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CEO Mastermind

This Mastermind is designed to give members the answers to create the biggest impact for themselves, and their organisation, during their time as CEO.

This CEO Mastermind creates an environment of trust where challenges can be shared and solved in the ultimate CEO peer group, leveraging the lived experience, wisdom and advice of individuals who are and have successfully navigated through CEO roles.


The ultimate CEO peer group

The CEO is tasked with resolving a myriad of challenges on a daily basis; regardless of the support network around them, they are the ultimate decision maker. They are the ones tasked with representing their organisation’s values and performance to their employees, board, regulators, shareholders and the broader community. The role of a CEO can be quite lonely and isolating. In an ever-changing world, the rewards that come with the role of CEO are being offset by the ever-growing scrutiny that each must deal with.

About the CEO Mastermind

The CEO Mastermind is about addressing key concerns for today’s CEO in a facilitated environment. The chair of each a group will be a recently retired CEO of international standing and reputation, someone that has successfully navigated the CEO path. Coupled with the chairman, each meeting will be complimented with Guest Mentors who will share their lived experiences on the topic for discussion.

These professionally facilitated Mastermind groups will ensure that business leaders can count on each other to provide fresh insights and perspectives enabling accelerated leadership growth and greater business success.  When placing 16 high performing executives and business owners in a room the possibilities are endless.

From a member's perspective: "The CEO Mastermind group members are the only people who I can talk to, who I trust, vent to and ask for solutions to problems without a vested interest and truly understand the pressures and challenges involved in the role offering relatable and best practices from lived experiences"

CEO Mastermind themes

The topics are set for the first year of operation. It is intended that the second year agenda, topics and guest mentors will be heavily influenced by the CEO peer group. The first session topics are designed to be high level enough to allow the focus to shift via facilitation to where our members most need it.

Trust & Disruption

Understand the loneliness yet crowded journey associated with being a successful CEO. Discover who you can trust whilst creating the ultimate peer and support network.

  • Build a trusted professional peer network where you can speak openly.
  • Discover the process to get to the truth of any issue brought to your attention where a potential lack of trust exists or your information sources are filtered.
  • Discover how to be comfortable with your own voice and values despite internal and external influences – trusting yourself to navigate the path ahead.
  • How to not feel internally alone in a role that is quite crowded with people

External Forces

How to effectively deal with your Board, External Pressures, Regulators and the changing community standards.

  • How to prioritise the push and pull from those around you, to ensure you’re only focusing your time and efforts on the direction of the organisation at large. How to carve out the time to work on the business rather than being consumed by it.
  • The tight rope walked by the CEO in managing relationships with political parties, regulatory bodies and the media

Strategy & Trust

How you stay true to your strategy in the face of short-term adversity and challenges.

  • When to stay true to the strategy, or when to act. Short term pressure to get results vs long term timeline for a strategy and outcome to eventuate to get the result. When something isn’t working – when do you kill it? Vs stay with the course?
  • Understanding the crux of the business and its challenges / true picture / what’s going on within the business without the layers of BS
  • How to get a strategy implement seamlessly with and with partial board alignment.


This Mastermind will give you the answers to create the biggest impact for yourself, and your organisation, during your time as CEO.

  • How to increase your impact and CEO tenure.
  • How to identify your potential successors, mix of internal vs external and have the Board accept them.
  • Identify your CEO role in the community and the social contract? Identify your approach to and when you have a voice on topical community subjects.

CEO Mastermind Mentors

Mike Smith - Chairman


Michael Smith was the CEO of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ) from 2007 to 2015 and following his retirement he remained an Adviser to the Board until July 2017.

Prior to this Michael held several other high-ranking business positions. He was President and Chief Executive Officer of The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Chairman of Hang Seng Bank Limited, Global Head of Commercial Banking for the HSBC Group, and Chairman of HSBC Bank Malaysia Berhad.

David Thodey

Chairman CSIRO, Company Director & Former CEO of Telstra & IBM ANZ

David Thodey is Chair of the Commonwealth Science, Industry & Research Organisation and a Director of Ramsay Health Care, Tyro Payments, Vodafone Group UK and XERO.

Previously David was CEO and Executive Director of Telstra, appointed in May 2009. He formally retired from the CEO position on 30 April 2015. Telstra is Australia’s leading Telco with an international presence spanning Asia, Europe and North America. Before joining Telstra, David was CEO, Australia and New Zealand at IBM. During his 22 years at IBM, David held several senior executive positions across Asia Pacific.

Paula Dwyer

Chairman Tabcorp, Director ANZ Bank, Lion & Alliance

Paula Dwyer is the Chairman and Non Executive Director of Tabcorp since June 2011. Paula is also Director of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Lion Pty Ltd and Allianz Australia Limited. As well as a Member of the Kirin Holdings International Advisory Board and a Member of the Takeovers Panel.

Ms Dwyer was the former Chairman of Healthscope Limited and a Director of Leighton Holdings Limited, Suncorp Group Limited and Foster’s Group Limited. She is a former member of the ASIC External Advisory Panel and the Victorian Casino and Gaming Authority and of the Victorian Gaming Commission.

Malcolm Jackman

Chairman Force Fire, EX CEO SA Fire & Emergency, Defence SA, Elders, Coates Hire, Manpower

Malcolm Jackman joined publicly listed Coates Hire in 2003 as CEO. In September 2008 he was appointed as the CEO of Futuris Corporation which changed its name to Elders Limited in April 2009.

In late August 2014 Malcolm returned to Adelaide to become Chief Executive of Defence SA. Defence SA is South Australia’s lead government agency for all defence matters and the nation’s only stand-alone state defence organisation. In July 2015 he moved within the SA Government to become CE of SAFECOM.

Gail Kelly

EX CEO Westpac Bank and St George Bank

Gail’s banking career spans 35 years, split equally between South Africa and Australia. While in South Africa, Gail held a number of senior executive positions in the Nedbank Group.

Gail served as the Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of two banks in Australia – St.George Bank from 2002 to 2007 and Westpac from 2008 to 2015. In 2008, these two banks came together under Gail’s leadership in what was the largest in-market merger in Australian financial services. At the time of her retirement in February 2015, The Westpac Group was the country’s 2nd largest bank and the 12th largest bank in the world, in terms of market capitalisation.

Richard Goyder

Chairman QANTAS Airways, AFL & Woodside Petroleum

Richard Goyder AO is the chairman of Woodside Petroleum Ltd, Qantas Airways Ltd, and the AFL Commission. He also chairs JDRF Australia, the West Australian Symphony Orchestra, and the Channel 7 Telethon Trust. Formerly he was Chairman of the Australian B20 (the key business advisory body to the international economic forum which includes business leaders from all G20 economies).

Richard was the Managing Director and CEO of Wesfarmers Limited from July 2005 to November 2017.

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In 2007, Richard transformed Wesfarmers with the successful acquisition of the Coles Group of companies. At more than $19 billion, this purchase was, and remains, the biggest transaction in Australian corporate history. Wesfarmers became a top 10 Australian company, with more than 500,000 shareholders and with a workforce of more than 220,000 people, it became the country’s largest private sector employer.

He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2013 for distinguished service to business through executive roles and through the promotion of corporate sponsorship of the arts and Indigenous programs, and to the community.

Mike Foster

Ex CEO Fujitsu Australia, CEO Mentor List - Technology

Mike Foster was previously the CEO and Executive Director of Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand (FANZ). In line with restructuring of Fujitsu’s global organization he was appointed as Head of the Oceania Region in April 2014 reporting directly to the Global President. He had been instrumental in driving the company’s business strategy at the enterprise level and to develop Fujitsu’s presence as a Tier 1 Technology Services Integrator with over 5,000 people in Australia and New Zealand.

Mike’s career to date spans over 25 years in the ICT industry in Australia and North America. Prior to Fujitsu, he spent nine years in senior executive positions at Telstra, including Managing Director, Business Sales, and more recently as the Chief Executive Officer, KAZ Group. Before joining Telstra, he was Managing Director, EMC, Australia/New Zealand and Managing Director, NCR Australia. 

James Fazzino

EX CEO Incitec Pivot Limited

James Fazzino is a strategic leader with an impressive track record taking local Australian business through significant growth & expansion into international markets. During his tenure as the Managing Director and CEO of Incitec Pivot (IPL), James led the largest Australian corporate growth story on record. Over his 14 year tenure, first as CFO and then as CEO, the company increased in size 6-fold to an enterprise value of $8bn.

James is currently the Chairman of Manufacturing Australia, Chairman of Osteon Medical, a leading digital health business, Non-Executive Director of Australian Pipeline Limited, Non-Executive Director of Rabobank Australia Limited & Non-Executive Director of Tassal Group Limited, Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow & Adjunct Professor at La Trobe University. James passionately believes in diversity and is a member of the Melbourne Male Champions of Change group.

Brian Hartzer

Ex CEO Westpac Bank, Senior Advisor at Sayers

Brian Hartzer is an experienced financial service professional and a former CEO of Westpac.

He is a veteran of New York-based banking strategy firm, First Manhattan Consulting Group, and has held senior roles at ANZ and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

CEO Mastermind Members

Sheena Jack


Health Fund Industry

Roberto Scenna

CEO CCInsurance

Insurance Industry

Mike Foster

CEO Mentor List Digital

IT Professional Services

Vin O'Halloran

CEO Visy

Paper Packaging Industry

Joe Barr

CEO John Holland

Construction Industry

Greg Keith

CEO Grant Thornton

Accounting Services Industry

Jimmy Wilson


Grain Industry

Claire Rogers

Managing Partner Mentor List Advisory

Professional Services

Kevin O'Sullivan

CEO UniSuper

Superannuation Industry

Stephen Rue


Telco Industry

Sally Capp

Lord Mayor Melbourne

Government Sector

Dean Carroll

CEO Brown Family Wine

Wine Industry

Simon Eid

VP Splunk

Software Industry

Jacob Varghese

CEO Maurice Blackburn

Legal Industry

Pat McCafferty

Managing Director Yarra Valley Water

Utilities Industry

Robert Iervasi

CEO Asahi

Beverage Industry

Karen Hayes

CEO Guide Dogs

NFP Industry

Margaret Zita

CEO My Room

Charity Industry

Mark Freeman


Investment Industry

Melinda Crole


Recreation Industry

Christine Kilpatrick

CEO Royal Melbourne Hospital & North Western Mental Health

Hospital & Health Industry

Chris Campbell

CEO Citywide

Environmental Industry

Clark Kirby

CEO Village

Leisure Industry

Audrey Zibelman


Energy Industry

Mark Mazurek

Mark Mazurek

CEO Linfox

Logistics Industry

Dr Shane Kelly

Dr Shane Kelly

CEO St John of God Health Care

Health Care Industry

James Sinclair

James Sinclair

CEO Signature Hospitality Group

Hospitality Industry

Kate Quirke

Kate Quirke

CEO Alcidion Group Limited

Health Tech Industry

Tony Nash

Tony Nash

CEO Booktopia

Online & Retail

Michelle Terry

Michelle Terry

CEO Movember


Maree McCabe

Maree McCabe

CEO Dementia Australia

Charity Industry

Graeme Beardsell

Graeme Beardsell

CEO Fujitsu Australia Limited

IT Services Industry

Charlie McLeish

Charlie McLeish

CEO Pental Products Pty Ltd


David Thomas

David Thomas

CEO Brandbank Group


Kellie Barnes

Kellie Barnes

Group CIO Asahi Beverages

Beverage Industry

Katherine Dyer

Katherine Dyer


Telco Industry

Shane Bulluss

Shane Bulluss

GM Sales, Brown Family Wine Group

Wine Industry

Caron Beaton-Wells

Caron Beaton-Wells

Deputy Dean, Melbourne Business School

Education Industry

Bryan Pyne

Bryan Pyne

COO St John of God Health Care

Health Care Industry

Dough Hutchinson

Doug Hutchinson

COO Barry Plant Real Estate

Property Industry

Cynthia Chung

Cynthia Chung

Head of Procurement, Nando's Australia


Reena Dahiya

Reena Dahiya

Vice President Finance, Leidos

IT Industry

Nadine Goldsmith

Nadine Goldsmith

Chief Executive of Infrastructure and Culture, HIA

Home Building

Kellie Cordner

Kellie Cordner

Chief Marketing Officer, CarSales

Online Classifieds & E-Commerce

Nigel Gilligan

Nigel Gilligan

COO Trajan Scientific & Medical

Scientific & Technical Instruments Manufacturing Industry

Louise Eyres

Louise Eyres

CMO Vanguard Australia

Financial Industry

Dionne Higgins

Dionne Higgins

Interim vice Chancellor & President RMIT University

Education Industry

Brooke Miller

Brooke Miller

VP Castrol Asia Pacific

Automotive Lubricants

Rory Linehan

Rory Linehan

CTO Codan Limited

Electrical Manufacturing

Von Slater

Von Slater

Head of Development & Delivery, Lifestyle Communities

Property Industry

Peter Haviland

Peter Haviland

CIO Angle Finance

Financial Services

Structured membership

  • Annual Membership
  • Group Chairperson
  • Expert Facilitator
  • Guest Mentors
  • CEO Peer Group

Current CEO groups

  • Melbourne
  • Sydney

Membership enquiry

Mastermind groups are limited to a maximum number of participants and are invite only or following a successful application. Applicants are vetted by The Mentor list team, Chairman, Facilitator and finally by the existing members in the group.

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We are advisors and strategists that are focussed on people, and their ongoing development and growth. We are all about building trust and focussing on long term success. We work with you, we embed our people with yours and share our skills every step of the way.
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