Diversity Council Australia appoints Lisa Annese as new CEO

Media releases

Diversity Council Australia is delighted to announce Lisa Annese has been appointed as its new Chief Executive Officer. 

DCA's Chair, Anna McPhee, said Lisa's extensive experience in working with DCA members on their diversity programs, combined with her business development and excellent communication skills, make her the ideal candidate. 

“Now approaching its 30th year, the organisation has evolved from one focused only on gender affirmative action, to a modern inclusive agenda working with organisations on a range of diversity areas such as gender, cultural diversity, disability, generational/mature age, Indigenous, LGBTI and flexible working. With Lisa at the helm, DCA will continue to deliver the latest diversity research, thinking and practice and support business to the high standards expected by our members,” said Anna. 

Lisa has been the Programs & Member Services Director for DCA where she specialised in providing advice and education to DCA members to improve business capability in diversity management. She has played a key role in broadening DCA‟s services to members, growing its member base and contributing to public debate on diversity.  

Lisa first joined DCA in 2009 and left for a short stint in 2011 as the first dedicated Diversity Manager at Corrs Chambers Westgarth who later won the Lawyers Weekly Firm Diversity Award. Her key achievements there include the publishing of an ASX Compliant Diversity Policy together with ambitious public targets for women in partnership, overseeing the industry partnership with the Melbourne Business School's Gender Equality Project and a role on the steering committee for the Australian Human Rights Commission's Older Workers and business growth strategy forum held in September 2012. 

Prior to joining DCA, she worked at the then Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency (EOWA) where she developed the first ever census of 'Australian Women in Leadership', the first-ever 'Business Achievement Awards', the creation of the 'Employer of Choice for Women' citation and the development and implementation of the policy framework for the EOWA Act (1999) with Australian businesses. For her contribution at EOWA, Lisa was awarded a Medal for Significant Contribution to the Australian Public Service in 2001. She also co-authored “Chief Executives Unplugged: CEO's Get Real About Women in the Workplace” which was named a “must-read business book” by AFR/BOSS magazine in 2005.

 Lisa said she is excited to take on the role and looks forward to building on the success of the organisation. 

“I am thrilled to be appointed as DCA‟s CEO. I am strongly committed to supporting DCA members and potential members to build their diversity capability and to ensuring the public debate is led in favour of an Australia that ensures excellent outcomes for diverse people.” said Lisa. “I am determined during my tenure to continue to expand the reach of DCA membership and enable best practice through world class research and building critical partnerships.” 

Lisa will commence in the role effective 2 June 2014. 

“I would like to sincerely thank DCA‟s Communications Director, Catherine Petterson, who took on the role of Acting CEO since the departure of Nareen Young earlier in the year. Catherine has done an excellent job during this period and will continue to make a strong contribution to the DCA‟s future,” added Anna.  

“I also thank Futurestep for providing a rigorous CEO search and selection process.”