The Western Australia state manager shares her passion for a sustainable future and the importance of staying at the forefront of issues facing directors.

    Company Director (CD): What does your role entail?

    Kirsten Rose (KR): I lead the Western Australia (WA) division and our Perth-based team to deliver the value and professional level of service that our WA members expect from Company Directors. I collaborate closely with our division council and national office on a strategic level and work with our local team to implement a high-quality program of education, events, and professional development for our membership.

    As the public face of Company Directors in WA, I am responsible for exploring opportunities, lifting our profile and promoting our brand and the great work we — and our members — do.  

    CD: What are the major challenges of your role?

    KR: Everything we do at Company Directors must be centered on our members, who are united by many common interests, but also have differing needs and priorities. Our challenge is to stay at the forefront of the issues facing directors and ensure we are highly relevant, timely and innovative in the way we engage and deliver services.

    CD: What do you enjoy most about your role?

    KR: Honestly, I enjoy so many things about this role that it is hard to pick one. The people are outstanding — both the staff and our members — who regularly inspire me with their stories and experience. I also love the learning that comes from working across so many sectors, industries and issues.

    CD: What would you most like to achieve in your role?

    KR: The WA division has gone from strength to strength, and it is fantastic to have such a solid foundation to work from. I am keen to maintain and grow the services our members have always valued, but I would also like to explore emerging issues that I believe are highly relevant to directors, such as the strategic importance of innovation, licence to operate, shareholder activism, environment and science and technology. 

    CD: What do you most like about working with the directors of Australia?

    KR: I like working with directors because they are so committed to making a difference through the work they do. So many directors are incredibly generous with their time and experience and give back so graciously. It is great to be able to work with them and better understand the contribution they make to our community on every level.

    CD: What is your background?

    KR: Before joining Company Directors, I was the chief executive of the Sustainable Energy Association of Australia, which is a peak body for businesses in the renewable and sustainable energy sector. I enjoyed advocating on behalf of industry for the need to transform our energy mix, particularly during a time of significant policy upheaval. Prior to that, my career was built in commercial and client services roles for professional services firms in different industries, including strategy consulting, marketing, internet services and advertising.

    CD: Why did you join Company Directors?

    KR: I joined because of the economic and social importance of the work we do promoting good governance in organisations, our professionalism and brand strength, the opportunity to influence diversity on boards and the ongoing learning that the role offers.

    CD: What drives you?

    KR: I am passionate about the need to create a genuinely sustainable world for future generations and the critical role Australian businesses (including not-for-profits) and innovation must play in that transformation. That is a major strategic imperative in my mind.

    CD: What is the biggest lesson you have ever learned in life?

    KR: Be authentic. A few times in my life and career, I have tried to become someone different because I thought it was important to achieving an end result. That doesn’t work. Understanding your real strengths — and weaknesses — is a much better strategy.

    CD: What do you do in your spare time?

    KR: I keep pretty busy with two primary school-age kids, but in my spare time I love to read — fiction, non-fiction, magazines, everything. I also write, mostly essays, which will never see the light of day.  I am also a keen cook and love to entertain friends over good wine and food. I have also recently started flying lessons.

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