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November 4, 2020

Wednesday 4 November: Shared Value Project Australia and New Zealand (SVP) is delighted to announce the appointment of Sarah Downie as its new CEO, effective 2 November 2020.

Formally established in 2014, SVP is the peak body for shared value – a business strategy designed to solve social and environmental issues profitably. A member organisation, SVP has a 30-strong network, including AIA Australia, IAG, NAB, Nestlé Oceania, Optus and PwC Australia.

SVP Chair Peter Yates AM said: “This appointment marks an exciting new era for shared value. Never before has this socio-economic approach been so relevant, and we are confident that Sarah can harness its momentum to advance a more resilient future for people and business.”

Sarah brings more than 20 years of senior executive experience in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors to the role, along with a wealth of expertise in transforming and leading purpose-led organisations.

Reflecting on her appointment, Sarah said: “I am honoured to join SVP at such an opportune moment – when the world expects and demands great change. With the strong foundations of an influential corporate network, and the groundswell of support for sustainable socio-economic solutions, there has never been a better time to cement shared value thinking in our business strategy, operations and culture.

“I look forward to building on the region’s shared value progress and innovation of the past eight years, as we navigate this next chapter of purpose-led business.”

Founding CEO, Helen Steel, announced her decision to step down from the role in May 2020. She will continue to play an active role in the future development of SVP, as a member of its Board of Directors.

Commenting on Helen’s legacy, shared value co-creator and Harvard Professor Mark Kramer said: “Helen’s vision has been integral to cementing Asia Pacific at the forefront of shared value innovation, and advancing the global movement.

“The foundations she has laid will serve as a critical template for how business, in partnership with Government and community organisations, can address some of the biggest problems we have faced in modern times.”

Sarah, whose previous experience includes executive roles at Make-A-Wish Australia and Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia, is based in Melbourne.


Media contact

Cerisse Denhardt

Media and Communications Lead


M: 0420206801

About the Shared Value Project (SVP)

Established in 2014, SVP is the peak body for advancing the adoption of shared value in the Asia Pacific.

It does this through education and training, capacity-building events and by providing evidence for the link between social progress and positive corporate performance.

Shared value is a business strategy designed to solve social issues profitably. It does this by leveraging the resources and innovation of the private sector to create new solutions to some of society’s most pressing issues. In doing so, it creates a more prosperous environment in which to operate, making business more sustainable and resilient.

For more information, visit