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Take on Board KickStarter: Caroline Pilot

Gaining clarity around story and strengths

A chance meeting led Caroline Pilot to discover the Take on Board community and join the KickStarter program in 2022.

“When I moved from Sydney to Melbourne in March 2022, I decided to take some time off to network and explore options,” she said.

“I went to an AICD networking event in July and met Hannah Browne. We hit it off right away. We went out to lunch and she said ‘you really need to meet Helga’.”

By August, Caroline joined nine other women for the first of KickStarter’s three practical days of identifying and building strengths and getting ready to apply for and be interviewed for a board position.

By November, she had joined her first board. A not-for-profit organisation that provides a range of services supporting people with disability, Mambourin was a perfect fit for this passionate healthcare professional whose motto is ‘positive health outcomes for all’.

Key outcomes

  • Gaining clarity around her own story and strengths
  • Valuing her pathway to-date and its potential contribution to a board
  • Timely practice applying and being interviewed for a board role

The timing couldn’t have been better. I discovered who I was and what I had to offer Mambourin’s board. By KickStarter’s third session, I had a phone call with Mambourin’s CEO and chair which led to being an active observer of one of their board meetings. Because of KickStarter’s trial board applications and interviews, I knew what to look out for and the right questions to ask.”

Valuing unique pathways and strengths

“I’d dismissed the value of my nursing experience,” Caroline said of her ‘aha’ moment during the KickStarter program.

Young Caroline spent 5-6 years training as a nurse at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. The hospital wards were her classrooms. Her education was hands-on. The experience she gained was through hospital staff with real patients.

“I realised that every role I’ve done since has been about driving health outcomes,” she said. “It gives me credibility right up front.” Both in her job as a marketer at CSL Behring, and as a non-executive director on the Mambourin board.

The missing bit to the boardroom journey puzzle

Over her 20-year pharma industry career, Caroline had prepared many papers and watched a number of boards in action. She knew that boards would need to be a part of her future if she was to impact change and drive outcomes on a broader scale in the healthcare industry.

In 2017 she completed the AICD’s Company Directors Course. Although it took a move to Melbourne, connecting with the Take on Board alumni and completing KickStarter to take the first real step towards the boardroom.

“For me, the bit that was missing from the AICD course was the ‘who are you and what do you bring to a board?’ piece of the puzzle,” she said.

Headshot of Caroline Pilot

KickStarter alumni


About Caroline

Caroline is a healthcare marketer with over 20 years’ experience working in the pharmaceuticals industry.

Board roles

  • Non-executive director, Mambourin

Board qualifications

Real-time prep for a board role

The AICD networking event that introduced Caroline to Hannah also connected her to Mambourin.

“There were 7-8 groups looking for new directors,” she said. “I started chatting to someone from the Mambourin team. They reached out to me the next day.”

Over August-September 2022, she participated in the KickStarter program while progressing through the application and interview process for the role on the Mambourin board. One month after completing the program, she was offered the board role.

Caroline enrolled into the 12-month Take on Board Accelerator program in 2023, providing her the opportunity to explore boardroom challenges in a safe and supportive environment. Challenges such as the resignation of the Mambourin CEO after a 20-year tenure.

“I’m my Accelerator group’s first case study for the year,” she said with a laugh and shake of the head. “The topic is ‘organisation review’. It was assigned as a topic before the CEO resigned. It was good timing, again.”