Our People


Ferris Management Consultants employs professionals with qualifications including Doctorate and Honours levels in Psychology. Engaging and advising senior management and boards is an essential skill found in our highly experienced Consultants. Our style is one of concern, respect and nurturing mutually beneficial relationships. It is through this value set we develop effective people engagements across a spectrum of industries and organisational needs.

John Ferris

Managing Director

+61 418 723 922

John Ferris is a registered Psychologist and Management Consultant with over 30 years consulting experience in Australia, Asia, Africa, South America and North America. He has an Honours Graduate Degree in Organisational Psychology from The University of Queensland and is a Fellow and Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In 1991 John established Ferris Management Consultants to provide consulting support on organisation and management issues. He has developed long-standing commercial relationships with clients working on engagements to achieve organisational objectives.

John has extensive experience working with Boards and Senior Management in established organisations and in the development of new projects. Specific work has included definition of goals and organisation culture, strategy development, organisation review, industrial relations strategy, executive and board recruitment, global people search and selection, performance development, people due diligence to inform mergers and acquisitions and psychological assessment.

John’s areas of specialisation have been applied across a range of industries in both private and public sectors. Specific industry experience includes mining, energy, ports and terminals, education, agriculture, construction, transport and logistics, manufacturing, diversified multi-nationals and professional services.


Dr Nerida Hillberg

Executive Director – Psychology

+61 418 884 386

Dr Nerida Hillberg joined Ferris Management Consultants in 2002. She is a registered Psychologist and is a Member of both the Australian Psychological Society and the Australian Human Resources Institute. She is a Board-Accredited Supervisor in the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. Following her First Class Honours Degree in Psychology, Nerida was awarded a PhD in Organisational Psychology in 2001 for her international research program that examined employee coping, strain and tension during mergers and acquisitions. Previously, she worked in Human Resources for four years designing and delivering training and development programs.

Nerida is an expert in applying Psychological Assessment to executive recruitment and selection. This spans sectors within Australia as well as internationally.

Drawing upon her previous academic work as a member of the Department of Psychology teaching staff at Griffith University, Nerida aligns people and cultural development strategies with the commercial needs of organisations in order to impact positively on triple bottom-line objectives. She has developed employee assistance programs, managed outplacement, measured and surveyed staff engagement and satisfaction, undertaken organisational diagnosis and design, implemented management team development strategies, benchmarked remuneration, and facilitated cultural change.

Nerida’s industry specialisations include mining, ports and terminals, energy, education, construction, community services, training, peak bodies and professional services.

Kathy Brunnen

BPsych(Hons), MOrgPsych, MAPS
Senior Psychologist

+61 456 717 224

Kathy Brunnen is a registered Psychologist with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and a Member of the Australian Psychological Society. Following her Honours Degree in Psychology, Kathy gained a Master of Organisational Psychology degree from Griffith University. Her research thesis explored the relationship between personality and unethical decision making at work. In a time of entrepreneurial and risk-taking leadership, self-interested and justified decision-making can be problematic for organisations.

Kathy has experience working in both the private and public sectors and has served as an internal consultant and external consultant. As an analyst, she is passionate about psychological assessment. Her strengths lie in her creativity, big picture thinking and her ability to build strong, genuine relationships.

Kathy has a special interest in executive recruitment and selection. Prior to joining Ferris Management Consultants Pty Ltd, she had gained experience coaching Hiring Managers in a large, diverse organisation. In her roles she has consistently worked closely with Executive leaders to deliver people-centred strategies. She takes pride in her provision of evidence-based service that is ethical and just.

Outside recruitment, she has delivered organisational change management, team culture and business improvement initiatives to operational and management workforces. Kathy has developed innovative and challenging executive leadership and change leadership programs. She has also worked as a Social Researcher in the Customer Experience space and was a member of the academic teaching team at Griffith University.