About Maria Brett

Maria is an expert in leadership and organisational development who helps people live and lead courageously – from the inside out – for impact that really matters.

Maria is inspired by the opportunity to work with leaders and teams to help them find and work at their growing edge, and to follow their unique growth journeys.  She is optimistic about making a difference to the people she works with – and having an impact that really matters –  through her focus on personal and professional growth. 

At the age of 28, after a major life upheaval, Maria went in search of meaning. This took her to mediation and mindfulness and a 25-year exploration of the ancient Buddhist tradition. Inspired to make a difference in the world, she went on to campaign for causes close to her heart – the environment and human rights – and to work as a mental health professional and as a CEO, becoming an influential leader in the non-profit sector for more than 20 years. 

As a psychotherapist and a mindfulness teacher, and as former CEO, Maria brings a unique approach to her work as a trainer, speaker, consultant and coach. She has integrated a lifetime of learning about mindfulness, resilience and leadership, and her own development journey, to develop programs, services and keynote speeches to inspire others to grow, both personally and professionally.

The difference Maria makes

Maria works with LEADERS at all levels of organisations to help them lead courageously, with integrity, purpose and emotional intelligence, to have an impact that rally matters

Maria supports TEAMS to clarify their values and purpose, and to work together for a purpose that matters within an organisational culture that supports engagement and wellbeing.

As a consultant, Maria works with a range of ORGANISATIONS including non-profit organisations, associations, and small to medium-sized businesses, to be purpose-led and to plan for organisational development and growth.

Maria’s services include a focus on personal development so she also works with INDIVIDUALS following their own growth journey, in both their personal and professional lives.

Professional background

Maria has undergraduate qualifications in law and politics and postgraduate qualifications in counselling and psychotherapy. 

Maria has more than 20 years’ experience as a leader in the non-profit sector. After a brief career in the law, she followed her heart to work for the causes she is passionate about: the environment, human rights and mental health and wellbeing.

For ten years, Maria was CEO of the Counselling and Psychotherapy Federation of Australia. In this role she led a major organisational restructure, delivering substantial organisational growth and building a purpose-driven culture based on ethics, resilience and wellbeing.


Maria has a wonderful presence and personal style. Her Masterclass was fun, colourful and informative. She delivered practical approaches for applying Emotional Intelligence, with tact and awareness.

David Maywald
Non-Executive Director
Community Services # 1 

The Emotionally Intelligent Leaders Program helped our team understand the value  of developing, applying and harnessing EI.  The assessment helped us individually to strengthen our self-awareness especially in relation to how others in the team viewed us and how their views aligned with how we viewed ourselves. The coaching from Maria was helpful in framing follow up questions and discussions with the team about their feedback to ensure constructive outcomes from the whole experience.

Dr Dalal Smiley
CEO, Wellsprings for Women

Find your Growing Edge

Explore Transformation Journeys, designed by Maria Brett,
for courageous leaders, thriving teams and purposeful organisations