Business Sydney | Governance Institute of Australia | Watermark Search International


Special guests: Megan Motto, Chief Executive, Governance Institute of Australia | David Evans, Managing Partner, Watermark Search International | Cr Linda Scott, Chair CareSuper | Charles Prouse, Chair, Aurora Education Foundation | Lisa Annese, CEO, Diversity Council of Australia | Mark Baxter, Co-founder, Australian Association of LGBTQ+ Board and Executive Inclusion

Friday, 28 April 2023

12:00 PM to 2:15 PM



MinterEllison offices



Business Sydney Members & Guests

Released annually by Governance Institute of Australia and Watermark Search International, the 2023 Board Diversity Index will be a comprehensive investigation of the ASX 300 examining five types of diversity: gender, cultural background, skills/experience, age, and tenure & independence. The 2023 Index will be the 9th in the series, and the only report in Australia to examine five types of diversity. 

At this exclusive lunch, the 2023 Board Diversity Index was launched and heard from a range of expert speakers who have life time experience of the benefits of diversity in Australian Boards including: Megan Motto, CEO, Governance Institute of Australia | David Evans, Managing Partner, Watermark Search International | Cr Linda Scott, Chair CareSuper | Charles Prouse, Chair, Aurora Education Foundation | Mark Baxter, Co-founder, Australian Association of LGBTQ+ Board and Executive Inclusion | Lisa Annese, CEO, Diversity Council of Australia.

Thank you to our host - MinterEllison.

Event Partners

to come


Special GuestS


Chief Executive, Governance Institute of Australia

Megan joined Governance Institute of Australia as CEO in January 2019. She’s had over 20 years’ experience in the association sector having previously been the CEO of Consult Australia, as well as a director of the Australian Construction Industry Forum, the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council and the NSW Business Chamber. She is currently a director of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA); director of Standards Australia and a councillor of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), where she also chairs the Data, Digital and Cyber Security Forum.

Megan has a BA/BEd, a MA in Communications Management and is a Fellow of both Governance Institute of Australia and Australian Institute of Company Directors and is also a member of Chief Executive Women (CEW).



Managing Partner, Watermark Search International

As Managing Partner, David is responsible for the leadership, strategy and direction of Watermark Search International. Having been fortunate to be part of Asia Pacific’s fastest growing HR Outsourcing business, as well as the world’s largest HR Firm, David has considerable experience in Australia and overseas in growing and scaling businesses.  

Whilst leading the firm, he also conducts executive searches and personally focuses on building and shaping leadership teams to grow businesses. Appointing CEOs and their direct reports typically in Private Equity backed businesses. David gets involved at due diligence stage assessing Leadership teams and their capacity to grow as well as conducting executive searches to identify the best global talent and supporting them throughout their journey.

Prior to his role at Watermark, David led the Sydney operation for a Global Search firm and earlier was on the Executive Leadership team for a Global HR Outsourcing business where he grew Technology, Outsourcing and Executive Search business. After the successful exit, David transitioned with the business to work for the world’s largest private HR firm with revenues of $12bn, based in Dubai; he was on the European Executive leadership team.    

Outside of work you’ll see David spending time with his young family or enjoying his passions of classic cars and supporting Australian sporting teams. David possesses a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Sydney in Psychology and English.



Chair, CareSuper, Councillor, City of Sydney Council, President, Australian Local Government Association

Councillor Linda Scott is an experienced board director and local government leader. Linda serves as the Chair of CareSuper, the Chair of the Australian Local Government Association, and is a member of the National Cabinet with the Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers. She’s a Director of the Australian Council for Superannuation Investors (ACSI), and Councillor on the City of Sydney Council, formerly serving as Deputy Lord Mayor.

Linda also serves on a number of Commonwealth Government bodies and NSW Government boards, including the NSW Environmental Trust. She participates in the annual CEO Sleepout, and is passionate about taking action on climate change and the creation of more affordable housing.

Linda was nominated as a Member Director of CareSuper by Unions NSW. She brings in-depth knowledge of culture, governance, risk and advocacy.

* Bachelor of Science (Psych) (Hons 1)
* Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD)
* Justice of the Peace


Charles Prouse

Chair, Aurora Education Foundation, Managing Director, Nyikbar

Charles is a Nyikina man from the Kimberley, Western Australia, and has lived in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. Charles has over 20 years' experience in Indigenous affairs across Australia. 

Charles was the Global Supplier Diversity Manager at Lendlease, leading their First Nations supplier procurement program and the development of a global supplier diversity process and reporting framework.  Prior to that, Charles was CEO of Supply Nation, implementing its corporate membership fee business model and worked with the Australian Government to introduce its inaugural Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP).

His other roles have included CEO of the National Aboriginal Sporting Chance Academy (NASCA) and manager of the New South Wales Indigenous Employment Program with Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).

Charles is proud of his early work at the Kimberley Land Council and Native Title Services Victoria to promote Caring for Country programs and was involved in the early establishment of the national Indigenous Ranger network.  He started his career at the Western Australia Department of Aboriginal Affairs, mapping cultural heritage sites across the state.

Charles is Chair of the Aurora Education Foundation and was a member of the board of The Benevolent Society.

He holds a Master of Public Administration from the prestigious Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University (USA) and a Bachelor of Science, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) from the University of Western Australia (UWA).



CEO, Diversity Council of Australia

Lisa Annese is the Chief Executive Officer of Diversity Council Australia (DCA) a role she has held since 2014. DCA is the leading voice on workplace diversity and inclusion in Australia.

DCA, with a membership of almost 1200 organisations employing 20 percent of the Australian workforce, supports Australian businesses and organisations to be effective in their diversity and inclusion strategies at work. DCA also advocates and provides leadership in the public sphere for a more inclusive Australia.

Lisa is passionate about DCA’s leadership on diversity and inclusion research as well as its capacity to deliver information and resources that are great for business, for workers and for the community and economy. 

In 2022 Lisa was appointed to the Respect at Work Council, charged with supporting the work of the introduction of the Respect at Work Bill aiming to prevent sexual harassment in Australian workplaces.

Lisa is on the Boards of Amnesty International Australia and the non-partisan organisation, Women for Election. In 2018, Lisa was named one of the AFR’s 100 Women of Influence.  Lisa is a member Chief Executive Women.

Lisa has three daughters, grew up in Southern Sydney in migrant family, and is a feminist. She practises yoga daily, is into boxing and loves reading sci-fi and fantasy books. 




Co-founder, Australian Association of LGBTQ+ Board and Executive Inclusion

For the past 35 years Mark has had an extensive global career in complex financial services organisations in Sydney, Hong Kong, London & Cape Town with his main speciality being strategic risk management and developing and leading large complex teams. 

Being orphaned in his teenage years and from a working-class background - Mark developed a strong community focus and has supported a number of not-for-profit and arts organisations, many in the LGBTQ+ community both here and overseas.

In 2018 Mark was named one of Australia’s Top 50 LGBTQ+ Role Models by Deloitte and Google.  Mark prides himself on his values driven leadership style.  He acknowledges that all the C-Suites and Boards on which he has served he has always been “the only gay in the village” with all the baggage that includes and he is keen to see talented people from under-represented groups be included in the highest levels of corporate Australia.  


Bachelor of Economics (Macquarie University) (B.Ec)

Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia (FIAA)

Chartered Enterprise Risk Actuary (CERA)



Become a Business Sydney member

Our events and forums are for Business Sydney members and invited guests only. Click the button below to find out about becoming a Business Sydney member.