People With Insight
Nicola Hepenstall is the Executive Director of The Insight Centre
Nicola is a recognised thought-leader with over 25 years’ experience in evidence-based consulting and extensive knowledge of research theory and practice. She has consulted to many of Australia’s largest companies and State and Federal Government departments, helping them navigate the complexity of the communications environment and develop strategies to enhance business and social outcomes.
Nicola has served as President of the Association for Social and Market Research Organisations which sets the ethical framework for the industry. She has extensive knowledge and experience in conducting research with people who have experienced trauma and mental health issues, including work undertaken for Beyond Blue over many years. Nicola also brings considerable leadership experience from the essential services sector, having served as the non-Executive Director of VicWater and the Deputy Chair of South Gippsland Water. She was the first woman to sit on the Board of the Clemenger Group – one of Australasia’s largest groups of marketing, brand and research agencies. This followed her time as CEO of one of the Clemenger market research companies.
Dr Shanthi Robertson
Shanthi Robertson is the Managing Director of The Insight Centre
Shanthi is a social scientist with a track record of over 13 years producing high impact social and cultural research and providing research leadership as an academic and consultant. After transitioning from an academic career to consulting, Shanthi specialises in designing and leading high quality research projects and delivering research strategy for clients making a positive impact in the world.
Prior to joining The Insight Centre, Shanthi was an Associate Professor and Principal Research Fellow at Western Sydney University, where she led world class social science research on Australian Research Council-funded and industry funded projects. She is the author of three books and 35 high impact journal articles.
As consultant, she has led projects across energy, education, workforce and skills, justice reform, health, equity and inclusion and media and the arts. Shanthi’s focus is on effective and meaningful relationships with clients and community stakeholders; delivering project outcomes that have strong impact for both organisations and broader social good; and thought leadership on critical national policy and social issues.
Dr Anna Denejkina
Anna Denejkina is an Associate Director of The Insight Centre
Dr Anna Denejkina is an award winning mixed-methods and interdisciplinary researcher. She has a PhD in the Social Sciences from the University of Technology Sydney and over 10 years of research experience and training. Her research has been published internationally in scientific journals and books, and she has presented research insights at national and international scientific conferences.
Anna has experience in qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods research, and has conducted national and international research in sectors including health, higher education, government, technology and more.
Prior to joining The Insight Centre, Anna was the Research Director of YouthInsight.
Anna is passionate about research innovation, methods and ethics, and achieving real impact through research-informed decision making. She believes that understanding individual human experience and using a human-centric and people-first approach is critical to research, its insights, outcomes and impact.
Lisa Thompson is a Senior Consultant for The Insight Centre
Lisa has over 10 years of research, evaluation and policy development experience within the government, not for profit and academic sectors. With a particular interest in working at the intersection of systems and design thinking, Lisa is highly skilled at designing and delivering complex and politically sensitive research, evaluation and policy initiatives.
Lisa specialises in process, formative and outcome evaluations, including the development of theories of change and evaluation frameworks. She has extensive experience using a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods, conducting rapid and systematic literature reviews and reporting on research findings for various stakeholders and in peer-reviewed journal articles and conference presentations.
Lisa is a strong believer in amplifying the voices of people whose lives stand to be impacted by policy initiatives and brings extensive experience in co-designing with people with lived experience and complex needs, including people with lived experience of mental health issues, people who use mental health and/or alcohol and other drug services, people with lived experience of the justice system, young people, people experiencing homelessness and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
DR SIMON CHAMBERS
Simon Chambers is a Senior Consultant at The Insight Centre
Simon is a social and data scientist with extensive experience conducting research in areas such as the arts and culture, media and information literacy, and migration. A mixed methods researcher, Simon specialises in research which combines both qualitative and quantitative approaches to investigating issues.
He is an Accredited Researcher with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and is skilled at identifying robust quantitative approaches and visualisation techniques capable of delivering insights and outcomes for stakeholders. His work has applied approaches spanning survey design and analysis through to Bayesian mixed effects modelling, temporal network modelling and the application of machine learning techniques.
In addition to his role at The Insight Centre, Simon is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Western Sydney University. He also has over 20 years of experience working in the non-profit sector, having previously held research and strategy roles at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), APRA and the Australian Music Centre.
Dr Emilie Baganz
Emilie Baganz is a Senior Research Associate at The Insight Centre
Emilie is a PhD-qualified mixed-method social researcher with over 5 years of experience in conducting end-to-end research. She has coordinated qualitative and quantitative multi-partner research projects across a range of current social and policy issues such as employment, creative industries, migration and the justice system.
In her role at The Insight Centre, Emilie has supported the development of high impact reports with quantitative analysis of primary and secondary data (including forecasting) and their visualisation. Her qualitative work encompasses stakeholder reputation research and the analysis of focus group and interview data with the aim to highlight key themes and extract actionable insights for clients. Emilie brings critical skills in research management, participant recruitment and engagement, stakeholder outreach and managing effective research partnerships to her client work. Having worked in non-profit organisations she also brings in-depth operational understanding of the for-purpose sector.
Emilie strives to utilise her advanced research skills to support the development of evidence-based insights and high-quality research outputs to enhance community and social policy impact and drive positive social change.