With over 30 years as a lead executive director in a global accounting firm, Diana D’Ambra is a leader focused on working with inspired people to help them achieve worthwhile change.

As an experienced non-executive director and independent adviser, Diana now combines corporate finance, financial management, and related strategic advice with her board roles.

She has a particular interest in start-ups and new business models and has successfully advised and facilitated founders on taking their business to market.

“The biggest challenge all leaders face, in small business and large, is leading people. We all want to learn from and follow competent and approachable leaders” she said.

Diana is currently a board member on six boards, four of which she chairs. She is also an independent member of the audit, governance, and risk committee of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

When reflecting on the proudest moment of her career, Diana reflects on her role as Chair of the Australian Design Centre.

“This venerable institution carries on a more than 50-year history of supporting up-and-coming Australian designers and promoting sustainable design,” she said.

“It was wonderful and inspiring to present, at the end of each year, awards to such a talented group- a proud moment for all.”

When asked who she looks up to, Diana says she highly regards female business leaders who have attained positions of leadership while balancing family demands.

“It’s not easy juggling business demands and the needs of one’s family, but many women are able to do this and achieving key leadership roles. In my role as Chair of Women in Banking and Finance and on a healthcare board I meet an increasing number of these inspiring women.”

Diana D’Ambra’s key advice is to become a lifelong learner, as “re-educating and re-inventing yourself will become increasingly important in a long and ever-changing career”.

“A young person starting their career today will have at least five major career changes over their working life,” she said.

“Be curious, know yourself, and have courage to be prepared to stretch your understanding into unknown territory. It is purpose that gives you the resilience to succeed – not necessarily just the passion for the task.”