practitioners of the Adaptive Leadership model across Australia.
Robbie is a graduate of the Art of Practice of Leadership Development at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; an accredited facilitator of the Global Leadership Wellbeing Survey, The Leadership Circle; Team Management Systems; and an accredited facilitator of the Deep Democracy process. His work has taken him to South Africa, US, UK, and Netherlands, as well as all state and territories in Australia. Robbie brings passion, warmth, humour and creativity to his work. When he is not undertaking his work Robbie enjoys cycling and jogging around Sydney, listening to his eclectic music collection, watching series of outstanding HBO/Netflix television, and most importantly spending time with his 3 teenage daughters and wife, Jeannie. On a good day he is able to cover all of these pursuits, and rest well.
Professor Sohail Inayatullah is the UNESCO Chair in Futures Studies. He is a political scientist/futurist at Tamkang University, Taipei; an Associate at the Melbourne Business School, the University of Melbourne; and Adjunct Professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia.
From 2011-2014, he was Adjunct Professor at the Centre for policing, counter-terrorism and intelligence, Macquarie University, Sydney. From 1981-1990, he coordinated the futures research program at the Hawaii Judiciary.
Inayatullah has authored and co-edited twenty-four books/CD-ROMs, including: Asia 2038 (2018); Transformation 2050 (2018); What Works: Case Studies in the Practice of Foresight (winner of the most significant work for 2016, the Association of Professional Futurists); and, CLA 2.0 (2015): Transformative Research in Theory and Practice (2015). Inayatullah has written more than 350 journal articles, book chapters, encyclopedia entries and magazine editorials. His articles have been translated into a variety of languages, including Catalan, Spanish, Urdu, Hindi, Bengali, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Indonesian, Farsi, Arabic, and Mandarin.