Who we are

//Who we are
Who we are 2017-11-21T17:40:17+00:00

Like all organisations, ISL consists of a network of people who dedicate their energies to achieving the organisation’s mission and objectives. Most of these people are not employed directly by ISL, but come together virtually to create the institute and its outputs and outcomes. A few groups of people are introduced below.


Gayle Avery and Harald Bergsteiner, are the founding directors of the Institute for Sustainable Leadership. Both are specialist researchers and educators in sustainable leadership.

Dr Gayle C. Avery

GAveryDec2014-101px2Specialising in leadership, management development and creating sustainable enterprises, Gayle advises senior managers from a wide range of national and international clients and is author of many papers and books on management.
She is: professor at Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM), visiting professor at leading international business schools including the China Europe International Business School, and co-director of the Institute for Sustainable Leadership.

As a very experienced corporate and executive educator, Gayle Avery brings extensive global experience in business, government and academe. She has been academic leader on numerous study tours to visit European enterprises and examines sustainable leadership practices first hand.

Dr Harald Bergsteiner

Photo of Harald BergsteinerHarry completed his PhD in management at Macquarie University, and specialises in sustainable leadership and accountability.

Using additional skills from his earlier background in architecture and urban management, Harry applies extensive graphical modelling to present research findings to practitioners and in developing practical tools.

Harry is currently co-director of ISL, an honorary professor at the Australian Catholic University, author, study tour leader and advisor to government and the private sector.


ISL was established as an independent entity in 2011 by members of an Advisory Board, whose skills and strengths were drawn upon in many ways, and continue to be drawn upon.

In particular, ISL thanks the following:
Matthew Ball – Managing Director, BlackBerry ANZ.
Andrew Bell – Grain of Sand consulting, human resources, consulting, benchmarking
Rob Burdock – University of Sydney, strategy and sustainability
Lorne Butt – Sustainability Officer, NSW TAFE Western, corporate governance
Peter Dracakis – Mission Australia, accounting and finance
Sarah Elliott – Westpac, human resources
Peter Johnson – IT, strategy
Michael Lafford – strategy and consulting
Susanne Merbold – Infineon Technologies, branding
Corry Roberts – Thales, human resources, general management, business development
Kim Tran – IBM, operations
Ling Wong – Leading Light in Leadership, strategic business development, sustainable organisational leadership, marketing
and many other alumni from Macquarie Graduate School of Management who have donated their time and expertise to ISL.


ISL interns come from diverse backgrounds, including accounting, research, media, law, marketing, corporate governance, sustainable development and communications. In some cases, interns gain credit towards a qualification such as the Global Leadership program at Macquarie University. At other times, interns join ISL to gain international business experience while contributing to a better world. The aim is to offer interns exciting opportunities in addition to the specific tasks they are engaged for.

“ISL gave me the opportunity to work on international issues and develop strategic thinking: an inspiring environment with dedicated mentors.”

Maria Lorenzo, Spain

Photo of Maria LorenzoMaria was first to join, whilst she was completing her double masters degrees of Master of Translating and Interpreting and Master of International Relations at Macquarie University.

Maria assisted with ISL’s 2012 conference in Rome, and worked on governance matters with our Board.


“Being part of the ISL team has been a rewarding experience. I’ve been able to meet many people with diverse backgrounds but interested in the same topics: leadership and sustainability. My experiences at ISL have helped me grow both professionally and personally.”

Maricruz Ortiz, Mexico

Photo of Maricruz OrtizMaricruz  is now a teacher of sustainable development in high schools in Mexico. She helped ISL manage the 2013 and 2014 symposia in Nice and Salzburg as conference assistant.

She helped organize the 2015 conference in Dubrovnik, and has acted as research assistant on an ISL project comparing countries on various sustainability criteria.


“I really loved my experience at ISL. It was great to be involved with, and guided by, such passionate people, and to be able to add my bit to their endeavours to make this world a better place. I share deeply ISL’s humanistic ideals. Gaining insight into what ISL does gave me inspiration and hope for the future.”

Olga Mirkina, Russia

Photo of Olga MirkinaOlga is now back home in St Petersburg, assisted ISL by using her photographic skills to create wonderful images for our newsletters and published materials.

In addition, she helped edit the book of electronic proceedings for ISL’s 2013 conference and then she grasped the opportunity to research 10 sustainable organisations based in Australia.


Mariana Segura and Paola Barreiro Estrada from Mexico and Juliana Acosta Jaramillo from Columbia have recently joined ISL’s intern program.


Marie-Laure Bouchet creates and maintains our web site and conference registration & paper review site. Email her with any comments by using our contact form.

Susanne Merbold created and oversees the ISL branding.

Corry Roberts established the ISL LinkedIn group.

If you are interested in becoming an intern or volunteering your expertise then we would be pleased to hear from you.

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