Governance testimonials

What it’s like to use my governance services and programs

Although I also provide coaching and facilitation services, I’m most well-known for my governance services – thanks to the Take on Board podcast. I’m also a member of a number of board. As I mention on the podcast, I developed an interest in governance at an early age.

Many of the testimonials I receive are about my governance services, particularly Take on Board: KickStarter and Take on Board: Accelerator

People seem to have a lot to say after going through one of these very practical programs! I also do governance coaching for individuals and board reviews for organisations.

Find out more about my governance programs and services. If you want to know more about me – my background and all that I do – you can read my story and or an overview of who I am and what I do.

Take on Board: KickStarter group program for women

I participated in Helga’s Kickstarter program in August and September this year. It was such a great course to take part in. Despite being online, Helga kept everyone engaged and energised. It was a great opportunity to learn about what it takes to be on a board and allows you to connect with other strong and inspiring women. Helga also helped is to identify goals, values and strengths when thinking about our future career path. Would absolutely recommend this training to anyone regardless of what stage of your career you are at.

Anna Masters, Strategic Communications and Content (Take on Board: KickStarter 2021)

I participated in Helga's Kickstarter program earlier this year, and while I was dubious about how tiring another online event could be, it was great. Helga kept everyone inspired, energised and educated, while at the same time managing to create a space for people to be both truly vulnerable and truly spectacular. One of the highlights for me was being able to connect and establish relationships with so many accomplished women in such a collaborative environment. If you're looking at starting a board career, start with Helga's program!

Gretchen Scott, CEO, The Human Collective (Take on Board: KickStarter 2021)

Helga’s Kickstarter program came highly recommended and despite being confined to video delivery due to lockdown in Melbourne, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The sessions were practical, highly engaging and interactive. It was an excellent complement to the AICD Company Directors Course that I just completed.

Sandra Parker, Chief Executive, Fair Work Ombudsman (Take on Board: KickStarter 2021)

Inspiration, confidence and practical tips – what comes to mind when I reflect on Helga’s Board KickStarter program, which I had the pleasure of attending recently. The program brimmed with useful knowledge about boards and governance and opportunities for reflection and mutual learning. Helga is a wonderful facilitator and the program was seamless and energising despite the limits imposed by our new virtual life. As a bonus, I got to meet, share and reflect with a group of incredible women also figuring out their governance path. I can highly recommend the Board KickStarter program, and Helga’s Take on Board podcast, to anyone looking to take their first step into governance.

Adamina Ivcovici, Consumer Advisory Committee Member, Better Care Victoria (Take on Board: KickStarter 2020)

I recently completed Helga's Board KickStarter program and was blown away by the calibre of the content and incredible women I met and had a chance to work with. The fully remote format worked really well, and the structure allowed me to connect and collaborate with every other member of the program efficiently and hyper effectively. This program is an absolute must for any women looking to make the move into the board room.

Hannah Browne, Managing Director, Midnyte City Full-time (Take on Board: KickStarter 2020)

The Board KickStarter course was exactly what I was looking for in exploring the opportunities and pathway for directors. Helga's exceptional facilitation skills, genuine warmth and practical approach made the course enjoyable and the group dynamic was natural. I am so glad I stepped out of my comfort zone to learn with Helga and a bunch of talented lovely woman, well worth my time and investment!

Nicole Vaughan, Engagement Manager, Bang the Table (Take on Board: KickStarter 2020)

I recently completed Helga’s Board KickStarter group coaching program. Even though it had to be conducted entirely remotely, it was really well-paced, well-structured and brilliantly facilitated by the super enthusiastic and supportive Helga. I got so much more out of the program than I expected, including some fantastic connections with a group of amazing women in different fields, and I have already been able put what I learnt into practice. I cannot recommend the program highly enough to other women looking for new ways to use their skills, broaden their influence and contribute to positive change!

Eleanore Fritze, Project Manager, Fitzroy Legal Service (Take on Board: KickStarter 2020)

When I started to tell people I was thinking about a governance role, three women who I admire said 'you should talk to Helga!'. So, as an aspiring director, I attended Helga’s Board Kickstarter program - a fabulous three-day course designed to give women the initial knowledge and tools to find that first board role. Helga was a fun, knowledgeable and inspiring facilitator. We emerged not only with a good understanding of the director role, but also our own pitch and CV, pragmatic advice about the search for that first role, and connections to a dozen other accomplished women - also aspiring directors. Helga is absolutely dedicated to having more women and more diversity on boards, with the knowledge of the benefits that will bring to society. Her commitment, generosity, enthusiasm, expertise and charisma has convened a community of amazing women at all stages of their board journeys to this purpose, and I am delighted to be a part of that community.

Nicole Baker, Principal, Nicole Baker Consulting (Take on Board: KickStarter 2020)

enjoyed participating in the Board KickStarter program. It was an opportunity to meet likeminded women and delve into the world of boards!

Shannen de la Motte, Law Graduate, AIG (Take on Board: KickStarter 2020)

Helga's KickStarter program is exactly what I needed to translate my skills, experience and values into a format relevant to the roles I want to apply for. In a very supportive environment (yes! this is possible over Zoom!) we met a great bunch of people, had fun and completed a lot of work. I am so impressed with her generosity in time, resources and ideas – love her and her work.

Amy Wells, Business Manager, Enviropacific (Take on Board: KickStarter 2020)

I really enjoyed the Kickstarter board course run by Helga. It was inspiring to meet so many fabulous women. Helga is an engaging facilitator and gave us so many useful tips and tools – all of which are practical and easy to put into place. The course was very well run and I have no hesitation in recommending it and Helga!

Pita Williams, non-executive director, Consultant (Take on Board: KickStarter 2020)

I was deeply honored to be a part of the super inspiring Board KickStarter group. As an Aboriginal Women I felt culturally safe and supported. The program is interesting, interactive, fun and powerful. Thanks so much Helga

Sue Tuitupou, Aboriginal Policy, Advisory and Engagement

Dynamic, passionate, generous – three words I would use to describe Helga and the Board KickStarter course! Helga's KickStarter program has opened up new doors and given me the opportunity to network with some amazing, talented women from all levels and areas across business, industry and community. Her passion to bring women together and increase womens representation on boards is contagious. I have learnt so much about governance of boards, critical skills matrix and importantly what drives me and where I want to focus in developing my board career. Thank you KickStarter and Helga for providing me new motivation and inspiration. Thank you

Amanda (Molly) Neilson, Manager, Resource Recovery Infrastructure

Helga's Board Kickstarter program is brilliant – very well designed and full of practical information. Helga is so generous with her time and expertise. Not only that, Helga has created a community of talented, accomplished women that is a goldmine of support and contacts. Well worth it!

Olivia Davis, Quality & service improvement | stakeholder engagement | complaints management

Helga’s Board Kickstarter course was a great experience. As a governance and risk specialist, I felt well equipped in theory to approach my first board role. In doing this course, I gained so much practical insight, networks and incredibly useful tips to really support getting onto a board. Helga brought together a great group, created a really open and supportive environment and generated a huge amount of positive momentum. Highly recommend the course and Helga as an incredibly skilled facilitator!

Susan Staples, Senior Project Manager, Disability Royal Commission at Scope (Australia)

Highly recommend Board Kickstarter program if you are considering joining a Board for the first time. Helga is a great coach who provides practical steps and advice needed to apply for your first Board role in a fun and supportive environment. It's also a great opportunity to meet other professional women who are seeking to do the same. Definitely worthwhile!

Dimi Boubolas, Program Director and Executive General Manager

Helga's 'Board KickStarter Group Coaching Program for Women' provides a practical, hands-on approach to developing your own personal strategy to becoming a board member. Aside from creating my own framework to becoming a board member in the near future, it provided me with valuable insight into how I can work better with my own board today, and introduced me to a supportive group of inspiring women.

Jade Barnaby, National Accreditation & Compliance Manager at Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA)

The Board Kickstarter program was a really good overview of responsibilities of directors and governance role and issues. I really enjoyed it – it was fun, collaborative and inspiring. To those that are thinking about it, I say 'Go do it! Definitely sign up'. Bring your thoughts and experience and also an open mind to absorb what you learn. Thanks for the opportunity. Helga facilitated the program with a combination of her energy and passion for driving women to be confident in taking a path to directorships.

Anna Chung, Senior Finance Executive | Director

Helga's Board Kickstarter program was a really good way to explore and understand what's involved in a NFP board and how to go about it. But it was more than just that – it was also a useful way to rethink career development. The atmosphere was creative and collegiate – a supportive network. Helga helped us to inspire ourselves. I'd recommend it to anyone in career transition or who is seeking to take up a non-executive director role.

Melissa Clarkson, Corporate Responsibility Manager at ME Bank

I recently completed the Board KickStarter with Helga Svendsen. Helga provided positive and uplifting sessions. She guided the group to set attainable personal and professional goals and gave us confidence to identify our strengths in order to determine some clear direction in our future career path. The sessions had a fabulous energy and it was great to share the experience with five inspiring women!

Nadine Gaskell, Biodiversity Coordinator, Knox Council

The Board KickStarter program was great for motivating me, improving my confidence and connecting with other strong, interesting women. It really got me thinking about what's involved and helped me realise I can do lots of things. I found it enlightening, interesting and thought-provoking. To others who are thinking about doing the program I would say it's good for getting into positive thinking.

Georgy Wood, Future Industries

The Board KickStarter program is perfect to get the lay of the land in Board appointments. It was wonderful insight into how it all works. The small group format was good and there was a really clear structure on what to do, when and how. I found it succinct, effective and fun. It was a really good grounding in what's required and advice on steps to take.

Hanife Ymer, KPMG

Take on Board: Accelerator group program for women

2020 was full of surprises and uncertainty. Thankfully, I signed up to Helga’s Board Accelerator course and experienced nine months of learning, connection and growth that improved my decision making and my unique contribution to governance. Through Helga’s skilful and engaging facilitation I met and worked with an exceptional cohort of women who challenged and inspired me each month online. Helga can hold the space for big ideas but also thinks of the details and makes it easy to utilise technology (I actually looked forward to Zoom!). Do yourself a favour and lock in an experience that is guaranteed to be a highlight of 2021 – work with Helga Svendsen.

Michelle Isles, Sustainable Solutions

Helga’s program is a fantastic way to learn from peers and get new insights into board trade craft. I highly recommend it to all women directors.

Helen Campbell, Chair, Domestic Violence Victoria

Are you are woman on a board seeking to build and enrich your governance skills and networks? I recommend Helga’s structured and supportive women’s Board Accelerator Program as a great way to hone your skills and be more effective in the boardroom.

Margaret Burdeu, Member of Council at La Trobe University and Principal Burds I-view consulting

Helga’s outstanding coaching and facilitation skills were further proven in the delivery of the 2020 Board Accelerator Program. With a conscious awareness of the limitations of online delivery, Helga adapted the program for virtual delivery by utilising a mix of tools, techniques and approaches keeping participants engaged throughout. Helga’s extensive experience as a Board Director, coach and mentor is evident in her program design, facilitation and knowledge sharing and her approach is practical and evidence based.

Nicola Raudys, board secretary, cohealth

Thanks Helga for the 2020 board accelerator program - it’s was an enlightening foray into the art of boardroom practice. The science of board practice is relatively easy - there are many courses and opportunities to learn. It’s the art, the practice that you can’t learn in books: board accelerator brings together a smart, supportive group of women with diverse experiences; a brains trust for challenges, questions and ideas.

Carole Alt, Non-Executive Director | Deputy Chair | Chair: Risk & Audit | Member: Clinical Governance, Wimmera Health Care Group

Helga, I can't speak highly enough of her ability to bring the best women together and to help them become even better. Sometimes it is just asking the right question, sometimes just the right introductions, somethings just the right speaker. She has a wealth of governance expertise and a fantastic network, I have been blessed to have been introduce to her and thought this years Board Accelerator was so beneficial to by career and my own development I have signed up again next year.

Dr Dominique Hes, Trustee, Trust for Nature | Chair, Beyond Zero Emissions | Non Executive Director, Greenfleet

I would like to recommend the Board Accelerator course. I have just completed this and it gives you the opportunity to collaborate with amazing Director's. It is a real insight into real life board experiences and of course the value from this course would not be possible without the brilliant facilitation of Helga. If you are looking for a course to extend your government experience then this is for you!

Anna Pullinger, Director, Aunties and Uncles Queensland

Helga’s Board Accelerator program brings together her passion for connecting people and creating communities of shared value and experience with her facilitating expertise. Thank you for creating a safe space to discuss board challenges and opportunities in a room full of smart women – what a gift!

Emma Humann, President, Environment Victoria

Helga's Board Accelerator program is a great way to learn from other women who are on Boards. Helga's facilitation expertise created a safe online space ( I completed the program via Zoom) for information sharing and discussion on an array of board challenges. I highly recommend this program.

Ann Roberts, Non Executive Director, Shepparton Access

It has been a privilege to be a part of Helga's Board Accelerator program and I'd highly recommend to women looking to get to make the most of their board experience. Helga is an exceptional person and, as a connector, leader, facilitator and mentor, she is incredible. Her experience is second to none and her can-do approach and passion for connecting is clearly her superpower. I have looked forward to each and every early morning Board Accelerator session and have broadened my knowledge, understanding and contacts as a result. If you're thinking of joining the Board Accelerator, don't hesitate.

Michelle Shepherd, Non Executive Director, The Jane Goodall Institute Australia

I was part of the Board Accelerator program run by Helga. Quite apart from meeting a great group of people, it inspired me to take on some issues around how our board is run. We've now done a skills audit, are about to establish an annual calendar and are working on improving our working methods. The Board Accelerator works equally well if you want to tease out some of the big strategic issues that go along with corporate governance, or if you need to get into the nitty-gritty detail. I can heartily recommend taking part.

Antonia Mochan, Manager, External Communications and Content at Uniting

Helga’s Board Accelerator program was terrific. Helga ensured a safe space to learn and discuss all the ins and outs of being an effective board member. I learnt lots and made really useful action plans for my improved board practice and the monthly meetings and regular follow up ensured I carried these out. Another excellent aspect was the great network of women participants. While each had different experiences all were generous in their sharing - we learnt so much from each other and I believe will remain firm friends. Thank you so much Helga for making this extremely rewarding experience possible.

Leonie Morgan AM, Facilitator, Mentor, Problem Solver, Non Executive Director

I was a member of Helga’s Board Accelerator Program and found it fantastic. I enjoyed having the ability to discuss practical ways of implementing good governance. It has improved my confidence and effectiveness as board member, and having the calibre of other participants to share and garner ideas from was incredible. The women attending the program came from a diverse array of backgrounds which added value to the experience and I look forward to continuing to share ideas and thrash out issues with them in the future. Thankyou Helga for providing this opportunity and making it an extremely worthwhile experience. I encourage women to join Helga’s Board Accelerator Program, we can continue to add value and diversity to boards and therefore improve performance of organisations.

Liz Kelly, Director at TLConsult

Helga's Board Accelerator program will help you refine your skills and enhance your mindset to be a more valued and effective director. Board Accelerator keeps you focused and pushes you to share your learnings with other board directors and accelerate your board career. The course helped me refresh and reshape my skills to be a more assertive and effective board member. It was insightful to see other women with similar challenges. As a group, we covered topics such as big data, how to manage the chair, the importance of board diversity, board skills matrix and effectiveness, strategy, risk, financials and many more relevant topics.

Sandra Loader, Non Executive Director, ABCL (Australia Beverages Council Ltd)

Do you have a story to tell?

These testimonials are an important part of my business. If you’ve worked with me before and would like to share your experience, give me a call or send me your story.
We’re working on a series of case studies to support a couple of exciting projects. So, let me know if you have a bigger story tell and would be open to be interviewed for a case study.

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