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Leadership Visionary, Storyteller, Career Coach & Mentor


Rosie Wheen is known for her impactful leadership in the development and water sectors.

Her commitment to service and thirst for adventure saw Rosie begin her career in education. With a love of languages and other cultures, she jumped at an opportunity to volunteer at a school in Indonesia. This formative experience as a young person had a big impact on Rosie - the school was resource-poor with no electricity, running water or teaching resources but rich in so many other ways. At many points in her life, Rosie can point to examples like this where she has had the courage to seize opportunities that take her out of her comfort zone and help her to grow personally and professionally.
Her openness to new opportunities propelled Rosie into International Development. After six years in Indonesia, she joined WaterAid Australia at its inception in 2004 and, after a significant period as Director of International Programs, became Chief Executive for 7 years.
She served as CEO of WaterAid Australia, a Global organisation dedicated to providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene to some of the world's most vulnerable communities.

Rosie is the CEO of The Peter Cullen Water and Environment Trust. The Trust’s purpose is to foster courageous leadership to tackle big challenges in the water and environment.

She has extensive experience in strategy, collaboration, advocacy, government engagement and within the non-profit sector. Her leadership at WaterAid Australia contributed significantly to raising awareness about the global water crisis and the importance of ensuring clean water access for everyone. A highlight from Rosie’s leadership includes a transformation process around diversity and governance.
Rosie Wheen demonstrates a passion for social justice and social change throughout her career. Rosie also served the sector as Vice President of the peak body, the Australian Council for International Development. Rosie was a founding member of Not in My Workplace that is a coalition of women leaders working to prevent sexual harassment in the Workplace. Rosie is a foster carer.

Talking Points

Cultivating Joy

Leading in a world of uncertainty and discombobulating change is hard. It calls on a lot from us. How can we shift the weight of that load? By cultivating joy. That’s right. The ability to cultivate joy for you and those around you will transform your leadership practice, lighten your load and increase your impact.

Who is this for: Board, CEO, Executive teams, people managers, schools

Key Takeaways:
- Self - Space to pause and reflect on how joy shows up for you
- Teams - Learning how joy can serve you and your teams to increase your impact
- Your systems - Understand tools you can implement on how to cultivate joy for yourself and your teams

Transformative Leadership for diversity and inclusion inside and outside your organisation

What would happen if you set your ambition to be a socially just and gender just leader? What would an audit of power show you about your leadership, about your organisation policies and practices? These are some of the questions Rosie asked herself as CEO of WaterAid Australia. It led to personal transformation for Rosie and many others including the Board and so much more.

Key Takeaways:
- Self - Sharing personal stories from her journey as a leader that will help you unpack your biases, develop tools to transform your leadership
- Teams - Lessons and tools to build both your empathy and engagement with your people
- Your Systems - Lessons and tools that Rosie has used from power audits to governance reviews to roadmaps for change.

Take your career on an adventure

How will you make the most of this one life? As you think about your career, your purpose - How can you move from a place of doubt as to which next step to take to a place of curiosity and courage? Rosie has tools and experience that will set you on your new adventure with curiosity and courage. Sharing stories from her life and career adventure stretching from classrooms in remote parts of Indonesia, to isolated villages in Papua New Guinea to leading a team of 150 people in WaterAid across four different countries transforming the lives of some of the world’s poorest people.

Key Takeaways:
- Space to pause and reflect on your purpose and what matters to you
- Tools to ignite your curiosity and unleash your courage to take the next step on your career adventure
- Stories of fun, disaster, learning and impact from Rosie’s career adventures
Rosie was engaging, authentic and on point with the theme and messaging of our event, further to the context of the work that Melbourne Water is embarking on at this time. Melbourne Water
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