Meet Heather

My 35-year career at a glance

Composed, principled and balanced. These are the words my fellow board members use to describe me. As a firm and effective Chair, I’m also lauded for having the right balance of ‘head and heart’. A visionary, strategic thinker – with genuine concern for human, social and environmental factors.

My core expertise areas. My driving passions.

Legal, risk and governance

My prominent profile and expertise in the risk and governance space is backed by a 30-year-long legal career.

I have advised an array of organisations on their governance strategies – and chaired several Audit and Risk Committees.

These diverse roles have armed me with deep industry insights and highly transferrable skills in the risk and governance space.

Philanthropy & community

With rich knowledge of legal and governance structures that support philanthropic activities, I’ve advised some of Australia’s signature philanthropy funds.

One personal highlight was my role as a founding member of Women & Change – Queensland’s first giving circle.

I’ve also had the privilege of working with indigenous communities in both formal and volunteer/pro bono roles. This is a reflection of my commitment to reconciliation with First Peoples and highlighting their capacity for whole community benefit.

Business transformation

I am passionate about and highly attuned to the powerful intersection of leadership, technology and transformation.

Having completed executive education courses at Harvard and MIT, I am well-versed in emerging tech from a larger global perspective.

In recent years, I have honed my expertise in business transformation for specific industry sectors including healthcare and community services.

Women in change and leadership

Throughout my career, I have championed and advocated the role of women in change and leadership.

Formally recognised by ‘Women in Law, the next 100 years’, I mentor professional women through a range of formal and informal programs and initiatives.

These have included the QUT Fostering Executive Women program, WiT (the peak industry body for women in technology and life sciences) and the Women of the World Festival.

Key qualifications & accreditations

Bachelor of Laws

1988

Graduate Certificate in Business: Philanthropy & Non-profit Studies

2008

Strategy for Health Care Delivery

2019

Women in Leadership

2011

Digital Business Strategy: Harnessing Our Digital Future

2020

Blockchain Technologies: Business Innovation & Application

2020

Internet of Things: Business Implications and Opportunities

2020

Leadership and Ethics: Moral Leadership in Personal Practice

2021

Leadership and Ethics: Moral Leadership in Organizations and Society

2021

Key career milestones

1988

Admitted as Solicitor (Supreme Court Qld and High Court of Australia)

1989

Appointed to Partner at Nehmer McKee and Partners (Townsville)

Later endorsed as Accredited Specialist (Family Law)

2006

Accepted role as Senior Lawyer at McCullough Robertson Lawyers (Brisbane) – specialising in aged care and not-for-profit

ACQUIRED FIRST SIGNIFICANT BOARD ROLE

2010

Appointed Partner at McCullough Robertson Lawyers

Led the establishment of McCullough Robertson Foundation

CONTINUED TO ACQUIRE ADDITIONAL BOARD ROLES ACROSS SECTORS

2017

Established Watson Advisory and Consulting Pty Ltd

CONTINUED TO ACQUIRE ADDITIONAL BOARD ROLES ACROSS SECTORS

2020

TRANSITIONED INTO A FULL-TIME BOARD FOCUS

Awards & recognitions

2011

Recipient of the

Laurie Cowled Women in
Leadership Scholarship

Harvard Business School’s Women in
Leadership Program

2012 & 2013

Finalist (2012) and winner (2013)

Euromoney LMG Australasian
Women in Business Law Awards

Corporate Governance category

2016

Finalist

Inaugural Lawyers Weekly
Partner of the Year Awards

Pro bono category

2014-2019

Best Lawyers Australia

Non-profit / Charity Law category

2012 – 2020

Ranked as ‘Leading’ and ‘Recommended’ (Qld)

Ranked as ‘Recommended’ (Australia) – 2017

Australian Health and Aged Care
Lawyer category

Doyles Guide

2016

Ranked in

Chambers Asia-Pacific Guide

2017, 2018 and 2019 as

Band 1 Lawyer

Charities practice area

How to get in touch

If you would like to express your interest in relation to a board role, you can call me on 0412 871 825 or send an enquiry