Kate Wheeler awarded AESC's 2023 Commitment to the Community Award - Fisher Leadership

Kate Wheeler awarded AESC’s 2023 Commitment to the Community Award

Kate Wheeler awarded AESC's 2023 Commitment to the Communty Award

The Association of Executive Search and Leadership Consultants (AESC) has recognised Kate Wheeler, Partner, For Purpose Sector at Fisher Leadership, with the AESC Commitment to the Community Award for her high impact service.

“My work in the social impact sector over the past decade is close to my heart. I see the incredible effort contributed by so many leaders that I work with, and I have absolute respect for the organisations we support. It’s honestly a privilege to work with the very best of humanity.”

Fisher Leadership is now a part of Future Leadership, which hosts a range of talent solutions. Combining services like Gig Executive, Advisory, Coaching, and Leadership Development, enables leaders to continually grow and develop, and know that our trusted relationship can support them at the key milestones on their leadership life cycle, as they make a difference to their organisations and their industries.

Kate Wheeler

Partner, Fisher Leadership

Kate founded and now leads the Fisher Leadership For Purpose practice, which partners with over 300 organisations and places more than 360 leaders into high-impact roles.

Kate’s work exclusively serves vulnerable communities, specifically board and executive impact across several areas, including mental health (Beyond BlueHeadspaceDepartment of Premier and Cabinet), Indigenous affairs (NSW Aboriginal and Land Council CEO, Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People), disability (Guide Dogs VictoriaThe Disability Trust), domestic violence (Our WatchRESPECT VIC), child protection (OxfamDepartment of Justice and Community Safety) homelessness (Housing FirstHaven; Homesafe), microfinance (Grameen Australia) medical research (Cancer CouncilMovember) and many historically underserviced regional councils and nonprofits. Kate is renowned for going above and beyond in her commitment to community, with 100% of her executive search work involving pro bono services across the charity, not-for-profit and social impact sectors.

“Kate Wheeler is a high calibre individual who has gone above and beyond during her decade of work as an executive search consultant in the social impact sector,” says one colleague. “Kate takes the time to understand complex issues faced by organisations and creates a collaborative approach to problem-solving, resulting in recalibrating and sometimes pivoting on search strategy for the benefit of the client.”

Kate has contributed to the growth of the profession by shifting her executive search methodology from a linear placement process to a systemic focus, involving the comprehensive mapping of issues through a multi-dimensional diversity leadership lens.

Kate’s use of psychometric studies allow her to advise boards on diversity gaps and support selection with coaching, transition, and leadership development components. Two distinct contributions to this process shift include:

  • Kate’s support of the evolution and uptake of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) via systemic leadership solutions within the NDIS body itself, across a myriad of NDIS services, and the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission.
  • Kate’s amplification of Indigenous leadership in Australia with over 30 senior Indigenous appointments including two Indigenous Commissioners, the CEO of Australia’s largest land rights and Native Title organization, additional executive appointments at the NSW Aboriginal Land Council, and the Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People.

Haven; Homesafe CEO Andrew Cairns describes another situation in which Kate offered ample support. “At a time of unprecedented need for disadvantaged housing and corresponding government investment, Kate stepped up to help lead a significant project to attract multiple new positions to enable heightened service delivery for the community,” he says. “The community housing sector can be challenging due to the lack of high remuneration opportunities. Kate went above and beyond in engaging prospective candidates to help them understand the importance and potential of the roles while concurrently redesigning the EVP with Haven.”

Prior to joining Fisher Leadership in 2010, Kate spent over 14 years working in executive search on a national and international basis. Kate has appointed scores of executives at the most senior levels, including CEO, Executive Directors, General Managers and a range of specialty areas. Kate holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Psychology) from RMIT University and has pursued further studies in Business – Human Resource Management.


AESC’s Commitment to the Community Award was established in 1993 to recognise a firm, office or individual who combines excellence in executive search or leadership consulting with a strong commitment to community service and volunteerism toward charitable causes.


Since 1959, AESC has set the quality standard for the executive search and leadership consulting profession. AESC Members represent 16,000+ trusted professionals in 1,200+ offices, spanning 70+ countries. AESC Members are recognised experts providing consulting services in the areas of leaders, teams and culture to the world’s leading organisations. They leverage their access and expertise to place more than 100,000 executives each year in board of directors and C-level positions across industry sectors. Dedicated to strengthening leadership together, AESC and its members share a deep commitment to the highest quality standards in executive search and leadership consulting—for the benefit of clients and the profession. We Shape. Connect. Educate. Innovate. Learn more about us at aesc.org. For AESC’s career service connecting executive-level candidates to the world’s leading executive search firms, visit bluesteps.com.

Originally published on the AESC website.

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