A big hearted team

What makes us different is our unique skills and experiences from our varied professions. What unites us is our passion for community contribution. We have heart and we can relate with your community, because we are all active in our own communities.

Cindy Plowman (aka The Strategist)

Director, Conversation Caravan

Cindy is a natural leader who is passionate about building a better future for communities by facilitating connections and meaningful conversation.

A background in community and stakeholder engagement has led her to successfully deliver programs across a wide range of government and non-government organisations, as well as community and urban development sectors.

Cindy’s skill set includes social infrastructure planning, engagement, research analysis and evaluation. She also has worked with companies in the environment and planning industries to rebuild their social licence to operate after a systems failure or contamination.
It’s hard to find anyone more effective at understanding and creating favourable experiences within communities. Cindy’s approach builds trust within the community who become more inclined to participate in projects.

When Cindy’s not in the office or on the road with Conversation Caravan, you’ll most likely find her volunteering her time to help others and keeping fit. Rowing, surf lifesaving and hiking are among her interests.

The finer details
- Certified in IAP2, holds an Advanced Diploma of Facilitation, Master Social Science Environment and Planning.

Recent Projects:
- Creating a Community Plan and Vision for Glenelg 2040 (Glenelg Shire Council)
- Play is for Everyone, Playspace Strategy (Hepburn Shire Council)
- Smiths Beach Township Plan (Bass Coast Council)
- Creating an inclusive and cultural economy for the Peninsula (Mornington Peninsula Shire Council)

Kathryn Renwick (AKA Community Whisperer)

Engagement Lead

Kathryn comes to Conversation Caravan with over a decade’s experience in local government and not-for-profit, working across social planning, community development and engagement. Her work is grounded in social justice principles; recognising the barriers that exist within our society and trying to lower them.

Kathryn believes that the only way we can thrive going forward is by building resilient, connected communities, where the wisdom of the community is heard and acted on.

Kathryn considers it a privilege to work with the community and discuss the issues that matter to them. Bringing an outcome focused, open and flexible approach, Kathryn has a passion for people, engagement, and data! Integrity and accuracy are important to her - being true to the data and what people are saying.

She loves learning, talking about the wicked problems in society and seeking solutions, drinking tea, and having cuddles with the furry and human members of her family.

The finer details
-Bachelor of Arts in Social Anthropology with Development Studies
-Graduate Diploma in Psychology

Kate Wilby (aka The Good Samaritan)

Engagement Support

Kate’s warm nature and professionalism shine through with any task she undertakes which is why we love having her on the Conversation Caravan team.

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

Empowering young people to have a voice and be involved in their community is one of Kate’s strengths thanks to her background in youth work. This understanding of young people carries into engaging parents and carers, allowing her to build a rapport with these sometimes difficult to reach groups, and encouraging participation in civic processes.

Kate’s practice is centered on understanding the communities in which she is engaging, their preferences and their relationship to other community members. She taps into the connections and experiences of other agencies, working effectively with stakeholders and project partners to broaden the reach and effectiveness of the project.

Kate volunteers at Ronald McDonald House and at her daughter’s netball club. She enjoys being involved in her community. Kate loves reading and enjoying live music with family and friends.

The finer details
- Bachelor of Arts – Youth Affairs, IAP2 Engagement Essentials and Engagement Design, Facilitation Short Course, Group Work Institute.

Recent projects:
- LDAT Creating Community Solutions (City of Casey)
- Play is for Everyone, Playspace Strategy (Hepburn Shire Council)
- Olive Justice Place Options Report (Bass Coast Council)
- Youth Strategy (Loddon Shire)

Alice Coulson (AKA Regional Correspondent)

Engagement Support

Growing up in rural Victoria has given Alice a true appreciation of the importance of building trust with those communities, especially encouraging residents to have their say about their future.

Alice is experienced in project management and the development and implementation of engagement projects, and is a natural communicator.

Alice draws on effective communication and research skills to network across diverse stakeholder groups and foster high quality communication. Her experience in community organising and community projects includes liaising with CALD community cohorts.

Alice’s practice is centred on understanding the communities in which she is engaging, their preferences and participants' relationship to other community members. She taps into the connections and experiences of other agencies, working effectively with stakeholders and project partners to broaden the reach and effectiveness of the project.

Alice is passionate about what she does and in her spare time is an ESL classroom support volunteer with students of a refugee and migrant background in the AMEP English program.
She also enjoys bushwalking and swimming.

The finer details
- Certified in IAP2, Bachelor of Media Studies (part way complete)

Recent projects:
- Glenelg Shire’s 2040 Vision and Community Plan 2040
- City of Greater Dandenong 2025 Council Plan
- Two 4 One Research into Diabetes Prevention and Support.

Jo Price (AKA Jack of All Trades)

Engagement Support

Whoever said “If you want something done, ask a busy person” must have known Jo Price.

Jo comes to us with over 12 years’ experience in community development and stakeholder engagement, working with not-for-profit and private organisations. She has a special interest in remote and online engagement.

Jo is a big picture thinker. She is passionate about creating systems which support vulnerable people to participate in their communities.

When solutions are found, Jo’s attention shifts to monitoring, replicating results, reducing the workload, and creating a prevention strategy. Good ideas need to be shared so they can benefit more people!

At Conversation Caravan Jo supports virtual and face-to-face engagement activities, analyses data and writes reports.

Outside work, Jo is a busy mum who volunteers at her local community centre, hosts craft workshops and is a member of the Chisholm LGBTQIA+ working group. She also enjoys watching live streamed council meetings, listening to podcasts, hosting dinner parties and collecting indoor plants.

The finer details
- IAP2 Engagement Essentials and IAP2 Engagement Design, Diploma of Community Services (currently completing), Certificate IV Training and Assessment (currently completing).

Recent projects:
- Deliberative engagement across key strategic plans with Moreland City Council
- Virtual engagement on Frankston City Council’s Community Vision and Council Plan
- Worked with Mornington Peninsula Shire Council to facilitate a conversation with its creative community to develop a network that supports creatives living on the Peninsula thrive during and post COVID-19.
- Worked with Moreland City Council to help engage with its Brunswick East community on car parking changes within residential and non-residential areas.

Andrew Holman (aka The Problem Solver)

Health Promotion and Recreation Planning

Andrew (Drew) is always the first person to lend a hand in any situation. He has close to 20 years experience working in the health sector - he’s been a paramedic, physiotherapist and has even designed frameworks to improve client treatment and care.

Problem solving and finding a better way is always a common theme with Drew, who has worked for large agencies like Ambulance Victoria and the Alfred Hospital, as well as smaller health practices.

Drew’s direct experiences in health ensure his approach is considerate of both perspectives; that is advocating for improved outcomes for consumers, while balancing strategic direction and funding obligations for agencies. Drew is passionate about having the often difficult conversations about health to ensure the system remains focused on prevention, promotion and care.

Drew is also very much a handyman who has created many of Conversation Caravan’s impressive props. While he’s not on Pinterest or Instagram himself, he likes it when his props are re-Pinned! He also built our popular caravan April.

When not in the shed or in the field, Drew is rowing or coaching rowers. He has spent 17 years sitting on sporting club committees, liaising with Council and integrating the club into the community.

The finer details
- Bachelor of Health Science

Recent projects
- Glenelg Shire
- Doveton Pool
- Dandenong 2021 - 2025

Dennis Kamau

Conversation Facilitator

Dennis believes in the opportunity created through conversation, shared understanding and a diverse viewpoint. He is a lifelong learner who is always keen to learn about a new project and gain understanding of the community’s viewpoint. No one can resist stopping to have a conversation with Dennis, he is an active listener and ensures people feel they are heard.

Dennis is fluent in Swahili and Zulu and works also as a teacher’s aide supporting children that have recently migrated to Australia to adjust to their new life and education. He is passionate about empowering the young children he works with to embrace all opportunities available to them.

Joy Guo (AKA Cultural Correspondent)

Community Facilitator

Conversation Caravan is so fortunate to have a team member who can speak multiple languages, helping us to further reach out to the community.

Joy is fluent in Mandarin and proficient in German and is driven by her keen curiosity in different people and cultures.

The Bachelor of Commerce student has a strong interest in consultation and public policy, as well as extensive experience in building relationships between people and pushing for positive change.

Joy has supported our Box Hill Integrated Transport Project by eliciting ideas and feedback from the community, and translating them where applicable.

At university, Joy appears on the Dean’s Honours List and has been part of the Abernethy Scholarship Program in the university, while working part-time in office administration. In her neighbourhood, Joy is great with kids as well as cats.

The finer details
- Bachelor of Commerce student (due to complete in 2021)

Recent Projects:
- Box Hill Integrated Transport Project

Jess Fischmann (aka The Global Citizen)

Conversation Facilitator

Jess is one of those people who just loves to share her wide-ranging knowledge with others and we are thrilled to have her on our team.

For more than a decade, Jess’ career has centred around teaching secondary school social studies and psychology. She has worked with students from a range of diverse backgrounds and abilities in Australia and the UK. She is passionate about sustainability and global citizenship and encouraging students to engage with a range of issues in the world around them.

In recent years Jess has spent time working as a freelance curriculum writer and developing teacher support materials for publishing companies. She’s also developing her skills in producing social media content to assist her rowing club to engage with the local community.

When she isn’t teaching, talking or writing she can generally be found rowing or eating. Jess loves her rowing community, just as much as her lovely chooks!

The finer details
- Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Teaching [Secondary], Level 1 qualified rowing coach.

Recent projects:
- Conversation facilitator at Conversation Caravan pop ups events and workshops
- Loddon Youth Project - tender writing process

Sarah Hopkins (aka Caravan Pro Conversation Facilitator)

Caravan Pro Conversation Facilitator

Conversation Caravan is the perfect place for Sarah to work – she has a licence to drive a caravan, can fix trailer lights in the rain and has mastered how to back a caravan.

More importantly she is friendly, approachable and understanding which are all important qualities as a conversation facilitator.

Sarah is very much a people person, having spent 14 years working predominately with secondary school students and staff on outdoor education camps.

Working in remote environments with limited resources has sharpened Sarah's ability to think quickly on her feet and problem solve successfully.

Sarah lists her strengths as clear and effective communication, a positive attitude and lead by example behaviour.

Listening to others, encouraging participation and always seeking to better a situation are reasons Sarah loves working with us at Conversation Caravan.

The finer details

-Diploma Outdoor Recreation
-Certificate IV Trainer and Assessor
-Certificate IV Adventure Tourism

Russell Fletcher (aka The Entertainer)

Conversation Facilitator

Russell is a renowned comic actor, MC, corporate entertainer and facilitator.

Specialising in teaching and performing improvisation. He employs these collaboration and story-telling techniques in team building and training programs for businesses, schools and community organisations.

Regardless of setting or audience size, Russell loves conversation. His natural curiosity about everyone and everything means he is not one to shy away from crowds.

Russell is a familiar face, having appeared alongside an Australian comedy duo, as well as hosting an improvised musical which received exceptional reviews.

Away from gigs, conversations, and working as a Casual Relief Teacher, Russell loves alpine skiing, walking his dog Tom, playing poker and kicking a footy.

The finer details:
Bachelor of Education in Drama and English.

Recent projects:
-The Chaser Producer, The Chase Australia
-Swinburne University Aviation Leadership Program
-City of Glen Eira, Community Ambassador
-Values Statement, Digital Agriculture Services
-Unsolicited Male, Q44 Theatre #metoo

Kate Berg (AKA Community Nurturer)

Engagement Support

Kate is an approachable and effective communicator, who always has her eyes set on the bigger picture. She taps into her effective communication skills to develop an understanding of the community, and convey their needs appropriately, while keeping it fun and inclusive for all.

Kate has a background in fundraising for not-for-profit organisations and hopes to bring her good-spirited nature to all community projects.

In her spare time Kate enjoys following and supporting local and wider foundations. She loves spending time with family and keeping active through hiking and boating.

Recent projects:
- Bass Coast 2041 Community Plan
- Mitchell Shire 2050 Community Plan

Lets book in a time to have a coffee and talk about working together.