Meet the mwah. Team

We have a dream, to make work absolutely human.
That’s why we called our company just that. mwah.
Our whole company is dedicated to those 4 words.

Rhonda Brighton-Hall

Rhonda Brighton-Hall

CEO and Co-Founder - Determined | Optimist | Human

Sonja Ankucic

Sonja Ankucic

Business Director - Energiser | Ideator | Friend

Lizzie Moyle

Lizzie Moyle

Business Director WA - Seeker | Inspirer | Pathfinder

Michael Brighton-Hall

Michael Brighton-Hall

Co-Founder -  Everyman | Yachty | Family Man

James Hancock

James Hancock

Business Director - Listener | Thinker | Doer

Alicia Luong

Alicia Luong

EA and Social Media Producer - Reader | Dreamer | Designer

Kerri Thomas

Kerri Thomas

Digital Manager - Adventurer | Activator | Mixologist 

Sarah (Associate)

Sarah (Associate)

Associate - Feminist | Scientist | Adventurer

We’ve thought about making work absolutely human a whole lot.

While we admit it is possible we’ve over-thought it,  we then remember that if all of us are spending the best part of 50 or 60 years of our lives, working, then maybe it’s not possible to overthink this.

Read about our philosophy here.

Work together in a human way
Be the Voice of Change
Inclusion for Everyone
Meet the mwah. Table of Ten.

We have a dream, to make work absolutely human.
That’s why we called our company just that. mwah.
Our whole company is dedicated to those 4 words.

Michael Brighton-Hall

As a Co-Founder of mwah., Michael is passionate about helping people improve the way they work.

He works with entrepreneurs and businesses providing them with a resource base of everything they need to work with people in a good way.

A constant re-inventor, Michael’s experience spans a variety of industries including telecommunications, heavy industry, traffic engineering, IT and real estate. Most recently he was the Director of Gone Sailing Yacht Charters as a qualified commercial captain.

He is also a prolific fundraiser for children with autism whilst supporting the improvement of men’s health through LifeLine.

If you were stranded on a desert island and not sure what to do, Michael is the guy who’d get you through.

Lauren Fried

I love working with people to grow things; whether it’s their businesses, non-for-profits, confidence and awareness in business, or helping them think bigger about all aspects of their lives.

For the last 13 years my day job has been leading my marketing and advertising agency Pulse Collective. I also have business interests across restaurants, consulting and advisory firms, food production, technology and working with Indigenous communities to create food micro-businesses.

I also love talking about all things marketing and advertising, so being a regular panelist on the ABC TV show Gruen is a perfect outlet for that. In my work downtime, I travel to bucket list locations where I can feed my other passion which is food and wine.

Related Organisations

Pulse Collective
The Entrepreneur’s Organisation The Orana Foundation

Áine Watkins

Áine acts as bridge between two worlds. She stands at the intersection between the tension of reality and possibility, data and poetry, mystery and practicality, the organisational and the personal. Her work has been evolving, into leading the sacred business of becoming whole, as she has journeyed through over 20 years of working as a consultant with organisations around the world. She bears both the joys and scars of working to streamline the messiness of being human into systems designed to predict and control, and daring to find ways to enliven the human spirit within the boundaries of organisational life. An Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, she specialises in working as an executive coach and trusted advisor to game-changers who want to shape a better world.

Related Organisations

Áine Watkins Coaching

Kathy Finckh

I’m like a lot of people now days with multiple careers that have taken the lattice path, not necessarily the ladder path. From finance, IT, recruitment, leadership development and organisational systems, I’ve taken every opportunity I can to learn and grow. However growing up with two sisters and having two daughters, I’ve always had a strong desire for equity.  I want everyone to be treated fairly and respectfully, taking me from a traditional human resources career to championing inclusion for all.  I like to lead change and help others see the possibilities. My 30 years in the corporate world, particularly the 9 years leading diversity and inclusion at Australia’s Commonwealth Bank, shaped my thinking beyond ownership and power as a strength. Strength comes from people feeling valued, included, empowered and having choices.

Now as Director Leadership Development at Chief Executive Women, I work with executive teams to engage them in leading equity in their own organisations and helping them find their own strength and courage to drive change.

I resist judgment, am open-minded and enjoy listening and learning from others. There is so much to learn.

Rhonda Brighton-Hall

My life and career merged a while back.

Love people and all the crazy potential every single one of us brings.

Especially love the people side of business and work. I’ve never felt the need to reframe that in fancier or more technical words. People are businesses. In fact, at the heart, that’s all businesses are – a bunch of people working together towards common goals. And “working” matters. It’s such an important part of all our lives.  And our contribution, is the only part of any business that has unlimited potential.

I’ve spent my career on the people stuff, working with some of the biggest and best companies all around the world, but I’ve always thought – “we could do this better. We could make work (and leadership) better for all of us – more inclusive, more real, and more ‘human’.

So, here we are doing just that.

I fundamentally believe that inclusion, good leadership and treating each other as equals, is not only foundational for good people practices in organisations, but equally of more equitable and prosperous economies and communities. In short, if we include as many people as possible in work, then we start to build the sort of community and society we all want to live in.

Behind the scenes, if you could see my ‘real resume’, you’d know I grew up in Wollongong (‘the Gong’), and as such I inherited that ‘work very hard and be straightforward’ work ethic. I don’t step back from either.

Away from work – I’m a wife, a mum, a friend, a person who likes to laugh, and a great lover of the ocean.

Related Organisations

Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) – FAHRI-CP and Non-Executive Director

FlexCareers – Chair

Phronesis Academy – Board


Feel the Magic – Board

Sydney University

Telstra Business Women Alumni


Michael Combs

I believe that access and opportunity should be afforded to all and I firmly believe that diversity is good for business. I strongly advocate for excellence in all we do when working with vulnerable individuals and this underpins the vision of the organisations I founded, CareerTrackers/CareerSeekers.

CareerTrackers is a national non-profit organisation that creates internship opportunities for Indigenous university students across Australia. CareerSeekers is social enterprise that works with leading organisations to create employment opportunities for asylum seekers and refugees who aspire to obtain professional employment.

I champion the use of Innovation in learning. Without a commitment to innovation in education and business, how do we expect to nurture future thought leaders and game changers?

Without focused programs there is no national drive to spread innovation and change in learning and teaching across business and education.

My education is varied. I graduated University of Northern Colorado with a degree in Business Administration. I was awarded an internship with Hewlett-Packard for five consecutive summers through the INROADS program then was offered a full time position when I graduated. During 10 years with HP my career spanned the US, Australia and the UK. In 2000 I was named a Gates Millennium Scholar, in 2003 I was awarded the US Congressional Medal of Service for community outreach and development. In 2013 I was recognised in the inaugural Westpac Community Leaders Award for Social Entrepreneurship and named in the 2015 Australian Financial Review True Leaders list.

Ben Rennie

As an entrepreneur and business leader, Ben advises some of the world’s most iconic brands such as BHP Billiton, Canon, Patagonia, Australia Post, Elgas, Tourism Australia, Bupa and Westpac including local and national government. His special interest is the convergence of technology and design and the ways design can be used to solve some of the worlds most interesting problems.

Ben is a frequent speaker and advisor on the value of innovation and design thinking at conferences and organisations. He has participated in some of Australia’s most important design, business and innovation conferences as a speaker and advisor including TED and in the grand hall at Parliament House.

His views on innovation and design thinking have been quoted in the media including Fast Company, Wired, PSFK, Good Magazine, The Australian and the ABC World News.

Ben is an active partner at Monocle, a co-founder at 6.2, an innovation lab, and founder of Common Goods, a social enterprise, working with some of Australia’s most innovative brands. Common Goods gives 100% of profits towards environmental projects.

Rebecca Cassells

I am a mother of two incredible young women and I’m keen to do all I can to make their world a more equitable place to live and work in. I’m a big fan of data and use it to create information that produces valuable insights into economic and social issues – and hopefully helps solve a problem or two. I also like to find ways to connect everyday people to complex research findings and speak numerous languages to try and make this happen – academia, private sector, government, everyday person.  As an Associate Professor with the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, I’m currently leading a project, partnering with the Workplace Gender Equality Agency to provide insights into gender equity across Australian businesses. My research to date has focused on issues around inequality and disadvantage and has been influential in driving public debates and influencing good policy and legislation. I’m hoping that it will continue to be used for this purpose.

Related Organisations

Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre

Curtin University

Narelle Hooper

I grew up in country NSW, where our family ran a farm and a pub (frequently chaotically), my mum worked nightshift as a maternity sister and I was the first in my family to go to uni.

I’m eternally curious; I like the people stuff and the finance, tech and sciency stuff and I like to get things done by crossing disciplines and building communities of interest.

I’ve been founding co-chair of the Australian Financial Review’s Women of Influence Awards and learned what makes CEOs tick as editor of BOSS Magazine. I’m a director at The Ethics Centre, Documentary Australia Foundation and Springboard Enterprises Australia which runs the accelerator program for women entrepreneurs. I co-authored New Women New Men New Economy in 2015, which shows how inclusive cultures drive innovation and sustainable growth. I also teach yoga and meditation and reckon you can pretty much sort most differences over a shared meal.

Related Organisations

The Ethics Centre

Documentary Australia Foundation

Tasmanian Development Board

Springboard Australia

Sonja Ankucic

Sonja is a Business Director with mwah.

With over ten years’ experience in senior roles, Sonja is a commercially focused HR professional with expertise in leadership, strategy, industrial relations, change management and organisational culture. Known for her energy and her pragmatic and creative approach to people and business, Sonja is deeply passionate about working with leaders to create a better world of work for tomorrow.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business (HR & IR), a Masters in Labour Law and an MBA, and is a Professional Member of the Australian Human Resources Institute (CAHRI). Sonja has worked extensively across Australia and Asia Pacific and has proven success working and leading teams across a range of industries including Supply Chain, professional services, telecommunications and not-for-profit.

A lover of animals (especially her rescue Greyhound Daisy), music, travel and wine, most days you can find Sonja working on the mwah. couch in our Sydney office.

mwah. Partner Organisations

Experts in their fields, our partner organisations believe in the mwah. way of working and bring their own specialist experience and expertise to the mwah. community.

mwah. Expert Contributors

At mwah., we’re lucky enough to be working with some serious experts. Absolute thought leaders with deep specialist knowledge. Here’s just some of our growing community of expert contributors.

Kathy Finckh

Kathy Finckh

Kathy is one of Australia’s foremost experts in diversity and inclusion, with significant experience in developing and implementing impactful and innovative strategies that engage senior leaders and employees equally.

She combines her well-developed skills in HR data analysis, presenting, written communication, project and change management, and stakeholder management, to align initiatives to business strategy and impact.

Kathy has strong knowledge of contemporary diversity and inclusion issues that include the advancement of women, LGBTI, age/generation, cultural inclusion, ability/disability and flexibility/workforce of the future. 

Kathy’s work for the advancement of women won her organisation global recognition through the prestigious Catalyst Award and domestically, the WGEA Employee of Choice for Women citation many times over. 

In addition, for two years Kathy led the implementation of the Male Champions of Change (MCC) program for the Commonwealth Bank.

Jane Glover

Jane Glover

Jane is a careers consultant experienced in working with undergraduate and postgraduate tertiary students as they make decisions relating to degree choice, subject majors, gaining relevant work experience and transitioning to graduate employment.  She draws upon her own work experience in professional services organisations undertaking graduate recruitment and generalist human resources roles. She is a professional member of the Career Development Association of Australia.  

Jane graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Linguistics.  She has also completed post-graduate studies in Human Resources Management and in Counselling.  Jane enjoys working with tertiary students and she is passionate about the value of further education and continuous career development. She is currently working as a student advisor at the CareerTrackers Indigenous Internship Program and is keen to contribute her previous work experience in graduate recruitment, HR management roles and careers advising to support Indigenous students to achieve success in their tertiary studies and at work.

Jane is the proud parent of two daughters, both current University students themselves and she has served on the college council at Wesley College, a student residence at the University of Sydney for ten years.

Sally-Anne Lyster Maclay

Sally-Anne Lyster Maclay

Sally-Anne is a world leading expert in customer centricity.

Sally-Anne has a wealth of experience across a wide variety of areas including finance, customer service, sales management, change management, process improvement, organisation development and HR but all of them relate back to putting the customer at the centre of everything they do. With a depth of expertise in financial services, both in Australia and overseas, Sally-Anne’s background ranges across health care, not for profit and mining sectors.

For the last 10 years, Sally-Anne has led customer service innovation which both taps into the potential of the team and maximizes organisation capability – creating lasting improvements in culture and bottom line results. She is passionate about using change management to create a cohesive approach across the different elements of the organization to benefit the lives of both customers and the broader team. Sally-Anne was instrumental in designing and leading the strategy and team structure which resulted in the Commonwealth Bank achieving and holding the number 1 ranking in customer service.

Sally-Anne holds an MBA, is a Chartered Accountant and has Bachelor degrees in Law (Hons) and Commerce.  She has a keen interest in ensuring that companies act in a socially responsible way and is now working towards post graduate qualifications in Social Impact.

She is married with a gorgeous active little bub.  When not in an office, she is happiest on and in the water, at speed on a pair of skis or shaking off the travel bug in a new destination.

Sean Hall

Sean Hall

After suffering burnout twice in three years, Sean’s deep understanding and fascination with wellness is both personal and professional.

Sean is an awarded marketer, innovator and strategist with twenty years of leadership experience ranging from the creator of the world’s most popular workouts, Les Mills through to senior executive roles in marketing and HR at Top 100 Global brand Telstra.

He has built his career reputation on driving complex transformation from a very personal level through to strategic change initiatives across brand, culture and business.

As Founder and CEO of tech startup Energx, Sean is on a mission to help people and organisations find the energy they need to discover and achieve their purpose. The Energx system employs a data-driven approach to tailor and track the performance of the Energx wellness programs at a personal, team, leadership and organisational level simultaneously.

This unique, holistic and practical approach to wellness enables people and organisations to ‘excel at change’ and unleash their energy potential.

Sean is passionate about the role of technology in addressing matters of social equity, a mentor to TEDx UNSW, Project ROCKIT and Youth Off The Streets and an alumni scholar of The Marketing Academy. He has appeared on four DVDs with celebrity trainer Michelle Bridges and is a well known shimmy enthusiast.

His first book focused on personal energy and wellness, BOOM! Four Steps To Energise Your Life will be published in early 2017.

Leah Wilmot

Leah Wilmot

Leah has extensive experience in Talent Acquisition and Development.


Leah has worked for global organisations in Australia and overseas with in depth experience in the financial services industry. The roles Leah has held within HR functions have primarily focused on attracting, selecting, developing and retaining talent.


Many of these roles have focused on entry-level talent and have included developing and managing programs to target university students and grow talent from within. Leah is passionate about matching talent and opportunity and has an appreciation for the difference people can make to an organisation. Perhaps more importantly Leah values the difference a great employer can make to an individual.


Leah has a Bachelor of Science (Psychology), a Graduate Diploma in Science (Psychology) and is part way through MBA studies.


Leah is married with two small children and cherishes time spent with the family.

Darren Murphy

Darren Murphy

Darren is Director and co-founder of Murphy Davis Management (MDM) and Sportsafe Solutions, which provide fraud, integrity and misconduct risk management services to the corporate sector and professional sporting organisations respectively.

Darren has over 20 years’ experience in leading and managing the investigation of complex and sensitive matters across the private sector and government.

Prior to founding MDM and Sportsafe Solutions, Darren most recently worked as an Executive Manager leading the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s main Group Investigations function where he was accountable for leading a diverse team of investigators responding to fraud, bribery and corruption, workplace misconduct and sensitive whistle-blower investigations.  

Darren led one of Australia’s largest bribery and corruption investigations involving senior executives receiving kickbacks and secret commissions across international borders. Darren also has extensive experience in designing, implementing and managing whistle-blower and integrity programs and providing advice to senior executives and Boards.

Darren began his law enforcement career in the NSW Police Force where he worked as a Detective in the NSW State Crime Command. Following this he began his corporate career running his own Financial Services business in the mortgage industry.

Darren holds various Investigative qualifications and is a Certified Fraud Examiner with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE).

Darren is a keen runner who regularly competes in marathons and half-marathons around Australia and recently competed in the New York marathon with his business partner Paul. As a husband and father of 3 girls, Darren also enjoys spending time with his family and the occasional round of golf.

Jennifer Levasseur

Jennifer Levasseur

Jennifer works passionately on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander inclusion programs and has spent 18 years in supplier diversity, working with Indigenous suppliers across Australia, Europe and North America.

Jennifer was the Head of Indigenous Affairs at Commonwealth Bank, responsible for the Group’s Reconciliation Action Plan programs and previously Head of Communications and Corporate Responsibility for Staples where she developed and implemented Staples first Reconciliation Action Plan and supplier diversity program.

She’s especially proud of her role helping educate Australia on supplier diversity.  Her work was recognised by Supply Nation with the ‘Supplier Diversity Champion’ Award in 2011 and 2013.

Now she’s helping organisations develop their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders inclusion programs, including Reconciliation Action Plans and supplier diversity programs.

Dr Renee Brighton

Dr Renee Brighton

Dr Renee Brighton is a lecturer in the School of Nursing at the University of Wollongong. Renee is a drug and alcohol and mental health nurse. Renee completed her PhD in 2016 and her thesis was centred on the consumption of alcohol is Australia, with emphasis given to women and service engagement. Renee is also a founding director of Recovery Camp, a project which delivers in a camp environment mental health-focussed placements for health students, as well as recovery-oriented experiences for people with a lived experience of mental illness   Renee also loves the Arts and ‘treading the boards’ on stage, as well as directing and producing theatre productions. She is a proud committee member of the Roo Theatre Company, a community-run theatre company based in the Illawarra. Renee also loves being a mum to her two lovely daughters, who both share her love of theatre and her strong principles of social justice.

Nikki Hobin

Nikki Hobin

An experienced Coach, Consultant and Facilitator, Nikki is passionate about working collaboratively with businesses, leaders and their teams to help them flourish, love their careers and generate ongoing success.

Respected for her integrity, pragmatism, creativity, energy, and solutions driven approach, Nikki leverages different formats depending on what is appropriate for their clients, the desired outcome and environment.

They work with middle management through to C-Suite Executives in a broad range of businesses, including manufacturing, construction, retail, telco, professional services, finance, medical and media.

Key areas of expertise are: executive coaching, leadership alignment, idea and solution generation, strategy creation and execution, effective communication, sales leadership and sales training, new business development, and pitch consulting.

Nikki and the Flourish team pride themselves on running invigorating and practical interactions. The key principles that they work to are:

    1. Leadership involvement is key
    2. Less is more
    3. Creative, practical execution to engage the team
    4. Making it stick in your business
    5. Get the mindset right and the rest will follow

A key note speaker at seminars and conference events and the Co-Author of two white papers, Nikki has 13 years experience as a Coach and Facilitator, backed by an in-depth commercial background gained from 20 years of working as a Senior Marketer and Business Developer within FMCG, manufacturing and retail businesses in Europe and Australia. She is also EL and DiSC accredited.

Paul Davis

Paul Davis

Paul is Director and co-founder of Murphy Davis Management (MDM) and Sportsafe Solutions, which provide fraud, integrity and misconduct risk management services to the corporate sector and professional sporting organisations respectively. 

Prior to founding MDM and Sportsafe Solutions, Paul was the Executive Manager of Commonwealth Bank Group’s Fraud Advisory team where he led the delivery of commercially viable fraud, bribery and corruption risk management advice to the Group and its subsidiaries.  

Paul developed and rolled out the Group’s Speak Up Hotline which was its first independent, dedicated channel for employees, suppliers and third parties to report fraud, integrity, misconduct and workplace wellbeing issues with a view to not only addressing concerns but also using data driven insights to improve business culture.

Paul’s corporate career also includes roles as Manager of Fraud and Forensic Services in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Sydney office and Market Surveillance at the ASX performing insider trading, market manipulation and continuous disclosure investigations.

Paul began his law enforcement career in the NSW Police Force where he worked as a Detective in the NSW State Crime Command. Paul’s investigative experience includes the Cronulla riots, investigating serious crime and corruption offences such as perjury and preventing the course of justice. Paul was awarded State Crime Command Commendation for Investigative Excellence.

Paul holds a Commerce Degree and is a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

When he is not working Paul enjoys running and recently competed in the New York marathon with his business partner Darren. He is also an avid movie watcher and has ambitions of one day writing a screenplay.

Chris Nelson

Chris Nelson

Chris Nelson is a highly regarded senior Human Resources leader with over 20 years experience across both specialist and generalist areas, including business performance, remuneration strategy, engagement, leadership, change and building diverse and inclusive businesses.

Prior to his career in Human Resources, Chris worked in various business operations leadership roles and as a project manager.

He is also an experienced counsellor and executive coach.

Chris is a Certified Member of the Australian Human Resources Institute (CAHRI), a member of the Australian Institute of Management, a Member of the Ethics Centre, and has been a NFP Board Director.

Chris is known for his ability to keep Human Resources practical and human-centred. He also has a strong corporate background and has recently moved his career into his great passion of coaching executives to influence not only their leadership capability, and also to impact the business more broadly by changing the thinking on employee engagement and building the sort of culture that supports a great business. 


Certificate in Organisational Coaching (IECL)


Graduate Certificate in Adult Education (UTS)

Bachelor of Theology (SCD)

Margie Hartley

Margie Hartley

Margie Hartley is one of Australia’s leading facilitators and executive coaches.

She is recognised and sought after for creating positive purposeful change with teams, individuals and organisations through her engaging, honest and solution focused style. 

With a solid tertiary background in Sociology and Anthropology and extensive in-depth postgraduate professional training in Positive Psychology, Margie delivers effective outcomes for clients using evidence-based and solutions-focused methodologies. Margie is deeply experience and has over 12 000 hours coaching experience with teams and individuals. 

An exceptional and highly experienced communicator, she works with an extensive range of client groups to create purposeful positive change in relation to a range of business challenges. 

Her impressive and loyal client base consists of top ASX listed companies, as well as small-medium business and entrepreneurs.