Speaker Biography


Penelope is a multi-degree qualified professional with over 20 years’ experience in strategic and operational management, program, project and risk management, and governance and compliance. Penelope demonstrates people management, organisational culture and communications skills across a wide demographic and range of disciplines, including time in the Australian Defence Force.

Penelope’s service in the Royal Australian Navy has seen her undertake strategic level appointments in project, human resource, safety, culture and risk, as well as being a member of the Australian Defence Force Investigative Service. Penelope can also boast the ability to drive an 8,500 tonne armed warship. From 2010 to 2018, Penelope was the Chief Executive Officer of two different organisations, providing services for national and international clients in the government sector, mining and resources, oil and gas, public utilities, transport and civil construction as a consultant. During this tenure, Penelope was a national representative on government boards for industry in matters pertaining to training and skilling, and workforce planning and development.

In 2016, Penelope co-founded and now Chairs Women in Power – a Not-for-Profit organisation created to advance and empower women in industry. These days, the organisation provides training, coaching, mentoring and consultancy services to any member who seeks to be better. Penelope is currently a Director of Transformation Assurance, providing expertise to multifaceted Defence clients across the nation. She is a sought-after speaker, an author, a national Ambassador for various domestic violence, mental health and veteran-related organisations and is a Board member for Durack College and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Penelope is a true leader of people and operations. She has been recognised as an innovator with unsurpassed drive and passion. Her stamina, resilience and wicked sense of humour have carried her through extraordinary challenges. She continues to receive accolades for her vision and entrepreneurship, including being named the Queensland Telstra Business Women’s Award for Social Enterprise and Not-For-Profit and winner of three separate categories in the national Women in Industry Awards. She has also been named APAC CEO of the Year, the winner of Canberra’s ‘Women of Spirit’ Award and was a finalist in the Women in Business Awards, the National Association of Women in Construction Awards, the Australian Institute of Management Leadership Awards and the Lord Mayors Business Awards.