People

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Neil McCarthy

CEO

Neil is an international leader in natural resource management with a strong focus on policy and strategy. He brings innovation, paradigm challenging thinking, and a global perspective to Mosaic Insights’ work. Neil was originally educated in Forest Science at the University of Melbourne and holds an MBA in government policy and reform from Monash University.

Neil has extensive understanding and experience in the complexities in balancing environment and economic development for the betterment of the community. Neil has superior communication and negotiating skills, and networks at all levels of Australian government, and globally through his leadership of World Urban Parks.

Through his senior management roles at Parks Victoria and the North East Catchment Management Authority in Victoria, Neil has been responsible for leading some of the most significant global initiatives in parks management. These include the ‘Healthy Parks, Healthy People’ program, the creation of Parks Forum as a peak Australasian organisation representing parks agencies, and the implementation of World Urban Parks.

Neil has been recognised for many of his contributions and was World Urban Parks’ 2016 Distinguished Individual Award recipient.  In addition to his role at Mosaic Insights, Neil is the CEO of World Urban Parks and Co-Chair of the International National Park City Commission.

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Agata Chmielewski

Practice Manager

Agata is a social planner, with over 15 years of leadership in social policy and planning. Agata’s focus is to integrate social values into decision-making and ensuring that projects maximise their social impact.    

 She highly experienced project manager and strategist, having led a range of projects that have informed the delivery of public policy, programs and infrastructure. Agata’s experience spans across government, community and industry both within Australia and internationally. She has successfully delivered social impact assessments and frameworks, social research and engagement, community program and facility planning, program evaluation and policy development.

Agata is known for her rigorous, evidence-based approach, with a curious approach to the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of policy and strategy. As a passionate collaborator, she uses her relationship skills to facilitate coordinated approaches to projects, engaging key stakeholders across all sectors and bringing a human centred approach to projects.

To enhance her social development skills, Agata is currently undertaking postgraduate studies in behavioural economics. This is intrinsically linked to her desire to understand the drivers behind people’s decision-making and how this relates to their relationship with their environment.

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Dr Dom Blackham

Senior consultant

Dom is a specialist in catchments and cities. As a geographer, he has particular expertise in bringing together blue / green infrastructure and restoration planning for environmental and social outcomes.

Over his 20 year career in consulting and research, Dom has delivered complex projects and helped clients solve intractable problems. His collaborative approach, advanced project management capability, workshop facilitation skills, and deep technical knowledge allows him to develop strategies, plans and on-ground actions that meet multiple, and often competing, objectives.

In additional to his technical leadership roles, Dom has held several senior management roles at Alluvium (Mosaic Insights sister company) including as a Board Director. He is experienced at engaging at senior levels in government agencies and working with stakeholders with competing perspectives and objectives. He maintains close links with leading research institutions, in particular the Smart Green Cities Centre at Macquarie University and the School of Geography at the University of Melbourne (where he gained his Ph.D).

Dom has led some significant initiatives to improve the liveability and resilience of Australian cities. In partnership with Melbourne Water he led a project to identify and design creek naturalisation projects across Melbourne to improve the ecological and social values of these significant green infrastructure assets. He advised the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on the development of the Metropolitan Open Space Strategy for Greater Melbourne, and speaks regularly on the need to bring evidence to the fore in urban planning and design.

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Jan Orton

Senior consultant

Jan is a well-respected and recognised champion, leader and strategist for liveability, sustainability and natural resource management. 

Jan has held senior management positions in local government for the past 15 – 20 years, she has managed and led large and diverse teams across environment and sustainability, parks and recreation, waste and recycling, works and infrastructure. Her strengths lay in using the evidence available with a wide range of voices and experiences bringing together diverse groups, interests and disciplines to address what are often complex urban management issues.

Jan has extensive experience in engaging communities, state and federal government agencies, researchers and other stakeholders in public land / public interest plans. She was at the forefront of open space planning in NSW working alongside the State Government in the implementation of the first plans of management for community land. Since then Jan has expanded the craft of collaborative planning across recreation, rivers, open space, infrastructure and services. She is an expert in developing strategy and policy that meet the needs of place and the people.

Jan has led change in many areas of sustainability and land management and been recognised through many awards. In 2008 Jan was named the public sector manager of the year by the Institute of Public Administration Australia for her leadership and impact in applying research around integrated urban water management to the local government sector. Jan has also recently completed Company Directors course at the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Sydney.

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Dr Petter Nyman

Senior consultant

Petter specialises in modelling and advanced spatial analytics to draw insights from big urban data. Using high-level computer coding (Matlab and Python) and GIS software, he draws insights from social and biophysical data to inform strategies in urban design, green infrastructure and liveability.

With his cutting-edge spatial skills Petter works with advanced network analyses and walkability analytics to understand how the distribution of green infrastructure can be optimised to meet the needs of diverse and changing urban demographics. Petter routinely uses remotely sensed data (e.g. LiDAR, aerial and satellite imagery) to develop metrics for analysing and mapping the distribution of urban forests in relation to urban transport networks, urban heat vulnerability and ecological connectivity. He combines analytical tools with a deep understanding of ecohydrology to provide insights into how urban forests can cool cities and provide liveability outcomes in future climates.

Ultimately, Petter seeks to utilise data and robust evidence-based approaches to understand how urban form and green space interact, how changes in demographics create pressure on green infrastructure, and how these insights can be used to design liveable green cities.

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Dr Stephanie Jacobs

Consultant

Stephanie has a PhD in climate science and has significant experience in climate research and data analysis. She specialises in modelling the urban climate, urban cooling strategies, climate change and heat stress.

Stephanie has an excellent knowledge of best practice in urban responses to climate change, conducting her PhD research in modelling urban heat mitigation and human heat stress under Melbourne’s climate. Demonstrating excellent communications skills, Stephanie has presented her research at Australian and international conferences, winning multiple awards and recognitions, as well as through a range of media and outreach opportunities.

During three years at the Bureau of Meteorology, Stephanie conducted extensive data analysis for the Southern Annular Mode and Madden Julian Oscillation projects within Climate Prediction Services and provided expert strategic advice and website content on the Seasonal Climate Outlook and the ENSO Wrap-Up.

Stephanie is fluent in a range of programming languages including Python, NCAR Command (NCL) and Bash scripting, which she uses to analyse spatial data and produce publication quality maps.

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Chandni Gupta

Consultant

Chandni is a spatial analyst specialising in data analysis and modelling. Chandni has in-depth knowledge of data processing and visualization using various programming languages like Python, R and tools like Tableau and Power BI. She is skilled in creating dashboards supporting fast decision-making for businesses. She has designed dashboards to investigate crimes in different areas using R. She has used machine learning algorithms to perform sentiment analysis on yelp product reviews by classifying text into multiple classes.

Chandni has worked to propose a proof of concept to visually represent the operation of the Melbourne drainage network using the latest technologies and how this would positively impact the future workforce. She carried out research to find out which technologies or integration of multiple technologies would help the Melbourne Water to effectively visualize the drainage network in the future and effectively check the performance of their assets as well.

Chandni is currently using Python to analyse spatial demographic, open space and vegetation data to prioritise urban cooling opportunities on Melbourne water land. She has produced dynamic clickable maps to visualize these opportunities. She is also analysing walking accessibility to the Little Yarra River and suggesting access points by analysing the benefiting population.