Our team

The Mitchell Institute has a small, talented team guided by an Advisory board

Megan O'Connell

Megan O'Connell

Mitchell Institute Director

Megan is a public policy expert with experience across the early childhood, school and tertiary education sectors. Megan is responsible for the Institute's strategic direction and leadership of the team.

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Charlene Smith

Charlene Smith

Policy Program Director

Charlene is a passionate advocate for the role of education in achieving equity and social inclusion, with a commitment to collaborative, evidence-based approaches to policy development and analysis.

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Sally Maddison

Sally Maddison

Stakeholder and Advocacy Manager

Sally works with partners and funders to achieve the best outcomes for Mitchell Institute projects. She joined the team with considerable experience in policy, strategy and relationship management within the Victorian Department of Education and Training.

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Peter Noonan

Peter Noonan

Professor of Tertiary Education Policy

Peter Noonan has played a major role in shaping policy in Australia’s education and training system and has experience working as a policy adviser, senior executive and consultant to federal and state governments, universities, higher education providers and TAFE institutes.

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Julia Johnston

Julia Johnston

Communications and Media Director

Julia manages Mitchell's communication team and is the organisation's primary media contact. She joined Mitchell in 2016 and brings strategic media and communications experience from interstate and overseas government and education sectors.

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Rosa Brezac

Rosa Brezac

Executive co-ordinator

Rosa provides executive and business support to Mitchell Director Sara Glover and Professorial Fellow Peter Noonan. She has extensive experience managing education research centres at Victoria University and the University of Melbourne.

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Sarah Pilcher

Sarah Pilcher

Policy Fellow

Sarah works on Mitchell's tertiary education and education opportunity programs. She has considerable public policy experience across school and tertiary education, skills and the labour market.

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Kate Torii

Kate Torii

Policy Fellow

Kate has policy and project management experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Kate has a Master’s in International Relations and a background in economics and political studies.

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Yong Zhao

Yong Zhao

Mitchell Professorial Fellow and International adviser

Yong is an internationally recognised scholar whose work focuses on the implications of globalisation and technology on education.

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Bill Lucas

Bill Lucas

International adviser

Bill joins the Mitchell Institute as an international adviser. He is Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning (CRL) at the University of Winchester, and is internationally regarded for his expertise and research in rethinking the purposes of schooling and vocational training.

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Stacey Fox

Stacey Fox

Adjunct Fellow

Stacey has authored several of Mitchell Institute's major early childhood reports and now provides policy advice. She has worked in research and policy across child, youth and family sectors for a number of years.

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Angela Southwell

Angela Southwell

Adjunct Fellow

Angela is a social researcher and program evaluator with experience in a wide range of methods and with varied audiences, including children and young people, job seekers, low paid workers and employers.

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Michelle Anderson

Michelle Anderson

Adjunct Associate Professor

Michelle provides developmental advice to the Mitchell Institute. She is the Director of Interface2Consulting and on the board of Schools Connect Australia and the Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation’s Education and Employment Advisory Panel.

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