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Challenge. Inform. Lead

Schumann & Fisher delivers the Professional Foundations Program for public sector staff across all three levels of government. We offer individual and team coaching, workshops, team development, planning sessions, and performance enhancement programs.


Who Are We?

We’re former senior executive public servants with a strong desire to guide public sector professionals in their pursuit of excellence.

  • We use our experience and networks to help early-career public servants reach their potential.

  • We have qualifications in psychology, human geography, public policy and executive coaching.

  • We’ve worked at local, state, federal and international levels of government.

  • We’ve served Governors-General, ministers and secretaries in policy, service delivery, program design and management, corporate, at the frontline and in research.

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Jo Schumann

Jo’s extensive experience in the public sector encompasses working for the ACT and Commonwealth public sectors and for the Canadian Government. Her roles have included:


  • The management of Commonwealth/State funding arrangements

  • Social policy and service delivery in the welfare, housing and community areas

  • Chief Operations Officer for several Australian Public Service agencies. 


As COO, Jo gained valuable experience and developed expertise in finance, human resources, information technology, and media and communications.


Jo currently provides talent management and review services to small APS agencies. She holds a number of non-executive director board positions in the government and community sectors, including roles as 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’s academic training is in geography (Master of Arts), corporate governance (including Membership of the Australian Institute of Company Directors) and public policy. She has formal qualifications as a coach and accreditation in DISC, Emotional Intelligence and Motivators assessments.


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

Melanie Fisher

Prior to establishing Schumann & Fisher, Melanie’s most recent role was as the Executive Director of the Sir Roland Wilson Foundation. This successful and innovative joint venture between the Australian Public Service and the Australian National University prepared top-talent, APS Executive-Level staff for future leadership positions.


Melanie had a long and happy career in the Australian Public Service. Almost half of it was in the Senior Executive Service. She held diverse roles across a wide range of functional areas, including:

  • Executive Officer to a secretary in a minister’s office

  • Deputy Chief Executive Officer of a regulatory agency

  • Deputy Executive Director of the Agriculture Department’s scientific research agency

  • Roles 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. She obtained a Master of Public Policy 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)

  • Design Thinking for the Greater Good (University of Virginia). 


She has published conference papers, reports, analyses and book chapters. She 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. 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.

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Who We Work With

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