Joanne Marriott


  • Business Transformation
  • Change Management
  • Culture Development
“I love projects that focus on developing leaders, teams and communities that will thrive in the future.”
What is a little-known fact about you?

My first job after university was mapping lava flows at the Hawaii Volcano Observatory.

What piques your curiosity or where do you seek out inspiration?

I’ve always been curious to discover new places and cultures. When I was young my Dad took me for a flight in a light aircraft secretly hoping to spark my interest in a pilot career. He tells me that I wasn’t interested in taking the controls, but instead fixated on the view out of the window, following the river, where it came from, discovering new landforms and how they all fit together. I’ve travelled all over the world feeding my desire to find out what places are really like and who lives there, beyond knowing where they exist on a map. Now I find my curiosity is anchored in the people, their stories and their lived experiences.

What invigorates you creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

I like wild places, mountains, forests and feeling the wind in my face – I find being in nature helps to bring fresh perspective, work through my thoughts and make sense of things.

Could you tell us about somebody who has given you sage wisdom in the past?

My Nana and Grandad. They lived a long and happy life and when they were nearly 100 years old I asked them what their secret was. My Nana shared with me, it’s to laugh a lot. And they did – whole body laughter with tummies shaking, cheeks aching and tears streaming down their face. That’s the secret. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Which of our Keogh values speaks the loudest to you?

Humanistic. We’ve lost our way as humans. We’ve evolved into busy creatures, often in offices, often looking at screens. Creating space for connection with ourselves and with each other, to understand our stories and experiences, our unique strengths and our values, is so fundamental to being able to thrive and take on the future together.

Which projects have been the most meaningful to you and why?

I love projects that focus on developing leaders, teams and communities that will thrive in the future. So working with schools on what the future of learning looks like, working with a leadership team to inspire and build capability for their transformation or running experiential team development programs that focus on understanding individual strengths and behavioural styles as a basis for shaping future culture and capability.

Could you tell us a story about a moment of realisation in your lifetime?

During my early consulting career, I spent a lot of time facilitating business workshops. I’d spend ages preparing materials and slides to make sure we got to the outcomes we needed. And it was stressful, every time we got off track or there was a conflict. Then when I took some time out and did some work facilitating outdoor programs for young people, I met some amazing facilitators who blew me away and flipped everything I knew on its head. They taught me that it wasn’t about me as a facilitator leading the group to a defined set of outcomes. The best facilitators are those that seek to understand the potential of the group, adapt and respond to their needs and find ways to harness the collective wisdom of the group to achieve their goals. It feels so intuitive now and I am grateful to have had that experience as it changed the way I think and shapes the way I work with people now.

When, where, or with whom do you feel the most fulfilled?

On an adventure with my husband, daughter and twin boys. For my 40th birthday we all hiked 40km on the Cape to Cape track. My daughter is five years old and the boys are three. I was so immensely proud of them and their strong little legs. We broke the challenge up into little sections and focused on the special experiences we would share each day. Those memories will last a lifetime.