Vocate testimonials

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The following testimonials come from my work in some of Australia’s and the region’s most influential values driven organisations. The testimonials span work in international development, legal assistance, education, government departments, commercial enterprises and community organisations.


“Col walked alongside our senior team over several months as the organisation went through a period of significant change. Col was there to support us to imagine a better future for the leadership of our organisation. He provided strong theoretical foundations to help us understand where we were at on the journey and to help guide us on the next moves we could choose to make. As a result of working with Col we have much stronger leadership cohesion, some shared language about our commitment on how to work as a leadership team and a clearer vision for what we are striving towards in the future. We are deeply grateful for Col’s guidance, coaching and wisdom.”

SR- NFP consulting firm

“Col assisted us in planning, and facilitating, our organisation’s strategic planning day at a turbulent time for the organisation. On the day, Col helped us think through some complex and challenging issues in a constructive and open way. He read the room impeccably, facilitated unity around issues where previously there had been division, and kept us focused to achieve the outcomes we had set for the day. Many in the team shared with me afterwards that the session made them feel hopeful that a better future for the organisation was possible.”

AW – community legal centre

“We were thrilled with the guidance and support Col provided for our recent cross-sector forum. He has a highly developed ability to engage an audience, and flexibly managed the agenda with a strong focus on achieving the agreed outcomes for the day. His personable nature was also a great asset leading to high levels of participant engagement and networking.”

KB – community service agency

“Col has has become embedded into my everyday thoughts and disciplines as a CEO. His wealth of experience, mental models, strategic workflows are in themselves quite remarkable, but these are only tools Col brings. The real magic of Col is who is he and why he does what he does. He has inspired me to be the best I can be and probably more profoundly, believe in a better me.

One of the most amazing people you will meet in your career.”

LM – digital agency

“Col is an fantastic facilitator. He can read the mood of the room perfectly and knows how to get the very best out of people. He engaged us all in a stimulating and sensitive way at a pace that allowed for respectful and robust conversations. After even a day in his company our team feels energised and stronger for the insights that Col gave us.”

KH – commission

“Col helped a large and disparate organisation rediscover its purpose and belief that good things can come from what might appear hopeless situations, if people and processes get truly aligned, around things they share in common. Over eighteen months, Col partly prodded and cajoled, he certainly designed and modified processes to suit us, he got to know us from top to bottom and from all sides and angles, but he always stayed true to his brief and belief in appreciative enquiry and listening to others – and that it was our task to come together and decide things – not his. I don’t think we would have got to where we are without Col’s wise counsel and deft touch. He is great at observation, a very good listener and armed with insights and encouragement that seem to fall out just when they are needed and which suit the situation at hand. Col doesn’t dole out his formula he helps you find your own”

BW – legal aid commission

“Col had the challenging task of facilitating a new board, focused on developing an ambitious strategy for social change. He very quickly got his head around the complexity of the content and the needs of individuals in the group. His inclusive and intelligent approach meant the day went exceptionally well, the pace enabling the board to work through, but not get stuck on critical issues.”

SR – innovative foundation

“Col’s commitment to understanding my requirements gave me comfort and a high level of trust.  His facilitation, (public, multi-sector  forum) on the day was faultless and ensured the event was a success beyond my initial expectations.  Highly recommended for his professionalism and confidence in tackling an unfamiliar audience.”

LI – university

“After two days with Col, our team has new energy, hope, a workable plan and some new tools. Col is obviously a person of high emotional intelligence who works hard to bring the best possible tools and ideas to the people and situation in the room. He always managed to move us forward; he always listened and respected all participants and he always stayed on track. He made it look easy, but I know it’s not!”

OM – large community service agency

“Col was involved in design and implementation of a major organizational reform process for the largest Development Foundation in the South Pacific. He worked closely with senior management to successfully lead the largest organizational change in the Company’s eight year history.

Aside from having sound technical knowledge on how business and not-for-profits generally work, Col tailors his approach to the needs of the business. There are no cookie-cutter solutions with Col.

Here in Papua New Guinea the operating environment is complicated and difficult. Here, you need to have outstanding communication and social skills and the intellectual dexterity to make change happen – Col is one of the rare people with the full suite of such skills.”

TC – international development organisation

“Col is a delight to work with.  He brings wisdom born of experience, insight born of an inquiring mind and a deft touch to facilitating strategy development.  When working with us, he understood very clearly where he could add value and never inserted himself into the process or thinking unnecessarily.  His approach was very rare – it focused on the strengths our organisation brought to the process and encouraged us to utilise these fully, while introducing and encouraging new thinking. The result is strategy and processes which are authentic to our organisation and staff who feel empowered to implement them.”

FM – social justice law agency

“Col designed and facilitated sessions with our senior teams in Australia and New Zealand to develop a three year management plan and ten year strategy. His skill in facilitating enabled people to question and challenge each other in constructive ways. Col ensured we reached clear and agreed outcomes to progress on our strategic development process as a connected team. Working across two countries was at times highly complex but Col connected well with both teams.

I considered Col a trusted member of the team but also one able to step ‘outside’ the organisational paradigm and provide clarity, analysis and insight.”

MG – international development organisation

“We began working with Col in the very early stages of an idea to bring together a range of organizations and cast a new direction together.  Col has been instrumental in turning this idea into action, through his insightful advice and invaluable combination of excellent communication and strategic thinking.  All involved have unanimously agreed that working with Col has been critical in setting a new direction for us to work toward.”

AP – international development orgniastion

Col quickly gained an accurate sense of who we are as an organisation and skilfully  discerned key messages from a large amount of stakeholder feedback into a few core statements which we all recognised as capturing what we were saying.

Col contributed above and beyond the brief we gave him to ensure that we achieve our end goals – with thought always to effective and consultative processes to ensure that the Council has effectively heard the key messages from stakeholders and that they have been effectively engaged in the process. A great deal was achieved in a short time-frame – one board member commented that the process was amazingly well-paced – we didn’t feel rushed – nor that we wallowed or wasted time.”

JF – private school

“Col, the innovative approach you brought to our review has been fantastic. You’ve worked hard to understand our operation, our alignment with the wider organisation, our staff and our customers. With sensitivity you’ve distilled a clear picture of how the we can improve moving ahead. Your wisdom experience and passion has been inspirational and addictive.”

AJ – international development organisation

“Col facilitated a highly successful business planning workshop for 50 of my staff. I was very impressed by the level of commitment and focus that Col was able to bring to the 2 days. A major success factor was the pre-workshop planning and interface, who took the time to meet with branch senior leaders to ensure that the purpose and outcomes of the workshop were clearly understood and also their key roles in making the days a success. Col’s facilitating style is very engaging and inclusive.”

GP – state government department

“Col has been a catalyst for profound change within our group.His partnership has provided insightful direction on a journey to cultivate a mind-set and culture that is focussed on delivering meaningful outcomes. He has engaged the conversations that matter most to our group and our direction.”

AM – international development organisation

“Apart from his strong facilitation skills, what impressed me about Col was his ability to think on his feet and deal with client issues as they arose. Col and his staff were an integral part of a highly successful project and I would have no hesitation in recommending them for any work in the corporate advising field. They comes across as one of those rare organisations where the staff seem genuinely committed to both their clients and each other – they were an absolute pleasure to work with.”

AL – federal government department

“Col’s experience and knowledge in strategic planning, particularly within the not for profit environment was obvious. He understood the needs of our staff and Board as well as the needs of our customers and the feedback on the strategic planning process from those involved was very positive. I was personally impressed by his communication skills, his ability to apply his knowledge in a suitable and practical manner and by his methods in encouraging and supporting input from all parties.”

AB – community service agency

“Col has a passion for ideas and creativity and the genius of his work is to design strategies that liberate others. His approach to organisational change and management is to democratise and energise the process in which people engage with their work environment. He has an uncommon ability to engage in complex discussions around strategy and vision using language that de-mystifies the process for others. He is an enthusiastic promoter of change and is able to help others to conceptualise and articulate their dreams. I know few people have a similar ability to co-ordinate discussions in a manner that so effectively engages all participants.”

TT – professional services
“I consider Cols advice, guidance and support to be one of the major reasons I managed to transition successfully into a rewarding career in management. His relaxed and down to earth mentoring style injected confidence into the process of career change that could otherwise have been rather intimidating. I consider myself fortunate to have been able to draw from Col’s extensive experience in managing people and organisations at a time when I had to make some difficult decisions. Col is an inspirational, energising and sensible individual, not just in business but life in general.”
CA – national peak body


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