02 6285 2431 lyonsqms@bigpond.com


QMS is a long-standing Human Resources consultancy firm specializing in public sector investigations and reviews. QMS provides quality advice and support to clients on a range of HR management, workplace relations, procurement and corporate governance issues.  We work closely with our partner company, Julia Burns Consulting, which is a strategic HR consulting practice supporting individuals, leadership teams and organisations. Combining this extensive experience and strategic HR expertise with our track record of helping to resolve complex HR issues provides our clients with a valuable and unique service.

Code of conduct investigations Public Interest Disclosures
Review of actions Procurement process reviews
Workplace bullying and harassment Supporting managers through performance management processes
 Work Level Standards reviews Seminars
 Staff related complaints  


QMS is the longest established specialist public sector investigation and review consultancy group based in the ACT. We pioneered the external provision of disciplinary, grievance and personnel review services to Government agencies. Our services are:

Impartial and Independent
Because we are perceived as independent of management, our reports and othjer services are credible in the eyes of staff including complainants.
As it is our core activity, we are usually able to produce reports more quickly than an internal process – this is in the interests of all parties.
Our wide experience, knowledge of process, legislation and precedent, plus our full time involvement enable us to provide more appropriate and consistent outcomes than officers who often only ever deal with one or two such matters in their careers.
Cost effective
Our experience enables us to streamline interviews and research, minimising interruptions to the workplace. The quality of our work means that fewer matters proceed on to even more time-consuming external review bodies.

QMS consultants are the most experienced people in the field, focused on delivering exceptional client service.


Experience and Expertise You Can Trust Persistent people problems require Quality Management Solutions – QMS is a highly respected specialist consultancy group with the experience and capacity to deliver services throughout Australia. QMS responds to the need for suitably experienced and skilled people to undertake disciplinary investigations or reviews of more complex grievance and staffing matters. We know that people issues are challenging.The depth of experience of our consultant team can provide you with a formidable bank of public sector corporate knowledge and skills that are available to support your organisation through these processes. QMS has developed investigation and review methodologies, that are tailored to meet the requirements of the public sector administrative and industrial law framework.


We partner with  Julia Burns Consulting  to deliver strategic HR solutions for your people and organisation. Julia Burns Logo Final

We constantly monitor developments in the APS and workplace relations arenas to ensure that our knowledge and services are at the leading edge.


QMS consultants have carried out more than 750 investigations and reviews on behalf of Commonwealth Departments, large and small Statutory Authorities, Agencies and Government Business Enterprises, State and Local Government agencies, industry and public interest associations.
Commonwealth Departments including:
Prime Minister and Cabinet Attorney-General’s Defence Finance Social Services Human Services
Commonwealth Agencies including:
Comsuper IP Australia National Gallery of Australia National Museum of Australia Aboriginal Hostels Limited Indigenous Business Australia
State, Territory and Local Government
ACT Planning & Land Authority

The QMS methodology has been endorsed not only by our clients but also by unions and external review agencies.


Our very capable team consists of senior executives and legally qualified executive level managers with substantial practical management experience. All QMS 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 QMS 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 QMS 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.


Julia Burns - Partner
Julia is a Partner in QMS, and also runs her own strategically aligned human resources company – Julia Burns Consulting (JBC). JBC works closely with QMS on a range of assignments particularly those with an emphasis on building productive, harmonious workplaces through supporting individuals, leadership teams and organisations. Julia is a highly experienced SES manager and HR professional, with most of the last 20 years spent leading HR Branches and Corporate Divisions of key Australian government agencies. Most recently Julia managed all strategic corporate activities, including HR, communication and media, executive coordination, planning and change management for the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (now the Department of Social Services). Some of Julia’s other more notable roles were as the Executive Director of the Office for Women; and the national manager of COMCAR. 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 agencies. Julia also led the government’s review of Equal Opportunity legislation in 2009-10. Julia is well-known and highly regarded in the Australian Public sector for her commitment to excellence in leadership, communication, practical HR strategies and equality in employment. She has an Honours degree in Communications, and is a fully qualified executive coach, and an accredited mediator.
Des Lyons - Partner
A QMS Partner, Des also 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 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 policy, large scale “Machinery of Government” changes and APS wide reviews of service delivery systems including the development and implementation of the appropriate new workplace structures. Des is in demand for investigation work in several key Departments and agencies but he is available to all clients. In addition to conducting investigations and a full range of personnel reviews at QMS, Des can support clients on workplace relations, contract management issues, workplace performance or on more general resource management matters. Des is also an accredited member of the Australian Institute of Professional Investigators.
Senior Executive Consultants
Charlotte Blesing – Senior Executive Consultant
Legally qualified as a Barrister & Solicitor, Charlotte has more than 20 years experience in administrative review, including Executive Officer level positions with the Ombudsman’s Office and the Merit Protection and Review Agency. While she is based in Northern NSW and is usually available to Canberra clients she readily takes on cases outside of Canberra, not only in NSW. She also provides legal advice to support other QMS consultants as required. Charlotte’s background, qualifications and experience as a female reviewer and investigator is almost certainly unmatched by any other person active in this field. She specialises in cases involving all forms of workplace harassment and ‘reviews of actions’ involving interpersonal conflict. Charlotte’s depth and breadth of experience anchors what is believed to be the strongest team of female reviewers and investigators available at this time.
Beverley Forner - Senior Executive Consultant

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 and she can also provide expert advice on corporate management and governance issues.

James Fletcher – Senior Executive Consultant, In-House Counsel
James Fletcher offers to clients of QMS and Julia Burns Consulting a highly valuable combination of strong technical legal skills and APS operational management experience. James returned to consulting work after expanding his experience and skills package while working at the Special Counsel level for a top tier private law firm. As a senior consultant, he has hands-on experience in conducting highly complex workplace investigations including PID. He has a passion for working with people e.g. leadership development, coaching, mentoring, training, facilitation and building high performing teams. James’ public sector experience includes working with the National Disability Insurance Agency as the SES Legal Manager. As a Branch Manager, he managed a very large team of lawyers and assisted in developing legislation for NDIS and other significant Government initiatives e.g. the Gambling Reforms and Stronger Futures. James offers to our clients a very broad range of assistance. He is a highly experienced lawyer, operational manager and workplace investigator who can produce clearly worded and conclusive reports, deliver or facilitate training about the Commonwealth legal framework, as well as deliver training to achieve high-performing teams. James is an experienced mentor and trained coach through the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership.
Gail Bateman - Senior Consultant

An extremely experienced Senior Executive in the Australian Public Service, mainly with Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Health and Ageing. Gail has a broad range of experience covering policy, corporate, regional and operational aspects of government. She also has many years of experience on audit committees, including as an external member of the Australian Federal Police audit committee. Gail’s work experience included an extensive range of activities as a reviewer and investigator, in both the operational and senior management context, and after leaving the Public Service she joined QMS as a Senior Consultant.

Gail has particular expertise in dealing with issues that are sensitive or have security implications. She is a ‘people person’ who is empathetic and gains the confidence of people, including in multicultural situations.

Jane Diedricks - Senior Consultant
Jane Diedricks provides clients of QMS and Julia Burns Consulting a highly valuable combination of strong technical legal skills, operational management experience and human resources and workplace relations expertise in both the private and public sectors. Jane’s public sector experience includes working with a specialist Government Agency as the Director of Legal and Commercial. In this role Jane managed a team of commercial and administrative lawyers and procurement professionals in a multi-jurisdictional environment to successfully support the delivery of national law enforcement initiatives and projects. Jane’s private sector experience is significant in the areas of human resource management and workplace relations, particularly in the legal, engineering and health sectors.   For example, she has managed a breadth of workplace issues in the merger and/or acquisition of private and public sector organisations, and the implementation of new policies and processes/workplace change management.   Jane also has strong experience in enterprise bargaining negotiation and representation and mediation in employment matters.  For over 10 years, Jane has also taught employment law at several Universities, and dedicated human resource management subjects at various tertiary institutions.  Jane enjoys sharing her knowledge and practical experience, together with ensuring that her expertise in these areas is attuned to recent legal and policy developments.   As a senior consultant, Jane has hands-on experience in conducting highly complex workplace investigations including Public Interest Disclosures.   Jane enjoys working with organisations to identify areas for business improvement leading to positive outcomes for clients and staff alike.
Jenni Gordon – Senior Consultant

Jenni brings to QMS Consulting 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 QMS 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 – Senior Consultant
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.
Margret Holmes – Senior Consultant
Margret brings to reviews and investigations wide experience over more than 30 years in a number of agencies with the Commonwealth and Victorian public sector in policy, management and review roles.  She has an Arts degree from ANU, qualifications in librarianship and refugee law and undertook the Company Directors Course with AICD in 2007. She has held SES level positions in Victorian Departments as well as with Melbourne’s Metropolitan Fire Brigade where, from 2006 to 2009, she led the organisation’s Corporate Governance Directorate and was the Corporate Secretary and a member of the Executive Management Group.   Her experience there included handling a range of sensitive issues, involving HR matters, complaints and other reviews of administrative actions for the CEO and the Board. Margret’s most recent full-time appointment was as a Member of the Refugee Review Tribunal and the Migration Review Tribunal  where she reviewed decisions made by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to refuse to grant visas to applicants or to cancel visas.  The role involved careful analysis, knowledge of the relevant legal frameworks including in relation to procedural requirements,  conducting hearings, weighing evidence, making decisions and writing cogent reasons for the decision. Margret is a skilled communicator and  clear-thinking.  She brings insight and cultural awareness to inquiries.  Based in Melbourne but able to be deployed elsewhere if required, Margret offers QMS clients support with the independent review of complaints or with investigations of allegations of misconduct by agency staff.
Carolyn Jenkins – Senior Consultant
Carolyn is a highly experienced HR professional and manager. She has worked in a diverse range of roles in several APS agencies over the past 25 years, encompassing policy development and advice, reviews and investigations and organisational change management. Carolyn has extensive experience in administrative review, and previously worked in the Merit Protection and Review Agency, conducting complex and sensitive workplace investigations and reviews and mediating grievances and complaints. Her other roles in the APS included business partnership development, improving service delivery and customer service levels and driving reforms in equal employment opportunity, and equity and diversity. Later in her career, Carolyn worked in the Department of Defence, performing a range of functions including the development of new business models and options for re-engineering or outsourcing health services and whole of organisation governance frameworks. Subsequently, as HR Director, Carolyn developed and provided policy advice on a wide range of complex human resource management issues for the largest group within Defence, the Defence Material Organisation. Her sphere of responsibilities included remuneration, organisational change management, the Defence collective agreement, HR delegations, industrial relations, individual flexibility arrangements and classification matters. She has particular expertise in dealing with complex, industrially sensitive matters and has a strong track record in dispute minimisation and building collaborative working relationships.   Carolyn holds a Graduate Diploma in Public Law from ANU and a Master of Letters from the University of New England.
Su Kearns – Senior Consultant
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.
Moira Magrath – Senior Consultant
Moira has a background of over 30 years in the NSW public sector, operating at a senior management level leading multi-disciplinary teams. She has extensive experience in managing people and a particular interest in performance management and investigation of disciplinary matters. Adept in information gathering and analysis to establish an evidence base, Moira develops comprehensive strategic plans, applying a project-based approach incorporating change management components. Underpinning her practical expertise are Moira’s academic achievements, including her Bachelor of Arts (Psychology and History), Graduate Certificate in Applied Management and the Executive Masters in Public Administration, which she completed at the Australian and New Zealand School of Government through the University of Sydney.
Jan Marshall – Senior Consultant
Jan Marshall brings to QMS and our clients an impressive set of skills and experience across a very broad range of corporate services functions. She has worked in most of these areas at SES and operational management levels, most recently in the Attorney-General’s Department as the HR Branch Head and as the Corporate Services Division Head for two significant periods. Her public sector experience includes working in federal and state settings, in a central agency, as a state regional manager and in the private sector where she was the Business Planning Manager for a large computing firm. Jan’s areas of professional competence include: the application of public sector ethics, reviews of employment action, the APS Values and the Code of Conduct in practice, capability building, employment conditions and policy (including CA negotiation), organizational/workforce planning, staff selection and recruitment (including SES recruitment). Jan’s work experience and her extensive range of activities in both the operational and senior management context, including as a reviewer and investigator, brings added Public Service expertise to the QMS team as a Senior Consultant. She is available to clients for the full range of QMS services.
Sallyanne Vickers - Senior Consultant
Sallyanne offers QMS clients a highly effective combination of Public Sector experience as a principal legal adviser and as an operational manager in both the APS policy and service delivery environments. She not only has experience in conducting workplace investigations, she has provided specialist professional advice as a legal adviser for Code of Conduct, performance management and procurement related matters. Sallyanne is available to QMS clients for any staff related complaint or investigation that lends itself to independent review including all forms of workplace harassment, reviews of actions, staff performance and procurement process reviews. She can also offer a broad range of support to QMS clients drawing on her extensive APS background, her legal qualifications and relevant experience.
Alan Barr – Senior Consultant
Operating from Nelson Bay NSW and concentrating on non-Canberra cases Alan joined QMS as a consultant following a successful officer level career in the RAAF, including as Director of Personnel – Airmen. He was also a Consultant Defence Inquiry Officer and had extensive involvement in the investigation and resolution of grievances and disciplinary issues. Alan has since gained wide experience across APS Departments and Agencies, over his now many years as a Senior Consultant with QMS, including having dealt with many cases of serious misconduct, workplace harassment, review of actions and other interpersonal conflict.
Chris Harding – Senior Consultant
Chris joined QMS following a long and distinguished career in the APS. In his last 12 years in the APS he worked as a Senior Executive Service Officer in the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, initially engaged in reform of hospital arrangements with the States, and managing asset sales and tender processes. For three years he was the Division Head responsible for Business Integrity matters for the Department, including all aspects of corporate governance. A qualified accountant and fellow of the CPA, he has also had experience working as a senior level auditor in the Auditor-General’s Office. Chris specialises in undertaking governance, business process and personnel reviews and investigations. He has demonstrated exceptional skills in cases involving an investigation and/or audit of business or personnel records. As a Senior Consultant with QMS, Chris has widened his experience across local Government and the APS including having dealt with cases of serious misconduct and other interpersonal conflict.
Robert Knapp - Senior Consultant
Robert is a very experienced consultant in both the Australian Public Service and the ACT Public Service. His expertise and experience includes reviews, evaluations and HR services including formal investigations of suspected breaches of the Code of Conduct; reviews of performance management processes; and reviews of actions/decisions. Robert had a long and successful career as a senior public servant, before taking on consultancy work, most recently working for seven years as a Division Head [SES Band 2] at the then FAHCSIA. Robert also worked at the SES level in the then Department of Finance and he spent several years as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer (SES Band 2) at Comcare Australia. To his extensive list of relevant experience, Robert adds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours), University of New South Wales (Major in Econometrics) and a Diploma, Company Directors’ Course, from the University of New England. Robert is highly regarded for his open communication style, people management skills and for his ability to work effectively with staff at all levels. He has a great depth of experience working in corporate areas of large departments and in statutory authorities. He understands the challenges and associated risks of running a public sector organisation, including dealing with human resource issues, change management and managing organisational relationships with Ministers and their officers and with stakeholders and members of the public.
Paul Wong – Senior Consultant
Paul is a highly experienced and accomplished work health and safety (WHS) professional with a strong track record of achievements in WHS both in the public and private sector companies in Australia and overseas. He has had a career long interest in workplace health and safety, beginning with a Master of Science in Occupational Health and Safety (Safety Technology) University of Aston, England. Paul has developed Work Health and Safety management strategies and systems and provided safety training for organisations, their employees and contractors. A recent assignment was employment as “Expert Scholar” in Occupational Health and Safety at the Police University in Beijing. Paul is an energetic professional with a passion for the wellbeing of staff, meeting targets and building positive working relationships across all levels of management. He is an experienced, trained investigator particularly in matters to do with OHS.