Learn a bit more about us, and why we do what we do

Our vision is a safe wise world.

We believe that social purpose organisations have a critical part to play in bringing this vision into reality.

Our mission is to strengthen the thriving social purpose economy and we do this by helping social purpose leaders to transform their organisation’s effectiveness.

We formally came into being in 2013 and we are a social purpose business; which is to say that our purpose drives our reason for being and our sustainability ensures we can continue to have the impact we care about.

Our theory of change


Who we work with


  • CEO
  • Executive Director
  • General Manager
  • C-suite
  • Managers
  • Chair
  • Directors
  • Emerging talent


  • Executive Teams
  • Board of Directors
  • Management Teams
  • Leadership Teams
  • Key Project teams
  • Across teams - Board and Executive, Cross-Functional Teams


  • The Arts
  • International Development
  • Disability
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Children’s Services
  • Community Services
  • Religious entities
  • Philanthropy
  • Environment & Heritage
  • Indigenous
  • Aged Care
  • Independent Schooling

How we do it

We offer the ability to build capability in yourself, your team and your organisation so that you can do more of what you do, better and more efficiently.

Our team bring hands-on sector experience along with best in breed skills in Coaching, Facilitation, Consulting and Training.

Our approach is integrated because our experience and belief is that transformation requires a rich and responsive palette of skills and knowledge.

We combine expertise in neuroscience and neuro-leadership, strengths-based adult learning, integral psychology, mindfulness, conflict management, conversational intelligence, resilience, constellations, systems theory and much more.



Better navigate complexity, keep growing, and deliver exceptional outcomes



Fast track performance and cohesion guided by strategic insight.



Bring to life your organisational strategy and potential.



Get supported, challenged and tooled-up for the challenges you face.

Meet the team


Elise Sernik PCC, Founder

Elise Sernik is a professionally accredited coach who partners with leaders and teams from across the purpose economy to transform their organisations and their professional potential. She draws on a background in commercial and not-for-profit management, organisational consulting and executive coaching to support her clients to achieve their goals in leadership, strategy and organisational change.

Elise brings a rich palate of skills in neuroscience, mindfulness, systems dynamics, communication and conflict resolution, and a style that is dynamic, engaging and transformational. In 2015 was honoured to be recognised by ICF NSW for her contribution to the nonprofit sector.


Barbara Barkley, PCC

Barb is a professionally accredited PCC coach, with a business and accounting background, a Masters in Sports Management and a senior social purpose career. As CEO of Womensport Queensland, National Manager of the Telstra Foundation and through her own strategy and executive coaching business, Barb has created partnerships, developed strategies and delivered programs across sport, community, corporates and government.  

Barb engages collaboratively, and with a leader’s perspective to help people and organisations clarify their vision of where they want to go and how they could get there while staying true to their values and purpose.


Andrea van der Merwe ACC

Andrea van der Merwe is a leadership and team coach with a focus on supporting leaders to thrive in complexity and change. She holds an associate coach accreditation with the ICF and has coached social purpose leaders and teams on three continents. This is supported by her own experience of heading up an innovative social purpose organisation in a complex regulatory environment, growing it from a start-up to a sustainable organisation.

Her earlier career was as a senior leader in banking and as a global management consultant. She has a particular expertise of working with cultural diversity and change at all levels, and is equally comfortable working with grassroot teams as well as leadership teams and boards.



Caroline Upsall
Administration Manager

Caroline Upsall brings with her 15 years of learning, leadership development and project management experience from the professional services sector coupled with a personal connection with the for-purpose sector. She has a passion for building awareness of behaviours and enabling personal growth and organisational effectiveness. Caroline has local and global experience in designing, facilitating and managing learning initiatives, as well as strong stakeholder engagement, business and project management skills.

Our Values

The behaviours we live by in the service of ourselves, and the people we work with; both their and our own inspiring visions, meaningful goals, and striving for a better world.


Show up and step out, unlocking the value of what it means to be strong, brave, safe and authentic


Be grounded, deeply knowledgeable and real-world, delivering transformational value


Relish growth and insight, sharing laughter, lightness and surprise


Walk in partnerships of wisdom, enabling what is over the horizon to come into being

Leadership Space has been our partners in a whole-of-organisation cultural change process. Through individual coaching, team coaching and workshop facilitation, Leadership Space has worked across all levels of Artbank. Barb has been pivotal in this process by supporting our people to build a stronger culture of personal empowerment and collaborative engagement to achieve the outcomes necessary for Artbank’s success.

Tony Stephens, Director


Elise has constantly challenged me throughout my coaching process and guided me to work on personal and professional behaviours that need improvement. She has inspired me to become more of an active and engaged learner during both group and individual settings and encouraged me to generate my own ideas and solutions rather than providing these to me. I have felt valued and supported throughout the coaching process.

Kim Douglas, General Manager, Marketing and Communications

Creche & Kindergarten Association

My sessions with Elise have been wholly transformative. At the start, we agreed to intentionally leave the focus of our time together open - this has provided enormous flexibility to address the unexpected, including a career transition. I find her combined use of behavioural analysis and neuroscience unique in its ability to deliver deep insight into the relationship dynamics across my professional and personal pursuits. I am working, communicating and partnering with far greater intention, effectiveness and impact, and far less heartache and frustration. She’s worth her weight in gold!

Este Darin-Cooper, State Manager (NSW/ACT) - Creative Partnerships Australia, Co-founder and Director

Darin Cooper Foundation

My coaching with Barb has provided me with the impetus to set aside time and head space for working on my own professional development. My sessions are always insightful and enjoyable but above all they give me greater clarity and confidence in the robustness of my leadership decisions. Her coaching provides a supportive environment to test my assumptions and reflect on my approach to complex situations and I walk away with a much clearer pathway forward. Invaluable!

Marnie Karmelita, Head of Programming

New Zealand Festival

Some of our like-minded colleagues

Good-Foundations-logo 2
Good Foundations help not-for-profit organisations create effective operational, financial and strategic platforms. Their team are practical and experienced, and like us, they put purpose before profit. If you wish to find out more about Good Foundations, please visit www.goodfoundations.com.au
People for Purpose support the search, placement and development of professionals in leadership and board positions who strive to create positive social impact. If you wish to find out more about People for Purpose, please visit www.peopleforpurpose.com.au