Described as a dynamic and engaging leader, Karlie Brand boasts extensive experience in management consulting, executive and team leadership, government relations, and not-for-profits. She is a true believer in opportunities and taking chances, which she demonstrated by helping Soldier On—a charity for wounded veterans and their partners—to grow to national status. Karlie’s professional experience is complemented by a bachelor’s degree in commerce-arts and a master’s degree in international business, as well as specialized knowledge gained from the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course. In 2018, Karlie was named CEO of the National Australia Day Council, a not-for government-owned company, based in Canberra. The NADC’s core mission is to actively promote Australia Day, inspire national pride, and increase participation across all sectors of the community.
At the NADC, Karlie and her team members work to deeply acknowledge their Aboriginal culture and to learn more about their history. The organisation encourages all Australians to do the same through the national campaign: “Reflect, Respect, Celebrate—We are all part of the story.” Karlie drove the reframing of Australia Day to encourage Australians to reflect on their nation’s true history, which began tens of thousands of years ago with the first Australians – the world’s oldest living culture – and on the impact that European settlement had on our First Australians and their way of life. Karlie notes, "On Australia Day, we are encouraged to reflect on our modern history – the waves of immigration that have shaped us into one of the world’s great multicultural success stories. We respect that, regardless of where we come from, the faith we follow, or the language we grew up speaking. We are all Australian and we all have a contribution to make. We celebrate our nation’s place in the world as a proud, ancient, multicultural nation, built on shared values, that allow us to enjoy the freedoms and opportunities that other nations aspire to."
NADC also celebrates the country’s current status by recognising active citizenship and achievement at the Australian of the Year Awards, a national program honoring the nation’s most outstanding people. There are four categories: senior, young, local hero, and Australian of the Year. Former winners include athletes, scientists, rescue divers, medical professionals, community advocates, and many more. “The award creates a sense of unity and national pride by celebrating Australia’s greatest achievements and its most inspirational people. The Australian of the Year Award recipients are nominated by the people, for the people,“ Karlie explains. January 26, 2021 will be NADC’s 61st year to hold the prestigious event.
The NADC provides the leadership for Australia Day by messaging, branding, fundraising, and issuing grants for organizations to host the annual event. In 2021, Karlie and her team members administered a $15M grant program to local councils and community organisations throughout the country. This past January, her third Australia Day as CEO, Karlie continued to focus on her role within stakeholder management. Working closely with the government and more than 500 counterparts across all states and territories, she strove to meet the expectations of both internal and external stakeholders. Karlie was one of the key public spokespersons for Australia Day, conducting many interviews across all media channels, engaging with the public on an important yet sensitive community matter.
With extensive experience in the delivery of corporate functions across the not-for-profit, public, and private sectors, Karlie has a strong history of collaboration with others, executive and team leadership, governance, strategic and policy development, as well as change management, organisational design, and media relations. Karlie’s friendly nature and ability to build productive business relationships not only enabled her to deliver high-quality results on time and within budget, but to also obtain a significant increase in funding from stakeholders and partners.
Chief Executive Officer
National Australia Day Council
Old Parliament House, King George Terrace,
Parkes ACT 2600 Australia
LinkedIn: Karlie Brand