Zoe Routh: Inspiring Courage, Wisdom and Compassion in Leadership

Hello! My name is  Zoë Routh and I am the founder and Director of Inner Compass Leadership Development, established in 2002. I am passionate about team facilitation and leadership development. I love helping forward-thinking leaders and their teams build strong leadership thinking and robust corporate culture. I believe that with better leaders, we’ll have a better world.

I work with clients across both the public and private sector, focusing on developing leadership capacity, skill, and ability at all levels in organisations. My primary focus is designing and delivering leadership development programs and supportive coaching programs to extend leadership thinking in challenging contexts.

I have extensive experience designing, facilitating, and overseeing senior leadership programs. I have designed and facilitated leadership development programs in Canada and Australia for a wide range of industry sectors. My own past leadership roles include Chair of the Outdoor Council of Australia and President of the Chamber of Women in Business. Under my leadership as the Training Director at Outward Bound Australia, the Internship program that I designed for instructor training and development was nationally recognised and awarded.

Qualifications and accreditations

  • Bachelor of Arts – Honours English Literature, McGill University
  • Diploma of Outdoor Recreation
  • Certificate IV in Assessment and Training
  • DiSC certified facilitator and trainer
  • SQ 21 (Advanced Emotional Intelligence Skills) certified facilitator, coach, and trainer

Leadership development experience

I was employed by the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation for five years, from 2009 to 2014, first as Short Course Program Manager, and then as Program Manager. My role there was to design and facilitate programs for industry specific leadership programs, as well as manage the program team. Some of the programs I was involved with in designing and delivering were:

  • TRAIL and TRAILblazers – I, together with my colleagues, developed these two new branded programs for the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation. TRAIL is an eight day residential for emerging leaders, and TRAILblazers is an eight day residential for seasoned, experienced leaders.
  • Wine Industry Future Leaders program – a six month leadership program for 15 leaders across the wine industry, focused on the future of the wine industry, its challenges and opportunities – 2010, 2012
  • Rice Industry Emerging Leaders program -a 3 month leadership development program for 13 emerging leaders in the rice industry, with a strong focus on foundational leadership skills and strategic leadership thinking, 2012
  • Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation’s Rural Leaders Program – for emerging industries and their leaders with a particualr focus on advocacy and influence, 2013
  • Telstra Foundation’s community leadership development program, including CEOs of national not-for-profit organisations supported by the Telstra Foundation and key senior executives from Telstra corporate. The focus was on building understanding of mutual philosophies and approaches between corproate and the not-for-profit sector with a common objective of improving outcomes for those in need, 2011
  • Blackwood Corporation Community Leadership Development Program: a pioneering project bringing together stakeholders in mining, agriculture, native title, environment, and community in northern Queensland to address leadership approaches to issues of land access and use, 2012.

Coaching leaders

  • I’ve been a professional coach since 2000. I have coached many senior leaders such as partners in top leading Canberra law firms, Vice Chancellor of one of Australia’s leading universities and for senior public servants in the research and development corporation.

Speaking on leadership

  • I am a frequent public speaker on leadership trends and issues to various business and industry groups.


Community Contribution

I believe that charity begins at home, and focus on local charities for my immediate ongoing financial  support.

Since I  started Inner Compass in 2002, I have contributed to the education of various disadvantaged students through the Smith’s Family’s Learning for Life program. I am a firm believer that education is the gateway to all future learning, earning, and prosperity.

When I had cancer in 2005, I developed an interest in supporting Cancer charities and have spoken a few times for groups like Bosom Buddies, supporting women undergoing breast cancer treatment. In 2011, my husband and friends Lisa Moore and Dwayne Currie and I got together to rescue our favourite cancer charity fundraiser – the Canada Day Cancer Council Fun Run. The four of us volunteer each year to organise, promote, and run the event and keep raising funds for the Cancer Council ACT. I am a regular monthly donor to the Cancer Council ACT. You can read more on my story here.

I  also support international self help groups that help women establish businesses. These groups have been incredibly successful in raising women, and their families and communities, out of poverty through business development and increased education. Any revenue from programs I promote as an affiliate goes directly to these self-help groups, organised by Dr Kiran Bedi’s foundation in India, the Navjyoti Foundation.

To discuss your leadership development needs and how they could benefit you or your organisation, contact me today.