Sallyanne Atkinson

Leadership in business and government.


Sallyanne’s focus is on leadership as it’s lived, based on her experience in leading organisations large and small.

In a changing world, good leadership is the key to managing change, developing resilience and preparing for the future. Leadership styles have evolved into a contemporary form and dealing with unexpected change has become a part of this. Change comes in different ways, from outside and organisation and within and the key to dealing with it requires leaders and employees to be able to adapt and bounce back. This resilience is an artform that can be learnt.

She has had an extensive career, past and current, in business and government and dealing with many obstacles along the way. As Brisbane’s first, and so far only, female Lord Mayor she initiated far-reaching changes across Australia’s largest local authority, to which she still consults and advises. She became Australia’s Senior Trade Commissioner to Paris, the Benelux countries and North Africa, then Queensland’s Special Representative in South East Asia, and Chairman of Queensland Tourism.

The leader of Brisbane’s bid for the Olympic Games, she was in the forefront of the Melbourne and Sydney bids and was appointed Deputy Mayor of the Athletes’ Village at Sydney 2000.

Sallyanne has been Chairman or non-executive Director for more than a dozen public companies and organisations. Her current roles include being Chair of the Museum of Brisbane and of Skybound Fidelis Investment Group as well as being a member of several Boards.

As the first woman on the board of several major companies, including Caltex, she is well qualified to speak about the challenges facing female leaders and the issues surrounding women in the workplace.

Her work with local authorities gives depth to a range of topics on urban planning and development, and management restructuring.


Talking Points
Reinventing the Future
Dealing with Change