Heather Linaker


  • Transitioning to a different and/or more senior role
  • Succeeding as a female leader of a predominantly male team
  • Achieving a sustainable balance of personal and professional priorities
  • Establishing effective communications across cultural differences.


Heather has a detailed understanding of what makes a company ‘tick’, having progressed from the bottom to the top of the Australian arm of leading global publisher John Wiley & Sons. Through six roles over 19 years, she mastered the management of a diverse range of functional areas including sales, marketing, business analysis, project management, relationship management, technology, auditing, strategic financial management, human resources and remuneration. She had been Managing Director of Wiley’s Australian operations (annual turnover of US$100mil, and with about 250 employees) for more than two years when she left at the end of 2010. In this and earlier roles, she travelled extensively—nationally and internationally—thus enhancing her sound appreciation of both Australian and global perspectives.

She now specialises in coaching CEOs and senior executives. Understanding the rhythms and cycles of such roles, Heather supports her clients to achieve their goals by being their confidante, challenger, cheerleader, supporter and sounding board, and by holding them to account.


  • Master of Arts, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Master of Business Administration, Deakin University
  • Diploma of Company Directorship, Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Associate Certified Coach, International Coach Federation
  • Accredited Practitioner, Leadership Styles Inventory and The Leadership Circle.


  • State Director, Queensland
  • Fellow, The CEO Institute
  • Member, International Coach Federation
  • Graduate, Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Board Member, State Library of Queensland.


  • Swimming, photography, performing and visual arts, travel.


“After many successful years in senior management roles, respected by colleagues, and mentoring and leading staff, I found myself in a black hole. My relationship with my senior management team deteriorated to a point where I was isolated and bullied at meetings and I allowed my CEO role to be eroded. Heather has been the lifeline I needed; she has provided the necessary support, wisdom and direction that has allowed me to climb out of that black hole and regain the focus required from a CEO in a very challenging work environment. I can only say thank you for saving my professional life. While I initially thought a Coach was a luxury, I now realise it is essential for all of us in senior management roles.” – CEO, Not-For-Profit.

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