Julia Burns P: 0419 265 981 E: [email protected] | Des Lyons: P: 0427 825 750 E: [email protected]

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Our very capable team consists of senior executives and legally qualified executive level managers with substantial practical management experience. All JBC consultants are highly skilled and committed to delivering an exceptional client service.

All JBC consultants are highly skilled and committed to delivering an exceptional client service.  We do this through the use of well-tested methodologies and expertise at every stage of the process. Our successful delivery of JBC services relies on our depth and breadth of personal qualities and professional experience. These include:

  • Objectivity and impartiality
  • Credibility, from the perspective of both management and staff
  • Interviewing, negotiation and problem solving skills
  • Research and analytical abilities
  • Detailed knowledge of the Human Resources management framework of the Public Sector
  • Familiarity with the framework of legislation, rights and obligations affecting public sector employees.

We are proud that at JBC well over half of our consultant team is comprised of highly skilled and experienced female investigators – filling a persistently identified need in the sector for females in these roles.

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Julia Burns

Julia is a very experienced HR professional, and was a senior executive in the Australian Public Service for almost 20 years.

In her last APS role, Julia was the head of a large corporate Division in a major Government department. This covered strategic corporate activities, including planning, HR, communication and media, executive coordination and change management.

Other notable roles in the public sector include: the Executive Director of the Office for Women, the national manager of COMCAR, and the head of HR branches and Corporate Divisions in a variety of government agencies.

Julia also led the government’s review of Equal Opportunity legislation in 2009-10. Julia’s career highlights include addressing the United Nations General Assembly on gender equality; managing VIP transport services for the Sydney Olympics; and leading workplace relations negotiations and significant change management initiatives in many other government agencies.

Julia has the highest level of qualifications from the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership and is an accredited mediator.

Julia is a passionate supporter of the National Breast Cancer Foundation and regularly represents the NBCF at functions to promote their work. She was the recipient of an NBCF Patron’s Award for 2013 for her work in supporting NBCF’s research register – Register4. Julia is also a Board member of the YWCA Canberra, and has worked with other women to establish a new community initiative providing free coaching services for women who have experienced domestic and family violence.

Des Lyons

Des had an extensive public sector career including several years working at the Senior Executive Service level, mainly in the area of human and physical resource management.

Des is a very experienced investigator. He has handled a very large number and range of complex and sensitive cases, including those involving senior executives. He has a demonstrated capacity and special interest in HR initiatives and issues including workplace relations, resource planning and performance management with the dual aims of improving both individual and organizational capability.

An experienced negotiator, Des also has hands on experience in the development and application of the full range of personnel policies, large scale Machinery of Government changes and APS wide reviews of service delivery systems including the development and implementation of appropriate new workplace structures.

Des uses this wealth of experience to provide JBC clients with strategic HR advice. He can help HR areas and line managers at all levels to choose the best path to tackle complex HR issues. Des leads and supports all of our consultants as their adviser, mentor and in quality assuring all investigations reports.


Beverley Forner
Beverley worked as a Senior Executive in the NSW, ACT Government and in the APS for over 13 years. She has a highly developed package of skills and experience encompassing the full range of corporate services functions, at management and operational levels, including HR, finance, communications, procurement, corporate business systems management and property and services. She has also had a long association with the workplace application of communications technology and was the managing director of an IT company as well as the CIO of a Government Agency. Beverley has extensive experience in conducting workplace investigations and reviews, including those of a more complex and sensitive nature as well as senior level policy and legislative development experience in the Federal, State and local government fields.

Qualified as a solicitor and with a Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance, Beverley is an Associate of the Governance Institute of Australia (formerly the Institute of Chartered Secretaries Australia) and is available to clients to provide her extensive experience for investigations. Beverley can also provide expert advice on corporate management and governance issues.

Su Kearns

Su is an experienced HR professional with a career spanning 25 years in both the public and private sector. Prior to moving into strategic HR Consulting in 2013, Su was the Group Manager (SES Band 2) Head of Corporate for the Fair Work Ombudsman. Prior to her APS career Su held senior HR positions in the private sector. Her extensive and practical HR expertise was recognised by her peers when she won the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) HR Leader of the Year in 2011.

Su has an excellent understanding of managing an APS workforce, and of integrating best practice HR strategies into an APS wide framework. She has an interest in performance management both at a systems level and also in assisting individuals and managers through complex performance scenarios.

Su holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons Psychology; Dual Major Education) and a Grad Dip Human Resource Management. She is a certified member of AHRI and a qualified executive coach.

Jenni Gordon

Jenni brings to JBC extensive experience in senior executive roles encompassing policy, program and regulatory activities with a particular interest in supporting individuals and teams to set and achieve high performance outcomes.

Jenni is able to offer a broad range of support to JBC clients drawing on her experience as the Chief Operating Officer for the Research Portfolio at Sydney University since 2009 and prior to that a diverse range of Senior Executive level positions in Canberra in a number of APS departments including agriculture, education and immigration. As COO at Sydney University she was responsible for handling a range of complex matters including planning and support for strategic and operational reviews, establishing effective governance arrangements, managing human resource issues, finance and communication strategies, and leading organisational change programs to improve service delivery to the research communities. Through her public sector career she developed a depth of expertise in policy development and strategic advice, operational and program planning and implementation, with a particular focus on regulatory environments.

Jenni is highly regarded for her strong analytical and conceptual skills, underpinned by degrees in social sciences and an LLM in administrative law from ANU, as well as her ability to work with staff at all levels. She approaches all assignments with energy and a commitment to delivering the best outcomes for her clients.


Lee Emerson

Lee’s career in the APS spanned more than 30 years, including more than 10 years as a Senior Executive. Lee has excellent strategic and policy skills, and has worked in a wide variety of roles and programs.

Lee is renowned for her excellent leadership abilities, her practical and compassionate style, and her natural coaching approach. She has mentored a significant number of APS and non-government staff.

Lee’s extensive experience includes working in diverse policy areas, including those covering family and children, disability and Indigenous affairs. Lee has also represented the Australian Government in a number of international forums, including the United Nations on gender issues. She has also worked in the non-government sector in disability advocacy.

Lee is a qualified coach with the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership.

Megan Morris

Megan’s career in the APS spanned 34 years inclusive of 17 years as a senior executive, the last 7 years as a Division Head (SES Band 2).  Megan has excellent strategic, policy and people management skills.  She has worked in a variety of departments and roles, including in regulatory policy and two years in the Canadian bureaucracy.  While most of Megan’s experience is in social policy, she has also worked in central agencies and the communications portfolio.

Megan brings to JBC a passionate commitment to and experience in getting the best out people, managing through change and delivering against goals.  She is known for her ability to establish rapport and trust very quickly and cut to core issues.

Since leaving the APS, Megan has undertaken a variety of consultancy work for government at both the commonwealth and state levels, as well as not-for-profit bodies, advising principally on governance and regulatory policy issues.  Megan has also helped a commonwealth agency establish a mentoring program and provided mentoring services under that program. Megan is a qualified coach through the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership.