006: Why, When Things Go Wrong, You Have To Acknowledge And Name It, with Helen Poropat

006: Why, When Things Go Wrong, You Have To Acknowledge And Name It, with Helen Poropat

When things go wrong, you must make space for the voices of the silent because they often have good insights into complex situations. 

In this episode of the Thriving in Complexity podcast, Susanne talks with Helen Poropat, an experienced mediator with extensive experience in governing non-profit organisations, including Domino’s Give for Good, Relations Australia (Queensland) and the National Education and Employment Foundation.  

Helen shares her insights about how to help non-profit organisations achieve impact by building strong teams and focusing on the value of voices and relationships. According to her, having people with the right mix of skills and perspectives on board is essential, as they are the ones who will make things happen. 

So if you’re interested in learning more about what it takes to help a non-profit make a difference, this episode is for you! 


  • The challenges of running a non-profit organization (05:18) 
  • Maintaining boundaries between various roles (11:32) 
  • How to develop and maintain trust within an organization (13:56) 
  • Dealing with conflicts correctly (17:41) 
  • All about Domino’s Give for Good charity (22:40) 
  • How is success measured? (27:44) 
  • Thriving in complexity, according to Helen (29:37) 
  • Learning as a group (33:36) 
  • Helen’s advice to her 25-year-old self (40:22)


“There’s a reason why you’ve got so many different people on a board that have different skills, experience and knowledge” – 

“If you’re not informed, then get information that you need to support that decision.” -Helen Poropat 

“ Your role as a leader is to enable a range of voices to be heard and given due consideration.”




Helen Poropat has over 12 years of experience as a chair and non-Executive Board Director. She’s worked across large to small not-for-profit organisations and was recently the chair of the charity Give for Good. Before that, she chaired Relationships Australia, Queensland, and the National Education and Employment Foundation.  

Helen has extensive experience as a dispute resolution specialist, having worked in that role for over 25 years. She previously worked for 11 years within a Queensland government-owned Electricity Corporation that provided services to regional rural and remote consumers.  

She also managed a statewide dispute resolution service for the Residential Tenancies Authority and has been a CEO and Director of community-led services for frail aged and disabled clients for the Balmoral Uniting Community Center.