Wendy McCarthy began her career as a secondary school teacher and remains passionate about the power of education. For four decades she has been a teacher, educator and change agent in Australian public life. In 2005 she was nominated by the Sydney Morning Herald as one of Australia's Top 100 Public Intellectuals.
She has worked with government, corporations and community based organisations in education, women's issues, public health, heritage, media and waste management and she has held national leadership roles in all of these areas. It is this eclectic combination that gives her a unique profile and network nationally and internationally. She has represented Australia at conferences on women's health and leadership, education, broadcasting, conservation and heritage and for four years was Chair of the Advisory Committee of WHO Kobe Centre, Japan.
Currently she is Chair of Circus Oz, McGrath Estate Agents, headspace - Australia's National Youth Mental Health Foundation and Pacific Friends of the Global Foundation. In 2010 Wendy became a Non-Executive Director to GoodStart Childcare Limited. In 2009 after 13 years of service to Plan International, she retired from her most recent role as Global Vice Chair. She is Patron of the Australian Reproductive Health Alliance.
Her corporate advisory practice, McCarthy Mentoring, specialises in providing mentors to major corporations and the public sector. For over ten years she has assisted these organisations with issues around diversity, leadership and work life balance. Her clients have included Citigroup, UBS, Lehman Brothers (Tokyo), National Australia Bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Allens Arthur Robinson, the Department of Lands, The Australia Council and Delta Electricity.
Wendy McCarthy has published many articles and is the author of seven books including her memoirs Don't Fence Me In published by Random House in 2000, and in 2008 two books on mentoring: One2One: The Guide for Mentors and One2One: The Guide for Mentees, published by Focus Publishing. She enjoys public speaking and is an experienced speaker and facilitator.
In 2005 Wendy completed a decade as Chancellor of the University of Canberra. Wendy was a founding member of the Australian Chancellors' Conference.