Meet the Team

Our team offers the right mix of skills and experience with specialist knowledge in a wide range of areas.

About Us

We have heart! We take the time to listen to community and we tailor our approach to fit with each place we work in. We really ‘get’ the rural, regional and farming community context-it’s where we live and work every day.

Specialist knowledge in:

  • Early Years, Child, Youth and Family Services
  • Rural and Remote communities and their strengths and challenges
  • Australian Agriculture, Sustainability and Farming Communities
  • Qualitative and quantitative research 
  • Community Consultation and Engagement
  • Community Planning
  • Strategic Planning
  • Facilitation
  • Project Management 
  • Program Evaluation
  • Engaging with and supporting Indigenous communities 
  • Engaging with and supporting Culturally and Linguistically Diverse groups (CALD)
  • Age, ability and gender specific issues
  • IAP2 framework and philosophy

Our Team

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Lisa

Co-Founder and Director
Lisa McCoy has a background in human services, community development and project management in both Canada and Australia spanning almost 30 years. Her extensive experience has helped her to understand the range of complex needs that many communities, families, young people and individuals can face in their lives.
 
Lisa’s expertise lies in effective and inclusive community engagement and consultation, research, project management, facilitation and evaluation. Lisa has extensive experience in community and strategic planning including youth specific planning and research and consultation focussing on rural young people. 
 
Lisa has a Diploma in Social Service Work, an IAP2 Certificate in Engagement, a Certificate 4 in Workplace Learning and Assessment, completed accredited mediation training through Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria and is currently completing a Certificate in Plain Language. Lisa is a member of IAP2 Australasia, a former long-standing Benalla Health Board member and the current Deputy Chair of Benalla Health’s Community Advisory Committee.
 
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Rachael

Co-Founder and Director
Rachael Williams has a background in rural sociology, research and community development spanning 27 years. With a Bachelor of Arts degree (Honours) in Rural Sociology Rachael is now completing a PhD researching community capacity for self-help with a specific focus on the respective role of individuals, communities, business and government.
 
Rachael’s expertise lies in the demographic profiling of communities and community groups, comprehensive and respectful community engagement and consultation, qualitative and quantitative research, program development, strategic planning, facilitation and evaluation. 
 
Rachael has an extensive background in service development and delivery for the early years and vulnerable communities and in supporting communities with strategic planning and governance conversations to support integration and collective impact. 
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Fiona

Associate Consultant
With 30 years of experience in the welfare area, Fiona Mertz has extensive knowledge in working with children and families. Fiona has undertaken work in program coordination, project reviews, event management, research, case management, staff supervision and mentoring of students. 
 
More recently Fi has been working on two place-based initiatives trying to improve wellbeing outcomes for children and families by identifying issues earlier and ensuring adequate supports are in place before situations escalate. Several evidence-based programs have been embedded into this work to build the resilience and resources of young people and their families. 
 
Fi has worked in senior roles including managing a Child Protection team.  An important aspect of her work during this period was her involvement with the Muthi Miah Aboriginal Family Preservation team.  Together with her team, Fi won a “Highly Commended” award at the National Child Abuse Prevention Awards in 2001 for the development of a culturally sensitive tool relating to Family Preservation work. 
 
Fi holds a Bachelor of Arts, with a major in Psychology. Having lived and worked in the Moulamein and Swan Hill area for all of her life, Fi has established excellent networks across the area.