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Physical health friendly workplaces have been a focus in Australia for a number of years, and Kate Carnell is serious about creating “mental health friendly workplaces”. She believes that strong business leadership is the key.

Kate Carnell, CEO of Beyond Blue  strode tentatively to the lectern and for a second I squirmed- will she  be able to see over it?  But with the confidence of a woman who is used to being in public view, she swung the microphone to the side and stood next to it- laughing at herself and her short stature. Leaders come in all shapes and sizes.

Kate Carnell,  may be short in stature but nothing else about her is small.

Gippsland Community Leadership Program Leadership Address

Kate Carnell CEO Beyond Blue

Speaking to a group of community leaders and others last night at the Gippsland Community Leadership Annual Address, Kate shared a little of her career and leadership “journey”.

Clearly more comfortable turning the spotlight on her roles and causes than on herself, she nevertheless, spoke generously and with great insight.

A pharmacist by profession and  pharmacy owner by 25 years of age, she began taking leadership roles in industry peak bodies from an early age.

Kate clearly has something to say.

Kate believes in the ‘E’s- Enthusiasm, Engagement, Ethics, Entrepreneurialism. She believes that the capacity to inspire others and bring out the best in them is a key attribute of a leader,  as well as a variety of skills and knowledge. As a former Chief Minister of the ACT, she knows all about engagement, and believes that choosing things to be involved with that you are  passionate about is critical.’If you believe in what you do, it is easy to be enthusiastic”

With 1 in 5 people being affected by depression and anxiety at some time in their life, and work environments being known to be a contributing factor in a number of cases, Kate and her organisation, Beyond Blue, are on a mission to change the workplace for the better.

Long hours, lack of flexibility, poor communication, unclear expectations, lack of control, are all indicators of a workplace that needs a health check up, starting at the top. And in the age of smart gadgetry, work-life balance is becoming difficult to maintain for many people.

For me, I know I’ve heard a great leader and speaker when I feel bathed in their amazingness and just want to see and hear more. I felt that.

The only ‘E’ that Kate missed out on was ‘Energy’ and she  has positive energy in spades!


Thanks to GCLP and Committee for Gippsland for bringing Kate Carnell to Gippsland.