Sonia’s and LeadershipHQ Testimonials

Sonia is an enthusiastic speaker who can communicate complex concepts in an entertaining and engaging manner.  Her depth of knowledge and understanding of leadership is exemplified in the detail she goes into in her presentation.  She’s committed to delivering the goods, honing her message to the group to ensure relevance and engagement. There’s no fluff, just substance with Sonia and she’ll give you skills to take home, tell others and start using immediately to better you, your company and everyone around you.

Kelly Ludwig CEO & Founder La’Quar

Sonia facilitated the Women In Mantra leadership workshop for us on International Women’s Day. Her passion and energy left our Team Members feeling inspired to achieve leadership roles at Mantra Group, and they have already set up local networking groups and put measurable goals in place.

Amanda Cummerford 
Internal Communications Manager Mantra

I am so grateful to Sonia for the learning I have had from her and Leadership HQ. The sessions have created influential results in my leadership, and I am more confident in my style and approach to leading. I shared my vision with Sonia and she has coached me on how to successfully execute that vision. After working with Sonia over the past 4 months, my leadership skills have grown tremendously. I am more confident, knowledgeable and passionate about everything I do. I now look forward to what my future will bring.

Rachell Taylor

Thank you for speaking at our conference last week – it was a great conference and all our external speakers were a big part of our success – so thanks again for fitting us in, appreciate it.

Erica GallagherThe Public Trustee

Sonia stops at nothing to ensure the expectations and goals that you establish at the outset are achieved. She applies a balanced mix of her knowledge and experience together with her interpersonal skills to transform leaders and their teams.

Mark TaylorLend Lease

Thank you also for everything you have done for me in the leadership course. I actually received some good feedback from my operations manager about how he had noticed a significant improvement in my performance and my relationships around the business over the past year. I know I didn’t quite see the whole course through however I have gained a lot from what I did get through.

Brendan HooperTomkins

Over the past 4 years (2011-2015)  I have used LeadershipHQ for strategy development and executive coaching.   In 2011 and 2015 Sonia facilitated our 3yr strategic planning meetings with the Genie Australia leadership team.   At the offsite meetings we developed our vision and key strategies to achieve that vision and also did sessions on team building and individual strength identification using Strengthsfinder 2.0.  Both meetings were extremely successful and we have seen significant improvements in our key metrics like customer and team member net promotor scores.   Over the past 3 years Sonia has also provided one on one leadership coaching using the Extraordinary Leader Development Guide by Zenger Folkman.   This program has proven invaluable for myself and my leadership team and I can highly recommend to any organization wanting to develop their leadership team.

Brad LawrenceGenie

I have had the pleasure of working with Sonia McDonald both as a strategic HR professional and a member of the AHRI Queensland State Council.

Sonia is one of the most committed, talented and well-respected colleagues in the HR profession in Queensland. She is extremely passionate about her work and her positive attitude, passion, incredible energy and knowledge ensures the highest quality outcomes expected by clients is achieved.

Sonia continues to demonstrate an exceptional level of expertise in the areas of leadership, coaching, neuroscience and diversity. She stands out as someone who is innovative in her approach and is a sought-after conference speaker in Australia.

Sonia continues to deliver impressive outcomes as a HR leader and I would highly recommend her as she stands out in any professional situation that distinguishes her from other colleagues.

Tony WigginsHR Architect

Sonia is a passionate, genuine, authentic, generous and caring leader, coach, mentor and I’m now proud to be part of her tribe. I am truly inspired to be the best leader I can be by focusing on my strengths. The guidance, support and the all important listening ear is really appreciated. Thank you. Highly recommended.

Katherine DrewGemini

We engaged Sonia to assist us with a leadership development program targeted at a selection of our Female leaders in the business. Sonia was engaging, real and practical in both her stories and facilitation.

Angela Cilia General Manager People Fulton Hogan Construction Pty Ltd

I first heard Sonia speak when I attended a Griffith Alumni breakfast where Sonia was delivering the topic “Confidence- it’s so hot right now.” I was blown away by Sonia’s engaging, entertaining and relevant content that she delivered in an enthusiastic and energetic manner. Sonia was so motivating and encouraging, and I left the room feeling like I really could accomplish anything that I set my mind to. One huge thing that resonated with me was how real Sonia was, as she explained that we are all vulnerable and never perfect, but should chase our dreams any way because we don’t know the answer unless we ask. I was then lucky enough to attend a workshop with Sonia, an again she lifted the room as she encouraged discussion about diversity, confidence, women empowerment and leadership. I believe that Sonia has the potential to influence leaders at every stage of their journey, and as I progress through my professional career I always find that Sonia has unique content to help me along my personal development as a leader in my field.

Rachel Perkins Griffith University

I’ve been on an amazing adventure with Sonia over the past year and continue to develop personally and professionally.  I continue to strengthen myself awareness and desire to be the best person I can be!

Sonia’s approach to increasing my leadership abilities has not gone without tears.  Self-reflection is difficult because what we tell ourselves internally can be different to our actions.

Sonia made me realise that I can be a leader by providing me with knowledgeable insight, strategies that fit my personality, and great reading material to continue growing into a leader!

Thank you Sonia for opening my eyes and providing me support and encouragement to work towards being a leader!

Gail HarrisCommunity Liaison Coordinator

I recently attended a presentation by Sonia, and I was inspired and encouraged by her style, energy and spirit. Therefore, I invited Sonia to my company to present to our CPA discussion group session.

Sonia was very generous and supportive and gave us an inspiring speech on “Leadership is an Attitude”. During the session, due to an internal IT issue, Sonia wasn’t able to use her presentation slides but she handled this situation very professionally. She engaged the audience with positive energy and a great sense of humor, and encouraged audience participation. Her enthusiasm and passion about leadership attracted everyone’s attention and inspired the whole room.

After the session, we received lots of very positive feedback, and many of our staff searched Sonia’s website and her articles to share. We really appreciated Sonia’s generosity and support, and look forward to her presentations in the future.

Grave YeQueensland Rail

Sonia McDonald is a transformational professional development coach and an artist at providing a trusting environment to allow creativity and behavioural changes to take effect. Sonia values and believes in professional development of people to achieve their true worth, and is a scholar that believes in continued development in herself in the process.

Sonia offers an adaptive style of leadership coaching covering a full spectrum and brings a bright, passionate, and professional demeanour to any workplace. She is particularly effective when provided the opportunity to coach a number of subjects within a project or organisation in parallel, as experienced for our situation.

Sonia is highly recommended for teams or individuals seeking self awareness, transformation, and maximising their effectiveness; or even those wanting to learn a little more about leadership and what it can do for you.

I have been personally grateful for my opportunity for coaching with Sonia, at a time of transition from being technical engineer through to operational leader in the role of Project Manager. Sonia’s work has been transformational and inspiring for my situation, and introduced me to the value of leadership both in my work environment, but also in my personal life; opening new doors within myself that I will keep open forever.

Adrian FurnerLend Lease

I would like to congratulate Sonia and the LeadershipHQ team for once again putting together a quality publication.  While we all have access to blogs on just about anything these days, the ability to have the thoughts of noted leaders, psychologists and expert coaches in the industry, all in one easy to access volume, with such a diverse range of topics and ideas is invaluable.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and I look forward to the next one.

Anthony Campbell

Sonia has enabled me to see my full potential, as not only a great leader, but a leader who is great!
She has helped me by setting goals, providing informative information to me, and always being there when I need her expert help. Entertaining, informative and most importantly relevant, plenty of information to take away and refer to as well. I will be using everything that I have learnt to build the best team on the next project.

Jacqui A. ClarkeFinance & Administration Manager

I knew that being a leader was about more than being a boss, but when I first became the boss I wasn’t sure what came next. Thank goodness for LHQ and Sonia McDonald! My leadership journey has been transformed by Sonia’s coaching, her incredible in-house resources and her support. I would recommend LeadershipHQ to any leader.


Felicity DoughertyCEO

Sonia is a superstar! I love her insights and the initiatives she’s at the forefront of in the leadership space.

Monique Parker

I have been working with Sonia for nearly 6 years, firstly in her role as Human Resources Manager for Coco Republic and now as an external HR Consultant. She played an integral part of setting up the HR operations and structure for our organisation. She demonstrated a high level of knowledge and expertise in the area and partnered with the business in relation to our HR both operationally and strategically. She is very passionate about the industry as well as our business – and to this day, she still works for us in terms of recruiting the best talent and HR advice and consulting. I would highly recommend Sonia as a consultant who is driven, passionate, focused on results and dedicated.

Paul Spon-SmithChairman, Coco Republic

Sonia McDonald and her team at Leadership HQ is an inspiration to me and my team since first working with her in early 2017. Her insight into peoples behaviours and attitudes, not only in the work place, but outside that environment has allowed us all to grow.  Her knowledge of the human brain is supported by contemporary world class resources, and provide insight into how and why we behave the way we do.  With this knowledge it was then easy to apply some practical strategies that addressed our specific leadership coaching needs.

Peter DorroughProgramme Manager - Property Inland Rail

I started the executive coaching program because I knew that to grow as a leader, I needed a great coach and a mentor. I knew that Sonia would be the right person to assist me on my journey after hearing her speak about her own personal journey at conference in Brisbane. Since starting my coaching program with Sonia, I haven’t looked back. Sonia is a true leader. She will absolutely push you out of your comfort zone to achieve your goals. She is authentic, genuine and a fantastic listener. Her deep subject matter knowledge in leadership, wealth of experience, wisdom and personal network will absolutely assist you in transforming your personal and professional life. If you were every thinking of working with a coach or mentor, now is the perfect time. Don’t wait.



James Hedges

Sonia has been a highly engaging executive coach helping me to unlock superior levels of performance from my team, working with me on my leadership style and driving a highly engaged and motivated employee culture. She is 100% focused on her client, genuinely and authentically helping them to achieve outstanding results and perform at their best.


Jaime BurnellAsset Manager Dexus

I was lucky enough to secure Sonia McDonald for an amazing HR Leaders Workshop with my HR team. She challenged them, gave them some fantastic tools, and encouraged them to be courageous business leaders. The team were all so energized after the day, that I have booked the entire HR Leadership team for Super Retail Group into an intensive 3 day course.

Tabitha Pearson Super Retail Group

Sonia’s integrity and passion for leadership shine through in everything she does. As my coach, Sonia has provided a structure that’s helped me to reflect on my strengths, build on my capabilities, and set and achieve goals. Her sage insights and constructive feedback keep me focused and on track. If you are looking for a coach that lives and breathes leadership, Sonia should be at the top of your list.

Liz Kearins

Sonia is an inspirational and dynamic leadership coach. She energizes and motivates people to be bold, to focus on their personal strengths, and ultimately to forge their own authentic leadership journey. Sonia’s workshop program is insightful, engaging and rewarding.

Georgina Anthonisz

Sonia is amazing! Sonia has a thorough knowledge of leadership issues and a toolkit full of ways to overcome them. She shares this information with an infectious enthusiasm and passion. Sonia’s Women’s Platinum course has not only given me better leadership skills, it has also given me a great support network of other women to help me throughout my career. Thank you Sonia!


Talia Guest

Sonia combines three major assets: bucket loads of passion for her clearly defined purpose; a thorough grounding in the principles of leadership and neuroscience; and an engaging personal style which makes her an adaptable and engaging presenter in front of any audience. Presenting at the recent LeadX event Sonia had the audience captured with her energy, dance moves and compelling story telling, leaving all attendees empowered to surround themselves with the right people and confident to take risks to learn and lead.

Rachel Kerr

We at QSuper have a Womens Network called She’s on Q where we run large events for our female membership. We were looking for a empowering speaker and Sonia stood out to us and boy she didn’t disappoint. And what an event it was – the energy, the passion in the room was palpable.
Our attendees described the event as “inspiring, extraordinary, energetic, positive, motivational and incredible speaker”. We had ladies leaving the room – saying they were ready to ” Rock It”
Sonia held the 300 attendee audiences attention the whole time. She energised them, she made them laugh, she made them think. I would recommend anyone looking for a speaker to empower their staff – Sonia should be your choice. She exudes energy and positivity and leaves you feeling like you can do anything. She is incredible.

Aleksandra LisinacQ Super

Sonia completely rewired my internal voice. She encouraged and cultivated a deep and clear understanding of my own strengths and emotions, and opened my eyes on how these affected my every day life. She helped me recalibrate my own personal values, and be proud of what I stand for. She helped me interpret my professional relationships, and gave endless and invaluable advice on how these could be made stronger. She is always a voice of calm and reason when the world seems to be exactly the opposite, and I would encourage anyone to spend some time with her.

Jonathan KingEndeavour Foundation

Thank you for talking at recent CQIB conference Sonia. You were amazing and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. The attendees definitely got a lot out of your session. We look forward to working with you in the future.


Emilie TullyCQIB

Sonia is a skilled professional Leadership Coach. Sonia approaches her work with passion and pace and achieves excellent results in coaching leaders to discover their full potential. I highly recommend Sonia as an effective leadership coach.

Lachlan TiplerLend Lease