Scholar Profile - Brad McManus PDF Print E-mail
Brad McManus


Vice Chairman at the Integral Leadership Institute Inc

Awarded a scholarship for a Certificate in Governance for Not-for-Profits, 2013

What sort of work does your organisation do?

Founded in 2005, the Integral Leadership Institute is a registered charity that conducts research into exceptional leadership and organisations. The Institute's aim is to facilitate the development of leaders, people and the community in an integrated and holistic way that makes a contribution to the whole of humanity. In addition to our research activity and work we do with organisations, the Institute provides practical community courses that examine the underlying ideas of eastern and western philosophy and how these can guide practical action. Participants learn the practice of mindfulness to reduce stress, improve personal effectiveness, happiness and general well-being.

Describe a typical day's work.

I can safely say that no two days are the same for me. My attention and focus at Integral leadership Institute is on strategy, building the organisation’s capacity to deliver services, financially sustainability and continually developing an effective governance framework. It’s never dull and I love the challenge.

What were some of the key learnings from the Certificate in Governance for NFPs course?

Some of the key takeaways for me were:

  • Greater understanding of current governance issues affecting the NFP sector;
  • Deeper appreciation of the importance of effective due diligence and compliance programs in the NFP context;
  • An update on the current legal and regulatory requirements applicable to NFP organisations;
  • Further insight into effective legal structures, board composition and ways for NFP boards to add value; and
  • An understanding of NFP tax concessions and assessment requirements.

It was also a valuable opportunity to discuss with peers issues affecting NFPs such as the management of risk and conflicts of interest, strategic planning, ethics and communications.

How has it impacted / changed / benefited your role and your organisation as a whole?

This course has been a great learning experience for me personally and has provided me with knowledge and practical governance tools that I can immediately apply. This will be of direct benefit to the Integral Leadership Institute and other NFP organisations with which I am directly involved at a governance level.

How did you come to be working in the not-for-profit sector?

I entered my first general management role in the NFP sector back in 1994 with a national group specialising in the management of sporting arenas, aquatic facilities, events, health clubs and swim schools. I really enjoyed this role – it was fast paced and I did it for seven years. One of the things I enjoyed most was seeing how the services that we provided had a direct and positive impact in the community – essentially helping people to live happier and healthier lives. To this day, I continue my contribution to the NFP sector with this ethos at front of mind.

What do you feel is most needed to sustain and build the impact of the not-for-profit sector?

Although funding in the NFP sector will continue to be scarce and highly competed, I believe that professional leadership and management development opportunities are what will make a substantial and real difference. Historically, the NFP sector has not had access to the same level of professional development opportunities as the private sector has, though this is slowly changing as the benefits are becoming more clearly understood. Development activities such as customised leadership development programs, executive coaching and organisational culture surveys will play an increasingly pivotal role as the NFP sector continues to develop and build its impact.

What is something interesting / unique / unusual about you?

I have a passion for building and sustainability, so much so that I established a permaculture demonstration property and leadership retreat in the Pak Chong Highlands, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. Not for the faint-hearted, constructing buildings and setting up business in a non-English speaking country. I lived in Thailand for two years and return frequently. According to the locals my Thai language skills are good although, I think they are just being polite and as always, with a wonderful Thai smile.

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"I believe that professional leadership and management development opportunities are what will make a substantial and real difference."


Brad McManus has significant experience in leading and managing organisations in Australia and abroad. He is a founding member of the Integral Leadership Institute and founder of The Sustainability Centre.

In addition, he performs non-executive governance roles for the following NFP organisations:

  • Edith Cowan University (ECU) – Governing Council Member
  • ECU Foundation – Deputy Chairman
  • WA Academy of Performing Arts – Advisory Group Member
  • Australian Human Resources Institute – Professional Development Sub Committee
  • United Nations Association of Australia (Canberra) – Strategic Advisor.

In 2013 ASF awarded Brad a scholarship to attend the Governance Institute’s (formerly called CSA) Certificate of Governance for NFPs, an intensive leadership development program designed specifically for not-for-profit workers.


Annual revenue / size:

Micro - less than $80,000 pa

Segment of NFP sector:

Education & Research

Operating in: