About Sonia

Sonia McDonald Founder, LeadershipHQ

Sonia McDonald
Founder, LeadershipHQ

Sonia McDonald is the CEO of LeadershipHQ. She is a thought leader, dynamic speaker, entrepreneur and writer who has over 25 years’ human resource management and organisational development experience.

Sonia has held senior roles in organisational development, learning and development, strategic recruitment and talent management fields. She has worked in various industries such as retail, mining, construction and engineering, consulting, executive search and the public sector around Australia and around the globe.

What gives Sonia her impressive ability to connect with her audience, whether they are students or corporate executives, is the breadth of her life experiences. Her own natural ability to network, build connections and develop collective leadership within groups has become a trademark of her coaching and training approach.

Sonia calls herself “The Accidental Entrepreneur” because her journey to leadership was one that she never expected to take. She gave up her corporate career to follow her husband to China where he was posted. After finding herself abandoned in a foreign country, left as a single mother, she was forced to rebuild her life and become the strong, independent role model for her daughter.

As she rebuilt her life, Sonia was captivated by the concept of leadership. After working for many years with a focus on high performance leadership, teams and organizational culture, she wanted to discover more about the influence of the brain on the way we work. This led to her study of the neuroscience of leadership.

Now Sonia was perfectly positioned to do what she most wanted to do, and that was to inspire and empower emerging and female leaders, and to help organizations’ tap into their greatest resource, positively and constructively.

Sonia considers herself an active ambassador for women’s leadership. As the creator of LeadershipHQ’s EmpowHER program, she presents a program which has been designed specially to meet the needs of women. It also promotes the value of gender balance in leadership teams, and helps cutting edge organisations to see the financial and cultural benefits gender diversity brings.

Having seen life and leadership from such extreme viewpoints, Sonia is able to speak to any audience. Her authenticity, understanding and expertise is a very exciting and engaging mix.

Sonia now writes regularly for publications such as The Australian, HRD Magazine, Smart Healthy Women and Women’s Business Media. She has spoken at LeadX, The Diversity Debate and the Executive HR Leadership Summit, in addition to many other leadership conferences. She is also a valued consultant to industries within Australia and around the world.

Most people describe Sonia’s presentations as fun and dynamic. Combined with her obvious experience and expertise, Sonia is the perfect choice of speaker for your next event.


Inspiring Others to Rock – helping others reach their greatest potential.
Significance Always – success in helping others achieve success.
Leading the Way – always leading with integrity and by example.
Brilliant Attitude – having best mindset everyday.
Mentoring for Greatness – teaching others to be the best they can be.



Super Retail Group
Origin Energy
National Retail Association
Absolute Boards

Fulton Hogan
Lend Lease
Liquid Learning
Gold Coast Commonwealth Games
Griffith University
SEQ Water
Unity Water

Bachelor of Business (HRM)
Diploma of Neuroscience of Leadership
Certified in Prism Brain Mapping Assessment
Certified Leadership Architect
Certified in The Extraordinary Coach program

Why Sonia

Sonia McDonald is the CEO of LeadershipHQ, one of Australia’s leading consulting firms, which builds leadership capability and confidence.

Sonia helps build strong organisations by discovering leadership talent and helping it thrive. She does this through partnering with the organisation, through her speaking gigs and through her writing.

She fosters a collective approach to leadership which in turn builds stronger teams and a more secure organisation. She harnesses the power of many to create dynamic leadership groups.

See more of Sonia

Who does she work with?

Why choose Sonia?

Sonia works with individuals and small to large organisations.

As an individual, she will help you to find your specific leadership skills and polish them so you can become the leader you want to be.

As an organisation, she will help you find the leadership talent you didn’t know existed, and develop it into a strong and positive influence within your business.

You know Sonia has the qualifications and experience to bring long lasting change to your organisation, but her personal qualities also make Sonia an excellent choice as coach, advisor or speaker.

Fun and dynamic, Sonia keeps the energy and enthusiasm high whether she’s presenting to an audience or working with you one-on-one. She has a friendly but powerful working style, which fosters confidence and trust, and opens clear lines of communication.

Equally comfortable working with practical and personal topics, Sonia can design a program or approach to meet every leadership need.

We invite you to contact Sonia to discuss how her individual or group coaching and mentoring programs can help you, and how she can add value to your next event through her keynote presentations. Contact her on 1300 719 665 or email [email protected]