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Mary Darwell

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Mary has wide experience in the public and private sectors, with more than 20 years as a senior executive and chief executive officer.

She is a trusted advisor known for achieving outcomes where there is contest and complexity, especially working with active stakeholders. Mary has led work in sustainability, regulatory reform, infrastructure development, place making, property management, heritage and arts, organisational transformation and health/community services.

Influential work

  • Led reform in an energy company by establishing its greenhouse gas policy, integrating a strategic assessment of carbon risk and opportunities, regulatory approach and emissions reporting
  • As CEO of a commonwealth statutory authority, collaborated with the government on a transformation program that included matured community engagement, commercial revenue, precinct activation, asset and safety strategies and award-winning heritage and parkland renewal
  • Advised on NSW's approach to cultural infrastructure, including working with stakeholders to create the concept vision and investment in the Walsh Bay Precinct
  • Led strategy and organisational reform delivering increased transparency and customer outcomes
  • Achieved funding, governance and business reform of Carriageworks and Sydney Film Festival
  • In partnership with First Nations people and communities started a deeper journey on reconciliation.

Outside of Nous

Prior to joining Nous Mary was the CEO of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, a statutory authority responsible for some of Sydney’s most iconic heritage parklands, including Cockatoo Island. She was also the Executive Director (CEO) at Arts NSW, where she led work to strengthen opportunities for, and increase the impact of, creative industries. Mary was a board member of Carriageworks, the Sydney Film Festival and the Sydney Festival.

Mary's strategy work includes leading the economic development division and different social and environmental policy teams at the NSW Cabinet Office, and being the Manager, Group Environment, at a major Australian energy company. Mary also held legal advisory and regulatory roles early in her career.

In her spare time...

Mary enjoys walking in Australia’s amazing national parks and might be found visiting a theatre, gallery or pop-up artists’ initiative. And she’s often putting on the kettle to make a good cup of tea.

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