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Julia van Graas

Julia van Graas

Co-founder of Leaders on Demand and Chief People and Culture Officer

+61 481 438 132

Authentic, people-centred, and resilient, Julia is trusted by leaders and their teams when they are navigating their most challenging issues and striving for ambitious outcomes. She offers insights and perspective that leverage her experience as an advisor, organisational coach, business owner, and interim executive.

Julia's known for supporting leadership teams and their boards through complex restructurings, turnarounds, and transformations. She acts as advisor to mentor and challenge thinking and frequently stepped into interim executive roles to lead teams to stability and sustainable improved performance.

A passion for creating braver leaders and courageous cultures, Julia’s strength is in building trust and leading the tough conversations so leaders and teams flourish and reach their full potential. She’s a certified Dare to LeadTM facilitator and accredited IECL organisational coach (level II).

Career History

Julia commenced her professional career training as a Chartered Accountant. She provided practical advice and hands-on execution support for high profile clients of professional services firms including Arthur Andersen, KordaMentha, AlixPartners and Ernst & Young, over two decades, working internationally.

Never just an advisor, she has stepped into take interim leadership roles when the response to dwindling stakeholder support needed a rapid, achievable path to sustainably improved performance. 

Julia returned to Australia in 2013 and qualified as a certified organisational coach. She was hand-picked by Brené Brown to be a certified Dare to LeadTM facilitator so the benefits of transformational courage-building could be shared with Australia.

Julia retired from the EY partnership to co-found Leaders on Demand. Her mission is to deploy scalable c-suite leadership when it's most needed, by building a purpose-led community of talented leaders who have got CEOs' backs.

Leadership Highlights

Strategic advisor to Federal Government regarding one of Australia’s most complex infrastructure projects

Interim executive and board advisor for FTSE listed financial services company to achieve complex restructuring doubling expected returns to all stakeholders

Interim treasury role during UK restructuring of Kodak Group

Interim CFO supporting CEO of ASX listed financial services company

Senior advisor to EGM of NSW government industry insurer, supporting leadership team get aligned during challenging transformation

Turnaround advisor to Japanese owned-Australian manufacturer including renegotiation of EBAs and engagement strategy with employees

Advisor to CEO and parent company for a $1.8bn 'must-close' acquisition, including first 100 days post-merger integration at the height of a global pandemic

Anytime a leader asks me to be their executive coach - "I need help and you've got my back"

Countless times facilitating executive team problem solving processes by creating the psychological safety and trust needed to have tough conversations

Bachelor of Accounting (University of Technology Sydney), Qualified Chartered Accountant (CAANZ), Graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD), Certified Organisational Coach (Level 2 - IECL), Certified Dare to LeadTM Facilitator

Telecoms & Utilities, Financial Services, Manufacturing, Consumer Products, Transport, Healthcare & Social Services, Construction, Technology, Not for Profit

General Management, People & Culture, Finance, Transformation, Treasury, Strategy, Advisory Board

Cultural Resets, Whole-enterprise Transformations, Missed Stakeholder Expectations, Rapid Growth, Post- merger Integration, Building Trust & Courage in Teams

Favourite quotes
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that has” Margaret Mead
Who we are is how we lead” Brené Brown

“I joined Leaders on Demand...

... as co-founder. I’m inspired by the passion of our Leaders on Demand. Every conversation I have comes back to values and prioritising sustainable performance and delivering outcomes. With scalable leadership, you don’t choose one because you can have both”

“When I'm not at work...

... I enjoy having two young kids who still love hanging out with me. 'Me time' is allocated to pilates, yoga, reading, cooking and bushwalking. I love mentoring change-makers who drive social-impact businesses. And planning the next overseas family holiday never stops”