About Sofia Leaders

Sofia; derived from “Σοφία” the Greek word for “Wisdom”.

Sofia Leaders are providers of unique leadership programs and retreats that have a deep emphasis on authenticity, self-realisation, power and meaning to oneself; to others and to our society.
We support Unesco’s five pillars of Learning;
Learning to Know, Learning to Do, Learning to Be, Learning to live together and Learning to transform oneself and society.

Sofia Leaders provides unique, insightful and experiential leadership programs and retreats that draw on timeless wisdoms, cross-cultural traditional practices and contemporary research for participants to Transform Oneself and Society.

Our programs attend to the inner and outer “houses” of humans; the ‘inner’ house of self and the ‘outer’ house of the world we live in.

Sofia Leaders focuses on leading from your own authentic self; encouraging participants to develop both their inner world for outward skilful action.

We reframe leadership as stewardship and further develop our notion of sustainability, social justice and paideia with wisdom and compassion.


Paideia was an Ancient Greek system of deep, transformative education to create a broad, enlightened, mature outlook. “Paideia is the maturation of a soul, it is the critical cultivation of a mind, and it is the attempt to examine one’s own assumptions and presuppositions.” Dr Cornel West

Joanna Giannes

Welcome, I’m Joanna Giannes the Founder and Principal Facilitator of Sofia Leaders

Sofia Leaders was created through a glaring gap in the provision of deep and holistic learning in leadership development.

My unique point of difference is providing learning experiences that draws and integrates multiple dimensions such as psychology, cross cultural anthropology and contemporary leadership with depth, insight and discipline.

For many years I worked as an Organisational Development professional with an emphasis on Leadership Development. This work has taken me across Australia working for multinationals in various corporate settings; mining, transport, health, finance, banking, education, aged care, resources, disability and retail.

The last decade I have spent deepening my research into Human Behaviour, Cross Cultural Psychology, Community Development and Social Change.

In recent years I have taken this learning and experience to other settings such as Schools, Not for Profits through to Local Government resulting in an Award winning Community Leadership Program.

I have designed and facilitated in numerous programs and workshops along with specialised programs such as our Positive Leadership Program and a powerful Aboriginal Women’s Civic Leadership Program.

Qualifications & Experience

Throughout my career I have immersed myself in formal studies that have encompassed:

  • Accounting and Business – TAFE
  • Human Resources – TAFE
  • Diploma in Transpersonal Counselling – Ikon Institute
  • Psychometric Practitioner Accreditation (DiSC)- Integro Learning
  • Archetypal Psychology – Archetypal and Cross Cultural Studies Institute – Colorado USA
  • Graduate Certificate in Organisational Learning – Flinders University
  • PERMA Resilience skills training course (Positive Psychology) South Australian Health Medical Research Institute
  • Masters in Education (Leadership and Management) – Flinders University (completion due June 2018).

I have had the privilege of being invited to speak at several conferences nationally on Leadership and currently serve on the board of Community Leadership Australia.

My belief in lifelong learning and fulfilling human potential including my own has led me to seek out Masters in their field and to learn and study from them; this has included being selected to study under world renowned Jungian Psychoanalyst Dr Clarissa Pinkola Estes in Denver, Colorado in 2012 and Civics and Leadership at the Olympic Centre for Philosophy and Culture in Olympia Greece 2015.

Currently I am furthering my research into Spiritual Intelligence and how organisations and communities can be catalysts for healing.

Organisations I have assisted

  • ACH Group
  • Adelaide Festival Centre
  • Adelaide High School
  • Australian Central Credit Union
  • Badge Constructions
  • Bi-Lo Supermarkets
  • BHP
  • Catherine House
  • Cardijn College
  • City of Marion
  • City of Onkaparinga
  • Community Leadership Australia
  • CPS Credit Union
  • Chubb
  • Department of Administrative and Information Services
  • Department of Transport, Energy and Infrastructure
  • Douglas Mawson Institute of Technology
  • Flinders Medical Centre
  • Flinders Ports
  • Flinders University
  • Greek Welfare Centre
  • Joondalup Health Campus
  • Lower Murray Water
  • Mayne Nickless Express
  • Mission Australia
  • Mt Isa Mines
  • New Market Hotel
  • New Venture Institute
  • One and All
  • Parafield High School
  • Secondary School Assessment Board
  • Service to Youth Council
  • TNT Transport
  • Toll Logistics
  • Toll Transport
  • Western Diagnostic Pathology

My practice now has a strong focus on Learning to live together and learning to transform oneself and society – my real love and passion.

I choose to live with my family in a beautiful piece of South Australia, continuing my research, my practice and my will to create a better world…

Beautiful wishes,

Joanna Giannes