Suzanne Colbert AM GAICD

Non-Executive Director and Strategic Advisor

Suzanne has had 27 years of executive leadership in the for-purpose sector.  She is a trusted advisor, a non-executive director, a business owner, mentor, and coach. She co-founded the Australian Network on Disability (AND) and nurtured its success and growth as CEO for 20 years.

Suzanne transformed the way public and private sector businesses responded to employees, customers, and stakeholders with disability with a strong business case. Suzanne designed, developed, and implemented policies, publications, and world-class programs that successfully facilitate inclusion. Through active membership of AND, organisations invest in developing the right behaviours, attitudes, systems, and knowledge to be inclusive. In collaboration with members and people with disability AND became recognised as the authoritative voice for businesses on inclusion of people with disability. Now, 1 in 6 Australian employees works for an AND member.

Suzanne also established Australia’s first network of senior executives who champion the inclusion of people with disability. Network meetings in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne facilitate executive learning exchanges and are a powerful way of amplifying the influence and effectiveness of D&I and the voices of employees with disability in their organisations.  

It was Suzanne’s previous 10 years’ of assisting people with significant disability into well paid sustainable jobs that led her to realise that large and complex employers needed more practical assistance and guidance. She also learned that, given the chance, almost everyone can work. For Suzanne, her professional experience mirrored her personal experience. Her late husband, businessman John Little, a wheelchair user with significant disability continued working into his 70’s. 

Suzanne leads with humility, seeking to understand people and systems. She is a strategic thinker who realises the immense hurdles faced by individuals who experience system barriers. Leaders have the power to eliminate barriers and make systems useable for all. 

Suzanne credits her birth town, Broken Hill, NSW as contributing to her personal resilience. By studying as a mature-age student, she addressed the disappointment of leaving home and school at age 15. Suzanne is grateful for the encouragement, support, and guidance (and defining moments of rejection) that have shaped her as a leader. She is eager to share her journey and talk with you about the essence of leadership, and how our humanity can lift others to believe in and achieve their potential. Suzanne is driven by the belief that everybody can contribute through work, and it’s up to us to make sure we don’t leave anyone behind. 

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