LV News | Leadership Victoria

Paving the way – LV Strategic Plan 2024-2026

As we establish our path forward, it’s not only a moment for our regular resolutions; it’s a time to be bold. We are delighted to give you a sneak preview of the Leadership Victoria 2024-2026 Strategic Plan which will be launched in the next few weeks.

We celebrate a powerful vision of an inclusive, equitable and sustainable society. Our purpose is clear – to develop, connect and inspire diverse leaders across all sectors to strengthen communities and tackle society’s complex and system problems. We are driven by our key values ingrained in every aspect of our work – Courage, Integrity, Curiosity and Respect.

Our goals for 2024-2026 are:

  • Inspire: Unique, high quality leadership programs
  • Connect: A connected and contributing LV community
  • Transform: Collective leadership for positive impact
  • Thrive: A dynamic, trusted, sustainable organisation

Our Strategic Plan 2024-2026 is a commitment for Leadership Victoria to support and drive impactful, visionary leadership. We’re excited to work with the LV community to achieve this.

Celebrating Milestones: Presenting the 2023 Yearbook

We are thrilled to launch the most recent iteration of the LV Yearbook! We view yearbooks as invaluable keepsakes, chronicling the memories and milestones of LV and the LV community throughout the year. We are proud to have captured key memories from 2023, showcasing individuals’ contributions and impact in the Williamson Community Leadership Program, as well as our open enrolment programs and partnership programs.


We hope that the yearbook stories transcend beyond its pages, igniting introspection, reflection and pride in the LV community’s collective achievements. As you begin delving into the yearbook, we will leave you with this introduction from CEO Katherine Ellis:

“LV has always punched far above its weight, thanks to our dedicated staff and Board, supportive sponsors and donors, and committed volunteers. This includes the many outstanding speakers and mentors who give generously of their time and expertise in service of the growth of new generations of leaders. Thank you all for your commitment to LV in 2023, including through some extremely turbulent times. I am very proud to present our results to you in this yearbook.” 

Our Statement on January 26

January 26 is not a day for celebration. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, this date is intertwined with a long history of injustices, dispossession, and cultural suppression and erasure.  

It is a day of deep mourning and reflection on the tragic impacts of colonisation; however, it can also be an opportunity for open dialogue and progress towards Reconciliation. Leadership Victoria  calls for understanding, respect and a commitment to addressing the ongoing challenges faced in Indigenous communities. 

In solidarity with First Nations people, the Leadership Victoria office will remain open on 26 January, with staff working regular hours on the public holiday and taking leave on another day. By keeping our doors open, we aim to encourage an environment of awareness and meaningful conversations about Australia’s shared history.  

We encourage the LV community of leaders to contribute in your own communities, organisations and sectors, to stand with First Nations people in fostering an inclusive future where history and culture is celebrated and honoured as part of a reconciled Australia. 

Read more about our commitment to Reconciliation in our RAP.

Williamson Community Leadership Program Participants for 2024

We are thrilled to announce the 40 esteemed leaders who have been selected for the 2024 Williamson Community Leadership Program. Over the next year, the cohort will dive deep into themselves, the nature of leadership and explore vital issues facing our society, expanding the way they see the world and change the way they exercise leadership. This will be an opportunity to for these leaders to gain knowledge, experiences and connections, and also to leave a lasting impact on the Victorian community and beyond.

See below for the full list of the participants:

Full Name Organisation
Amanda Piper Cancer Council Victoria
Andrew King Bendigo Kangan Institute
Angela Batterham Department of Education
Annabelle Mann The Royal Children’s Hospital
Brian Motz Housing Choices Australia
Bridget Wall Monash Health
Bryan Ross Western Health
Courtney Brener ANZ Bank, Enterprise Finance
Dean Faglioni ANZ Bank, Australia Retail
Divya Pasupuleti nbn
Donna De Zwart Fitted for Work
Hannah McBride-Burgess City of Stonnington
Ian McKay Esso Australia
Isobel Paipadjerook Morphy-Walsh Blak & Bright First Nation Literary Festival
Jacob Lindsay Senversa
James Wong Fire Rescue Victoria
Jas Stanic City of Melbourne
Jennifer Peake

Jenny Pavlou

Fire Rescue Victoria

Victoria Police

Kelly Gillies Mornington Peninsula Shire
Kelly Rogerson Palliative Care South East
Kristina Bennett Westpac Group
Laura Missingham Department of Justice and Community Safety
Linny Kimly Phuong The Water Well Project
Lynley Dumble Brimbank City Council
Marie Murfet VincentCare
Mark Davis Today
Matt Hall HFMA
Melissa Chalker Bendigo Kangan Institute
Mong Linh Do University of Melbourne
Naomi Dobroff Monash Health, Digital Health Division
Nasteha Mohamud City of Melbourne
Nguyen To

Noeleen Carey

Workplace Injury Commission

Dental Health Services Victoria

Phil Lyon Future Fund Management Agency
Robyn Canning Senior Manager, Transport Accident Commission
Sarah Shatkhin DuluxGroup
Scott Edwards VIC Department of Premier and Cabinet
Susan Yengi Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry & Regions
Sylvia Rosemond Independent Disability Services (IDS)


Diverse perspective has always been an integral part of the Williamson experience. As well as their personal experience and knowledge, the 2024 cohort represents a range of different sectors, including:

  • Not-for-profit and charity
  • Emergency services
  • State and local government
  • Education
  • Infrastructure, engineering and construction
  • Banking, finance and consultancy
  • Technology
  • Self-employed
  • Social services
  • Law and justice
  • Sustainability and environment
  • Retail/social enterprise
  • Health and healthcare

*Employer as at time of Williamson 2024 recruitment (November, 2023) Please note that employments may change over time and will not be reflected here.

Meet your 2023 Williamson Fellows

Last week, we celebrated the graduation of the 2023 cohort from the Williamson Community Leadership Program. Leadership Victoria are proud to welcome these 62 inspiring leaders into our extensive and trusted Alumni community and also recognise them as Williamson Fellows.

At the Graduation, Charlie McMullin, one of two Valedictorians, delivered very apt words to summarise the year from a Williamson Fellow lense. 

“The way the year has come together – the foundational nature of each theme and activity providing a platform for what comes next (an analogy that I enjoy as an engineer) has been a real delight. No doubt we’ve all taken or noticed different things at different times: perhaps some lightbulb moments or more a slow and steady plod, or times of genuine panic or uncertainty.

We may have come with anticipation of big changes, and some of us had big breakthroughs early, some later and some are just around the corner – no matter how it has appeared for us, as we heard from our leadership promises, we have all taken plenty on board – or discovered some good stuff that was already there, sitting just under the surface – perhaps a consulting side hustle or something.

As a cohort, we have the beginnings of our own legacy to be proud of. We have a sustained focus on work with our First Nations brothers and sisters despite macro headwinds. And the introduction of the Inclusion Cup into the Williamson tradition has encouraged conversations about inclusion and universal access. These are but two examples of this group’s awesome work.”

Charlie went on to state:

“At a time when it seems like there are too many important issues to deal with, I am heartened by the fact that this group – who were strangers to each other 9 short months ago – have come up with such great ideas, and great work in and amongst everything else we have going on.

It was a working reminder of a few things:

That the things that can divide us are miniscule in comparison to the things that bring us together: belonging, respect, laughter, feeling valued, feeling heard.

That we have to acknowledge and check our privilege, however intersectional or varied it may be.

That it can and must be possible to hold multiple things as true at the same time.

That remembering these things is often the job of a leader – although not remembered by all leaders. Or as I heard it summarised recently: “you can’t have a moral compass with a needle that isn’t moving.”

And of course, somewhat relievingly, that wheel finally makes sense – a reminder that it doesn’t start and stop, and that while our Williamson year may have ended, the connections and the most interesting work continues. In fact, I was talking this week to a good friend about what an experience it’s been and how it’s a bit sad that it’s had to finish, but we realised that you couldn’t do this again – it wouldn’t be the same.  We need to remember that, much like leadership, being part of this group is an activity – and that is not a static word. We will need to take it forward in our own way, which I am confident we will do.” 

Thank you Charlie for allowing us to share your words with the wider LV community.

Although we have now officially closed out the Williamson Community Leadership Program for 2023, this is not the end. We look forward to continuously working with our newly graduated alums to lead with purpose, amplify their leadership impact and fulfil their leadership promises to leave a lasting impact in their organisations, communities and beyond.

A further thank you to everyone who has contributed to any and every aspect to the program throughout the year, from venues to speakers to special guests and hosts, we are grateful and appreciative for your unique input. Finally, a big thank you to our facilitators for 2023, Katy McDevitt and Jon Eddy, your work in making the program what it was this year has not gone unnoticed.

We hope that our extended LV community joins in celebrating this special moment and congratulations again to our Williamson Fellows 2023!




Williamson Fellow Employer
Adam Murdoch Energy Safe Victoria
Allison Howell Quinton University of Melbourne
Amanda Lawrie-Jones Accessible Action
Amanda Handley Medicines Development for Global Health
Amelia Condi Summer Foundation
Amy Robinson Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project
Angela Sormaz Transport Accident Commission
Angela Erwin Barwon Health
Anna Stephenson MCCC GP Training
Annette Davis Monash Health
Ariana Kurzeme Alannah & Madeline Foundation
Brydie Quinn Able Australia
Caitlin Oliver Department of Families, Fairness & Housing
Charlie McMullin Cross Yarra Partnership (CYP)
Christina Earls DuluxGroup
Christine Leahy Corval Group
Debbie Shiell Austin Health
Fatima Everitt Dreamtime Art Creative Consultancy
Georgi Fairley FPPV Architecture
Georgie Dwyer Berry Street
Georgie Birch City of Stonnington
Gillian Denison Future Fund
Greg Christison Fire Rescue Victoria
Hisney Nowfal Middleton Group
James Seow Monash University and City of Port Phillip
Jay Mueller Australian Football League
Jessica Bartik Department of Premier and Cabinet
Jithma Beneragama Amazon Web Services
Jo Curtin Community Broadcasting Foundation
Joe Murfet Department of Transport
Joe Youssef Department of Justice and Community Safety
Julia Oxley Monash Health
Kelly-Ann McKinnis ANZ
Kevin Kapeke VicHealth
Kieran Lenehan Fire Rescue Victoria
Kiran Khan Annecto
Leigh Saunders Aborigines Advancement League
Lisa Cox Northern Health
Liza Raynes ANZ
Mark Cochrane-Holley City of Melbourne
Martina Murray Melbourne Theatre Company
Melanie Cook Cook Beattie & Associates
Natalie Boston Vicinity Centres
Natalie Donohoe Premium Health
Nina Klein Ambulance Victoria
Paul Davies Leisure Networks
Peta Owen Ambulance Victoria
Rachel Elliott Australian Football League
Rachna Madaan-Bowman South East Community Links
Ranya Shahwan Worksafe Victoria
Ross Connor Department of Transport Victoria
Sally Baker EBM RentCover
Sam Read Sexual Health Victoria
Sarah Naarden Initiatives of Change Australia
Steve Coldham City of Casey
Sue Anderson Co Squared
Susanne Newton Darebin City Council
Tanya Wolkenberg City of Melbourne
Tighearnan Corcoran Department of Family Fairness and Housing
Timothy Binks Department of Education & Training
Tish Tambakau Beyond Blue
Tom Connell The Royal Children’s Hospital


*Employer as at time of Williamson 2023 recruitment (November, 2022) Please note that employments may change over time and will not be reflected here.

The Reignite Alumni Gala: A Night To Remember

On Thursday, October 26 2023, we had the joy of bringing together 300 Alumni, mentors and special guests across all Leadership Victoria programs at the Reignite Alumni Gala. For over 30 years, Leadership Victoria has helped facilitate powerful networks that endure beyond our programs. This is proven by our large, diverse, and esteemed Alumni network that has actively worked to amplify their leadership impact in their organisations, sectors and communities. They all embody the mantra that leadership is not a position, it’s an activity.

The night was filled with reignited connections, memorable stories, engaging conversations and not to mention, heartfelt laughs, from all Alumni (some of which hadn’t seen fellow members of their cohort for 3 decades!).

We also took an opportunity, with so many highly regarded leaders in the room, to raise leadership issues that need our attention now. Our panel of Williamson Community Leadership Program scholarship recipients Jacqueline Watkins (WCLP ’21), Lara Freidin (WCLP ‘22) and Mamadou Diamanka (WCLP ’15), highlighted our responsibilities to pressing leadership issues that face the Victorian community. This included our collective commitment to reconciliation, addressing and combating violence against women and gender inequality and creating access to opportunities for immigrants, refugees and vulnerable young people, particularly those of African descent. Thank you, Jacqui, Lara and Mamadou for providing your valuable insights and calling for action.

A further thank you to our MC for the evening, Luke Hockley (WCLP ’07), Leadership Victoria Chair Christine Nixon, CEO Katherine Ellis (WCLP ’07) and Deputy Lord Mayor Nicholas Reece (WCLP ‘09) for sharing your remarks about your own leadership journeys and experiences.

Finally, this would not have been possible without our dedicated Alumni working group who worked tirelessly to bring this vision to life, Jarrod McLauchlan (WCLP ‘15), Christine Barca (WCLP ‘10), Jim Liaskos (WCLP ‘91) and Laney Quinn (NL HWLP ‘22).

Thank you to the sponsors of the Reignite Alumni Gala, DavidsonProcal DairiesNORTH LinkMidnightsky and C&D Design. It was a pleasure seeing our Alumni reconnect and we look forward to next time!

Leadership Victoria and The Voice

Leadership Victoria brings together leaders with different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives, and inspires and encourages them to challenge systemic barriers to equality, inclusion and sustainability.

In this, we aim always to be active allies to First Nations peoples, in particular by embedding First Nations voices, culture and community into our program experiences, and by supporting First Nations leaders to participate in our programs.

LV welcomes the invitation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart to walk with First Nations peoples “in a movement of the Australian people for a better future”, and its call for Voice, Treaty and Truth.

We all have a responsibility to understand the importance of the Voice Referendum, and to make an informed vote.  To that end, we should be clear on the question being asked, seek unbiased information to help us decide, and show leadership in helping others do the same.

Leadership Victoria recognises 65,000 years of custodianship of this land by First Nations people, the world’s longest continuing culture, and supports the right of self-determination of First Nations people to bring that knowledge, culture and wisdom to decisions that affect their lives.

Calling all Leadership Victoria Alumni: You’re Invited to The Reignite Alumni Gala

Mark your calendars! The Reignite Alumni Gala will be held this October, celebrating over 30 years of the Leadership Victoria Alumni community.

Not only is this is the perfect opportunity to come together, reignite connections and re-engage with your cohort, you will also have the chance to meet the Leadership Victoria team and other esteemed leaders from across all Leadership Victoria programs.

Date: Thursday 26th October 2023

Location: Melbourne Town Hall

Time: 6:30pm – 10:30pm

Reach out to your Alumni year group and book a table HERE to enjoy an unforgettable night of sharing experiences, old and new, with the Leadership Victoria community. Don’t forget to include a table name so your cohort can sit together on the night.

As part of this event, funds raised through donations to the LV Foundation will help sponsor a Scholarship into the Williamson Community Leadership Program (WCLP) in 2024.

Any organisation interested in sponsoring the Gala Dinner, which will be attended by 400 outstanding leaders from across Victoria, please contact us at

For any questions, please reach us on

Humans of Purpose Podcast Partnership

We are excited to announce a partnership with the Humans of Purpose podcast.

The podcast is a go to pod amongst the LV Team as it features genuine conversations about career journeys, purpose and how to create a positive social impact through work with a varied list of purposeful leaders within the local community.

The podcast Host, Mike Davis, is an active LV alumni from the 2019 Williamson Community Leadership Program and has featured a few LV alumni on the pod, including our Acting CEO Scott Ko, and Sarah Davies (CEO of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation & Williamson alum from 2004).

Each week through June and July, the Humans of purpose pod will release a new podcast focusing on the theme of purposeful leadership.

The first podcast featured Bernadette McDonald, an alum from the 2007 Williamson program. As CEO of the The Royal Children’s Hospital, Bernadette shares fascinating insights around the challenges facing the health industry, habits for managing self and being more creative in how we lead.



This podcast featured Arminé Nalbandian, CEO of Centre for Social Impact (CSI). Arminé discusses her leadership style, the culture she has created at CSI, and her exciting plans for the future.



This podcast features Chris Kotur. Chris Kotur is the Leader in Residence at Leadership Victoria. Chris is a Williamson Community Leadership Program alumnus from 1994. Chris has had an incredible career to date and more recently has worked with three Royal Commissions – the Bushfires Royal Commission, the Royal Commission into Family Violence and the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System and in each instance she has continued to work with communities and agencies implementing subsequent reforms.


Keep an eye out for more pods dropping soon.

Leadership Victoria announces new CEO

Leadership Victoria Chairperson, Christine Nixon AO, APM, is pleased to announce the appointment of Katherine Ellis as Chief Executive Officer.

Katherine has over 30 years’ diverse leadership experience across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, and a strong track record of developing leaders and connecting them across sectors to achieve collective impact.

“The Board conducted an extensive search process and was delighted with the wonderful range of applicants.  Katherine stood out for her understanding of Leadership VIctoria’s purpose, and history. But most important was her demonstrated commitment to community leadership” says Christine Nixon.

Katherine will be taking up her role as CEO from the 31st of July, 2023

Katherine is a graduate of Leadership Victoria’s flagship Williamson Community Leadership Program (2007), which she celebrates as a pivotal point in her life.

“Williamson gave me space to reflect, think through leadership challenges I was facing, and identify the path forward for my career.  It opened my eyes to parts of the Victorian community I had known nothing about, and also gave me new set of personal and professional friendships that I still hold dear today.

“I know many alumni feel the same, and I am truly honoured and excited to have the chance to lead LV and help bring that amazing opportunity to more people.

“We are living in extraordinarily challenging times, and more than ever, Victoria needs leaders who value adaptive approaches and collaboration. 

“I look forward to working with the impressive and diverse LV community, especially the staff, board and alumni, to help strengthen leadership and connection across Victoria” says Katherine.

Katherine comes to LV from Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic), where as CEO she has forged a stronger youth sector and led innovative growth, with the challenging backdrop of the pandemic and climate disasters.  She previously worked in London as Director of Youth Affairs at the Commonwealth of Nations, focused on youth empowerment and leadership policy and programs across 53 countries. Her career also includes five years leading and transforming the Reach Foundation, as well as providing strategic advice to a variety of organisations and academic institutions.

Earlier, Katherine spent over a decade in the private sector, working both in Australia and internationally in a variety of analysis, strategy and corporate social responsibility roles.

Katherine holds a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School, a Master in e-Business, a Bachelor of Commerce, and a Diploma of Youth Work.

Over the coming months, the LV team will be in touch with opportunities to connect with Katherine as we continue to adapt and adjust to new ways of engaging with our communities and our stakeholders.

“We are excited to have Katherine leading the next phase for LV and I hope that you will join me in extending her a very warm welcome.

“I also wish to thank our Chief Operating Officer Scott Ko, for his leadership as the Acting CEO since Sally Hines departure. Scott will continue in this role until Katherine joins us at the end of July, 2023” says Christine.

– Christine Nixon, Leadership Victoria Board Chair