Fostering Executive Women

About Fostering Executive Women

Celebrating 10 years of helping women develop skills and improve performance to become the woman she wants to be.

Although men and women may enter the workplace at similar levels, with similar credentials and career aspirations, their career paths often diverge. For this reason Fostering Executive Women was formed with the vision to nurture and celebrate the achievements of female business graduates through advocacy, mentoring and networking opportunities. Drawing from more than 1,000 alumni and the broader Brisbane business community, the group is committed to advancing women in business and leadership in Australia. Fostering Executive Women opportunities – ranging from mentor programs, scholarships and continuing professional education - are open to female students and graduates of QUT Graduate School of Business programs.

Founded by Associate Professor Caroline Hatcher and led by one of our foremost business women, Ann Garms OAM, the vision remains strong today, with top executives sharing their time, experiences and their wisdom with female professionals to further develop their skills, expand their knowledge and prepare them to become the next leaders in business.

Fostering Executive Women has helped shape and influence the lives of many women. Over the last 10 years the group has seen women enter executive leadership, start their own businesses, take on their first Board position, and move into positions of influence, all the while juggling very real career and personal responsibilities.

The success of Fostering Executive Women has been made possible by the generous support of the QUT Business School, our corporate sponsors, our volunteers, QUT alumni members and Queensland business community.

Professional development support

Fostering Executive Women supports the development and promotion of women in leadership positions - corporate or entrepreneurial - by offering a range of programs aimed at continuous development to produce world-class executives for the real world. In this way, the group aims to increase the participation of women at the executive level. We also provide a network of like-minded people to ensure ongoing opportunities for professional development for our members.

One of the key measures of a successful program is moving the relationship from having a good rapport and information exchange to one that is supporting, developing and challenging the mentee, while the mentor may learn something new or develop in a way they had not anticipated. Another key to success is balancing structure and process offered for both mentors and mentees, without having onerous constraints that may limit the flow of a good relationship.
Rupert Bryce
Performance Strategies
From the 2012 FEW Mentoring Program materials

Mentoring program

Applications for the mentoring program are now open. Submit a completed application form and supporting documentation by 5pm, Friday 21 February 2014 to Fostering Executive Women.

Mentoring program application form

About the program

The mentoring program is Fostering Executive Women's flagship program and is designed to give postgraduate women the support, wisdom and practical assistance they need to reach their development goals.

The program matches high potential, high performing women in business with industry leaders over a six month period where they participate in a range of formal and informal professional education and networking events. Mentors and mentees are responsible for ongoing contact. The format of the relationship is determined by the mentor/mentee and may include face-to-face meetings, e-mail or phone contact.

The formal structure typically includes:

  • induction evening to explain the structure, roles, responsibilities of mentors/mentees and networking
  • mentor and mentee catch up as well as invitations to the Executive Conversation Series
  • final program workshop to reflect on what has been learnt.


Mentoring encourages participants to:

  • change behaviour and improve performance
  • look beyond present constraints
  • take risks
  • look for new perspectives or possibilities
  • identify and apply problem solving techniques
  • implement career plans and achieve career success.

Who can apply?

All female alumni of QUT Business School postgraduate programs are eligible to apply. Unsuccessful candidates from previous years are also encouraged to re-apply.

The Fostering Executive Women Mentoring Program has accepted mentees from across both big enterprise and small consultancies, and from sectors as diverse as banking and finance to health care, government and manufacturing. Women who participate in the Mentoring Program are eligible to apply for the Fostering Executive Women International Scholarship, sponsored by St.George Bank.


Fostering Executive Women offers an annual scholarship to attend the Women's Leadership Forum - Innovation Strategies for a Changing World, which is part of the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program, held at Harvard Business School in Boston, USA. This international scholarship is made possible through the ongoing support of St.George Bank.

Applications for the 2014 scholarship are now closed.

2013 scholarship winners

Congratulations to these inspiring QUT Alumni on being awarded the Fostering Executive Women International Scholarship, sponsored by St.George Bank, to attend Harvard Business School’s Women’s Leadership Forum in Boston, USA in 2013.

Susanne Le Boutillier – QUT graduate, Diploma of Business (Industrial Relations), Graduate Certificate of Business (Queensland Health)

Over the last 23 years in Queensland Health Susanne has gained broad experience in change management, stakeholder engagement, negotiation, program management and developing and implementing strategy. Susanne commenced her career enabling health system innovation and reform in human resource and industrial relations roles. She was given the opportunity to lead these in her own right as the Director Medical Workforce Advice and Coordination following the Queensland Public Hospitals Commission of Inquiry. During her time in this role she implemented lasting strategies to increase Queensland’s medical training capacity and to address the risks arising from medical officer fatigue.

Following the Ministerial Taskforce on Clinical Education and Training she led the establishment of ClinEdQ, a multidisciplinary group focused on supporting the development of a safe and competent workforce to meet the healthcare needs of Queenslanders. Most recently she established and led the Queensland Health Reform Transition Office to separate Queensland Health into a Department and 17 statutory bodies with their own Hospital and Health Boards. As well as her QUT qualifications Susanne holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Queensland. She is a member of the Queensland Institute of Company Directors and pursuing further studies in this area.

Susanne attended Harvard Business School’s Women’s Leadership Forum: Innovations for a Changing World.

Nyree McKenzie – QUT graduate, Master of Business (Marketing), QUT Business School

Nyree McKenzie is the one of the country’s foremost bid and corporate communications specialists, having successfully led business development teams and executive management through the high pressure environment of major tenders and competitive bid processes for more than 15 years.

She is Director of technical and business communications consultancy, Thought Bubble, and has held a number of senior roles in government and professional services firms. Today, Nyree works with a number of fast growing companies and market leaders of global and national brands to support their business development and marketing communications objectives.

From securing multi-million dollar contracts for companies seeking appointment to government, ASX-listed and Defence panels and projects, to full service strategic communications, Nyree is instrumental in her clients' successes. With a degree in public relations and post-graduate qualifications in marketing, Nyree’s client list includes global companies, national firms and multinational companies with an Australian, NZ, US and/or Asian market presence.  In addition to her post-graduate qualifications Nyree has attained Australian Defence Force security clearance and is a trained RAAF Specialist Reserve (RAAFSR) in the field of operational public affairs.

Nyree attended Harvard Business School’s Leading Professional Services Firms.

Previous winners – 2012

Natasha Bowe – QUT graduate, MBA program, Graduate School of Business

Natasha Bowe has worked for O-I Glass Packaging, formerly ACI, for more than 13 years. As an Operations Manager- Batch and Furnace, Natasha was responsible for producing 530t of molten glass daily, $36m operating budget, 9 direct reports and $130m of plant and equipment. Last year she identified and implemented $0.5m worth of raw material savings through a change management strategy.

Over her four year period as Operations Manager, she transformed her highly resistant group of operators into a high performing and engaged team. Natasha is Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt certified. Prior to this role, Natasha was an Account Manager - Quality and Customer Service looking after 9 FMCG, including Lion Nathan, Schweppes, Nestle and Bundaberg Brewed Drinks. In 2012, Natasha cofounded a public relations firm, JulianKenendyPR. Natasha is a graduate of QUT's MBA Program in the Graduate School of Business.

Dr Monique Beedles – QUT graduate, PhD in Strategy, QUT Business School

Monique has built an impressive career integrating her writing and consulting skills to advise organisations on competitive business strategy and organisational design. She has assisted corporate clients, small business, government, and not-for-profit organisations to set strategic direction and successfully overcome challenges in achieving their vision.

Monique is a frequent speaker at conferences, workshops and industry events and writer for various publications, including author of Pivot Point: Making the decisions that matter in business. In addition to her PhD, Monique holds a Graduate Diploma Creative Industries (Creative Writing) with Distinction, from QUT a Bachelor of Pharmacy with First Class Honours from the University of Queensland and a Company Directors Diploma, Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Executive Conversation Series

In 2013 Fostering Executive Women Alumni Group celebrates 10 years of supporting female business alumni. To celebrate the 10 year anniversary, Fostering Executive Women’s Executive Conversation Series featured speakers reflecting on their careers and 'What a Difference 10 Years Can Make'.

Speakers included:

  • Hellen Wyatt, Regional Manager-Qld, Bunzl and recipient of the FEW Harvard Business School Scholarship (and FEW President)
  • Rhyll Gardiner, Head of Strategy, BOQ Group

To conclude their 10th year, Fostering Executive Women will partner with the Graduate School of Business to host a one-day Women in Leadership event for industry and alumni, followed by a Celebratory Anniversary Dinner Event. Further details will be available shortly.

In 2012 the following speakers shared their perspective on the theme 'Break Your Own Rules':

  • Tony Mucha - Practice Manager, Qld and W.A. St.George Bank
  • Liz Pidgeon - Director, Cornerstone Properties Pty Ltd
  • Panel Discussion: Rupert Bryce, Executive Coach at Performance Strategies; John Puttick, Founder and Chairman of GBST and; Professor Peter Little, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Programs & Partnerships), QUT.
  • Jenny Parker - Managing Partner, Ernst & Young Australia

Friends of FEW

We encourage business leaders to join our Friends of FEW network and participate in mentoring and events.

Partner with us


QUT Business School

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  • Postal address:
    QUT Business School
    GPO Box 2434
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Fostering Executive Women Alumni Group

  • Postal address:
    QUT Business School
    GPO Box 2434
    Brisbane QLD 4001