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QUT Business School Outstanding Alumni Award Winner

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Dr Kirstin Ferguson

2002 Bachelor of Laws (Honours), 2015 PhD (Business)

Dr Kirstin Ferguson is a high-profile business leader, company director, author and award-winning leadership expert with a strong passion for gender diversity and inclusion in the workforce.

Kirstin joined the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) board in 2015 as a non-executive

director and in 2018, Prime Minister Scott Morrison recommended Kirstin for the role of Deputy

Chair and Acting Chair of the ABC. The Governor-General accepted the recommendation, and during an intense period of public scrutiny, Kirstin successfully navigated the ABC through a Senate inquiry, departmental investigation, and legal settlement.

She began her career as an officer in the Royal Australian Air Force, where she received recognition for her commitment to the nation from her service in the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Her contribution to the ADF continued in 2002 when she received a Churchill Fellowship to investigate ways the military could develop improved strategies to support bereaved families of military personnel.

While in the military, Kirstin completed a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) at QUT and became admitted as a solicitor in Queensland and New South Wales. Rather than practise law, Kirstin continued to lead others and moved to the consulting firm Sentis, where she became global CEO of the company.

Kirstin’s advocacy for gender diversity and inclusion saw her launch the widely acclaimed 2017 #CelebratingWomen campaign, which she created to see more celebration and less denigration of women online. The campaign celebrated 757 women from 37 countries globally and led Kirstin to co-author the award-winning book, Women Kind.

Kirstin is a committed lifelong learner and has maintained a real-world connection with QUT since first graduating from a Bachelor of Laws in 2002. She started her PhD research into the field of leadership and corporate governance in 2012 and spent the next two years as a mentor for QUT’s Executive MBA program, before completing her PhD at QUT Business School in 2015. She was also awarded the QUT Colin Brain Governance Fellowship in 2012. Most recently, she was a keynote speaker for the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame, Game Changers in conversation series and is currently an Adjunct Professor at QUT Business School.

Throughout COVID-19, Kirstin has employed social media channels to deliver a series of leadership Q&A vlogs that provide support for leaders who are navigating teams through this unprecedented crisis. Kirstin’s military training, the diverse roles she has held across a multitude of organisations, her research into leadership and governance, and her advocacy work, has led her to build a skill set that is truly reflective of an agile and resilient business leader.

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International keynote speaker

Kirstin is a highly sought after keynote speaker who has opened dozens of conferences and events across Australia and NZ, as well as around the world.

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