Sarah O'Carroll editor in chief of Forbes Australia headshot as at September 2022

A word from our Editor-in-Chief


Issue 11 of Forbes Australia is out now.

When I was interviewing Sam Mostyn on stage at the Forbes Women’s Summit in March this year, I had no idea it would be her final public appearance before being announced as the next Governor General six days later. As surprised as I was, I wasn’t shocked.   

Although our acquaintance is recent, few people have left such a lasting impression on me: she exudes an articulate, gentle intelligence, blending reason with empathy in a manner that’s both rare and very much welcome in today’s polarised world. 

In an era where shouting matches dominate debates, Sam stands out as a beacon of rational, balanced discourse. Despite her strong opinions, she champions the art of listening, a trait instilled in her from a young age by her father.  

Introducing herself to the nation, she remarked, “I have always believed that we are all so much more interesting and complex than the stereotypes often drawn of us by those who have only limited understanding of our character and essence.”  

This humility, coupled with her intellect and grace, makes her a someone worthy of admiration. As she prepares to step into her vice-regal role on July 1, I can think of no one better suited. 

A cursory read of her CV reveals a roll call of other honours and key positions from being the AFL Commission’s first female member to serving as a staffer for Paul Keating in the ’90s, from leading Chief Executive Women to holding various board roles, she has navigated a career punctuated by significant firsts.  

A recurrent theme in Sam’s career is stepping into roles she felt unprepared for – a sentiment she shared during her talk at the Forbes Women’s Summit. She recounted the absurdity of being appointed global head of HR in her early thirties, despite having no HR experience. The Governor General role is her latest “preposterous” challenge, and I’m looking forward to seeing her impact. In her words, she is ready to serve with “integrity, compassion, and respect.”

Also, on stage at the Forbes Women’s Summit, I interviewed another powerhouse: Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, our cover story subject. As one of a mere 19 women leading ASX200 companies, Sukhinder has led global accounting software giant Xero to new heights since taking the reins in November 2022. The numbers speak for themselves: a 22% revenue surge and a 20% uptick in share price over the last year.

Our cover story charts Sukhinder’s journey from Tanzania to Ontario, Wall Street, and co-founding three Silicon Valley tech startups. Her fascinating journey of hustle and drive underscores her greatest lesson: avoiding risks can be the most perilous career move of all. 

And finally, we’re launching Forbes Women in Australia. It began in the US a decade ago, with the aim to galvanise a global network of female entrepreneurs and change-makers.  

Given the overwhelming feedback from our Summits and the past 20 months in the market, it’s clear there’s a voracious appetite for a strong women’s network. With quarterly soirees, summit discounts, and networking events, Forbes Women Australia is poised to become a dynamic, diverse community. Tap here to find out more and join us at Forbes Women. 

We hope you enjoy our women’s issue. 

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