About Us

Institute of impact

20+ Years

Developing impactful leaders

We exist to develop impactful leaders

True impact radiates beyond one or two people. It’s felt by strangers, businesses and the next generation. That’s the kind of impact the Leaders Institute empowers.

A not-for-profit association, for over 20 years we have been developing leaders by encouraging self-awareness and providing opportunities to understand the big picture and different perspectives.

Through our leadership development programs we help to create a powerful sense of connection between individuals, their organisations and the wider community. This develops leaders with an outward focus and strong collaboration skills, who understand that their greatest value is the impact they can have on the world around them.

Governance Masterclass

How we work: Our expertise

We deliver programs that build adaptive leadership capacity; the practise of mobilising people to tackle tough challenges and thrive.

Adaptive leaders have strategic foresight, thrive in complexity and can integrate multiple perspectives and systems to lead change successfully.

Our lively and experiential programs are designed to engage diverse learning styles and personalities.

Vision, Purpose & Values

Our vision is that South Australia is led by dynamic and holistic leaders in all sectors who work together to advance the State so it is a sustainable, enviable and vibrant place to live, work and do business.

Our purpose is to provide unique and unforgettable development experiences for our State's emerging and established leaders, so they can positively impact South Australia.

Our values

  • Collaborate
  • Inspire others
  • Act with integrity
  • Value diversity
  • Show compassion
  • Act courageously
Governance Masterclass

Creating social impact

We provide opportunities to create social impact and help South Australia thrive.

Community Action Projects

Governor’s Leadership Foundation (GLF) Program participants undertake a Community Action Group Project working with a not for profit organisation on a complex issue. Read more about the range of Community Action Projects here.

Think Tanks

All GLF Program can contribute to their communities by participating in Governor’s Think Tanks, where graduates work together to help address complex issues.


Our graduates often drive extraordinary social impact as a result of their program involvement. Some of these are recognised through our celebrated Dennis Mutton Award.

Our Patron


Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC, Governor of South Australia is Patron of the Leaders Institute.

Our patron


Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC Governor of South Australia

Our Board of Directors

We are currently recruiting for two board members. For details of the board positions and how to apply click here

Todd Roberts Chair

Todd Roberts


With a career underpinned by financial literacy, Todd has wide expertise in the areas of accountancy, audit and insolvency, corporate,... read more

Shelley Willsmore Board Member

Shelley Willsmore

Board Member

Shelley is the Chief Human Resources Officer for the Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment in the South... read more

Sef van den Nieuwelaar Board Member

Sef van den Nieuwelaar

Board Member

Sef van den Nieuwelaar is owner/director of an IT transformation Company consulting to a number of iconic SA SME’s like... read more

Rick Callaghan Board Member

Rick Callaghan

Board Member

Richard (Rick) Callaghan is a Potaruwutj man whose Aboriginal family originate from the Padthaway region in SE South Australia, but... read more

Peter Stevens Board Member

Peter Stevens

Board Member

Peter is an experienced senior executive with experience in the information technology industry within the university sector. He has served... read more

Jane MacFarlane Board Member

Jane MacFarlane

Board Member

Jane has been the CEO of the Helpmann Academy since 2015, an organisation that supports and empowers South Australia’s most... read more

Greg Knagge Board Member

Greg Knagge

Board Member

I have had the privilege of being involved with the Leaders Institute on a variety levels over a number of... read more

Gino DeGennaro Treasurer

Gino DeGennaro


Gino joined the Leaders Institute Board in February 2017, where he is the Treasurer. Since April 2018, he has been... read more

Meet our team

Cathie Brown CEO

Cathie Brown


Cathie has held executive roles in a variety of industries, including child protection, rural and emergency services, and education. Starting... read more

Amber Jung Finance and Administration Officer

Amber Jung

Finance and Administration Officer

Amber Jung has joined the Leaders Institute as our Finance and Administration Officer. Born in Korea, Amber moved to Australia... read more

Sarah Ballantine Project Officer

Sarah Ballantine

Project Officer

Sarah has worked across the wine, engineering and advertising industries in Adelaide and London. Working with organisations that are leaders... read more

Adrienne Worrell Administration and Events Officer

Adrienne Worrell

Administration and Events Officer

Adrienne has 5 years experience working in the Events, Marketing and Administration fields across Manufacturing and Leadership Development industries. Brought... read more

Claire Fuller Program Manager

Claire Fuller

Program Manager

Claire has 20 years of leadership experience in natural resource management, having worked for Environmental NGO’s, public and private sectors.... read more

Jo Carrick Relationship Manager

Jo Carrick

Relationship Manager

Jo has over 15 years of experience in relationship and program development in the continuing and higher education sectors. She... read more

Our commitment to First Nations People

The Institute is committed to the rightful recognition of the ancient sovereignty of our First Nations people and seeing it shine through as a fuller expression of Australia’s nationhood as per the Uluru Statement from the Heart. Our contribution to walking with First Nations people in a movement of the Australian people for a better future includes the following actions:

      1. Meetings and program events are opened with an Acknowledgement of Country and where possible major events include a Welcome to Country.

      2. The Governor’s Leadership Foundation program includes a session on Indigenous knowledge and perspectives facilitated by a leader from the Aboriginal community. Preparation for the session includes pre-reading and video viewing and the session is considered a pre-requisite for program visits to organisations and regions where Aboriginal people are over-represented. In 2020 the program also included a visit to an Aboriginal mission and a panel discussion with Port Augusta’s leading Aboriginal community members. We include these elements as a major part of the program in our attempt to help our participants take responsibility for the history and legacy of the invasion of Australia, and action to work towards a better future.

      3. Aboriginal people are encouraged to apply for the GLF program. The State Government offers two scholarships available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants and we also have philanthropists who support Aboriginal participants. In 2020 there were five Aboriginal women in the program.

      4. Aboriginal people are also encouraged to participate in the Institute’s Integral Leader program and to apply for a scholarship in this program.

      5. Members of Aboriginal communities are encouraged to participate in the Institute’s regional programs. The Institute sought scholarships from the philanthropic sector and six Aboriginal people participated in the 2019 Upper Spencer Gulf program.

      6. We have previously run a think-tank on racism involving alumni, including Aboriginal alumni.

      7. Community Action Projects are regularly conducted on issues which seek to develop a fair and truthful relationship between First Nation Australians and others including examining Australia Day and working with Reconciliation Australia.

Our Rules

Read our official Rules that govern our Association: