About Us

Noelene Dawes

Noelene Dawes
Noelene Dawes specialises in relieving stress and releasing leadership capability.

She specialises in transitioning managers into leaders by building strategic decision-making, communication and influence skills. Noelene provides strategies for her clients that allow them to build new perspectives to address current issues and solve recurring problems. She has inspired many people to proactively change their behaviour and achieve lasting results.

Noelene Dawes is a Certified NLP Master Practitioner, Certified NLP Coach and Master Facilitator. She has worked extensively in Australia and Asia in corporate business positions, primarily in national level sales management and business development. Noelene has also held voluntary business club leadership roles at a local and national level. She is now the Director of her own company, Unlocking Potential Pty Limited and works as an executive coach, speaker, and author in her specialist area, emotional resilience for leadership. Noelene is a member of AIM (Australian Institute of Management) and ASA (Australian Society of Authors).

Noelene’s passion for working with leaders, and especially women, to achieve their best in a corporate and business context was born of her personal experience. In her early thirties; while managing a large sales team; serving on a council committee; being president of her local chamber of commerce; as well as being a wife and mother of two young teenage girls; she was struck down with a serious chronic illness, rheumatoid arthritis, and this led to significant consequences which rippled through her personal and professional life. Despite this setback, that same year, Noelene (then Noelene Hurn) was awarded the inaugural ‘Hunter Regional Woman in Management’ by the Australian Institute of Management.

Soon after, she was chosen by her CEO to take up a posting as sole representative in Jakarta, Indonesia. Her task was building business relationships and conducting market intelligence. Here she learned a good deal about the nuances of personality and cultural diversity, and the importance of authenticity, influence and diplomacy.

Four years later Noelene moved to Sydney to take up a new position as National Sales Manager in a time of complete cultural upheaval. Her job was to develop a sales force from a public service culture. Here she learnt how to influence without wielding power and how a profitable result delivered collaboratively embeds real and positive change.

It was this chain of experiences that led to her intensive work in the field of emotional resilience, models of self-management, and the ‘how-to’ of effective and successful participation in the corporate world without detrimental side effects.

Noelene wants other women to know that it is possible to achieve it all in leadership and life AND be healthy and happy, provided they pay proper attention to their physical and emotional health no matter how busy they are.

Noelene grew up in Lake Macquarie NSW where she married and raised two daughters. She now lives with her second husband and business partner, Ian, in the northern suburbs of Sydney.

Career Highlights

As National Sales Manager Personal Insurance (1995-2000), she was responsible for building a telephone and branch sales force by developing the skills and attitudes of several hundred sales and service people, helping them make the shift from public service thinking and behaviour to a proactive and accountable sales and service culture. This resulted in an annual increase in profitable sales of more than 25% per annum over four years, a sales staff attrition rate of less than 10%, and training initiatives that boosted customer retention through proactive customer contact and service. A key part of this role was the influential development of 27 technically capable people into sales managers.

As GIO’s woman in Indonesia (1991-1995) Noelene reduced the company’s risk exposure through effective market intelligence. In addition to her reinsurance responsibilities she assessed the potential for life insurance joint ventures with local players. Noelene served the local community as a charter member of the Soroptimist International organisation bringing local and expatriate women together to assist the community at large.

During her time as Divisional Sales Manager Northern Hunter (1987-1991) she was awarded “Hunter Regional Woman in Management 1989”, given by the AIM for leadership, communication and community service.

Community Service

As National President Business Swap, and Board Director (2004-2005), Noelene had responsibility for overseeing the operations and influencing the direction of the then 550-member organisation. At that time Business Swap had 12 clubs across Australia from which volunteers ran weekly seminars. In addition to driving several organisational changes Noelene’s term culminated in convening a successful 4-day National Convention in Cairns attended by 130 people in October 2005.


Ian Dawes

Ian Dawes
Ian has a passion for facilitating leaders through the process of dissolving conflict.

In a competitive market where the performance of leaders is a critical factor in business performance, Ian provides coaching to help leaders to be the best that they can be. No matter what the catalyst, Ian has the will and skill to help them through the change whilst building their capability and providing new perspectives.

Ian is a results driven problem solver and communicator who has the ability to go right to the core of an issue and help achieve the best solution possible.

During a 35 year IT career in the financial services sector with organisations such as international insurance systems specialist Computations, State Bank of NSW, GIO Australia and AMP, Ian developed strong skills in communication, negotiation, and conflict resolution.

He has led senior business executives from independent business units in the development of a group Ecommerce strategy, negotiated IT heads of agreement for a planned alliance between two major financial services organisations, and run a major cultural change project moving an IT organisation to a project management culture.

Ian has intervened and resolved communications issues between general manager level executives and facilitated groups of executives in conflict in the development of agreed objectives. He has facilitated staff to find their own solutions to their HR issues, provided career planning, and developed a successful staff retention strategy during a major project restructure.

In addition to his work with Unlocking Potential, Ian manages projects for organisations such as NRMA, Pillar Administration, Zurich, the Commonwealth Bank, and AMP on a contract basis through Adaptra.

Ian is a Certified NLP Coach and Certified NLP Master Practitioner (certified by Philippa Bond, Master Trainer of NLP, Inform Training and Research Pty Ltd).

Ian helps leaders achieve success and truly unlock their potential.