Meet our Alumni


Changing lives through leadership

Some of our alumni have given their thoughts on the KARI Leadership Program and how it helped them become better leaders.

Natalie Pierson, Aboriginal Education and Wellbeing Advisor, NSW Education

“I’m in contact daily, consulting on creating the best culture to build up their team, not pull them down.”

From the support and wisdom of her fellow leaders, to the unexpected impact of mindfulness techniques on managing stress and conflict, Natalie has enjoyed many benefits from her KARI leadership journey.

Taking part over a number of months made it easier to make time for the program and she really appreciates the research that went into the content.

“The current data and case studies from around the world made it real. Seeing how these leadership practices are creating success in other workplaces really helped me understand the value of what we’re learning.”

Natalie was also impressed by the humility of her cohort and how they were all willing to be honest, open and work hard to improve as leaders.

It’s a generous approach that Natalie has taken forward, supporting peers who are transitioning to new leadership roles.

Steve Ella, Manager, Nunyara Aboriginal Health Unit, NSW Health

“My team aren’t only being valued for their skills, but for who they are as Aboriginal people.”

Better self-knowledge was one of the most important aspects of Steve’s experience with KARI Leadership.

He found a lot of value in exploring his strengths and weaknesses as a leader and looking at how he could change his approach to leadership to better understand and support his team.

“The program reinforced the importance of my leadership role in safeguarding the wellbeing of everyone in the workplace.

I’m working with team leaders to make sure they can recognise early signs of problems and
stress and take steps to offer support.”

The program also gave Steve a new perspective on the strengths in his team and using these to meet the needs of their organisation.

“I organised an internal skills matrix to match individual strengths to our scope of practice. It’s been a great way to put their cultural knowledge to work so that my team aren’t only being valued for their skills, but for who they are as Aboriginal people.”

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