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Flying by an alternate path - Insights into board recruitment and governance trends with Kerryn Newton

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

Release Date: 09/18/2020

Architect Helen Lochhead AO - Building a career with purpose - Women on Honour series show art Architect Helen Lochhead AO - Building a career with purpose - Women on Honour series

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

Make every day count. That’s the advice from architect and urbanist , who was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the 2024 Australia Day Honours for distinguished service to architecture and urban design, to building regulation reform, to tertiary education, and to professional organisations.   A graduate of both the University of Sydney and Columbia University in New York, Helen is a woman who has certainly made every day count. A recipient of many prestigious travel scholarships and Fellowships including Fulbright, Bogliasco and the Harvard Lincoln/Loeb...

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Georgina Gubbins OAM, ‘The accidental farmer’ - Women of Honour Series show art Georgina Gubbins OAM, ‘The accidental farmer’ - Women of Honour Series

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

In this Women on Boards Honours series, WOB Executive Director talks to the 12 WOB members who were recognised in the 2024 Australia Day Honours. In this episode Claire speaks to Warrnambool cattle and sheep producer and founding member and chair of , , who was awarded an OAM for service to primary industry, and to the community. As she tells Claire “I wouldn't probably be sitting here having received this award if it hadn't been for Women on Boards!.” Georgina started her career as a nurse then moved to Victoria’s Western District in the mid-90s to help on the family farm with husband....

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Professor Ngaire Elwood AM, Beating the Odds - Women of Honour Series show art Professor Ngaire Elwood AM, Beating the Odds - Women of Honour Series

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

Associate Professor Ngaire Elwood AM is driven by a strong sense of purpose that grew out of a life-changing experience that inspired her, as an inquisitive science-loving teenager, to dedicate her life to improving therapies for kids with cancer.  As a teenager, she was treated for osteosarcoma, a common form of bone cancer that had a survival rate of about five per cent prior to the advent of chemotherapy. After her bone cancer diagnosis, her treatment involved an above-knee amputation, followed by 18 months of high-dose chemotherapy. Even with this ‘aggressive therapy’ the survival...

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Emerita Professor Lesley Hitchens AM - Women of Honour Series show art Emerita Professor Lesley Hitchens AM - Women of Honour Series

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

In this first episode of the new Women on Boards Honours Podcast Series - featuring the 12 WOB members recognised in the 2024 Australia Day Honours - WOB co-founder and Executive Director, , chats with . Lesley was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to tertiary education, and to the law. This is only the second year that the majority of honours were awarded to women since the national system formally began on 14 February 1975 – nearly 50 years ago. Lesley had a long and distinguished legal career, starting in Sydney at Allens before she headed overseas...

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Claire Braund in conversation with Lisa Carlin - Transformational change and the importance of community show art Claire Braund in conversation with Lisa Carlin - Transformational change and the importance of community

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

Growing up in South Africa Lisa Carlin experienced apartheid in its truest form.  “I just felt this complete sense of unfairness of it all, and that's really carried with me today” she says.  Through this she has become extremely passionate about transformation to give a voice to those who don’t have one. Lisa is the cofounder and CEO of global advisory FutureBuilders Group and author of . Her portfolio includes mentoring founders and CEOs in the HRTech, EdTech and workplace talent sector, she is on the Advisory board for Rebelliuz and Chair of the University of Cape Town...

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Optus blame game: Do we treat male and female CEOs the same? show art Optus blame game: Do we treat male and female CEOs the same?

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

Is there less of a tolerance for failure for women at the top than there is for men? In the wake of former Optus CEO’s Kelly Bayer Rosmarin’s resignation from the telco following a nationwide outage that took down phone and internet services for 14 hours, Women on Boards Executive Director Claire Braund spoke with ABC Canberra Radio’s  about the blame culture around CEOs following a crisis and asks, do we treat our male and female CEOs differently? Find out more about  Visit our   Women on Boards Follow us on 

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Claire Braund in conversation with Tom Elliot on 3AW show art Claire Braund in conversation with Tom Elliot on 3AW

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

Claire Braund spoke to 3AW Drive Host, Tom Elliot on 23 Sept 2023 about a decision by HESTA that they will vote against select director re-elections of ASX300 companies where the board has less than 30 per cent of female representation. Claire says HESTA and other investment firms are taking a stance on “merit”, “We like to think of merit as something objective … but it’s actually defined by culture, values and expectations … which means only some parts of merit are to do with how hard one works,” she told Tom Elliott. Read HESTA's four key expectations for ASX300 companies in...

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Claire Braund in conversation with Dr Amber Tan show art Claire Braund in conversation with Dr Amber Tan

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

You may well think Dr Amber Tan has the world at her feet and job offers flowing in. A former Malaysian national who was born and raised in Ipoh (the gateway to the Cameron Highlands hill station), Amber migrated to Melbourne in 2011 with her partner and received an Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship in 2013 to complete her PhD at Monash University. A feat she accomplished in 2017 with no amendments.  Her thesis critically examined national security and public order laws in Malaysia and their impact on constitutionalism and the rule of law and Amber has also conducted extensive...

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Claire Braund in conversation with Dr Monique Beedles show art Claire Braund in conversation with Dr Monique Beedles

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

Dr Monique Beedles was not your average teenager. At 15, as well as having posters of Murph Hughes and the Adelaide Oval on her bedroom wall, it was her dream to be CEO of Swiss multinational healthcare company Roche. To this end, she went on to study German and chemistry at school. “I was always interested in medical research from a very young age. But I didn’t know back then that to be the CEO of Roche, your name has to be Roche,” she tells Claire in this podcast. Undeterred, Monique went on to study pharmacy and gained her first board role with the Australasian College of Pharmacy....

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Connection Content: Rethinking Your LinkedIn Strategy with Karen Tisdell show art Connection Content: Rethinking Your LinkedIn Strategy with Karen Tisdell

Women on Boards - Leaders and Directors in Conversation

When it comes to getting the most out of your LinkedIn page, content is great but it’s no match for connection. That’s the message from LinkedIn expert Karen Tisdell, who talks to Claire Braund about how LinkedIn has changed over the years and the importance of content AND connection when it comes to directors putting themselves out there”.  As she says, “if you have a really great profile and you’re putting out content but you haven’t made the effort to connect with people to build your network, then you’re just shouting into the wind”. With a long background in the...

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Kerryn is the Managing Director of Directors Australia, a national board consulting and non-executive director recruitment firm.

In this podcast Kerryn shares her diverse background, what she’s seeing in the recruitment space and offers advice for candidates.

With her early career aspirations to fly jets not possible, Kerryn wanted to work in the control tower, but on the guidance of her father ended up studying law, albeit unenthusiastically.  She tempered this by joining the Army Reserves in her first year of university to fulfil her desire to serve.

Kerryn ‘served’ for many years in various capacities while studying and working, where she excelled, winning the Sword of Honour as top student of her training regimen.  She credits her time in the army as the foundation of her deep leadership and management experience.

After graduating from university Kerryn worked as a lawyer for only a short time, before literally stumbling across a job in parliament. Her initial contract was for two months on the Fitzgerald Inquiry and she ended up staying for 10 years, ascending to senior management and working at the cutting edge across 25 parliamentary enquiries.

After 10 years in parliament and separating from her husband, Kerryn moved into consulting to help her balance family and work. She purchased the name ‘Directors Australia’ knowing it was what she wanted to do and has grown the business consistently ever since. 

Kerryn discusses how she joined her first board by accident and the key things she is seeing from her clients in the board recruitment space.  She provides advice for candidates on the things they need to clarify when applying for a board role, including 'what value will you bring to a board?' and 'how will you brand yourself?' - which she says candidates typically don’t do well.

Kerryn Newton
LLM, MBA, MA, Grad Dip (Applied Finance and Investment), FAICD, FGIA, FIML

  • Chief Executive Officer, Directors Australia
  • Board of Trustees, Brisbane Grammar
  • NED, Energy Queensland

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