Our team

Jo Schumann

Jo Schumann’s career includes extensive experience in public sector having worked in both the ACT and Commonwealth public sectors and for the Canadian Government. Her roles have encompassed commonwealth/state funding arrangements, social policy and service delivery in the welfare, housing and community areas. For the latter part of her career, she held the role of Chief Operations Office for several Australian Public Service agencies giving her experience and expertise in finance, human resources, information technology, and media and communications.

Jo currently provides talent management services to small APS agencies as well as providing review services. She also holds a number of non-executive director Board positions in the government and community sectors where her roles have included Board Chair and Treasurer. She is currently the independent Chair of the Climate Change Authority Audit Committee and Chairs a Federal Government Committee on consultancies and services.

Jo continues to mentor and coach public sector staff and works as a volunteer mentor for young juvenile justice offenders.

Her academic training is in geography (Master of Arts), corporate governance (including Membership of the Australian Institute of Company Directors) and public policy as well as formal qualifications as a Coach and accreditation in DISC, Emotional Intelligence and Motivators assessments.

Melanie Fisher

Before starting Schumann & Fisher, Melanie’s last role was as the Executive Director of the Sir Roland Wilson Foundation, an innovative and very successful joint venture between the Australian Public Service and Australian National University focused on preparing top talent APS Executive Level staff for future leadership positions.

Prior to that, Melanie had a long and happy career in the Australian Public Service, almost half of it in the Senior Executive Service. Her roles have included a very interesting mix across a wide range of functional areas. She spent time working in a Minister’s Office, as the Executive Officer to a Secretary, was the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of a regulatory agency and the Deputy Executive Director of the Agriculture Department’s scientific research agency, and had worked in policy, program, strategic human resources and frontline areas in several agencies.

Melanie’s original academic training was in psychology (with a thesis on performance) and anthropology and she complemented this with a Master of Public Policy fairly early in her APS career. More recently she has undertaken EdX and Coursera Verified Certificates in Coaching Learning, Leadership, and Change (Case Western Reserve University), Digital Leadership (Boston University), Agile Leadership (University of Maryland) and Design Thinking for the Greater Good (University of Virginia). She has published conference papers, reports and analyses, book chapters and co-edited a book in the areas of public policy, social psychology, natural resource management, and political science.

Her interest in evidence-based public policy and public sector practice continues, and she has held an Adjunct Professor position at the School of Government and Policy at the University of Canberra since 2011.

Melanie continues to mentor public sector staff and volunteers as a mentor for disadvantaged children.

Heidi Ruhl

Heidi’s experience is in customer service and client engagement in various roles, including in an ICT environment.

She provides Schumann & Fisher with consultancy services in administration and events management.