“Energising” – leadership for impact the focus of Professional Staff Leadership Conference


Vice-Chancellor Professor S Bruce Dowton addresses attendees at the 2023 Professional Staff Leadership Conference. “Leadership is an opportunity to give,” the Vice-Chancellor reflected.

“Leadership is simply a series of moments, and every moment gives you the opportunity to leave a positive legacy for those you lead.”

This insight, from leadership expert and keynote speaker Dr Kirstin Ferguson AM, was one of many shared at the University’s second annual Professional Staff Leadership Conference on 17 November.

More than 300 professional staff came together for the full-day program, which featured inspiring personal reflections, case studies of leadership in practice and discussions on topics including continuous improvement, service excellence and developing teams.

Aspiring leaders were also encouraged to attend this year’s conference via an expression-of-interest process. One attendee remarked that their inclusion was indicative of the “positive working culture” at Macquarie: “It is a great example of how the University values and encourages not only current leaders but also potential leaders.”

Nicole Gower, Vice-President Professional Services, said she was pleased to receive overwhelmingly positive feedback from conference attendees, many of whom commended the University’s investment in developing staff and fostering connection.

“We know Macquarie’s professional staff value the opportunity to reflect on their practices in supporting the University’s research, education and health missions,” Ms Gower said. “This year’s conference sparked many insightful conversations about leadership and best practice, which are already starting to flow through to teams.”

Highlights from the 2023 Professional Staff Leadership Conference


Keynote speaker Dr Kirstin Ferguson AM shared the eight key attributes of a “head and heart leader” – with attendees measuring themselves on Dr Ferguson’s Head and Heart Leader Scale.


Nicole Gower, Vice-President Professional Services, reflected on her personal journey as a woman in leadership.


Daniel Crippa (Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Sciences) and Byron Wilson and Paul Dorrell (Office of Strategy, Planning and Performance) were among the presenters discussing leadership in practice.



The day concluded with a ‘You Can’t Ask That!’ Q&A session featuring Professor Lucy Marshall and Katrina Sealey (Faculty of Science and Engineering), Fiona Reyerink (Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic) and Brad Windon (Student Shared Services).





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