Introducing my first book
Cultivate: How neuroscience
and well-being
support rural leaders to thrive

I'm so excited to share my first book with you called Cultivate. Its just arrived back from the printer and is a great idea for a Christmas gift! 

Available now

RRP $34.95 plus postage

Screenshot 2021-11-23 131908_edited_edited_edited.jpg

Available now

RRP $34.95 plus postage

For too long high performance has been the default strategy for many leaders and organisations. This has led to staff turnover, burnout and a mental health epidemic, especially in rural areas.


There is a smarter way to lead. Cultivate shares a compelling science-based case about how rural leaders can support themselves and their people to do well and be well at work.


Sustainable high performance can be achieved by leading with a human-centric approach, that puts well-being at the centre.   

What rural leaders are saying about Cultivate:

With her trademark warmth and wisdom, Cynthia invites us on a journey of re-imagining what it is to be an effective workplace leader. This is a practical guide to achieving results whilst retaining the heart of rural values.

Dr Skye Charry, Associate Professor of Law, University of New England/ Author ‘Whispers from the Bush, The Workplace Sexual Harassment of Australian Rural Women’

This book is for rural, regional and remote leaders, and people for whom the old way of teams, leadership and organisations no longer works. This book is for young people in rural Australia who are doing it differently and no longer want to learn to fit into the old way of thinking. 


This book celebrates people as our greatest resource. It will support you to operate more creatively, courageously, and wisely in mobilising collaboration and innovation. It will support you to adapt to thrive in tomorrow’s world.

Lynne Strong, CEO Action4Agriculture

Rural leaders are no strangers to the forces of nature. The past two years of pandemic though, have asked new things of all of us in virtually every aspect of our lives. How and where we work has been transformed. But this book is not about working in a COVID environment.  It’s about a redefinition of what makes a high functioning team that puts our humanity at the centre of productivity. 


This book challenges leaders to pay careful attention to cultivate their own wellbeing and those whom they lead. It provides the tools to cultivate the courage, compassion and psychological safety which allows leaders and their teams to truly thrive.

Dr Helen Haines MP, Independent Federal Member for Indi

Rural leaders face many challenges and obstacles, all having an impact on their own well-being, which has a domino effect on their leadership, decision-making and the well-being of those they lead.

This book will not only give you the tools and structure to thrive as a rural leader, but also to cultivate positive well-being in those around you, so they can thrive and become leaders also.
Warren Davies, Speaker, Mental Health Advocate,


Cynthia delivers a compelling science-based case around the need for a human-centric approach or Cultivated leadership. You will be encouraged to walk down the hall of mirrors and reflect on choices that either add or subtract happiness to your life and flow-on impacts to the people closest to you.


 Cynthia's lived experiences in rural and regional Australia add context to the premise. - Cultivated Leadership is most impactful. Cynthia highlights behaviours we should strive for and hope others around us display. Being a leader in Rural Australia has many similarities to Urban Australia. Still, Cultivated leadership is more critical when living and working in rural Australia. 


Don't read what I say. Read this book -It will add far more value to your life.

Chris Sounness, Executive Director, Wimmera Development Association

A word from Cynthia:

Cultivate is a book specially written for rural, regional and remote leaders and focuses on three things:

· How to look after yourself as a leader (Cultivate yourself)

· How to be a great leader for your team (Being a Cultivating Leader)

· How to create cultures that reflect the way people want to live and work today (Creating Cultivated Cultures).

It’s packed with the latest research from neuroscience and positive psychology that show happier people perform better, why burnout cultures are so prevalent and the type of leadership that is required for leaders and their people to flourish. It also contains lots of stories from my 25+ years of experience of working with rural people, communities and industries as a facilitator, coach, speaker and mentor.


My hope is that it will make a positive difference to rural leaders and be a valuable resource for their leadership toolkit. I’d also love it to create more conversations about the leadership styles needed for today’s world and why pursuing high performance as a strategy is counterproductive, leading to mental health and burnout issues.

ebook now available