Company Executives    
Executive Chairman: Brian Galbraith

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland on 19th October 1947 Brian traveled with his parents and six of his seven brothers and sisters to Australia in February 1959. An elder brother had already taken up new opportunities in New Zealand.

On arrival in Australia Brian and his family traveled to Woomera in the South Australian desert, at that time a thriving weapons and space research establishment.

With late primary and first year high school under his belt, Brian’s family moved to Adelaide in late 1961 where Brian enrolled at Adelaide Boys High School staying there all of three days before quitting school at 14. Abandoning his original plan to study politics and law, Brian took up a job in horticulture working in orchards in the Adelaide Hills before moving into a sales career in the retail and, later, insurance and financial services industries.

While developing a career in sales Brian joined both the Australian Shop Assistants Union and the South Australian Young Liberals becoming, simultaneously, a store delegate for the union and a State Vice-President, Director of Publicity and member of the senior party’s Publicity Committee for the Liberals - working alongside then South Australian premier Sir Thomas Playford and other senior figures including the grandfather of cricketing greats, the Chappell brothers, Victor York Richardson and, on the Labor side, future Premier Don Dunstan.

By age 19 - and as a condition for promotion - Brian had returned to school through evening classes with the Workers Educational Association (WEA) at the University of Adelaide, moving on to university studies in business management and psychology, in parallel with a developing sports ‘career’ as an Australian Rules football umpire and marathon runner.

Following appointments with some of Australia’s leading retailers and insurance and financial services companies, including positions in Adelaide, Sydney and Perth, Brian joined the University of Western Australia in 1976. Eleven years later, on the day of the global crash of 1987, Brian resigned his university post to join his wife, national sports coach and sports and arts development consultant, Gayle Watson-Galbraith, in creating Galbraith Management Group (GMG), an international business development consultancy specialising in whole business transformation. 

In 1999, following assignments with clients in the US, India, Thailand and elsewhere overseas, Brian and Gayle established a new global enterprise, Optimise International, specialising in the application of lean thinking principles in whole business optimisation.

Given their business and other interests, Brian and their three children James, Jessyka and Tibbie have their home in Perth, Western Australia with a second base in Melbourne, Victoria, the corporate home of Optimise International

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND

  • Significant experience with Lean Business™ and Lean Government™ transformations in major private and public sector enterprises in Australia, the US, New Zealand, India, Singapore and Thailand in a wide range of industries including energy, transport, manufacturing, insurance, financial services, retail, resource exploration, production and export, water, health, education, engineering and professional services

  • 30 years executive and senior management roles in commerce, tertiary education and business development

  • 10 years university level teaching and research in thinking, leadership and business skills; marketing; business growth; strategy development and execution; people development and personal and organisational transformation with the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM), University of New South Wales; Curtin University Business School and the Graduate School of Management (GSM), University of Western Australia

  • 8 years design and delivery of executive and senior management leadership development programs for the Western Australian Government (Senior Executive Development and Orientation Program (SEDOP) and Executive Development Program (EDP)) and for individual federal, state and local government agencies and departments

  • Whole of State transformation with the Premier, State Cabinet and business, community, public sector and trade union leaders (State of Tasmania, Australia)

  • National level projects including strategy development for Australia’s Centenary of Federation celebrations

  • Major city development through facilitation of Brisbane 2000 vision and strategy

  • High order leadership, process consulting, communication and conflict resolution skills

  • Demonstrated facility to work at all organisational levels and to translate performance optimisation, lean thinking and change theory into sustained and sustainable results through individual, team and whole system peak performance.

  • Significant local and international experience in performance partnering; negotiation and representation and in Board and Executive development

  • Degree in Psychology, post-graduate studies in marketing and business development

  • Fellow, Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD)

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