Proximity leaders Kerri Hartland and Zoe Lynam make national news

19 December 2022 2 min. read
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Proximity chair Kerri Hartland is set to depart her role, appointed as the next head of ASIS. The firm’s co-CEO Zoe Lynam has meanwhile been recognised as one of the country’s top female solicitors.

Canberra-based consulting firm Proximity has recently been making headlines, with co-CEO Zoe Lynam named to the Australasian Lawyer Elite Women list for 2022 and principal advisor and chair Kerri Hartland appointed as the first female chief of Australia’s foreign spy agency ASIS.

Hartland joined Proximity in mid-2020 on the back of an extensive public sector career, while Lynam was appointed as co-CEO at the end of last year.

Kerri Hartland and Zoe Lynam - Proximity

Marking the Labor government’s first major intelligence agency appointment since returning to office, Hartland will take up her new post as Australian Secret Intelligence Service director-general in February, in an era fraught with increasing geopolitical instability. Her latest appointment follows a successful period as chair of the leadership taskforce overseeing the culture and safety reforms of parliamentary workplaces.

In addition to her public service appointments, Hartland has since joining Proximity served as a key advisor to the federal government on service delivery and change management programs across a range of portfolios, drawing on her more than three-decade background in leadership roles in multiple government departments. Among those was a five-year stint as the chief operating officer of ASIO to 2017.

“I am incredibly honoured to be appointed as the 13th Director-General of ASIS,” Hartland stated in a press release issued by the Prime Minister’s office. “With an increasingly complex geostrategic landscape, intelligence will continue to be critical to securing Australia's safety, prosperity and sovereignty. To lead an organisation that so significantly contributes to Australia's national security is a true privilege.”

Elite Women List

Meanwhile, Zoe Lynam, who leads Proximity alongside former PwC global M&A and alliances director Mike Watson, has been named as one of 47 entries to this year’s Elite Women list as selected by online legal industry publication Australasian Lawyer. The list recognises exceptional female legal practitioners who have positively influenced the profession, while also contributing to diversity and the community.  

“Leadership is about taking people on the journey with you and inspiring them by showing why it’s important, and having collective goals that resonate,” Lynam said of her efforts to mentor and empower colleagues to achieve their goals, including a young female solicitor contingent which Australasian Lawyer notes has grown by 67 percent over the past decade. “When they understand the vision and purpose, we strive to achieve together.”

Lyman first joined Proximity in 2017 after legal practice stints in the Australian health and agriculture and water resources departments, before being elevated to Chief Operating Officer one year later. She now oversees a multidisciplinary team of more than 100 advisors, covering integrated consulting, legal and commercial services to government and large organisations from offices in Canberra, Sydney, Adelaide, and Melbourne.