Our Team

Dr Jo Barraket (Director) has over a decade's experience in social and public policy research, community engagement, and professional training. She holds a PhD in applied sociology and a postgraduate qualification in adult education. Jo is an award winning adult educator and has provided high level research and advisory services to governments and not for profit organisations in Victoria and New South Wales. She has extensive experience in policy research, program evaluation, professional education and community consultation. Jo has specialist knowledge in community strengthening, the not for profit sector, local economic development, and equity and diversity in employment and education. She has also researched and published in the areas of social capital, arts and cultural development, and higher education policy.

In addition to her work with Four Pillars Consulting, Jo is a member of the Centre for Public Policy at the University of Melbourne, where she researches and teaches in the Master of Public Policy and Management and the Master of Social Policy. Jo is also a work-based learning advisor on the Australian and New Zealand School of Government's Executive Masters program for emerging leaders in the public sector.

Mr Robert Handelsmann (Director) has over fifteen years' experience in social and archival research, information management, database design and administration. He has designed information management systems and prepared reports for federal government departments, indigenous organisations, universities, legal firms and psychiatric disability support services. He has provided web-based research and literature review services for a number of independent and commissioned research projects. Robert holds qualifications in linguistics and in counselling and has produced the only dictionary of Amurdak, an indigenous Australian language no longer widely spoken. Robert also works as a translator (Hungarian).

Mr Brett O'Halloran (Associate) has worked for over 20 years in tertiary education as a school administrator, faculty manager and in an executive support role to a Deputy Vice-Chancellor. This work has involved significant responsibilities in financial and human resource management, strategic planning and policy formulation and major restructuring and change management. He has also worked as a researcher and consultant within the Catholic education and tertiary sectors. Most recent consultancies have been on the effects of voluntary student unionism and developing a comparative performance framework for a Law Faculty.

Ms Katharine Oliver (Associate)

Mr Daniel O'Neill (Associate)