Join Us in Brisbane

Upcoming dates for our Brisbane walks

March 23, 2018

April 20, 2018

May 18, 2018

June 22, 2018

July 20, 2018

August 24, 2018

September 21, 2018

October 19, 2018

November 23, 2018

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Our Mentors

Vanessa Garrard
Founder and CEO of  Sourcehub Group

Vanessa Garrard is an Australian businesswoman, entrepreneur, mother to four and a leader in the consumer electronics industry. Vanessa is the founder and Global CEO of SourceHub Group.

1 in 2 Australians owns a product developed by her group of companies.

Passionate about business, having started her first business at the tender age of 12, she volunteers her time to help other start ups and entrepreneurs through programs like Google Youth Start Up Weekends and UQ Lean Start Up programs.

This passion for business and developing products with proven appeal to consumers has seen Vanessa ranked in Australia’s Top 30 Female Entrepreneur list every year since 2010, in 2011, Vanessa was recognized for her entrepreneurial achievements, winning the QLD Telstra Young Business Women’s Award. Topping the BRW Fast Starters and Fast 100 lists, she was also named the Australian EY Entrepreneur of the Year for Industry in 2013. More recently Vanessa was named in the Australian Financial Review &; Westpac 100 Women of Influence and is an Ambassador for StartUp Australia and mentor for Rare Birds.

With offices in Brisbane, China and US, Vanessa’s businesses continue to grow and expand.

Balveen Aijmal
Founder of Grace Street Consulting

Balveen is an experienced international corporate lawyer who has worked in both legal and management roles in big law and private equity in London, Paris and Hong Kong.

She is the Founder of Grace Street Consulting– advising on strategy, management, governance and internal projects, is CEO of the Brisbane Women’s Club and on the Board of the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Foundation.

Balveen is also Queensland Ambassador for Endometriosis Australia and a regular speaker at professional development, diversity and talent management forums.

Balveen is originally from London, has 3 young children and spends much of her own time supporting charities in the women ’s sector and enjoying the sunshine in

Brisbane with her family.

Elaine Stead
Committee Member Australian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association

Elaine is the Managing Director of Venture Capital and is responsible for the management of the Blue Sky venture capital fund and portfolio. Established in 2012, the venture capital division has expanded to bear its second fund, VC2014, and over $100 million in assets under management across a broad range of industry sectors.

Elaine has worked for a number of years as a venture capitalist and management consultant to the venture and industry across Australia and the United States. Elaine has also worked in strategic management consulting, with both NASDAQ and ASX listed and private companies based in Australia and the US.

Originally trained as a stem cell biologist, Elaine has since spent the last decade within the innovation and investment spectrum, initially in technology commercialisation assisting public institutions and founders translate and commercialise their technology across abroad range of industry sectors including agriculture, healthcare and IT.

Elaine has a strong academic foundation holding a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Adelaide. She is actively involved in Australia’s professional venture capital community, as a member of AVCALs venture capital stakeholder committee and as a member of the investment committee of ANUConnect Venture Capital, the Australian National University’s venture capital fund.

Francesca Webster
Founder of Brazilian Beauty

Since founding Brazilian Beauty, Francesca has learnt how to succeed in several new highly competitive industries; the beauty industry, the franchise sector and the skincare industry.

Francesca has built her beauty businesses around the idea of nurturing successful women. In 2004 she began Brazilian Beauty and in 2012 the Australian Skin Institute, because she wanted to use her corporate skills (Shell UK LTD, BBC, Morgan Stanley) and strong drive to give others the opportunity to succeed as business women in their own right.

Francesca believes and promotes the brand vision ‘the client is king’ coupled with the belief that team members receive the same level of fostering, if not more than clients.

As process and innovation driven by Francesca propel the business forward and improve both the franchisee, product and client offering, the brand continues to flourish and grow.

Brazilian Beauty, winners of the Lord Mayors Business Award for Small Business Growth in 2014, is headquartered in Queensland. Sixteenth in BRW’s Fast Franchise list in 2011, QLD Woman In Franchising 2011, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Finalist 2012, Brisbane Business News Young Entrepreneur Finalist 2012 and Telstra Business Women’s Award Finalist 2014.

Francesca’s motto is to stay focused on process, be passionate about adding value to the customer experience and don’t let anyone tell you that it can’t be done.

Hanh Luu
Co-Founder & Director of Good Price Pharmacy

Hanh Luu is a cofounder and Director of the “big box” pharmacy chain, Good Price Pharmacy Warehouse, one of Australia’s leading retailers in health, beauty and medicinal products. Each store carries all of your favourite brand names in vitamins, skincare, hair care, sun care, cosmetics, perfumes, prescriptions and medicines all at everyday low prices.

At just 38 years old, she plays an integral role in managing HR for the group’s 50 stores and 800 employees. Ms. Luu was named Brisbane Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013.

Jenine Beekhuyzen
Founder & CEO of the Tech Girls Movement, CEO of Adroit Research

Dr. Jenine Beekhuyzen is a well-known advocate for diversity in STEM through her successful Tech Girls Are Superheroes campaign. Named as one of the 2016 100 Woman of Influence, a 2016 Advance Queensland Digital Champion, the 2015 AIIA ICT Woman of the Year.

Jenine’s work as the Founder & CEO of the Tech Girls Movement, and the CEO of Adroit Research, Jenine’s work is based on 15 years of internationally peer-reviewed research. Last year she ran a national competition with 500+girls competing by building apps to solve problems in their local community, and she has distributed 60 000+ free books to school girls.

Sue-Ellen Watts
Founder & CEO of Wattsnext 

Known to many simply as Sel, I am Sue-Ellen Watts. I have disrupted the HR business pretty much since my career began over 15 years ago. My team and I match vision with action to enable our small to medium sized (SMB) clients to bring the power of HR into their boardrooms, to their lunch rooms and beyond.

My Founder and CEO role at Wattsnext is backed up by solid expertise in leading high-performance teams, a true understanding of what it takes to grow a business and a love and passion for entrepreneurialism.

Recognized as a finalist in the Telstra Queensland Business Women’s Awards and the Owner Manager of the Year at the Australian Institute of Management Awards.

Over nearly a decade, I have opened offices in Brisbane and Sydney and my big dream is to give to New York someday in some way, a place where I find inner calm, crystal clear focus and a strong sense of belonging every time I visit the city….which is a lot!

I also am a proud mother to three sons who are learning a lot about resilience, gratitude, visualising dreams, never settling and striving for a dream with everything they have!

Tracey Vieira
CEO at Screen Queensland

Tracey Vieira is passionate about the arts and has used her business acumen to turn this interest into a successful career. She spent a decade in Los Angeles as Executive Vice President of International Production for Ausfilm. While abroad, and in partnership with Screen Queensland, she has attracted more than $1.5 billion of production spend to Australia.

In 2014, she relocated her family to Australia to pursue the role of CEO at Screen Queensland. In this role, Tracey is responsible for growing the screen industry’s contribution to the economic and cultural wellbeing of Queensland.

Tracey is passionate about helping the industry transition into a contemporary screen environment as technology rapidly changes how audiences view content. Under Tracey’s guidance, Screen Queensland is now leading the way in Australia, developing stories and content in the digital environment.

Tracey is Telstra’s 2016 Queensland Business Woman of the Year and a non-executive director of RSPCA Queensland, Qmusic, MediaRING and the Sunshine Coast Arts Advisory Board. She also sits on the Board of Advisors for the US based organisation Australians in Film.

Catherine O’Sullivan
Pro Vice-Chancellor, Pathways & Partnerships at Bond University

Catherine O’Sullivan has built her career on developing, implementing and championing innovative education strategies.

Catherine a qualified teacher, practiced for more than 20 years before becoming Principal of Goondiwindi High School. In this role, she received an Australian Rural Leadership Scholarship and a Churchill Fellowship, and, in 2002, became the first school principal ever to be honoured as the Queensland Telstra Business Woman of the Year.

Transitioning to a career in public policy administration, Catherine served as Executive Director of Schools for the Toowoomba region, Assistant Director General at the state’s Department of Primary Industries, and Queensland State Manager of the Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Once again, her innovative approach was honoured with two Australian Government Leadership Network Awards in 2009 and an IPAA Queensland Public Sector Excellence Award in 2010.

Catherine joined Bond University in 2013 as Pro Vice-Chancellor, Pathways and Partnerships, with Indigenous education and women’s education identified as two cornerstones of this new portfolio.

Catherine also serves as a judge for the Queensland and National Telstra Business Awards, sits on the Bond University Rugby Board and attends international think tanks such as the recent Women in the World Summit.

In 2014, she was recognised as one of Queensland’s ‘Top 50 Best and Brightest’ and, in 2015, she was appointed to the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Entrepreneurial Women’s Leadership Board.

Catherine currently serves as a director on the following boards; Screen Queensland,  Bleached Arts Ltd, Redlands Shire Council Economic Development Advisory and the Somerset College Board.

Gail Woods
General Manager of Brismark

Gail Woods is General Manager of Brismark, which is the member organisation for fruit and vegetable primary wholesalers in Brisbane Markets. Brismark represents its members and provides services to primary wholesalers, secondary wholesalers, commercial buyers, growers and industry groups, and job seekers at the Brisbane Markets. Gail is on the Board of Directors for Freshcare, an industry owned, not-for-profit on-farm assurance program, established and maintained to service the Australian fresh produce industry.

Gail also holds the position of Executive Officer of Fresh Markets Australia (FMA), the national industry body representing fruit and vegetable wholesalers and supporting businesses in Australia’s six central markets (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Newcastle). FMA runs FreshTest, the largest and most comprehensive chemical and microbial testing program in Australian horticulture.

As a CPA, Gail has over 20 years’ experience operating within executive management teams in multidisciplinary corporate positions with extensive experience in the functions of financial and management accounting; facilities and asset management; information technology; records management, operations management, risk management and project managementDr. Jenine Beekhuyzen is a well-known advocate for diversity in STEM through her successful Tech Girls Are Superheroes campaign. Named as one of the 2016 100 Woman of Influence, a 2016 Advance Queensland Digital Champion, the 2015 AIIA ICT Woman of the Year.

Judith McLean
Chair in Arts Education & Scholar-in-residence at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre

Professor Judith Mc Lean is currently Chair in Arts Education (QUT Creative Industries) and Scholar-in-residence at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. She is currently company Director for: Queensland Tourism and Events (2009-) and chairs the Events sub-committee; Asia Pacific Screen Awards (2009- 2014); Chair, Southern Cross Soloists (2009-2014) and previously, Inaugural Chair of Major Brisbane Festivals Pty Ltd (2003 – 2007); Chair & Board Member Queensland Theatre Company (1995-2004).

Judith has extensive experience in the performing arts, events and education areas working as an educator, director, and company director. Over the past 12 years she has led management and leadership programs in corporate settings, including health, defence, financial and media sectors. Her work is distinguished by an experiential; brain based learning approach underpinned by a passionate belief in the power of the arts to enhance peoples ’lives.

Rebecca Wilson
Founder of Start’s at 60 

Rebecca Wilson founded Starts at 60, Australia and New Zealand’s largest digital and social media site for over 60s in 2013 and has seen it grow to serve more than a million over 60s online each month.

She takes the online enablement of the older generations very seriously, growing a team of 23 that serve the baby boomer and beyond generations 7 days per week online with engaging content and support more than 400 over 60 bloggers with a platform at

Starts at 60 delivers 5.4+ million page views of content per month and gets more comments per day than, New Idea and Women’s Weekly combined because over 60s join each other on Facebook to talk to each other about major issues and topical current affairs affecting them.

Desley Grundy
Partner of EY, Taxation Services

Desley is a specialist in corporate taxation. With over 30 years of experience in direct taxation issues relating to property and construction, manufacturing and distribution, retail, mining services and education. Desley provides expert advice on corporate tax, tax structuring, and tax planning.

Desley has been a Partner with EY since 1999. She is a key member of both our Real Estate and Consumer Products focus groups. Desley also leads our Entrepreneur of the Year programme for Northern Region and our Entrepreneurial Winning Women’s program for Oceania.

Desley is also State Chairperson for the Qld CFO Retail forum.
Faith Rees
Co-founder and CEO of SixPivot, Cloud Ctrl & Non-Executive Director for Dilignet

Faith started SixPivot 18 months ago and during that time won the ARN Female ICT Entrepreneur of the Year 2016, ARN StartUp of the Year 2016, her personal favourite the Anthill Cool Company StartUp of the Year Award 2016. Faith has worked in the Australian IT industry for the past 18 years across a variety of roles from sales and marketing to general management, director and chief operating officer roles including holding board director roles.

Throughout her years in the ICT industry Faith has worked for both small and large Microsoft Gold Partner’s (including Microsoft) providing services to SME, government and global organisations. Much of her last 10 years in the industry has been involved in software development. Faith is a strong believer in giving back to the community and has volunteered her time across various IT associations such as Women in Technology, Queensland .NET and more recently as a member of the The Council of ICT Associations and Chair of IT Queensland.

Through her role as an advocate for the IT industry, Faith also serves on a number of government and industry committees. Faith is an advocate for diversity and in particular supporting women in their careers, she is a member of Women on Boards, is a mentor for the WiT Board Readiness Program and is on the Advisory Committee for Diverse City Careers (DCC).

Raewyn Bailey
Managing Director RB Recruitment

Raewyn Bailey is a leader in the Brisbane corporate sector being a trusted recruitment advisor to many senior executives. She has a passionate commitment to building collaborative communities and sustainable businesses, which is evidenced by both her charity and entrepreneurial work.

Raewyn established RB Recruitment in 1992 as she saw a need for a boutique style of recruitment for the banking & finance sector in Queensland. Since inception, the company has expanded on these original services and now, with Raewyn still at the helm, RB Recruitment continues to grow and meet the demands of these and other industries. RB Recruitment holds the position as preferred supplier of choice to a number of financial institutions and commercial organisations within Australia and as a result, there is an increasing level of demand for its specialised services.
Personal achievements of Managing Director Raewyn Bailey include committee and Executive Board positions and judge for various awards and forums which have complemented corporate business development. Raewyn Bailey is a current Board Member on the Mater Foundation Board and Transport for Brisbane Advisory Board. Raewyn also devotes her time to charities and other and has a strong interest in philanthropic work.
Michelle Guthrie
Managing Director at Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Michelle Guthrie began as ABC Managing Director in May 2016 following an international career as a leading media executive in Australia, the UK and Asia. She brings to the ABC an impressive range of skills, knowledge and leadership across business management and content development.

Educated in Sydney, Michelle started her career as a lawyer in the media group at Allen Allen and Hemsley but relocated the 1990s to News International in London where she helped develop global pay TV businesses including BSkyB and developed content streams and business plans for a wide range of channels in Europe and Asia. Michelle helped launch Foxtel in Australia before relocating to Star TV in Hong Kong where she was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2003.
She spent several years as an equity adviser and investor based in Hong Kong before being lured to Google Asia in 2011 as Managing Director for Agencies.
Michelle Guthrie comes to the role of ABC Managing Director with a unique vision to lead the broadcaster into the next chapter of its history. She has inherited an organisation renowned for innovation and quality content and is perfectly placed to continue its finest traditions as a public broadcaster while leading it into new directions as a digital media company.
Michelle is based in the ABC’s Ultimo headquarters in Sydney where she lives with her chef and restaurateur husband and youngest daughter.
Leeanne Bond
Executive Director

Leeanne Bond has 30 years corporate experience including 12 years as a professional company director. Leeanne is a non-executive director of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission, JKTech (owned by UQ), Snowy Hydro Limited, Territory Generation, Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (ASX:LNG), Engineers Australia and owner of Breakthrough Energy P/L.

As an executive, Leeanne established WorleyParsons’ business in Queensland, NT and PNG, growing it from 3 to 600 people over a ten year period. She has a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering and an MBA from The University of Queensland and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and NACD in the USA. She is a Chartered Professional Engineer and an Honorary Fellow of Engineers Australia. Leeanne served as the first female President of Engineers Australia in Queensland in 2002 and is a past Deputy Chair of the Board of Professional Engineers. She was named Australian Professional Engineer of the Year in 2007 by Engineers Australia and currently serves on the national board.

Cathy Mackey
Head of Shadforth Financial Group in Queensland

Cathy Mackey is the Head of Shadforth Financial Group in Queensland and is responsible for leading the team of professional staff in the state, continually focused on the provision of the highest level of service and advice to our clients. Shadforth Financial Group is  a national network of financial advisers and accountants that has become one of Australia’s leading financial and business advisory firms.

Cathy has over 20 years’ experience in similar roles within both the financial services and medical professions. She spent over six years as an Operations Manager for the Eye Centre, Gold Coast and more than seven years as Executive Manager – Operations & HR for Whittaker Macnaught. Cathy joined Shadforth Financial Group in March 2011, seeing the opportunity to utilise and also improve her skills in a motivated and successful business.

Cathy holds a Diploma of Management through the Australian Academy of Business and has also previously undertaken studies in Human Resource Management at Southern Cross University.

Tanya Johnson
Executive Manager, Organisational Development at Suncorp Group

Tanya Johnson is Suncorp’s Head of Talent. In her current role, Tanya has responsibility for optimising employee experience outcomes across the Group specifically in the domains of talent management, , leadership, engagement and diversity & inclusion. She is passionate about effective leadership and providing an inclusive and caring work environment where people can be their best; and feel valued, involved and connected.

Suncorp is a top 20 ASX-listed organisation with 13,500 employees and over 9 million customers who acquire Banking, Insurance (general, life & health) or Wealth products.

Tanya has also been a Board Director of RACT Insurance (Tasmania’s leading home and motor insurer) since 2010.

Tanya has worked for the Suncorp Group for over 14 years.

Before working in insurance, Tanya held roles in the fields of accounting and IT outsourcing.

Her professional qualifications include Australian Institute of Company Directors member (Order of Merit), Bachelor of Business (Distinction), Certified Practicing Accountant and being member of the Queensland Social Leadership alumni.

Kate Kendall
Founder of Cloud Peeps, Freelance Friday & The Fetch

Kate Kendall is a British-Australian entrepreneur and writer who’s been based in San Francisco and New York for the past six years. She’s the founder and CEO of CloudPeeps – a trusted freelance platform that helps independent professionals connect with clients, find work and manage their business. Kate also created the Freelance Friday offline community and The Fetch event discovery app. She’s currently serving on the board of the Australian Founders Network in Silicon Valley.

Sandra McCullagh

Sandra has more than 35 years experience as a senior executive, equities analyst and company director. She is the former Head of Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) Research at Credit Suissse Australia, and is now a Council Member at the Clayfield College Council, a member of the Queensland Government Climate Advisory Council, and Chairman of the fintech start-up, The Impact Suite. Sandra’s executive career was spent in the oil & gas and utilities industry, including as General Manager of Energex’s Gas Retail Business which was privatised in 2007. She has a passion for sustainability issues, good governance and in mentoring women. She has participated in several selection panels for startups and has mentored start-ups in the energy space. She has a B Science (Computer Science, Maths), and B Arts (Computer Science) and a MBA.

Megan Cairney
Director and Principal Consultant at ThreeSix Consulting

Megan is a results-oriented nonprofit management professional with over 15 years experience in the sector across a range of strategic roles. A highly skilled and intuitive fundraiser, she collaborates with the business community to develop shared value, social impact partnerships.

Her passion lies in the ongoing facilitation of relationships that actively engage innovation, promote a happy, engaged and healthy workforce along with a commitment to positive community impacts.

Her skills are in business development, relationship management, stakeholder engagement, fundraising, community development, project management, strategic planning nonprofit board management, marketing, media and communications.

If you would like more information about Mentor Walks Australia please contact us: