The research team
Jeanette Pope – Director of Research
Jeanette has worked for the Victorian Department of Planning and Community Development (formally Victorian Communities) overseeing strategic research and evaluation projects to support the development of whole of government strategies, and coordinating research and evaluation across the portfolios of Planning, Community Development, Regional Development, Sport and Recreation, Local Government and the “people” offices of Youth, Women’s Disability, Multicultural Affairs and Veterans Affairs.
Jeanette has expertise in quantitative and qualitative methods and has developed numerous research tools including an Evaluation Step-by-Step Guide, a Data Sharing System, a tool to help communities find and use data, a tool for evaluating partnerships and a community engagement tool. She has also designed large population surveys, including the Australia’s first national population bio-measures survey, and a survey of community strength of over 35,000 Victorians, now in its fifth collection.
Jeanette has undertaken a two year leadership program in research at the Department of Human Services Victoria, been an associate with Melbourne University, and worked for the Public Health Information Development Unit, La Trobe University and VicHealth.
Jeanette’s interests lie in how research and data can help empower citizens, foster participation and create local action to find novel solutions to society’s social, economic and environmental issues. In 2012 she won a lifetime achievement award for building the evidence base for community development as a public policy solution in Victoria.
Dr Lucas Walsh – Research Fellow
As Research Fellow at FYA, Dr Walsh coordinates, commissions and conducts research as part of a national agenda for policy change. His PhD (Monash) examined the impact of education policy reform on Australian democracy during the latter twentieth century.
Lucas has held three academic research fellowships in areas such as international education, technology and political participation, e-learning and citizenship and democracy. He was research fellow at the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation at Deakin University, Monash Centre for Research in International Education (MCRIE) and postdoctoral research fellow of Democracy and New Media in the School of Communications and Multimedia at Edith Cowan University. He also managed the Online Curriculum Centre within the International Baccalaureate Organisation in the UK.
Lucas has research and applied expertise in education, technology, and its political implications – particularly in the areas of e-government, e-learning and new forms of political participation. He has worked as consultant for and been invited to speak to local and international bodies on areas of participation, education and technological innovation such as the Australian Government Information Office, the Citizen Access and Transformation unit of the Victorian Department of Innovation Industry and Regional Development, United World College Singapore and the ITU World Summit on the Information Society, as well as local government initiatives in the use of ICTs for community building, such as Darebin eForum. In 2009 he was commissioned by the National Curriculum Board to write an advisory paper on online curriculum modelling for the national curriculum and was a speaker at the National Curriculum Board Learning for the 21st Century forum.
Dr Naomi Berman – Manager, Policy and Evaluation
Naomi is Manager, Policy and Evaluation with FYA. She recently completed her PhD on ‘The Transformation of Self aboard an Australian Sail Training Program’ (University of Sydney). Her previous work includes Research Fellow for an evaluation of VicHealth’s Community Arts Development Scheme measuring the impact of participation in arts activities on mental health and wellbeing, and Social and Field Research Manager for the BBC’s Digital Switchover Help Scheme. She has also worked on two national inquiries; mental health care in the Australian Defence Force, and suicide in the veteran community. Naomi is Associate Editor of the UNESCO Observatory Multidisciplinary Research in the Arts e-journal and has taught at the University of Sydney, Swinburne University of Technology and the University of New England.
Lauren Siegmann – Manager, Initiative Evaluation
Lauren combines her skills as a practitioner and an evaluator in the delivery of inclusive, user-friendly and robust evaluation practice. She began her career working in social services in Australia before departing for further shores and working in the international development arena. Her particular areas of expertise in these former lives were domestic violence and reproductive health. Lauren’s evaluation career includes Clear Horizon Consulting and the Brotherhood of St Laurence. She is heavily influenced by the work of Michael Patton and the ‘developmental evaluation’ approach which seeks to work with programs in innovative settings.
Jon Lawrence – Business Manager
Jon’s role as Business Manager for the Research team encompasses project management, client and partner liaison, and the identification and development of new research and evaluation opportunities. Jon’s background is in the software and Internet-services industries, and he has over a decade of broad experience covering client-facing, project and product management and business development roles in Australia, the United Kingdom, Denmark and the United States. He has been involved in internet governance and related policy issues domestically and internationally and is also active in promoting civil liberties within the online environment. Jon completed a Master of International Relations at the University of Melbourne in 2011.
Ali Hughes – Research Officer
Ali uses the research skills she honed throughout her time at university in her role as a Research Officer with FYA. She recently completed a Master of International Relations at the University of Melbourne with a focus on defence policy, Northeast Asia and the United States. However, she became interested in education policy through her volunteer work with the charity organisation, The Smith Family. Ali also currently works at a Melbourne-based public affairs firm and is participating in Left Right Think Tank’s Policy Fellowship program, producing policy recommendations around federalism and intergovernmental relations reform.