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Bridge into the Woods

Vanessa is an ordinary person, with an extraordinary history that has seen her...

- Develop resilience through overcoming life threatening, chronic paediatric kidney disease - Nephrotic Syndrome

- Develop deep emotional intelligence through overcoming extensive personal trauma

- Develop professional acumen & a passion for diversity & inclusion as a business leader

- Become a sustainability, health, wellbeing and consumer advocate after diagnosis with Polycystic Kidney Disease (a degenerative health condition for which there is no cure)

- Defy all odds by representing Australia in triathlon and becoming the first person to run the length of the 254km Shoalhaven Coast, Australia

Vanessa mentors boards, communities and individuals, and for almost two decades she has led the firm she originally founded for ethical reasons in her early twenties. Forward Thinking Design is a B Corporation & Social Traders Certified social enterprise, recognised as one of Australia's most awarded and ethical business, built environment and brand strategy design studios. Vanessa's way of working aims to apply permaculture principles to all that she does.


Change in inevitable

Permaculture Design Principles


Applicable to lifestyle, business and project based...

permaculture principles

Vanessa has worked with thousands of individuals and organisations in hospitality/F&B, workplace, retail, government, education, health, fitness and service in cities, urban and regional areas globally. Vanessa also works with underprivileged, diverse & fringe communities, including extensively volunteering her time and business services.

Vanessa is a passionate and endlessly curious lifelong learner with diploma, bachelor and post-grad qualifications across a range of disciplines. She is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Directors Company Directors and has been honored to serve in governance and advisory with IFA, Reserve Bank of Australia, Kidney Health Australia, Australasian Kidney Trials Network, BCorporation and others.


Vanessa champions personal and collective responsibility in creating a happier, more connected, equitable and sustainable world. She is direct yet diplomatic, attentive, creative and well informed. She aims to minimise waste and maximise meaning, whilst remaining pragmatic, down-to-earth, playful and compassionate.


For you, Vanessa may be called upon as a sounding board, a friend, someone to talk to in business, career and community. Coming in objectively from the outside to help you step back, take a birds eye view, and then drill down to the detail. Distilling the complex into simplified, energised, achievable and measurable planning and action.


Working ON things AND in them. Creating your own journey, paved with milestone goals...

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