Nick Northcott

Managing Partner

Founding Chrysalis in 2016, Nick is an experienced management consultant and executive with almost 20 years’ experience working with large enterprises, government, private high growth ventures, not for profits and SMEs. Read more

With a diverse commercial, consulting and entrepreneurial background, Nick has a speciality in helping leaders and executives to think strategically, create value and navigate the difficult decisions and choices that inevitably arise during periods of growth and change.

His expertise includes strategic growth and transformation, operational excellence, organisational development & strategic HR, workplace investigations, facilitation & mediation, IP commercialisation, corporate finance and M&A.

Nick has extensive experience in helping boards and executive teams to manage complex and high risk matters and to originate and complete value adding deals, including having raised over $100 million in corporate, venture, grant and philanthropic funding.

Nick has significant experience in the following industries / sectors:
- health, life-sciences and medical devices
- higher education
- research & development
- professional services
- technology & high growth ventures
- not for profits / social enterprises

Prof Nik Zeps

BSc (Hons), PhD (Surgery & Pathology)

Nik brings over 20 years of experience working in senior leadership in healthcare research. Read more

A cancer biologist by background Nik has most recently led national initiatives to develop and implement research infrastructure, policy and practice. He has been an expert advisor to the TGA, served on the Research Committee and Australian Health Ethics Committee of the NHMRC and serves on national and international advisory boards across a diverse range of clinical trials and biomedical research activities. His expertise includes a deep practical knowledge of conducting research in health services and a demonstrated capability of implementing functional change in organisations that improve productivity through positive and sustainable cultural change.

Nik retains an academic role through the Eastern Health Clinical School of Monash University where he is an adjunct Professor and is Clinical Research Lead of Monash Partners through engagement with Chrysalis. He is a current Chief Investigator on grants of over $5 million and still co-supervises post graduate students and publishes academic papers.

Allison Northcott

Partner & Chief Operating Officer

As an experienced coach, workplace investigator and mediator, Allison is passionate about working with her clients to get to the bottom of the most challenging workplace matter. Read more

Allison's current clients include corporates and NFPs across all sectors, government departments and law firms. Prior to specialising in workplace investigations and mediation, Allison held senior HR/ER roles in blue chip companies in both Australia and offshore, including Westpac, Credit Suisse and Rio Tinto. Allison holds a Masters of Labour Law and Relations from Sydney University, is an accredited mediator having trained with the Resolution Institute and is qualified in the use of the Human Synergistic suite of tools for personal and professional development.

Allison is experienced engaging at all levels, including with Boards and has gained directorship skills and experience is a qualified company Director through completing the AICD Company Directors Course. In addition, Allison is Company Secretary for Eudaemon Technologies, an innovative Med-Tech start-up.

Chris Nurse

Partner, High Growth Ventures & Chief Technology Officer

Technology drives transformation, Chris has a career that spans 40 years, delivering digital solutions that empower government, enterprise, and start-up clients, and has worked in consulting, health, law, research, disability services and engineering and mining. Read more

The first twenty years of Chris' career were spent in the UK and Europe, working for banks, the Post Office, Ministry of Defence and NASA. After relocating to Australia in 2002, he played pivotal roles in building four of Perth’s best known technology consultancies, delivering projects for the state government in Health and Justice, and later went on to build the Working With Children Check system. Chris also worked in Singapore, in global mining, enabling the integration of dozens of trusted systems that underpin data quality, accurate reporting and data-driven decisions. In 2014, Chris was appointed the role of Chief Information Officer for the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth, and tasked with delivering a large-scale technology transformation to build a research institute of the future, and to also enable the institute to co-locate with the Perth Children's Hospital. After the successful conclusion of the project, Chris was voted one of Australia's top 50 technology leaders. Chris has excellent people skills, which are leveraged to build, lead and transform technology functions to become high-performing teams.

Victoria Potarina

Partner, High Growth Ventures & Chief Growth Officer
MAPL (Hons), GAICD, MBA (candidate)

Global in mindset, Vika is a well-rounded healthcare leader with over 20 years of experience across various businesses: from blue-chip multinationals to listed start-ups. Read more

Vika brings in a wealth of commercial expertise in MedTech, FMCG and OTC acquired from diverse markets, i.e. Australia, the UK, Ireland, Russia, Japan, and Eastern Europe.

Her core expertise includes:
- development of innovative strategies and pragmatic execution plans;
- business growth acceleration;
- business turn-around and transformation;
- corporate governance;
- organisational culture diagnostics and transformation.

Vika is passionate about innovation and is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion. In her free time, Vika enjoys expanding her knowledge in macroeconomics and travelling with her family.


Natalie Barber

Director, Clinical Operations
BSc (Hons)

Natalie has over 20 years’ experience in the clinical research sector which spans the Pharmaceutical Industry, NHS in the UK, academic and not-for-profit sectors. She is an experienced teacher of Good Clinical Practice and has vast experience in running clinical trials, human research within multiple disciplines of research and has a breadth of knowledge of the regulatory landscape and implementation of compliance activities. Read more

With a passion for transformational change and through experience as a strategic leader brings the experience to articulate and develop research needs analysis and plans that drive effectiveness, identifying change and taking these through to implementation.

Assoc Prof Peter Keller

Senior Manager, Research Integrity
BAppSc (Optom), MBA, MHEth, PhD, PGCertOcTher, FAAO, MAICD

Peter is a clinical research professional with 35 years experience as a clinician, clinician-researcher, educator, clinical research organisation executive and government regulator with expertise across private and public sectors, in academic, professional service organisation, government and industry settings. Read more

Peter most recently developed and secured Ministerial approval, and implemented the Good Clinical Practice inspection program for the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and has a deep understanding and practical knowledge of clinical research, good clinical practice, the legislative framework for clinical trials, and research integrity. Peter has previously served on one of the original HoMER sub-committees, various professional organisation boards and committees, and a number of clinical trial network, Steering, and DMS committees. Peter has a long standing interest in research ethics and is an Honorary Principal Fellow at the University of Melbourne where he continues his research in evidence based practice and research translation, as a founding member of a Cochrane Center for Evidence-Based Vision Care.

Tara McLaren

Senior Manager, Business Development
BPsych, PGCE

Tara has over 15 years’ experience in the higher education and research sectors supporting the identification, planning and delivery of high-quality research programs with a focus on translation to commercial and non-commercial outcomes. Read more

She has expertise in developing competitive funding proposals and working with researchers, clinicians, policy makers, government and the community to address priority-driven research opportunities.

Tara has a passion for problem-solving and is especially interested in the intersection between strategy, innovation and operations. She has been involved in successfully spinning out IP from universities and Medical Research Institutes, and has developed training programs in research project management, research integrity and research impact for the Australian sector.

Helen Christensen

Senior Consultant, Research Governance
PhD, BSc (Hons)

Helen has over 10 years' experience supporting clinical research in healthcare, academic and commercial settings. Most recently she was the Clinical Trials Governance Officer at the University of Melbourne and prior to that was the Research Development and Quality Officer at Epworth HealthCare Read more

Helen has first hand experience coordinating large randomised multicentre clinical trials in the UK and is also currently active in the trial management space in Australia. Helen is passionate about supporting high quality research and has practical experience in coordinating clinical trials, advising on research governance matters and developing and implementing research governance and quality frameworks to best support these activities.

Stefanie Elbracht-Leong

Senior Consultant, Research Data Governance
MPhys, PhD

Stefanie comes with a diverse background supporting research in academic settings and healthcare for over a decade. She worked as data coordinator and governance officer for the Australian Genomics and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, where she set up the governance policies and data sharing processes for clinical and genomics data. Read more

Working in two of the largest data generating research sectors, she has gained an in-depth knowledge of data management and governance. More recently, Stefanie was a data manager for Cabrini Research, where she further developed her practical experience in building clinical research databases and the data governance framework supporting them.

Stefanie holds a PhD in experimental particle Physics from the University of Melbourne. At the core of Stefanie’s work ethic and beliefs is a drive to continuously learn and use this ever growing knowledge to contribute back to the community, advance clinical research and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

Lily Chee

Client Services & Operations Lead

Lily comes with diverse experience and has undertaken both support and leadership roles in administration, internal and external client services, operations management, communications and marketing in Australia as well as offshore in a range of industries such as fashion retail, mining, education and consultancy. Read more

She is passionate about meeting the needs of her clients, supporting managers and executives to achieve their goals and vision and contributing to the operational efficiency and sustainability of the companies she works with. Lily holds a Masters of Business Administration with specialisation in Marketing from the University of Southern Queensland. She has worked with both large corporations and small businesses in support and leadership capacities and has contributed to business growth, client satisfaction, operational quality and efficiency, integrated communications and cost control among other initiatives.

Amber Johns

Expert Advisor

Amber Johns is a multi-disciplinary researcher working at the connection of science and technology, bringing together the traditionally segmented fields of clinical practice, basic science and policy. Read more

The focus of Amber's career in the health industry has been to establish and lead complex, large-scale international research programs. Amber has played a lead role in project development and management for several landmark cancer research projects, including the Australian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Initiative and the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC). Through these projects Amber has been delving into the complex areas of international data sharing, regulatory barriers and interoperability of technology and data systems for many years. Amber's work to date has played a global role in the ethical, societal and legal aspects of genomic research through her involvement in the ICGC and the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH). Amber is passionate about facilitating the sharing of information and creation of cross-disciplinary communities and networks. Amber has co-authored over 56 articles in major journals and contributed to seminal works on cancer, genomics and policy. Amber holds an academic appointment with the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and continues to serve on the Executive committee of the Australian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Initiative (APGI)

Gordon McGurk

Expert Advisor

Gordon specialises in areas of clinical trials strategy development; human and animal ethics; research governance; corporate governance and research integrity. Read more

He is also the chairperson of the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC), the University of Queensland HREC, and a member of the Townsville Hospital and Health Service HREC. Much of Gordon's expertise was gained while working at the National Health and Medical Research Council on projects related to improving clinical trials in Australia. Gordon holds a PhD in Genetics from the University of Edinburgh, and he is a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Tony Willis

Expert Advisor
PhD, BSc (Hons)

Tony has extensive experience of working at the intersection of science, strategic policy, higher education and research, with particular interest and expertise in research funding, strategy and evaluation. Read more

He was a Senior Executive in the Australian Public Service for many years, working in diverse agencies including Health (Office of the Gene Technology Regulator), Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Tony held senior leadership roles at the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and was the Executive General Manager at the Australian Research Council (ARC). He has sought-after people skills, a deep understanding of the Commonwealth’s higher education policy and research-funding and research-evaluation landscapes, and a strong network of professional relationships in Government and in higher education. Tony holds a PhD in Plant Sciences (Botany) from the Australian National University. He held post-doctoral research fellowships at Imperial College and at CSIRO Plant Industry.

Shane Stone

Expert Advisor
PhD, BSc (Hons)

Shane brings over 10 years’ experience in the commercial biotechnology and drug discovery space, and is a strong advocate for linking scientific and business strategies towards realistic translation and commercialisation of academic research. Read more

His experience ranges across the drug discovery and development landscape from target validation, screening, and molecule optimisation to in vivo validation, with the focus on developing programs to strong IP positions and potential commercialisation. Shane also advises on scientific strategies and program direction for start-ups in the bioscience space.


"Can’t thank you enough for the superb facilitation Nick. It exceeded my already high expectations. It was world class. The clear strategic plan we achieved and the communication techniques you showed us are already making a huge impact here. I feel privileged to get this opportunity to work with you and observe the mastery in process."

Dr. Michael Winlo, CEO, Linear Clinical Research

“Nick has worked on several occasions with our Leadership Team of 14 individuals from very diverse working and cultural backgrounds. Through Nick’s skilled coaching and excellence in this field, he has taken our organisation on a positive journey to strengthen our purpose and vision, putting strategic plans together to enable us to strive towards our mission. He has brought about a positive cultural change within the organisation and enabled us to form a cohesive team that continues to build trust in each other. The skills learnt through Nick’s positive, empowering coaching skills have given the Leadership team insight and clear direction of our culture values. The bespoke training manual that he created for the staff continues to be used as a tool for achieving positive outcomes. Due to his skilled coaching, Linear has a united, trusting leadership team, working together with unified purpose.”

Gail Clement, Clinical Unit Manager, Linear Clinical Research

“Chrysalis Advisory provides an extremely professional and comprehensive suite of business services. Nick Northcott is a rarity. He always delivers, goes the extra mile for his clients, and is generous with his time, energy and contacts. In a matter of months, Nick has become my most trusted advisor. He is genuinely interested in assisting others to achieve their goals. I recommend Nick and his team without hesitation.”

Laura Keily, Barrister and Entrepreneur, BSc, LLB (Hons), MCommrclLaw, GAICD

"Nick Northcott expertly facilitated a one-day meeting and workshop bringing together a diverse range of stakeholders across the clinical trials sector. The meeting was the first of its kind and Nick ensured the meeting delivered above and beyond on all objectives, including scoping six high quality projects and setting the tone and high expectations for future events. Nick also provided professional advice and assistance in meeting preparation as well as consolidating the meeting output and crucially identifying a pathway to action via an instructive report. We really look forward to working with Nick again!"

Leanne Weekes, Programme Director, Clinical Trials Impact & Quality

“I engaged Nick’s services in 2017, to assist me in transitioning from a technical expert role into one of being a manager and executive team member of a large organization. It was a great decision. Nick is an attentive listener, he is honest and thoughtful. I trust him wholeheartedly. His broad knowledge, experience in organizations and authenticity have helped me develop the skills needed for my role, many of which were new to me – strategic recruitment, change and project management and having difficult conversations, to name a few. He has always made himself available to me during the challenging moments I have faced. I recommend his services as a coach for any new executive manager without reservation.”

C-level Executive of an ASX 100 company

"Nick has presented as the ‘complete package’. This is a rare blend of technical expertise, emotional and social quotient, higher educational insights, challenging behaviour and the display of a genuine interest in what we want to achieve."

Jenny Taylor, Director of People & Capability, Curtin University

“I have recently worked with both Allison and Nick at Chrysalis Advisory. I consider myself to be a hard taskmaster and I am very impressed. Firstly, I was kept up to date on the status of the matter and with costs at all relevant times. This is very important to me when I brief out a matter. Communication and feedback is essential. Secondly, Allison and Nick are extremely professional and efficient. We conducted a lot of meetings over video on the computer, which was productive and less costly. Thirdly, the matter they dealt with was complex, with a significant degree of technical language and operational networks and also intricate cultural issues. I was impressed with the way they were able to easily master the core issues within a short period of time. Fourthly, the report that was produced at the conclusion of the matter was of a high standard. It was thorough and easy to understand, with supported reasoning. I would recommend Chrysalis Advisory to anyone seeking a professional and high quality workplace investigation to be conducted. Last but not least, both Allison and Nick are delightful people and working with them is a pleasure.”

In-house Counsel Employee Relations National Tourism/Hospitality company

"Allison handled my case with care and sensitivity, wanting to ensure that me, and the other party, were treated fairly at all times. She was very well-prepared with a robust process that seeks to establish the facts through a series of in-depth interviews and a review of other artefacts."

Senior Global IT Business Director, Complainant in a bullying/harassment matter

"Chrysalis Advisory was very responsive to an urgent request we had to help us investigate a complex staff harassment matter. Allison and her team were professional, thorough and worked through the issues in a reasonable timeframe for all concerned."

Board Member Global Not for Profit organisation

“I have worked with Chrysalis Advisory since early 2019 on a number of different projects drawing on their professional and excellent services in the areas of strategy, organisation design, and facilitation. In that time, I have thoroughly enjoyed building a trusted relationship with them. I know they place the best interest of the organisation I lead at the heart of their advice. I highly value the integrity of their approach, their open, candid and direct style, and their ability to deeply listen and seek to understand. They are experts in what they do, enablers of transformation, with a sharp skill for surfacing core issues, challenging assumptions, synthesising, and focusing on root causes and levers that can be truly transformational for an organisation.

Whilst I have worked more often with Nick, I have found both Nick and Allison an absolute pleasure to work with. They bring a valued mix of sharpness and kindness to all the work we have done together. I look forward to working with them again soon, and I highly recommend them to anyone seeking high quality strategic advice.”

Bettina Baldeschi, Chief Executive Officer, IWDA