The Ideology Group provides a vital bridge between those who want to contribute their skills to the for-purpose sector, and those who need specialist resources to tackle the most pressing community issues to help take Australia forward. 

Our people place great importance on structure and clear process in their areas of expertise and combine this with a capacity to work with the dynamic of groups or individuals, regardless of age.  We share a common passion that unites us - a commitment to helping people discover and express their truth and be the best they can for themselves, the people they value and those they serve.




Lisa Cotton, Chief Executive, Ideology Group and Expert Facilitator

Lisa is Chief Executive of the Ideology Group. She has spent the past 15 years connecting executives to social purpose and is a respected leader in philanthropy and the non-profit sectors. Prior to establishing the Ideology Group, she co-founded and was the CEO of The Funding Network (TFN) - a multi award-winning social enterprise that builds the capacity of non-profit entities. In 2017, she was named ‘Third Sector CEO of the Year’, and was included in Pro-Bono Australia’s ‘Impact 25’ list of the most influential people in the non-profit sector.

Lisa’s decades of experience include executive roles in government and the corporate sectors. This enables her to think beyond narrow business imperatives and to operate with a strong values-system. Prior to TFN, she was Director of Social Investment for Social Ventures Australia. She’s a Non-Executive Director of the Stella Prize, and sits on the Advisory Board of the Australian Futures Project and is a Non-Executive Director of Good Return.

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Dr Liz Paslawsky, Expert Facilitator

Liz is an accomplished coach, lecturer and facilitator of CEO roundtables. She formerly held CEO roles in banking and healthcare in the public and private sectors. Her commercial skills include international strategy, leading and merging hospitals and health services, capital infrastructure, public private partnerships and institutional banking mergers and acquisitions.

For the past 15 years Liz has been researching and gaining insights into a diversity of ways to gain self-awareness through ancient wisdoms. This includes participating in programs at the Tao Monastery in Arizona, South Korea and London, as well as the Shamanic tribesmen practices in the Ecuador rain forest.

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Rob Irving, Expert Facilitator

Rob is one of Australia’s foremost communication coaches. With an intense curiosity and commitment about what makes people, businesses and brands tick, Rob’s career spans top management, business coaching, not-for-profit enterprises, event marketing and business development.

He has enjoyed extensive involvement in the corporate event business and shares deep experience as executive coach, workshop facilitator and off-site leader. He is co-founder of Forté, Head Pitch Coach for The Funding Network and Founder Impact Investment Summit Asia Pacific. He has worked with clients including Colonial First State, Datacom, Google, Lend Lease, Origin Energy, RBA, STW, The Eventful Group, and Westpac, among others.

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Clare Payne, Ethics Advisor

Clare Payne is a leading voice on ethics in society. She tracks trends and writes about their implications in her monthly ‘Ethical Lens column in The Australian Financial Review BOSS Magazine, and is the author of two books, ‘A Matter of Trust – The Practice of Ethics in Finance’ and ‘One – Valuing the Single Life’.

Currently, Clare works with Dr. Bronwyn King, founder of Tobacco Free Portfolios. Clare sees tobacco-free investment as the ultimate ethical case study for the finance sector. She's a globally recognised leader for her work in ethics in finance and her personal commitment to social issues. She was recognised as a World Economic Forum ‘Young Global Leader’ in 2014 and as an Australian ‘100 Women of Influence’ in 2016

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Melissa McPherson, Co-Founder, People for Purpose

Melissa is a specialist governance advisor working with boards and directors on talent acquisition and governance performance improvement for purpose-led organisations. She has worked with more than 100 organisations to consolidate their foundation and purpose and to improve their leadership and governance across strategy, purpose, impact and processes.

Melissa began her career at KPMG and later worked in investment banking for more than ten years in London, New York, Sydney and Tokyo. Fifteen years ago she volunteered as a Lifeline counsellor and then joined the Australian Charities Fund.  After that she moved to Social Ventures Australia using her knowledge of financial products and markets working at the forefront of social finance to support the growth of social enterprise in Australia.

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Our expert Advisory Council comprises people with purpose who each bring different perspectives and experience to the Ideology Group. They help us remain at the forefront of trends and best-practice thinking.


Hugh Mackay AO, Australia’s leading social researcher and author

Hugh is a social researcher and the author of 19 books – twelve in the in fields of social analysis, ethics and communication, and seven novels. His latest book, Australian Reimagined, published in 2018, is his seventh novel, In recognition of his pioneering work in social research, he has been elected a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society and awarded honorary doctorates by Charles Sturt, Macquarie, NSW, Western Sydney University and Wollongong Universities.


Tony Nimac, Partner and Board Director KPMG

Tony Nimac is the Partner in Charge of KPMG Enterprise NSW and National Deals Team and was elected to KPMG Australia’s Board in 2017.

Tony has extensive experience providing advice to private groups, mid-cap listed companies and start-ups across a broad range of industries including healthcare, technology, consumer and industrial markets.

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Sandra Betts, Managing Director, The Human Difference

Sandra is a specialist in strategic change management, organisation effectiveness, people and talent strategies and executive search. Through her management consulting practice, she operates as a strategic business partner to world class businesses and brands, leading major strategic and organisational change, in Australia and internationally.

Sandra previously worked in HR Director roles in some challenging business environments throughout Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific and in the United States.

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Karen Mahlab AM, Founder and CEO of Pro Bono Australia

Karen has been an innovator in opening the channels between communities, not-for-profit organisations, volunteers, philanthropy and business. She established Pro Bono Australia in 1999 as a for-purpose business. Since then it has developed into the major national "hub for the common Good", with close to one million Australians who want to volunteer, give, get a job or the latest news and information about Australia’s civil society.

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Jason Glanville, Program Director Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity

Jason has spent more than 20 years working in a range of executive positions in community-based Indigenous organisations, with experience across all levels of government and non-government bodies.

Prior to his appointment to the Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity, he was the inaugural CEO of the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence. Before NCIE, he was Director of Programs and Strategy at Reconciliation Australia, and remains the Chair of the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute.

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Alliance partners

We believe in the power of openness, diversity and collaboration and work alongside our alliance partners to offer a broad range of support that delivers tailored outcomes that suit the particular needs of our clients.

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Norton Crumlin & Associates

Works with senior executives in government, professional services or large complex businesses. They are known for working effectively across sectors and borders and for their comprehensive networks and ability to bring the appropriate skills strategy and coaching skills to the table for their clients.

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Leadership Space

Helps individuals and team transform organisational effectiveness. The team comprises Professional Certified Coaches (PCC) with the International Coaching Federation, master facilitators and experienced organisational consultants. Backgrounds include commercial and not-for-profit management, executive and team coaching and organisational facilitation, management consulting in the social sector.

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Provides financial planning and investment advice to individuals, trustees of self-managed super funds and not-for-profits, non-government organisations and charitable foundations. Ethinvest specialises in the design and management of cost-effective direct-share portfolios. All clients have their own unique portfolios created specifically for their own needs and circumstances.

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Social Impact Hub

The Social Impact Hub's Professional Impact Network (PIN) is an innovative and selective member network that leverages the talent of its highly-skilled members for social good. It aims to become a transformative resource for the social impact sector as well as a professionally and personally rewarding experience for its members. PIN members offer high-quality support and advice to social purpose organisations and come together to build a body of best practice for the impact sector. Members have a wide range of business and management backgrounds, significant levels of achievement and a shared vision of deploying their expertise for good.

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People for Purpose

People for Purpose works across Australia with individuals, non-profit organisations, social enterprises and corporations to maximise their social impact. It does this via governance advisory, board search, executive search and workshops and events.

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