Meet the Team

Meet the team of experts brought to you by Parents on Leave™

Our approach to career coaching and mentoring is highly pragmatic, future-focused, and based on many combined years in executive, board, consulting, coaching and mentoring roles.

Catherine Brown - Parents on Leave

Catherine Brown, GAICD, PCDAA | Director, Parents on Leave Pty Ltd

Catherine is a leading Human Resources executive with over 30 years’ experience in HR and Consulting.  She has held executive HR roles in diverse sectors including Professional Services, Mining and Manufacturing and Higher Education, and has extensive experience leading global teams and working both in Australia and the UK. She is a Non-Executive Director on the Board of an Independent College. Catherine brings to the table sound judgement, pragmatism, deep knowledge of contemporary HR and Talent practices, all honed in highly complex operating environments. She has worked on significant M&A integration and restructuring initiatives internationally; and built her own successful businesses in consulting and retail environments. Catherine also served in the British Royal Navy where she was instrumental in designing and implementing the Royal Navy’s first centre to deliver counselling and support services to Naval staff and their families. She is a Mentor and a Leadership Syndicate Advisor for Women on Boards Australia, an accredited Executive Coach with clients globally and, until recently, led the Executive Talent and Capability function for the University of Melbourne. She is committed to assisting others achieve their career aspirations and goals and was a panel judge on one of the professional services sector’s first Inclusion and Diversity programs for women.

Sheena Wilson - Parents on Leave

Sheena Wilson, GAICD, PCDAA | Director, Parents on Leave Pty Ltd

Sheena is a highly accomplished business leader, talent executive and accredited career coach, with multi-disciplinary experience on a global scale. She is a professional Non-Executive Director and Foundation Trustee. She is Deputy Chair of a large professional services firm, and Chairs the Board’s People, Performance, Nominations and Governance Committee. She is a Mentor and Leadership Consultant for Women on Boards Australia; a member of the Nominations Committee for Basketball Australia; and coaches Board members and executives from multiple sectors in Australia and internationally. Sheena’s international business career included many years working overseas at The Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) where she was a member of the firm’s global Operating Committee. She was BNY Mellon’s Head of HR - International for five years; CEO of BNY Mellon India for three years; and Global Head of Talent Strategy for five years. She is an international award-winning expert in Inclusion & Diversity; and has worked on the ‘people aspects’ of many M&A deals globally. Sheena has lived and worked extensively in Australia, New Zealand, India, the USA and Europe in a range of sectors: Banking & Finance; Management Consulting; Engineering; Social Enterprises and Higher Education among others.


Sheena and Catherine are regularly joined by a suite of talented experts for each Program cohort, ranging from career and executive coaches, personal communication and branding excellence professionals, and other business specialists.

Dr Barbara Milliken [Kubiena]

Barbara Milliken has over 30 years of international experience in Organisational Psychology, Executive Coaching, Counselling Psychology and Business Advisory Services. She has a thriving executive coaching business and also works as a Cadre Associate Korn Ferry in the Leadership & Talent Consulting business, providing executive assessment, development, coaching and team effectiveness advisory services. Barbara has developed her business knowledge and her expertise in executive assessment, coaching, counselling and team facilitation across industry sectors and geographies. She has worked in a range of blue chip international corporations: at Korn Ferry, as Senior Partner, she led the Leadership Consulting team; at Whitehead Mann in the UK, she was Director of Organisational Development and Talent Management, and, prior to that, led the Executive Assessment & Leadership Consultancy business; at The BBC she ran the in-house psychological services team; she also worked in a range of change management and assessment consultancy roles at Royal Mail, the Department of Health and Social Security and Accenture. While completing her doctoral degree at the University of Melbourne, she worked for the Department of Corrections, Victoria, providing psychological services through community and prison based programs with offenders. Barbara also worked within the Department of Human Services in a community mental health clinic, where her focus was on the treatment of clients with OCD, agoraphobia and anxiety-related challenges. Barbara is a Board Member of Blank Canvas, a not-for-profit organisation with a base in Cambodia, focused on disability inclusion and self help to create sustainable improvement in quality of life. The organisation currently supports initiatives in Cambodia, Bangladesh, India, Kenya and Ethiopia. Barbara completed a doctoral degree in Psychology [Forensic] at the University of Melbourne. She also holds a BSc. (Hons) in Psychology & Sociology, a Masters (MSc.) in Organisational Psychology and has completed the Advanced Program in Organisation Development and Human Resource Management at Columbia University, USA. She is certified in Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Coaching and is a member of the International Coaching Federation. She holds AHPRA registration and is a member of the Australian Psychology Society.

Mariette Rups-Donnelly

At heart Mariette Rups-Donnelly is a storyteller. She has years of experience telling “tall tales and true” first as a leading actor and teacher of actors and now as an executive coach specialising in presentation skills. Her professional acting work includes theatre, television, film and cabaret and she played the title role in Evita, twice. She has taught in many of Australia’s leading acting schools and universities so her experience is both academic and practical. She combines this knowledge of performance with an astute business understanding to create programs that go to the core of leadership and business performance. She consults and coaches senior executives in presence, presentation skills, storytelling, media and influence and is a respected international speaker and emcee. Her knowledge of presence, voice, body language, camera presentation, language and emotional connection is valued across all sectors with clients in government, technology, finance, banking, design, construction, academia, retail, not for profit, utilities, mining, law, recruitment and hospitality. A true storyteller she is able to mix valuable information with a wicked sense of humour and loads of inspiration.