From our previous clients

Executive Mentor

I have been working with Helen for the past 4 years. Over that time, I have been promoted 3 times. Each time I have been promoted Helen has been part of the reason for this. The mentoring and coaching that Helen has provided has helped me adjust my mindset to the new positions and achieve the results needed to deliver more than the required business outcomes and impress my bosses. From career planning, change acceleration, strategy and execution, we have discussed and worked through these and more. Most importantly for me, Helen has been a great sounding board outside of my company providing a different perspective on the possible path forwards.

Thank you, Helen, for all your patience, understanding, mentoring and coaching – it is much appreciated.

David Feast
Production Manager – Refinery Operations
Ma’Aden Aluminium
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (formerly at Alcoa, Wagerup Refinery, WA)

Strategic Planner

Helen helped to guide and inspire our team through a highly successful strategic planning process. Her thorough consultation and research into our context and needs, dynamic and engaging style, perceptiveness and insight resulted in a sophisticated process that met the needs of our organisation.

Eileen Kuruckchi
School Psychologists’ Association of WA

Achieving Effectiveness

Having known and worked with Helen Close for a number of years, I have seen her deliver on her targets time and time again. She is a strategic thinker who has that rare ability to communicate effectively and take people along with here. She is achievement oriented and a pleasure to work with.

Bill Cullen
Consultant, United Nations
Ex Director Strategy and Research, Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services

Facilitator, Executive Coach

Helen Close of Strategic Management Solutions is a continual source of inspiration and clarification for personal, professional and business goals and development. In the ever more competitive, complicated and demanding environment in which we live and work, Helen brings clarity and focus on priorities, plans and outcomes.

Helen’s methods are practical and sensitively incisive at cutting through behavioural patterns of self-denial and inner conflict. She is understanding and supportive of individual history and circumstances in life, challenging and inspirational with opportunities and goals and, with integrity and wisdom, always delivers insight and clarity about what really matters.

Nick Hilliard
XCy Pty Ltd

Executive Coach

It has been great working with Helen, heaps better than any other coach I have been to before. Since one cannot divorce personal problems from professional life, the coaching has been largely on personal issues and how to keep them in control to achieve effectiveness at work. In the very first session some blinkers came off and light bulbs flashed. This led to more ideas generated in successive sessions, many of which were practical in nature and could be implemented right away.

Engineering Academic – Professor,
University of Western Australia

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Consultant Style

I have known Helen for several decades and have seen her career develop and expand during that time. Helen is entrepreneurial rather than reactive in nature, forward looking and receptive to change. This is clearly demonstrated in her openness to different methods and new ideas, easily blending traditional deductive ways of thinking with creative inductive imagining.

She effectively engages with a variety of client and stakeholder types and is very much aware of the sensitivities involved in managing the needs of diverse groups. She has a wealth of business experience with a strong strategic perspective and critical thinking skills honed from her expertise in marketing, research and strategic planning.

She is committed to achieving results and demonstrates an ability to systematically manage projects, set plans, achieve goals, with an engaging, warm and friendly style. She has a passion for stimulating people’s potential and supporting their development.

I recommend her to all those requiring a fresh approach to problem solving, talent development or life enhancement.

Robert J Donovan, PhD.

Executive and Leadership Coach

I have had the benefit of being coached by Helen Close and I highly recommend her. Anyone can coach but few are visionary coaches!

I am a non-executive Director of GESB, a $11m Superannuation fund, and a director of small companies in the finance and insurance industry. Helen has a masterful approach to management and coaching and without her coaching my achievements would have been less.

Helen shows the way to visioning what you want and being the leader you can be, plus doing this with good work life balance. I wish I had availed myself of this service long ago. Everyone can use a coach. If you want to move to the next level I recommend Helen as your coach.

Derek Spray


I really enjoyed the series of mini workshops and planning sessions in the Business Planning workshop you facilitated. They were well designed to explore the various themes of values, culture, social styles, service offered and marketing.

I felt your independent and balanced guidance successfully helped the group to better define the consultancy services offered to both internal and external clients and shape the business development and strategic marketing directions for the year ahead. Once again – thank you. I will definitely recommend your services to others seeking your skills.

Honi Adolphson
Senior Sustainability Consultant


Helen was able to facilitate me to identify my strategic vision for myself and my business. She continually tested this vision and challenged me to keep to my vision when I was identifying what are Workshop Consultancy services and what I choose to take on. Helen takes a holistic approach with a focus on me as a person as well as an owner of my business. She asked deep questions that made me really think and constructively challenged me in a empathetic and supportive manner. I would definitely recommend her to anyone seeking clarity in direction.

Fiona Perrella
Director, Workshop Consultancy

Executive and Leadership Coach

I highly recommend Helen Close as a coach. She helped me to uncover and understand the reasons underlying the professional issues for which I approached her. I have noticed a significant improvement in my professional as well as my personal life.

Post-doctoral Researcher,
University of Western Australia

Research and Consultancy Style

Helen’s pioneering research on an audience research guide for the arts community helped the Australia Council set in train its raft of original audience development strategies upon the formation of the inaugural Audience Development and Advocacy Division. From the Council’s perspective, working with Helen during this time was extremely reassuring, with her approach and style enormously beneficial given the complexity and potential volatility involved in the task.

Her finely honed research skills combined with acute conceptual and interpretation abilities and an underlying ability to communicate brilliantly with a diverse range of individuals ensured a successful outcome for all concerned. This was an enormous job and one, which required a high degree of sensitivity, clarity and dedication. Helen delivered in spades, producing work of an extraordinarily high calibre, always on time, always in full and it was always an enormous pleasure to work with her. Today, as a consultant to the arts community, I firmly believe the combination of Helen’s razor sharp research and interpretive skills and her uniquely intuitive personal style will be an real gift for any organisation lucky enough to benefit from her work.

Krissie Scudds
Principal, Krissie Scudds & Associates
Project Manager, Australia Council (National Audience Development), 1996-2008

Mentor and Coach

I felt it important to obtain guidance on my skills as a Manager now and going forward and chose Helen Close as a mentor and coach. Not only is Helen a successful businesswoman, she is very personable and also has a great love of the arts, which for me was a great advantage.

When Helen and I met we quickly developed a great rapport but also established the boundaries of our relationship, which has been based on mutual trust and respect. I found Helen open and easy to talk to and in our sessions we covered everything from relationships at work to personal and skills development. It also provided me with the opportunity to think about career options and progress.

Helen has helped me to believe in myself and as a result this has boosted my confidence. At times she has challenged me, while providing the right guidance and encouragement to look more closely at myself, my issues, opportunities and what I want in life. The whole process has helped me to become more self aware and take responsibility for my life and its direction, rather than just leaving it to chance.

Part of this process has been my participation in the Life Styles Inventory
programme, which is designed to promote constructive and transformational change. While challenging, for me the results of the LSI have shown me that the mentoring I received from Helen has helped to develop myself and my skills since participating in an AIMWA New Manager course, and I continue to develop.

I would recommend Helen Close as a mentor and as a coach to anyone interested in developing themselves and their career.

L. Rice
Operations Manager

Consultancy Style

With my involvement in the Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics (CILTA), I have used the services of Strategic Management Solutions (in particular Helen Close) over the past eleven years. During this time, I have found Helen to be extremely helpful and professional. She demonstrates extremely high levels of confidentiality that is very important when companies are providing client details when entering industry awards.

We have experienced times when our Awards have required a lift in profile in order to attract nominations. Helen has taken a very proactive approach to understanding the likes and dislikes of past nominees. This information resulted in an increase in nominations and a greater level of contentment.

Graham Wills
Vice Chairman 2009, Committee Member 14 years,
CILTA (WA Section)


Helen’s guidance over the last four months has been invaluable in framing my transition from one high performing team to take on a competitive promotion within the same organisation, in ensuring a well-considered succession plan and a with a strong focus on maximising my own professional and personal development through the process.

Helen’s holistic, values-based approach and emphasis on the interpersonal, has guided me to embrace my strengths and identify areas for further development through important changes in my career and personal life, ensuring I could confidently “lean in” through future pacing and planning. As a result, I feel well prepared to enter this new stage.

I would highly recommend Helen’s services to others.

Australian Public Service (WA)

Executive Coach

Thank you so much for such transformational coaching and NLP. I was so impressed with your ability to move me between events to achieve such an internal shift around the issue I presented. As a practitioner myself I valued your ease in using the various methods seamlessly to achieve the most distilled results in a very short space of time.

I can certainly recommend you highly to anyone who requires to shift limiting beliefs, blocks and anxieties about issues that have so far been unable to shift. You are a true master with a wonderful rapport and ability to read and perceive where the client is at.

F. Martin

Consultancy Style

I have known and worked with Helen over the past 15 hears on a variety of projects and have found her to be highly professional and effective, always delivering quality results.

She has a keen strategic perspective, a good understanding of whole-of-business operations and utilises intelligent research design, implementation and analysis in all her work. She is able to challenge the status quo in a professional way in the interests of improved people and business performance.

Helen is a very personable and approachable person who understands confidentiality relative to all projects delivered. She has a considerable amount of experience in the fields of research and business analysis particularly relative to strategic thinking and the development of people.

Other traits that I have appreciated are her total honesty, integrity, vitality, openness and respect for all. She has the ability to relate to people at all levels in the organisation particularly on the work done relative to executive coaching and succession planning.

Helen’s work with our business has involved projects that have included consulting on management and leadership development; executive coaching; visioning the future including succession planning. She has also conducted professional detailed market research for us on customer demands and run on-going staff surveys relative to employee sentiments in the work place.

We have an ongoing and long term professional relationship with Helen and her business and can highly recommend her to any potential clients seeking assistance in the above mentioned fields.

Alan Bray
State Manager WA
Australian Transit Enterprises Pty Ltd