Vanessa Vanderhoek is passionate about making flexible working a reality for everyone.  She has sat on both sides of the fence - she was an executive for 10 years, and over the course of her career has adopted many different types of flexible work.  She strongly believes this decision played a critical role in her ability to successfully juggle her career, family and life goals.

Vanessa launched #FWD2017 to celebrate and showcase how flexible working can (and does) work.

She is the founder of Career Inside Track, a consultancy that supports parents to balance the demands of their work and families, and assists employers to harness the benefits of flexible working to get the most out of their employees. 

Natalie Goldman is driven by making a difference in this world, through her passion for creating economic empowerment for women.  She has over 20 years experience across numerous landscapes including being an entrepreneur, corporate, Government and Not For Profit – particularly in technology, HR, learning and development and organisational psychology.

She is the CEO of FlexCareers, a disruptive online talent matching platform connecting talented women with progressive employers offering flexible work. 

She is a believer of challenging the norm, being curious and innovating, finding better and different ways of doing things, of connecting and collaborating.

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Ashley Winnett is not your typical HR Director - winner of the LinkedIn Conscious Business Leadership Award 2016 – Management Maestro category.

Ashley is the Executive Director – People, Performance and Culture at GM Holden, where he has been an active and vocal positive disruptor across the business and believes that supporting flexibility increases inclusion, supports diversity and improves overall engagement and teamwork whilst empowers people to be their best.   

Ashley is conscious that whilst flexibility works for him and allows him to be involved in those activities that he wants to share with his children, there are many people who want to work flexibly, albeit for different reasons. 


Kim Brennan is an Australian World Champion, Olympian and Olympic Gold Medal winning rower.  She is passionate about flexible work because happy workers are good workers! She believes that it is really important to live a balanced life, and to be able to pursue your passions inside of and outside of the workplace.

As an elite athlete, Kim has  always prioritised a balanced approach to life off the water. She values the skills that she has learned in the workplace and the perspective a range of different experiences have given her. "Ironically, I performed better on the water by paying attention to my life off it! Being forced to work irregular hours, I learned the skills of time management, the importance of clear communication and the ability to set realistic expectations. The same applies now in the professional world- it is equally important to maintain a sense of balance, and encourage that from your team. Encouraging flexible work is about proactive communication about challenges and goals and being a good listener."

Nicole Lessio strongly believes that flexibility is key to job satisfaction. "Offering flexible work is recognition that employees have full, rounded lives that don't stop between 9 and 5. Any employer that truly embraces flexible work practices is rewarded with happier, more engaged employees who are more productive and are extremely loyal. It's a win for everyone."

Nicole is the Executive Director of The Parenthood and a mum of four kids - from grade 12 to kindy. She's a former high school teacher with more than a decade of campaigning experience as well as years of experience in federal and state government policy and media. Nicole is passionate about celebrating parents and helping to make it just that little bit easier to raise kids in Australia.  

Mike Watson is the father of three aspirational daughters, and strongly believes the move to a more flexible working paradigm can provide them with opportunities to lead full and balanced lives.  "A workplace culture that encourages and rewards flexibility stimulates innovation, promotes productivity, and fosters a connection to team and organisation that contributes to mental health. That’s why I believe Flexible Working Day is a great initiative and I support it wholeheartedly”.

Mike is the Founder of Flexion Consulting and specialises in advising boards and business leaders on achieving strategic and cultural alignment to create competitive advantage and to build sustainable organisations. Flexion is focused on helping leaders to drive the implementation of change across their organisations.  Mike and Vanessa work cooperatively and seemlessly to bring their combined expertise and experience to clients.

Hayley Windsor is a business consultant, yogi and creative.  She possesses diverse career experience through which she is known to bring a fresh perspective, energy, excellent engagement skills and an outcome-driven mindset. From international business journalism assignments to big four management consulting projects and social enterprise start-ups, her dynamic approach, effervescent personality and professional integrity are consistent.

She is driven by a benevolent curiosity and an enthusiasm for uncovering her greatest potential and helping others to do the same.

Having left the corporate 9-5 behind in October last year, she now provides support to businesses on a freelance or project-defined basis. Drawing on her yoga studies, teaching and leadership skills, she also runs boutique retreats focussed on health, fitness, yoga and reflection for entrepreneurially spirited professionals and small groups.