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Our Team

We enjoy bridging the gap between people and policy, and we see ourselves as the team that humanises complex problems, making them relevant to the individual or group we are conversing with.

Our talented team offer wide-ranging skills
to meet the needs of your project.

Director

Cindy Plowman

Cindy has extensive experience working in community and stakeholder engagement, delivering programs across a wide range of government and non-government organisations.

Cindy has extensive experience working in community and stakeholder engagement, delivering programs across a wide range of government and non- government organisations.

She is adept in both community and urban development sectors, undertaking social infrastructure planning, engagement, research, analysis and evaluation.

Working within the environment and planning industry she has extensive experience working with companies to rebuild their social licence to operate after a systems failure or contamination. She has experience in delivering a risk communications approach, managing communications between organisations, agencies and their communities.

Cindy is effective at building understanding and creating a narrative that creates favourable experiences within communities. She enjoys building trust with the community who are then more inclined to give their precious time to participate in projects and process, rather than go directly to media.

Key Strengths & Attributes:

  • Community and stakeholder engagement
  • Public participation in government settings
  • Facilitation of complex workshops

Qualifications:

  • MA Social Science, Environment and Planning (HD), RMIT Melbourne
  • Certificate in Public Participation, IAP2
  • Adv. Dip. Facilitation, Group Work Institute
  • ProSci Change Management Accreditation
  • Member of International Association of Public Participation
  • Member of International Association of Facilitators
  • Advanced Practitioner Certificate in NLP, The Coaching Institute
General Manager

Jacqui Goy

Jacqui is highly skilled at community and stakeholder engagement, researching best practice, delivering training and capacity building initiatives and developing strong evaluation mechanisms.

Jacqui is highly skilled at community and stakeholder engagement, researching best practice, delivering training and capacity building initiatives and developing strong evaluation mechanisms.

With a background in health and social planning, Jacqui is effective at building and advising local government on ways to strengthen partnerships between community groups and allied health partners to create a holistic health planning and service delivery model.

Jacqui has direct experience in leading the development and implementation of Reconciliation Action Plans; the coordination and delivering of Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plans and the coordination of Disability Action Plans.

With comprehension of Council’s budgetary cycles, she understands both the implications of a rate constrained environment, and the need to partner and advocate to improve population health.

Key Strengths & Attributes:

  • Health planning and promotion
  • Community development
  • Capacity building
  • Community grants

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Health Sciences, Deakin University
  • Diploma of Management, Swinburne University
  • IAP2 Foundations in Public Participation
  • Igniting Leadership, Leadership Victoria
Engagement Lead

Kate Wilby

Kate is experienced in project management, the development and implementation of engagement projects, and enjoys working with metropolitan and small regional communities.

Kate has a passion for developing and implementing creative engagement projects that actively engage stakeholders and communities. She strongly believes that involving the community in project design builds ownerships and produces more accurate engagement results.

Drawing on her background in youth work, Kate is able to empower young people to have a voice and be involved in civic processes. These skills extend to engaging all community members, building a rapport and trust to produce strong project outcomes.

Kate’s strength is project management, she thrives on being highly organised and across all aspects of the project. Kate’s genuine care for those she interacts with on projects can be seen through the warm and compassionate approach she takes with community members and clients alike.

Kate’s practice is centred on understanding the communities in which she is engaging. She works collaboratively with agencies, stakeholders and project partners to ensure an integrated approach, leveraging off existing communication channels and networks.

Kate is actively involved in her community, coaching at the local netball club, developing players new to netball. In her spare time, she loves camping and enjoying live music with family and friends.

Key Strengths & Attributes:

  • Community and stakeholder engagement
  • Youth capacity building
  • Reliable friendly approach

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Youth Affairs, RMIT Melbourne
  • IAP2 Engagement Essentials and Engagement Design
  • Groupwork Centre Facilitation Skills
Engagement Lead

Raelene Lesniowska

Rae is a skilled project and program manager, with significant achievements in developing, implementing and evaluating numerous complex legislative and service reforms, and public health initiatives and programs.

Rae is a skilled project and program manager, with significant achievements in developing, implementing and evaluating numerous complex legislative and service reforms, and public health initiatives and programs.

With over 30 years experience working across local and state government and the community and private sectors, Rae has accumulated a diverse range of specialist knowledge and skills, including in health promotion, tobacco policy, Aboriginal and mental health, parenting, and family violence.

Rae is dedicated and passionate in her approach and thrives on building collaborative and productive relationships with communities and stakeholders. With her substantial project delivery success, Rae is a firm advocate of the integral role of meaningful community engagement in ensuring effective project outcomes.

Outside of work, Rae is an avid cyclist and president of her local cycling club. She also enjoys spending time with family, practicing sustainable living and being a ‘want-to-be’ gardener.

Key Strengths & Attributes:

  • Program & project management and evaluation
  • Community and stakeholder engagement, consultation and relations
  • Professional development and capacity building
  • Communication

Qualifications:

  • Master of Psychology (Clinical)
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Physical Education)
  • Groupwork Institute Facilitation Skills
  • Mediation Theory and Practice
Social Research Lead

Jenny Grogan

Jenny is an experienced social researcher and research analyst who has thirty years work experience in the health and community services sector.

As a social researcher Jenny tends to ask a lot of questions at the start of a project. Whilst many clients love to jump straight into designing tools and methods, Jenny sees the value in first confirming the purpose, scope and key issues underlying an engagement project.

Jenny describes herself as a data nerd and loves nothing better than a well-designed survey, or a clear chart or map that tells the client’s story.

Jenny is an experienced social researcher and research analyst who has thirty years work experience in the health and community services sector.

Her approach is focused on understanding the needs of clients, what information they “need to know” and what is “nice to know”. With this understanding, she creates and delivers the research program so that decision makers can extract practical insights to inform the decision, or gain a better understanding of the project or topic.

Key Strengths & Attributes:

  • Scoping and refining clients’ research and engagement questions
  • Survey design and analysis of feedback
  • Demographic, social and health data
  • Project evaluation and community engagement evaluation

Qualifications:

  • IAP2, Advanced Certificate in Engagement, Pathways to Advanced Engagement
  • Graduate Diploma in Applied Science, Social Statistics
  • Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, Advanced Research Methods, Sociology
Engagement Support

Kate Berg

Kate taps into her effective communication skills to develop an understanding of the community while keeping it fun and engaging.

For Kate, community engagement is a means of working alongside the community to ensure they have access to the services and support they need to live a connected happy life. She is passionate about helping organisations to experience the benefits that come from designing a meaningful and fair engagement process, and the value of community wisdom.

She has been described as being the ‘cool older sister’ at pop-ups, enabling her to engage with youth on a variety of topics, and ensuring the inclusion of all the community. She is a natural conversationalist and most happy when approaches are designed to get people involved that normally wouldn’t normally have a say.

Kate is on track to be an industry all rounder. She values learning and during her time with Conversation Co, while working on a variety of projects, is learning and practicing graphic design and Auslan. In the hope of making our practice more inclusive.

Key Strengths & Attributes:

  • Data coding and analysis
  • Building and maintaining rapport with people
  • Preparing presentations and graphics

Qualifications:

  • IAP2 Engagement Essentials
  • AUSLAN Level 1 and 2 (Ongoing)
Engagement Support

Ella West

Ella is a social researcher who brings her diverse experiences and interests to the projects and communities she works with.

Ella is a social researcher who brings her diverse experiences and interests to the projects and communities she works with. Formally she has a background in international development, working to strengthen food security and food justice systems in Australia and the USA.

Ella is an educator and facilitates literacy and learning through a creative and holistic approach. She has worked to strengthen participation and uptake of education programs in India and Cambodia. Ella has worked in Melbourne supporting refugees, asylum seekers and newly arrived communities to begin a new life in Australia, with support and community connections. When not working with Conversation Co, she teaches First Nations students arts and humanities at University of Melbourne, and is always learning from her students.

Hearing peoples’ stories and working to their strengths is one part of Ella’s community development tool kit, her favourite projects are those committed to social justice and strengthening resilient communities.

Outside of work, Ella is an avid gardener and enjoys cooking and selling seedlings in her front-gate hobby nursery.

Key Strengths & Attributes:

  • Community development to empower diverse communities
  • Social research and data analysis
  • Storytelling and reporting
  • Education and facilitation

Qualifications:

  • Masters of Arts in International Development
  • Bachelor of Arts in International Studies
  • Certificate IV in Community Services
Engagement Support

Sachi Florance

With a background in Indigenous Studies and a deep understanding of community development, Sachi is well-equipped to support our projects and enhance our community engagement efforts.

With a background in Indigenous Studies and a deep understanding of community development, Sachi is well-equipped to support our projects and enhance our community engagement efforts. Her role involves a dynamic mix of community engagement, research, and writing, allowing her to contribute in diverse ways.

Sachi’s journey in academia, including her honours in Indigenous Studies and a six-month full-time community development internship in the Northern Territory, has shaped her perspective and fostered a commitment to making a meaningful impact.

Outside of work, Sachi enjoys reading, writing, and socialising. She also embraces the importance of self-care by immersing herself in nature through running. With her curiosity, collaborative spirit, and dedication to constant growth, Sachi brings a valuable perspective to the team and helps create positive change through our projects.

Key Strengths & Attributes:

  • Writing reports in a way that is accessible. 
  • Well-developed cross-cultural communication and the ability to communicate in a manner that is respectful and meaningful. 
  • Well developed listening skills. 
  • Strong analytical skills, ability to make sense of academic research, social research and technical information.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Arts (Indigenous Studies, Creative Writing), University of Melbourne
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours) (Indigenous Studies), University of Melbourne
Marketing and Communications Lead

Kristie Loke

Kristie is highly adept in critically analysing existing marketing strategies, developing new strategies and processes, and problem solving to enhance the Conversation Co brand.

Kristie is highly adept in critically analysing existing marketing strategies, developing new strategies and processes, and problem solving to enhance the Conversation Co brand. She provides the marketing team with creative direction, strategic planning, and oversees marketing activities for all internal campaigns and initiatives.

She is a self-motivated individual capable of thinking analytically and creatively, and actively pushes for ideas that prioritises the community. She finds extreme value in developing structures and processes, creating marketing campaigns, reporting and measuring all strategies, coordinating organic content planning, managing lead generation and CRM database, and works closely with clients to develop communication strategies for their projects.

Having worked both in agencies and in-house, Kristie holds an extensive background in the communications industry ranging from public relations, to journalism, to marketing. She loves all forms of communication and is effective at building relationships online and offline.

Her goal is to see a community where every member is well-taken care of and is given the right tools and resources to excel in their different areas and needs.

Key Strengths & Attributes:

  • Campaign development
  • Communications planning
  • Social media management
  • Copywriting
  • Metrics analysis
  • Process development
  • Strategic planning

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, University of Melbourne
  • Advanced Diploma in International Business, Republic Polytechnic
  • Diploma in Mass Communication, Republic Polytechnic
Media and Communications Support

Yvette Gray

Yvette is our communications specialist, who has almost 20 years’ experience in the media industry. She is an award winning journalist, working as a reporter, presenter and producer for TV, radio, print and online.

Yvette is our communications specialist, who has almost 20 years’ experience in the media industry. She is an award winning journalist, working as a reporter, presenter and producer for TV, radio, print and online.

Yvette is also experienced in public relations, having worked as a senior media adviser and manager at Life Saving Victoria. She knows what it takes to make a good story and how to gain media interest.

Yvette enjoys spending time with like minded people and giving back to the community. A love of rowing led Yvette into surfboats and volunteer lifesaving. These days she is also busy being a mum and still has a strong passion for health and fitness.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communications, Swinburne University
  • 2 x Quill Award Winner
Social Media and Marketing Support

Harley Nguyen

Harley is a talented social media expert who excels in developing and executing captivating content that engages audiences.

Harley is a talented social media expert who excels in developing and executing captivating content that engages audiences. Her dedication to making brands shine in the digital realm is evident in her ability to craft compelling content and implement effective growth strategies.

Beyond her marketing expertise, Harley has a genuine passion for community engagement and believes in the power of meaningful connections. Whether it’s fostering online communities or leveraging social media to promote positive change, she is committed to making a real impact.

With her keen eye for creativity and deep understanding of digital marketing strategies, Harley plays a pivotal role in enhancing Conversation Co’s online presence. Her warm and collaborative approach fosters an environment where collaboration and innovation thrive, making her a valuable team member who actively seeks opportunities to collaborate and explore innovative methods to achieve outstanding results.

Key Strengths & Attributes:

  • Social media marketing
  • Branding and strategy
  • Content creation
  • Photography

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing Science (Monash University)