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Speaker Enquiry

Wendy McCarthy

Wendy McCarthy AO


Academics - Ageing - Authors - Boards - Business - CEO/Chairman - Change Management - Coaching - Corp. Social Responsibility - Corporate Culture - Corporate Governance - Current Affairs - Education - Entrepreneurs - Environment - Ethics - Keynote Speakers - Leadership - Mentoring - Real Estate - Social Issues - Teamwork - Women in Business

Business Leader & Mentor

One of our most successful and influential business women, Wendy has had over 40 years in leadership roles spanning, Heritage, Education, Women's Affairs, Conservation and Health. Today she focusses on her boards and her mentoring and change management businesses. 

Her forthright approach to opinions on sometimes divisive issues has created a reputation of a highly intelligent and articulate advocate of oft times controversial issues. You know where she stands at all times.  Her audiences love her for that.

Wendy McCarthy is an experienced manager and company director who began her career as a secondary school teacher. She moved out of the classroom into public life in 1968 and since then has been an advocate, educator and change agent in Australia and internationally.

Wendy currently chairs headspace - Australia's National Youth Mental Health Foundation, Circus Oz, McGrath Estate Agents and Pacific Friends of the Global Fund and is a Non-executive director of Goodstart Early Learning and Bentham IMF.

Wendy has held many significant leadership roles in leading national and international bodies including eight years as Deputy Chair of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. In 2009 after 13 years of service to Plan International, she retired from her role as Global Vice Chair. In 2005 she completed a decade as Chancellor of the University of Canberra.

In 1995 Wendy established her national consulting business McCarthy Mentoring which specialised in providing mentors to major corporations, the public sector and not for profit organisations. In July 2012 her daughter Sophie McCarthy took over the business and she now works for her when invited.

In 1989 Wendy was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for outstanding contributions to community affairs, women's affairs and the Bicentennial celebrations. In 2003 she was awarded a Centenary of Federation medal for business leadership and in 2005 was nominated by the Sydney Morning Herald as one of Australia's Top 100 Public Intellectuals. In 2011 she was featured in the IWD publication The Power of One which profiled 100 women who have shaped Australia. I

n March 2013 Wendy was inducted into the Women's Agenda Hall of Fame for her contribution to the lives of Australian women.

Wendy enjoys writing and speaking and is the author of 7 books including her memoir Don't Fence Me In published by Random House.

Presentation Topics Include

  • Leading Change
  • Mentoring
  • Women and Leadership
  • Good Governance and Leadership
  • Ageing Disgracefully - a public or private decision
  • Has Anyone Seen a Consumer?
  • Persuading health systems to listen to consumers
  • Consumers - Captives or Change Agents?
  • Heritage - Who Benefits? Who Pays?
  • Why Teachers Matter


Thank you for taking part in the Vision Pursuit Speaker Series "Women Leading the Way" ...Your knowledge, insight and inspirational words of encouragement were certainly well received by the audience and we look forward to working with you again.
-Marketing Director, Vision Pursuit Pty Ltd

Very impressed. An engaging presentation that resonated well
Association of Market & Social Research Organisations (AMSRO)

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