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  • Julia May

    Strategic Advisor, Coach and Co-Facilitator

About Me

I have a passion for, and expertise in, coaching, facilitation, communications and strategy. As a consultant and facilitator working primarily with the Global Women’s Project, I am inspired by the idea of a world where women are empowered to lead as they prefer: thoughtfully, collaboratively and taking a long-term view of the whole. I have a deep ability to listen, to distil ideas and to think creatively and strategically. I am a member of the Homeward Bound leadership team and my first novel, set in 17th century London, is in the works. The mother of two girls, I have an abiding sense of the need to take a different approach to leadership to secure our future.

I spent 12 years as a journalist, mostly at The Age. During five years as Fairfax’s London correspondent and later as a social affairs writer, I developed a formative appreciation for the power of storytelling to both empower and disempower. After retraining and running my own coaching practice, I joined Dattner Grant in 2016.


With responsibility for setting the strategic direction for this pillar of the business, combined with my day-to-day interaction with the women and decision makers who engage with Compass and Dattner Grant, I have a deep understanding of the challenges at play in leadership and business, and also a clear sense of what is possible. I work with women at all levels – from senior executives to women starting out in their careers – to articulate their purpose and vision, build self-awareness and then set a strategic path and execute on that vision. As co-creator of Visibility, an emerging stream for Dattner Grant, I help leaders and organisations to communicate their story with the world, both purposefully and strategically.

Project History

  • Developed and delivered 11 public Compass programs over 18 months, comprising 200+ women from a range of sectors including government, non-profit, academia, corporate and small business. Clients include the ABC, Australian Border Force, Australian National University, CH2M, Broken Hill City Council, Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, Melbourne Polytechnic, National Australia Bank, Peoplebank, SuniTafe, Sydney Water.
  • Forged enduring relationships with key decision makers: CEOs, human resources directors and senior executives, working with them to understand their challenges and aspirations around diversity and for women in their organisations. Delivered in-house programs with SAP and Cisco.
  • Coached and mentored many established and emerging leaders, focusing on: their personal and professional purpose; values; understanding their leadership and learning style; untangling and reframing self-talk; visibility and strategy development and execution (personal and organisational).
  • Co-developed Visibility stream, supporting leaders to take a strategic approach to purposeful communication, both personal and organisational.
  • Established mentoring program for groups: bringing women from the same organisation together and aligning their learnings with strategic/operational priorities and supporting them to work collaboratively and become champions of change internally.
  • Actively championed women’s leadership as a keynote speaker and in the media.
  • Continue to be part of key leadership team for Homeward Bound: supporting strategic, operational and content design development. Spent three weeks in Antarctica for the inaugural program as on-board coach and facilitator.