Staff Profiles

Dr Michael Tynan

Dr Michael Tynan is the Director of Social Compass where he leads and manages research and evaluation projects across the government, business and community sectors. Michael has over 25 years of experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs. Working at both local and national levels he has led and fostered collaborations that develop frameworks, processes and approaches to make meaningful change in the lives of communities with particular concern for addressing inequalities. This includes the Aboriginal communities of the Kaiela Dungala (Goulburn Murray) and Hume Regions of Victoria where he worked for over 15 years including as CEO of the Kaiela Planning Council (now the Kaiela Institute) and as an academic at the University of Melbourne Rural Health Academic Centre undertaking community based action research, teaching cultural safety, and organising student placements in Aboriginal health.

Nationally Michael has worked for the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), the Commonwealth Department of Health, and the Lowitja Institute developing policy and research programs in collaboration with diverse stakeholders.

Michael’s community based action research has been particularly focussed on the social determinants of health and include articles on contemporary racism and its relationship to Australian identity, the challenges for government frameworks to effectively engage with community led governance initiatives, Aboriginal perspectives on health and wellbeing, and cultural competence of health and sporting organisations.

Nathan Leitch
Senior Research & Evaluation Consultant

Nathan - Research & Evaluation Consultant, Social Compass

Nathan is a Quandamooka man, a father of two and an Aboriginal Educator with considerable experience in the health, local government and education sectors.  He joined Social Compass in 2015 following nearly ten years working with Aboriginal communities across Victoria.

Throughout his career, Nathan has been successful in supporting positive change through proactive strategy and a dedication to retaining Aboriginal community ethics. He has been instrumental in creating policies, procedures, and education packages that are well-known for their innovation, credibility and, above-all, focus on community ownership and representation.

Lucy McGarry
Senior Research and Evaluation Consultant

LucyLucy has a background in research, evaluation and community development with 15 years’ experience working across the NGO and university sectors focused on engagement with Aboriginal communities in Australia and Indigenous communities in Guatemala and Mexico.

Prior to joining Social Compass, Lucy was the evaluation coordinator at the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council (AH&MRC) where she led the design and implementation of internal program evaluations and supported Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS) to build their evaluation and research capacity. Her previous roles at the AH&MRC included in a workforce support unit for Aboriginal workers in ACCHS across NSW; a research support role, liaising with research bodies and Aboriginal communities to improve engagement and outcomes from Aboriginal health research; and as a researcher in the continuous quality improvement program.

Lucy has also worked with Jumbunna Indigenous Research Unit at UTS and with Link Up NSW on a range of research and evaluation projects.

Lucy’s work in Guatemala and Mexico was focused on community engagement and the implementation and evaluation of development programs in remote Mayan villages, and involved liaising with a range of stakeholders including local government authorities and funders.

Lucy uses her strong communication and research skills to improve understanding of stakeholder needs and priorities, facilitate design and delivery of effective programs, and support communities and other stakeholders to measure outcomes and build the evidence base about what works in a range of community contexts.

She is currently completing a Masters of Evaluation.

Dr Tamara Mihalic Tynan
Research and Evaluation Consultant

Tamara has a PhD in Peace Building from the University of Melbourne and a Masters in Conflict Transformation from the Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, USA. She has been engaged in practical and academic work on understanding conflict and social inclusion with people from all walks of life over the last twenty years.  She has worked and taught at the University of Melbourne and Australian Catholic University teaching Australian and international students.

Tamara worked as a peace consultant in the region of former Yugoslavia. She provided conflict analysis, needs assessment, nonviolent communication and conflict resolution services to local and international NGOs.  In 2001 Tamara founded a small NGO and created an applied peace-building program that continued providing these services.  She stayed in this position for 5 years. She has developed and facilitated workshops on communication, conflict management and understanding of social difference.  Participants in the workshops came from multicultural and various religious backgrounds, including refugees, participants who experienced a high level of war violence, experienced family violence, and/or various levels of trauma.

Tamara has extensive volunteering experience that brings additional skills and insights to her professional roles.  Currently, she spends one day per week at the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court as a member of the Court Network team supporting court users, including those affected by family violence and individuals from CALD communities.

Dr Elizabeth Gralton

Elizabeth’s background is in archival and secondary research, qualitative analysis and writing. Elizabeth has taught history/art history at the University of Western Australia, the University of Melbourne, and Edith Cowan University. She has worked with a wide diversity of students, including a large number of international students for whom English is not a first language. She has taught English to high school students in South Korea, and participated in the AMEP volunteer home tutor program.

She has provided editing services to academics from UWA, Melbourne University and Monash University working on projects ranging from monographs, theses, journal articles and websites. She has worked on editorial teams for issues of the Journal of Urban History, Australasian Urban History/Planning History Conference Proceedings and Limina: A Journal of Historical and Cultural Studies. Her own writing has appeared in the Journal of European Studiesand French History and Civilization, The Australian, and the websites of the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery and the State Library of Western Australia.

Dr Julie McCredden

Julie has a PhD in psychology and has worked for government and non-government organisations, for over a decade helping to design intervention programs and to evaluate their effectiveness. Julie’s main focus for research has been within the education sector where she has worked in multicultural teams in schools, designing and coordinating new programs, and investigating issues for students and families using mixed methods.  She has also worked in higher education, a change agent and as a researcher, investigating new pedagogical practices. She is currently completing a Masters of Counselling.

Julie has had extensive experience with creating and administering surveys to collect objective data and in conducting focus groups and interviews to collect subjective data. Julie is confident with analysing both parametric and non-parametric quantitative data, using simple to high level analysis; i.e.  pivot charts to multivariate analysis and regression. Julie combines her experience within communities with her analytical skills to add insight to data analysis, relating it back to the main questions and stakeholder interests, and using graphics to give integrated overviews of the results.

Kerri Kennel
Senior Consultant

Kerry is a proud Torres Strait Islander woman from Ugar (Stephen Island) and Erub (Darnley). Kerry is a respected and experienced consultant, business owner and lawyer with over 15 years’ experience in business, employment relations, contract management, across the construction industry, government and small and large business sectors. Kerry has a rich, expansive skillset including strong knowledge of law, business management, contract and business administration, stakeholder engagement, project management, people and performance. Kerry is a strong advocate for the rights of Torres Strait Islander people and is highly proficient at convening and managing community forums and consultations.

Corallanne Pohlman

Coral is a proud Murri woman with family connections across Cairns and North Queensland. Coral extensive experience as a Human Services Practitioner with a particular focus in justice. Coral has worked as a Youth Worker in Youth Justice settings and more recently has co-designed and operated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander post-release and transition programs for men who are incarcerated.

Coral has operated and innovated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Journey Planning frameworks for children living in the out of home care system and has designed training for practitioners around the program. Coral has a particular interest in facilitation and has experience delivering Aboriginal cultural awareness training as well as best practice training around the cultural needs of young people.

Ryan Kennedy
Research Assistant

Ryan provides administrative and research support at Social Compass. He has expertise in qualitative data collection including interviews, focus groups, surveys and ethnographic methods. He is also adept at literature review, report writing and editing. Ryan is currently studying a Master of Public Policy and Management at the University of Melbourne and is primarily interested in the policy areas of social services and education. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Anthropology. Utilising participant observation, his honours thesis explored masculinity and morality in a church-based soccer league. Prior to joining Social Compass, Ryan developed strong communication and stakeholder engagements skills through 8 years of experience in retail and hospitality.

Social Compass Associates

Dr Melanie Kan

Melanie has a PhD in Management from Victoria University, Wellington and has a varied background in consulting and research, across universities, public and private sector, and NGOs in healthcare settings, employment services networks, and child protection.

During her 10 years consulting, Melanie worked with an array of private and public sector workers and their organisations, dealing with job loss and redeployment with the career development and executive coaching organisation, Audrey Page and Associates. Melanie worked as a Senior Consultant, Executive Coach, and as the Head of Innovation and Learning, developing and implementing evidence-based wellbeing and career development programs to support individuals through job loss, and career changes. She conceptualised and led the development and national roll out of significant new career development programs including those specialising in equity and diversity issues for older workers, parents with children, and led a consulting project investigating the turnover of women executives.

Melanie’s earlier published research work was focused in the public health sector in New Zealand and investigated nurse leaders, midwifes and medical practitioners as they negotiated organisational change and national legislative changes. Her more recent research in Australia includes work with a nationwide not-for-profit employment network and child protection services that include metro, regional and remote or rural locations.  This research has provided organisational insights into network collaboration and worker resilience respectively. Melanie uses her consulting and coaching background, coupled with her research experience to facilitate and design research projects that serve the dual purpose of providing organisational insights and generating evidence based research.

Panel of Contractors

Social Compass also has a panel of sub-contractor experts and Associates with whom it collaborates on some of its projects. If you are interested in being a part of this panel, please Contact Us.