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Virginia Mansell

Expertise / Specialisations

  • Executive coaching, group facilitation, team coaching, executive coaching supervision
  • Program design and development
  • Key client relationships and strategic partnerships
  • Understanding business challenges, and how strategic and HR challenges align to build a strong culture

Relevant Experience

As an organisational consultant, executive coach and leadership development facilitator, Virginia understands the critical and complex business issues facing CEO’s and senior executives. With 35 years’ experience in the HR and professional development sector, she has been at the forefront of the executive coaching and leadership development profession, including working with many Australian blue-chip companies.

Virginia has been a registered psychologist for 28 years, complemented by a significant background in HR management and counselling psychology. She has worked as a psychotherapist and senior corporate clinical consultant, including the design and delivery of individual and group-based development programs.

Virginia believes that corporate experience – backed by a clinical skill-base – are vital credentials for executive coaching.

Between 1998-2005, Virginia was Managing Director of the Mansell Group, where she built a significant and profitable business working with such blue-chip clients as Freehills, Deloitte AMP, AGL and Lion Nathan. In 2005, she acquired and became Managing Director of the expanded Stephenson Mansell Group (SMG).

At SMG, Virginia oversees and delivers a number of key client relationships, assisting in identifying their core development needs to ensure strategic alignment, and overseeing service delivery and the case management of projects and assignments. Virginia also directs SMG’s training and professional development program.

She is committed to providing genuine thought leadership, ensuring her clients are across current business challenges and how they impact on their organisations.

She has introduced a range of new SMG programs, including ‘Wellbeing in the Workplace’, ‘Women’s Support Program’, ‘Advanced Leader as Coach’ and ‘Leadership at the Peak’.

Virginia leads SMG’s business development strategy and is also responsible for development of the firm’s intellectual property; in 2009, she wrote the well-received book, “The Focused Executive: Leadership & Management Skills in Challenging Times”.

Amongst her most recent projects, Virginia has led and delivered a major executive development and coaching program for Australia’s largest conglomerate in partnership with Centre for Creative leadership.

She is also currently working with a large publicly listed organisation with the CEO and executive team to align the business strategy with career and succession plans.

Qualifications & Training

  • BA in Psychology & Statistics; Postgraduate Degree in Counselling Psychology (high distinction)
  • Master Coach with over 10,000 hours of coaching and coach supervision
  • Professional psychology training under the direction of Francis Macnab (Founder & CEO, Cairn Millar Institute)
  • Fellowship and consultancy with Australian Institute of Socio Analysis (1999)
  • Professional Coaching Workshop with Dr Anthony Grant, Coaching Psychology Unit, University of Sydney (2001)
  • “Leadership and Authority in Organisations”, residential at the Tavistock Institute, London (2004)
  • INSEAD “Leadership for Creativity” program (2007 – residential), with Manfred Kets de Vries
  • Leading practitioner of the LEA 360 feedback tool

Professional Appointments & Memberships

  • Member, Australian Psychological Society
  • Member, Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Member, Women’s Chiefs of Enterprise International
  • Member and main contributor, Standards Australia Coaching Guidelines Committee
  • Fellowship, Australian Institute of Socio Analysis

Personal Interests

Spending time with extended family and friends.  Physical fitness: swimming, boxing, yoga, running, walking, golf and snow skiing.  Travelling, cooking, reading, regular participant in RIGPA leadership retreat.


“I have worked with Virginia for over two years ..she provides a great balance of coaching, personal insight and tools to help me develop a high performing team. What distinguishes SMG is their ability to really get to the root cause of people issues and provide easy-to-use strategies and techniques that work in the business environment without constant prompting and reinforcement. I always felt that I would be stretched and challenged to go further in my development”.   – Chief Executive Officer

“I started work with Virginia Mansell 18 months ago with a clear objective of working out how I could better fit into my new organisation and work more collaboratively with my peers. I had recently joined a highly collaborative organisation coming straight from a private equity engagement and to say my and the new companies culture clashed would be an understatement. Virginia provided me with some tools to work with, but most importantly she challenged me on how I thought, what I valued and what I needed to do to make the change….I was sceptical at first but the reality hit me as things changed at my work. As we progressed through this collaboration issue we branched into other development area…. finally focusing simply on me and making me comfortable in my own skin and developing executive presence. Have things changed…….absolutely……  Now I feel like a different person, happier, calmer and much more effective with my peers, my team and my Senior Executive relationships. This resulted from the supportive and challenging journey of personal self-discovery Virginia assisted me with. The ultimate feedback on the change I have made came from my wife…she recently said to me “I fell in love with you, but I love so much more as the person you have become……”   – Group General Manager