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

Cindy's desire for quality engagement puts her at the forefront of the industry. She finds an approach that meets people where they're at and uses her genuine, approachable manner to cut through to what really matters.

Cindy lives and breathes engagement. In the field she rest until everyone's had a say - a skill she honed while working the perfume counter at Myer as a teen.

She is adept in both community and urban development sectors, undertaking social infrastructure planning, engagement, research, analysis and evaluation while delivering programs across a wide range of government and non- government organisations.

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 outside of the process in frustration.

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

Jacqui Goy (aka Smooth Operator)

General Manager

Jacqui is driven by her love of helping people to achieve their best. In communities this involves community engagement, advocating for social justice and developing inclusive plans and programs. In organisations this is through developing successful teams and working with individuals to meet their goals. Jacqui loves building the capacity of individuals and groups, setting people up for success.

She 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.

With a background in local government, 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.

Jacqui spends most of her free time with her husband and two young boys. She is a huge musical theatre fan and loves spending weekends at the theatre or watching her beloved Saints play.

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

Kathryn Renwick (aka Community Whisperer)

Engagement Lead

You will always find Kathryn talking to people about “the big stuff” and the things that matter to people the most!

Kathryn will find a way to make sure everyone can understand what they are being asked, why they are being asked it and what will happen with information. Drawing on her experience of developing surveys and engagement activities, Kathryn is keen that clients are confident to ask the right questions, to give them exactly what they need.

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

Kathryn designs and manages projects to deliver strong outcomes through focusing on best practice, recent research and drawing on her extensive experience. She takes a holistic approach to engagement design and data analysis and encourages clients to utilise their resources to ensure that their project is inclusive.

One of the aspects that Kathryn enjoys most about her role is helping to build the capacity of her team and community members, and ensuring clients have a stronger understanding of the engagement process, their communities voice and the gold of the data that we are able to provide.

Key Strengths & Attributes:

  • Project management
  • Social planning
  • Approachable, empathetic and passionate

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Arts, Social Anthropology with Development Studies
  • Graduate Diploma in Psychology

Kate Wilby (aka The Good Samaritan)

Engagement Lead

In every project you can always hear Kate asking how we can amplify the voices of young people. Passionate about building the capacity of our youth and the importance of codesign, Kate draws on her volunteering and youth work experience to design and implement creative and inclusive projects.

A genuine care for those she interacts with can be seen through Kate’s warm and compassionate approach with community members and clients alike. Clients often note that Kate feels like a friend by the end of the project!

Kate's strength is project management, she thrives on being highly organised and across all aspects of the project. From small projects to large, across metro and regional, Kate has developed successful systems and processes to deliver strong outcomes.

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 relationships, communication channels and networks.

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

Alice Coulson (aka Regional Correspondent)

Engagement Lead

When she's not engaging with communities or whipping up tender proposals for new business, Alice can be found bushwalking the coast with a pair of binoculars in hand, looking for whales. This same curiosity and determination to give pretty much anything a 'red hot go' is shown in her work at Conversation Co, where Alice loves to tackle a challenge and ask questions to dig into a deeper understanding of client and participant values and priorities.

Experienced in project management, strategic communication and the development and implementation of engagement projects, Alice is a natural communicator and rapport builder with an engaging style. People are her passion, and facilitating discussions in communities all over Victoria brings her big joy! Personable and organised, she loves to deliver high-quality and thoughtful engagement outcomes for clients, and is experienced at managing projects codelivered with multiple consultancies.

Growing up in rural Western Victoria, and experiences in community organising and community projects with a diverse range of people (CALD communities with migrant and refugee status), rural communities, children and young people) help Alice to diversify our team's expertise and broaden our capacity.

Alice draws on effective communication and research skills to network across diverse stakeholder groups, is adept at balancing project partner and participant needs, and responds pragmatically to challenges. Alice delivers quality report writing that is accessible and meaningful, creating change for communities.

Key Strengths & Attributes:

  • Engaging with rural and CALD communities, children and young people
  • Project management
  • Report writing

Qualifications:

  • IAP2 Certificate in Engagement
  • Groupwork Centre Facilitation Skills

Jo Price (aka Jack of All Trades)

Engagement Support

Jo has over 12 years of experience in community development and grassroots community services. She loves to bring a space to life with colourful design and inviting activities.

Jo’s strong event management skills ensure that engagement activities run smoothly, encourage participation and collect meaningful responses for your project. And when the weather or a worldwide pandemic get in the way of plans, Jo is fast to adapt and keep projects moving forward.

Jo has a special interest in accessible and inclusive engagement. She has completed additional training in family violence, cultural awareness, neurodiversity, and supporting LGBTQIA+ families.

Qualifications:

  • IAP2 Certificate in Engagement
  • Certificate IV Training & Assessment

Kate Berg (aka Community Nurturer)

Engagement Support

Kate has been described as the ‘cool older sister’, this super skill and vibe is used at pop-ups to draw young people into conversations about place and their community. She is a natural conversationalist and most happy when processes involve people that normally wouldn't normally have a say.

Kate is on track to be an industry all rounder. Alongside her project work,. she is learning and practicing graphic design and Auslan. In the hope of making our practices more inclusive.

Off the clock you will find Kate somewhere in the bush, walking, foraging for wild edible greens or searching for an addition to her green tree frog habitat. When not in the wild, she enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Key Strengths & Attributes:

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

Qualifications:

  • IAP2 Engagement Essentials
  • AUSLAN Level 1 & 2 (Ongoing)

Andrew Holman (aka The Problem Solver)

Health Promotion and Recreation Planning

Andrew (aka 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.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Health Science

Sarah Hopkins (aka Caravan Pro Conversation Facilitator)

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.

Qualifications:

  • 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.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Education in Drama and English
  • Swinburne University Aviation Leadership Program

Linda Skidmore (aka The Props Guru)

Conversation Facilitator

Linda can get anyone to stop and chat. Her friendly and positive approach invites people into conversations keen to learn more. She loves helping participants recognise their connection to a project and seeing their enthusiasm to contribute.

She is a logistics thinker. At pop-ups, she has a plan for every contingency and can make the most of any situation.

Linda has worked across fashion, sporting and educational settings. She is highly adaptable, fast to learn new project material and skilled at helping participants understand complex ideas.

Key Strengths & Attributes:

  • Place-based engagement
  • Youth engagement
  • Intercept surveying

Sam Shattock

Conversation Facilitator

Sam has a passion for data and is always interested in learning and exploring the different ways it can be collected, analysed, and presented.

Sam is genuinely interested in what the community thinks and feels, and is inspired by what individuals want for their local areas; driving him to provide a platform for their ideas through data visualisation and reporting. Being part of a community and giving back is important for Sam, he is involved with local sporting clubs and has recently volunteered at homeless shelters in the Melbourne City.

Sam excels at turning quantitative data into qualitative analysis through his writing and understanding of numbers. Currently, Sam is a student at the University of Melbourne in his first year of a Bachelor of Science degree, taking subjects that encompass data and psychology. Sam has gained insight into how people think, and uses this knowledge and skills to successfully analyse trends in populations.

Sam spends most of his free time playing and watching sport. A huge AFL fan, he is drawn towards the community that is fostered by team sports and enjoys getting involved whenever possible.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Science student (Ongoing)

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