Lyn Tuit Director and Principal Momentum2 commenced her career in business and marketing with roles at State Theatre Company South Australia and NSW Ministry for Arts. A passion for all things French was sparked at age 17 when she won an Alliance Française prize for secondary students in Western Australia, then going on to study French at University level. In 1990, Lyn moved to Paris to take up a role in the Australian Embassy as First Secretary, Cultural Relations and Information, and stayed for 18 years, also working for the South Australian Tourism Commission as their Regional Director for Southern Europe for over 11 years.
In 2008, Lyn joined Momentum2, who specialise in communications, strategic consulting and event management in a range of areas including sustainability, fundraising, education, science, health, tourism and culture, taking over as Principal in 2015.
Lyn is currently also Board Chair of Alliance Française Sydney, and Acting Foundation CEO for Bridging the Gap. In 2017 she was awarded Chevalier Ordre National du Mérite by the French Government, and was awarded an ‘Ozcar’ by Tourism Australia for services to tourism in France. Lyn has also been awarded a number of scholarships, including a Mobil Fellowship in Arts Administration.
You started working in tourism when you moved to Paris in early 1990 to take on the role of First Secretary, Cultural Relations and Information at the Australian Embassy. How did this experience shape your leadership and career opportunities?
My areas of responsibility included public affairs and culture in its broadest sense when I commenced working at the Australian Embassy in Paris. Tourism was however one of the areas my department covered along with others such as sport, the arts and fundraising for a new foundation of which I was manager. Being involved in promoting Australia was a great opportunity as it opened doors for a career which moved into tourism marketing when I left DFAT.
As director of a number of boards including eight years with the South Australian Tourism Commission, the Alliance Française and the Sydney Salon, what tips can you provide to aspiring board directors?
Seize the opportunities when they arise. Women tend to underestimate their abilities as well as their capacity to learn on the job. Many principles learnt in one industry can be applied to other fields. Preparing for board and committee meetings is essential as being a board director is a serious commitment. Building relationships with fellow directors is also useful as this will improve new directors’ understanding of the diverse points of view that are part of boardroom discussions.
At Momentum2, you specialise in communications, strategic consulting and event management across an incredibly diverse range of industries. Tell us about some of the most interesting projects you have completed.
We have been working with Charles Darwin University and Menzies School of Health Research to set up a new foundation, Bridging the Gap which has just been launched. We have a TV campaign coming out this week and the campaign will also appear in cinemas around Australia. The foundation is designed to improve the health and education opportunities and outcomes of Indigenous Australians. Like most Australians, I considered I had a reasonable idea as to what the gap was all about, but through this work, I have been shocked as to the extent of it.
Other projects that I have been privileged to work on include creating and promoting case studies for the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Most of these have involved regional businesses around the country who are doing great things at board and executive level. Small businesses are often very creative and innovative because they have to be in order to cut through.
I’ve really enjoyed continuing my affiliation with the tourism industry through the work we have done with the Australian National Maritime Museum and Collette, the US wholesaler which established an office here in 2014. There are so many different products and events to promote and write about, it’s always inspiring!
Currently, you are Acting Foundation Chief Executive Officer for Bridging the Gap. What are your aims in this role?
The role was established to set this foundation up on behalf of the clients, Charles Darwin University and Menzies School of Health Research. We have spent a considerable amount of time creating content for the website, setting up the donation portal and looking after all the administration aspects of setting up a charity. With the TV and cinema campaign being launched this week, we can now move on to promoting some of the projects in areas such as hepatitis B, the mobile HealthLab, sport, and education.
What has been your greatest challenge?
Moving countries both ways was a challenge. Setting up a business in a new country even when you do speak the language, is a big challenge that is not be underestimated. There are different laws and regulations to be taken into account, as well as a different way of doing business, and the need to rapidly create new networks. Moving back to Australia, even though it was my birth country and one that I had worked either with or for during my time overseas, was also a challenge. Networks needed to be rebuilt and as most expats lament, overseas experience is often not valued by Australian employers.
What are you most proud of?
I was very honoured to receive an award from the French Government last year – Ordre National du Mérite which is a prestigious French national award like the Order of Australia awards.
What’s one piece of advice for future female leaders?
Find a couple of mentors who are in leadership roles including one male mentor. The perspectives and advice that they can give you on dealing with issues will be very helpful in developing your leadership qualities.
You are the female economy. Whether you are a female consumer, business owner or a woman in the workforce, you can create gender equality by choosing female led brands.