Vanessa’s inspiring story is one of vision, determination, integrity, hard work and overcoming severe adversity, personal responsibility, discipline, growth, emotional intelligence, balance, compassion and giving. Her successes as an award winning social entrepreneur, brand and built environment strategist and ultra-endurance athlete have privileged her with the credentials and flexibility to now support others. She offers strategic, workplace, management, life and health/wellness mentoring to anyone in governance, business, leadership or influence. Her mentees are those looking to improve their organisational and/or personal performance and well-being in an agile, forward thinking, ethical and sustainable fashion. She brings to them an open mind, listening ear, extensive academic, professional and lived experience (including of trauma) and a willingness to both encourage and challenge. Vanessa is known as a straight talker and is often engaged as a board advisor, conference speaker and tertiary education guest lecturer.
For over 16 years Vanessa has been the Managing Director of Forward Thinking Design (www.forwardthinkingdesign.com.au); a Certified B Corp social enterprise, which she founded.
Forward Thinking Design is one of the most awarded brand strategy, stakeholder experience, fitout design & project management studios in Australia. The firm consults to leadership across restaurants and hospitality, retail, services, workplace, health/fitness, sporting club and community venues. It specifically exists to support fellow organisations with social, ethical and environmental impact values at their core and the business’ profits are retained to finance the provision of pro bono and reduced fee services to charities and social enterprise.
She is the Diversity and Inclusion Chairperson of BLocal Sydney, Australia (B Corporation business community) and an activist for equality, environmental sustainability and improved ethics in business and society. As a sufferer and survivor of serious illness she is an Ambassador for Polycystic Kidney Disease Australia, Member of the AKTN Scientific Committee and Co-Chair of the NSW BEAT-CKD Consumer Advisory Board.
Previously she was the Junior Vice President of the NSW Division of the Australian Shop & Office Fitting Association (ASOFIA), a committee on which she served for many years. She holds a Bachelor of Design (Hons) – UNSW, a Postgraduate Diploma in Museum Studies – Deakin and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Directors Company Directors Course.
Vanessa holds a Fastest Known Time ultra trail running record and previously represented Australia in triathlon. She has been profiled in several books, national print media, on radio, TV and podcasts. She is a strong promoter of individual and collective empowerment, responsibility, achievement and well-being.
Hello! With me in your corner, you will get full support to transition careers, gain leadership skills or unblock any barriers. I offer a fresh view to conversations and energise you for your next career journey. I am experienced in all facets of life and will move you to where you want to be,
I can help you in leadership, change and life choices.
Talk to me today 🙂
As a Consultant Facilitator and Researcher for over 30 years, I have conducted lots of research and led many meetings, study groups and strategy workshops for leaders, project teams and private individuals. A diverse range of clients has included Action Homeless, the generals of the US Marine Corps, senior managers from Unilever, a group of individuals suffering from cancer, HM Prison Service and the trustees of a disaster relief charity.
Drawing on this experience, I could help you to run better meetings, to facilitate difficult conversations and to improve working relationships with colleagues or strategic partners. I specialise in helping you to rewrite plans, contemplate recurring issues and develop innovative projects.
As a mentor I like to build on your strengths and work on your weak areas. It’s all about the mentee and their needs, confidence and assistance as required.
I am an active listener who can understand your problems and queries and provide you with necessary encouragement, advice and creative solutions. You will feel at home with me and we will develop a long term relationship to cherish.
I am an advocate/campaigner/organiser/project leader/networker with experience in the public sector, private sector, trade union and non-government sector.
My passion is improving the treatment of workers and communities particularly where corporations operate in developing countries. Providing advice to improve and analyse supply chains and identifying opportunities within local communities.
A distinctly practised and qualified senior manager who has achieved demonstrable improved performance results in local council initiatives, private sector business, NFP and community-based projects over the past 30 years I am accomplished within large and complex organisations as well as being able to adapt my scope to constructively contribute to smaller teams.
With experience being gained from project management, enhanced product and service delivery, and the full suite of treasury management practices mean’s I bring to an organisation my well rounded financial, operational and marketing talents.
Those accomplishments are the result of continuous personal development and applying a leadership style and management practices necessary to build emotional intelligence, trust and confidence and collaborative relationships.
I had a major role on many of the first in the development and application of electronic toll collection (especially all-electronic tolling – AET). I have also been part of the management team as a vendor, consultant, and owner. I, therefore, likely seen the gamut of major management challenges in this arena and would like to pass on some of this knowledge to others in the industry.
I love to mentor others along their own journey of change and trauma, as well as in running a business. I believe a business only thrives to the extent that you do, and in order to thrive we need to release what’s holding us back on a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual level. I can help you to do that so you can thrive.