Pathway to Lead

Pathway to Lead is open for another instalment! Join us on 11 July for the Information Session. The next instalment will run from August to November.



Ready to take the next step in your consulting career? Pathway to Lead will give you the confidence and skills needed to make the leap with ease.

🧐 What is Pathway to Lead?

Designed for ambitious consultants with 7 – 10 years’ experience who are at an inflection point in their career, the program looks beyond technical knowledge. Instead, we dive into the knowledge and mindset that consultants need to successfully transition from capable doer and into leading change in our vibrant, sustainable and equitable cities.

Often, our talented consultants are appointed to leadership roles because they have demonstrated their skills on projects; coming up with creative solutions to urban challenges and thinking through analysis. Taking on formal and informal leadership is the next logical step to having greater impact.

But without the right support and skills, it can end up being a real slog.

Still delivering high quality project work, learning to be an effective leader and navigating the nuances of client relationships – these are all challenges experienced when stepping in to the next phase of your career. Trying to figure it out by yourself can lead to overwhelm and burnout – and puts projects and relationships at risk.

Pathway to Lead is a program to help you successfully navigate this transition.

Delivered by Liz Mackevicius (), the interactive learning kicks off with practical, day to day skills, tailored to those in the built environment sector. Group and 1:1 coaching provides the scaffolding and support to embed the new knowledge, resulting in real changes, increased confidence and capability, and expanded professional networks.

👍 Benefits to participants

  • You’ll learn a wealth of new skills tailored to built environment consultants, such as providing feedback, managing projects and teams, client conversations and relationships, time and self-management, and how you can succeed in your new leadership role
  • Engage in personalised 1:1 coaching to get a personalised and specific focus on your unique goals and challenges, allowing you to put your learnings into practice
  • Connect with your cohort during group coaching and skills sessions, allowing you to expand your professional network and exchange ideas, insights, and common barriers with like-minded individuals.
  • Build resilience in the workplace, including learning how to tackle difficult conversations
  • Enjoy a cost-effective and hands-on professional development experience that will set you up for a bright future

🙌 Includes:

  • 2x Half Day Skills Sessions
  • 4x 90minute Group Coaching Sessions (max 6 participants)
  • 2x 60minutes 1:1 Coaching Sessions
  • Participant workbook, skills session materials, and program journal for tracking your progress throughout the course
  • Participants are eligible for up to 16 CPD points

See program structure below for more details.

💼 Are you a manager of a budding leader?

Have you got emerging leaders in your team, and you want to support them with the tools and confidence to succeed? Pathway to Lead is the perfect program to provide them with the full toolkit of skills to take them to the next level.

🎙️Q&A with PIA and Sentier Consulting

Want to get a taste for what Pathway to Lead is all about?

Watch this quick-fire Q&A video below with Karen Goldsmith, PIA's National General Manager, and (your potential future coach!) Liz Mackevicius from Sentier Consulting.

📝 Program Information

Pathway to Lead will be delivered primarily online. However, dependant on cohort makeup and locations, some in person sessions may occur. This will be confirmed once final participants have been confirmed.

📑 Program Structure


You'll receive an information pack including discussion questions for your manager to help you prepare for the program, and your program journal

Half-Day Skills Session 1

14 August

This group skills session will include:

  • Introduction and scene setting
  • Setting personal goals for the program - what kind of consultant and leader do you want to be? What's holding you back from that? What's one area you really want to work on? What are you committed to changing?
  • The discomfort of learning new skills, and how to overcome these.
  • Interactive sessions on communication and building relationships (inspiring your team, providing feedback, client conversations and relationships)
Between each session

You’ll practice implementing your new skills, focusing on a particular area that you’ve identified in session 1. There will be group accountability (via a group chat), and you can also ask questions and share your wins.

Group Coaching Session 1 (Up to 6 participants per session)

Week beginning 26 August

This is when you'll get into the nitty gritty of coaching to help you reach your goals. Group members will share how you’ve gone back in the workplace practicing your new skills, the challenges you’ve faced and the successes you’ve had.

The group sessions allow you to connect with your peers, exchange insights and learn both with and from one another.

Group Coaching Session 2

Week beginning 9 September

Approximately 3 weeks after the first group coaching session, we'll come together again to build on and expand learnings from Session 1.

One to one Coaching Session 1

Week beginning 23 September

You'll have a 1:1 coaching session where you can dive deeper into your specific goals and challenges, and work with Liz on how to reach them.

Half-Day Skills Session 2

9 October

This session content will be finalised and based on participant goals & group coaching themes, including coaching on:

  • time and project management – how to balance important and urgent, setting boundaries, dealing with not being able to do everything/ prioritisation of tasks
  • dealing with budgets and clients – interacting with clients and having conversations about budgets, scope and variations

Group Coaching Session 3

Week beginning 21 October

We'll continue to build on capabilities from previous sessions

One on one coaching session

Week beginning 4 November

You'll meet with Liz for another 1:1 coaching session

Group Coaching Session 4, wrap up and evaluation

Week beginning 18 November

We'll finish up with a final session, honing in on everything learnt so far and ensuring you are armed will the tools, confidence and experience to step into your new leadership role

🎟️ Pricing

PIA Member $2,500
Non-Member $3,250

Special Non-Member Offer: If you are a non-member of PIA and register and pay to attend Pathway to Lead, you will also receive 12 months PIA Membership FREE of charge.

2 or more participants from the same organisation: 10% discount

3 or more participants: please contact vic@planning.org.au

Meet the coach

Liz Mackevicius

An accredited organisational coach, Liz has built a reputation of strong but supportive coaching. She values accountability, acknowledging this is what helps us translate aspirations into real breakthroughs. She has worked with a range of clients, building their confidence, resolve and satisfaction.

Liz is also a trainer and facilitator with a passion and commitment to helping those who create our liveable cities be more effective and have rewarding work. She believes that the challenge and problem solving we experience at work should be part of a fulfilling life – but that we often need to do the work to create that for ourselves.

Liz is also a public policy expert with nearly 20 years’ experience in urban planning, government advisory, strategy and policy development across a range of consulting and State and Local government roles. She understands the challenges of consulting, including balancing client demands with deep and creative thinking, leading people with different working and communication preferences, working with clients on tricky problems and developing strategies and policy in a constantly changing context.

Outside of her professional life, Liz loves getting into the outdoors and wilderness – ultra trail running, fastpacking, road cycling. She doesn’t expect her clients to go out in to the mountains with her, but she brings many of the lessons learnt from big mountain days into her training and coaching approach!

📣 Don't just take our word for it

You may not know what to expect from coaching or you're unsure about the ongoing benefits it may bring you. Perhaps you're wondering how you could fit coaching in to your already overflowing to-do list?

Hear from Cohort 1 on their experiences from the program

"The Pathway to Lead course is different from other leadership / management courses as Liz and other participants help me stay accountable to the development goals I have set for myself.
Other courses are done in a day and forgotten about very quickly. The course is also very tailored to consultants working in property / planning and leverages the wisdom of the room.”

Scott, Senior Consultant

"The Pathway to Lead course has been excellent in pushing me out of my comfort zone and addressing my weaknesses and blind spots as a leader. Additionally, it has been invaluable to learn about the challenges faced by peers in similar positions at other companies and problem-solve together”

Ryan, Senior Consultant

“The Pathway to Lead program has already facilitated practical improvements in my day-to-day work and has shifted my mindset regarding leadership opportunities available to me, and that I can create.
I’ve particularly enjoyed the small group coaching sessions, where we can discuss and workshop ideas. The mix of professionals, not just سԹ, has been really beneficial, bringing diverse perspectives to the discussion.
The accountability in the team chat has also been excellent”

Amanda, Senior Planning Consultant

"I came to my coaching session new to the concept and with a list of very different seeming roadblocks to moving forward in my career.
Liz was able to ask the right questions to get me to realise they were all different facets of the same issue. By the end of the session, I had clear, actionable steps to progress. It was really empowering."

Clare, Principal Planner

Michelle Wang MPIA undertook coaching with Liz in 2023. She speaks about her experience in this short clip below. Have a listen 👇

Frequently Asked Questions

Can our organisation send more than one participant?

Yes! If you send 2 participants, you'll receive a 10% discounts. Get in touch with us on vic@planning.org.au regarding prices for 3 or more.

How is my manager involved?

Ideally, the manager will support the participant throughout the session, checking in and providing advice and feedback.

There are a couple of key points:

1. Have conversation with participant prior to first session, about strengths and goals (context and notes to support this conversation will be provided prior to the progra)
2. Prior to final session including reflecting on initial goals
3. Participate in a short program evaluation (online survey)

What happens if I can’t make the session?

∙ Skills sessions will be recorded
∙ Group coaching can’t be reschedules given timing & diaries, and won't be recorded due to potentially personal information being shared
∙ 1:1 coaching can be rescheduled with 48hrs notice, within the window

Is it just for Victorians?

No, while delivered via the PIA VIC office, the program is available across Australia

Is it just for سԹ?

No, it’s also for those who work with سԹ – so anyone in the built environment sector

Is it face to face or online?

This will depend on the make up of your cohort. There is potential for some face-to-face sessions depending on participant numbers and location. Otherwise, the program will be delivered online

Pathway to Lead is presented by PIA and delivered by Sentier Consulting.