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Michelle Dawson


Michelle Dawson is a highly experienced executive with over ten years’ combined experience leading transformational change within the Australian public service and as CEO for a not-for-profit.

Michelle has a strong understanding of good governance and robust risk management having led the corporate governance function at a health network level within New South Wales Health, Australia’s largest state (provincial) health department. She is experienced in strategic planning and business planning within both large and small organisations and is adept at working with and assisting Boards.

She has extensive expertise in advocacy and has led strategic policy debates within the Australian local government, higher education, not-for-profit, and public health sectors across a diverse array of policy areas. Michelle’s career began in employee relations, in member-based organisations as a labour relations advocate. She is a strong communicator and negotiator and has led government tendering from both the perspective of government and third-party providers.

Michelle is acutely aware of the day-to-day challenges of doing more with less, in the context of external competition or regulatory change. She is skilled in helping organisations to align their operational structures and business planning with strategic objectives, to build organisational capacity and reach, and in improving financial and service performance.

Michelle holds a Bachelor of Arts from Wollongong University, a Masters of Labour Law and Relations from the University of Sydney, and an Executive Master Public Administration (EMPA) from the Australian New Zealand School of Government.

Michelle is a classically trained mezzo soprano and continues to follow this passion. Until recently, she has called Sydney, Australia home. With her children now at university and pursuing their own careers, she has joined her Canadian husband in Ottawa to take up new and exciting opportunities.

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