5 Minutes with Carole Renouf

5 Minutes with Carole Renouf

29 February 2016

What are you most excited about as you look towards leading MIA into the future?

Leadership for me is all about the fulfilment of potential. That’s my job – to help an organisation and its people achieve their greatest potential. I am excited about the wealth of potential at MIA. This is an organisation that, in the medical and scientific world, has already established a stellar reputation. Now it’s time to share that with other worlds, and invite them to be part of it and support it.

Why did you want to work with MIA and what are you hoping to achieve through your work?

Somehow, health and medical research has turned out to be my ‘space’. I think it’s because I believe health is our greatest asset. People with health problems –whatever these are - need the best possible treatments and care today, but they also need the promise that research brings – a better tomorrow. MIA is quite a unique organisation in that it brings together, on a daily basis, care and research for the betterment of people with melanoma and to prevent others getting melanoma. If together we can achieve those goals, I will be happy.

Where did you work before coming to MIA?

Before joining MIA, I worked at St Vincent’s, the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Garvan Institute. I have always worked in the not for profit sector, although it was originally an unconscious rather than a conscious choice. I am interested in social change, so it’s a natural fit despite the many challenges – especially lack of resources.

What drives you as a CEO?

I don’t think leaders are born. I think they are made, and that they are made through confident humility and an openness to lifelong learning. I guess that defines me as a CEO.

It’s interesting to me that today, the ‘soft’ skills which I possess are now the ones that are most sought-after in CEOs. I always used to feel inadequate because the ‘hard’ skills (say, accounting or operations) were not my strengths. It feels good to know that the world has now caught up with the fact that the ability to inspire, unite, communicate and advocate counts!

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I live a very low key life outside of work. I am actually an introvert in an extrovert’s role, so I burn an enormous amount of energy at work. In my spare time I really need down time with no people around me and preferably outside enjoying nature. I love my daughter. I love the sea. I love animals. I love physical activity. I love travel (definitely not the journey but the destination). And I love reading, preferably crime fiction where every problem gets solved – unlike the real world!

Tell us something most people are surprised to learn about you?

I initiated and ran Australia’s first consensus conference. This is a fascinating Scandinavian method of equipping lay people to give informed advice to Governments about controversial issues in science, technology, education and more. It has often led to great changes in society and I am very proud to have introduced this methodology to Australia.

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