Liz Locksley

Liz Locksley, CEO and Chief Storyteller


I have a knack for bringing big ideas to life. For 20+ years I've been leading high-profile, high-impact projects in the public, private and not-for-profit sector. I mix leadership and storytelling with behavioural science, government policy and private sector infrastructure asset management. My purpose is supporting people to improve human and ecosystem health and wellbeing.

The Storyteller

While working on climate policy in NSW Government, it became increasingly obvious that climate change was not a only scientific and technological problem but a story problem. Humanity needs a new story of our connection in the web of life rather than the conqueror of nature. The richness and diversity of thrivability, rather than overblown GDP growth. Choosing to thrive rather than survive takes a shift in perspective and practice. The good news is, when we start to look we see thrive stories emerging all around.

Influences in early life

I love the city and its technology while wild moorlands, forests and Australian deserts run in my veins. I grew up between worlds – between Manchester’s swagger of industrial ingenuity and Dentdale’s ancient dialect of roaring tannin brown becks coloured by moorland peat and Norse ancestry. My Mother is planted in the North of England and my Dad still called Australia home even though he lived more of his life in the UK.

On birthdays and Christmas, our postman brought a package covered with stamps of Australian botanicals and marsupials. Inside, Granny’s vivid sound pictures of her childhood in the Australian bush, imprinted electromagnetically onto a plastic cassette tape. Her stories of this great Southern land made Australia feel so familiar it was like coming home when I first visited aged eleven.

In 2002, my railway job was taking over my life. Commuting between Manchester and London was giving me corridor cognition. Like the song, Come Home by James, I got the urge to "Go walkabout, I got the bends from pressure. It was a testing time when the choice was mine." I chose Australia.

Hard skills

  • Business analysis and investment planning
  • Financial and economic modelling
  • Infrastructure asset management
  • Governance and risk management
  • Technical writing
  • Microsoft Office

Soft skills

  • Strategic communications and storytelling
  • Collaborative leadership and facilitation
  • Program and management
  • Curiosity, listening and reflection
  • Systems and design thinking
  • Tenacity

Professional Achievements

2017 Breathing fresh life into the much loved NSW Green Globe Awards . Major brand refresh | Marketing strategy | 3 Gala Awards events hosted by the Minister for Environment and Heritage | Connecting the environmental movers and shakers of NSW

2013 Growing desert water smarts in Alice Springs. Leading the successful Alice Water Smart Homes and Businesses project with 44% water savings for some of Australia's highest water use homes and Alice’s top 50 non-residential users | Thousands of people empowered with skills in efficient garden irrigation and finding and fixing leaks | Alice’s water supply extended and electricity pumping costs reduced.

2012 Funding solar leadership in NSW. Designing and managing a successful due diligence process for NSW Government’s $65 million investment into AGL’s $440m solar power stations at Broken Hill and Nyngen. Market proof points for large-scale solar energy in Australia |Largest solar photovoltaic (PV) power stations in Southern hemisphere| 356,000 Megawatt hours (MWh) of clean, renewable electricity each year | Power for 62,000 average Australian homes