Making your team great

Semann & Slattery believes that assessment tools provide powerful information to help people understand their personalities and behaviours in professional contexts.

We offer a range of assessment tools that:
▪  provide you with valuable insights about yourself or your team
▪  help you understand how and why you (and your team) act as you do in a professional setting.

The tools we use are:
▪  Hogan Assessments — to provide insights into your values, strengths and performance under pressure. They can help you understand how others might see you and help you improve your work performance. Hogan Assessments can be used for individuals or teams.
▪  Emotional Intelligence Skills Assessment — assessing emotional and social intelligence helps us understand ourselves (and others). This helps us communicate, relate and work better together.
▪  Strengths Profile — determines your strengths and how you use them. Knowing about our strengths puts us in charge of their use – when and how they can help us the most professionally.
▪  DISC Advanced Profile — helps us understand who we are naturally and how we change our behaviour in the workplace. Really useful to help a team understand each other and how each member behaves and communicates.
▪  MTQ48 — measures your mental toughness. Understanding when we do and don’t exercise mental toughness, helps us to be tougher, always. That way we can respond better to tough stuff like stress, task completion and big challenges.

How assessments work:
▪  if we think an assessment tool will help you achieve your goal, we will suggest it.
▪  each tool is designed for a specific purpose and most can be used just for you or for your whole team.
▪  the tools are completed by self-guided assessment and our qualified practitioners will interpret the results for you.
▪  we can attach the results of these assessment tools to coaching / mentoring.



Keysborough Primary School engaged Semann & Slattery to facilitate a school reform project.  The school’s senior management team received regular executive leadership coaching in conjunction with whole team briefings and a workplace culture analysis. Semann & Slattery used Hogan Assessments as a tool to assess and assist in the recruitment and induction of new school staff.

Semann & Slattery was engaged to develop two 12-month professional learning programs for Explore & Develop centre owners, nominated supervisors, and room leaders. The program aimed to support business owners to run and manage highly effective teams and to develop nominated supervisors and room leaders’ people and pedagogical leadership skills. In each of these programs, participants met for a full day once a month over 12 months. Individual coaching sessions for both sets of participants were scheduled between the monthly training sessions. Coaching was geared towards their development as leaders, with each person setting a more specific and personally relevant goal according to their role, setting, and local context.

Explore & Develop commissioned Semann & Slattery to develop professional learning packages for their franchisees and their Educational Leaders. The packages consist of leadership assessments (using Hogan Assessment tools), tailored professional development courses and individual coaching sessions.

In 2015 and 2016, Semann & Slattery developed one day annual conferences for Liverpool City Council’s early childhood services. By designing a conference specifically for Council’s educators, we could target current learning needs.

In 2016 G8 Education engaged Semann & Slattery to design an eight month professional development program for over 400 of G8’s Educational Leaders across Australia. The aim was to advance the Educational Leaders’ ability to lead educational excellence. The program offered a range of learning and teaching strategies, including a series of six workshops, featuring an action research project, and two conferences held at a midway point and after the final workshop. In addition, an educational leader magazine was published three times throughout the program and a dedicated webpage was developed as a clearinghouse for information and ongoing support.

Waverley Council’s commissioned Semann & Slattery to provide leadership coaching and training for the leaders of their early education centres over six months. Hogan Assessments were completed by each leader as part of the process.

Semann & Slattery was engaged to develop two 12-month professional learning programs for Explore & Develop for owners, nominated supervisors and room leaders. At the start of the program all participants completed Hogan assessments. They each participated in a one-one-one debrief with a member of the Semann & Slattery team to discuss their response to their reports, how the knowledge they gained might impact on their leadership and how they could use it to improve their work performance.

Junaya Family Development Services contracted Semann & Slattery to undertake DISC Advanced Assessments and use the DISC Team Tool to increase their staff team’s understanding of each other and their unique communication styles. Junaya Family Development Services runs early intervention services and a specialised family support service for families of children with learning difficulties or challenging behaviour.

The Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership organises transformative professional development for Victorian education professionals. Semann & Slattery was engaged to develop and deliver a series of professional development courses to foster the leadership skills of primary and secondary teachers.

Campbelltown City Council engaged Semann & Slattery to run professional learning programs about leadership, management and team building for a group of Council Departments (Arts & Leisure and Child & Family Services). For some of the programs, individual and group coaching, as well as action research methodology, was integrated into the learning.

G8 Education commissioned Semann & Slattery to develop 14 professional learning packages for their educators. Additionally, we conducted train the trainer sessions for the G8 trainers who were to deliver the packages Australia wide.

The City of Wyndham engaged Semann & Slattery to work with four Wyndham Council kindergartens to support participating teachers and educators to include children with complex needs and disabilities. This project was undertaken over five months, assisting participating teachers and educators to further develop their skills, knowledge, and confidence to better meet the needs of these children through targeted professional development. In the first phase of the program members of our team worked alongside teachers and educators in the kindergarten programs over several weeks, to offer guidance and real-time feedback. This was followed by mentoring sessions and whole teaching team action planning.

YWCA’s Every Girl is an eight-week program for girls aged 10-13 years of age living in targeted communities across Australia. Every Girl assists girls to realise their leadership potential by tapping into their strengths and leadership qualities and recognising how they can make a difference in their communities. YWCA contracted Semann & Slattery to evaluate the Every Girl program to see if and how it was achieving its aims and if the tools designed to evaluate the program were effective. This project involved two separate evaluations. After the first evaluation, a number of changes were made to the program. Twelve months later we evaluated the program again. A final report was prepared for YWCA to enhance future revisions of the program based on key findings and recommendations.

Moorabool Shire is a small shire in Victoria, half way between Melbourne and Ballarat. Outside of sporting clubs, there is no purpose-built youth space in the community for young people between 12 to 25 years that is safe and inviting. There is also no space with activities and programs designed specifically for young people. Semann & Slattery worked with Moorabool Shire Council to investigate whether or not there was a need for a youth space in the local community, where it might be located, and what sorts of things it would need to provide for young users. The project involved community engagement (talking with young people) and researching other Council’s experiences with youth spaces and best practice in youth space delivery.

Semann & Slattery provided a series of one-on-one coaching sessions via phone for an education and care service director in a regional community. The director sought coaching to enable her to refine and develop her skills and confidence in communicating with her team. The sessions were spaced to enable the Director to implement strategies to address issues such as communicating messages more clearly to the team and responding to staff conflict and performance issues.

Semann & Slattery developed a four-part professional learning program to teach leaders in the education and care sector the skills required to coach staff members. Coaching tasks were set for participants to practice between sessions and reflect on the outcomes with the group.

Semann & Slattery collaborated with Macquarie University’s Institute of Early Childhood to bring together aspiring education and care leaders from across NSW in Sydney for regular sessions over a year and support them to undertake action research during the program. This program was delivered for 6 consecutive years with new cohorts annually.

Semann & Slattery was engaged to develop a strategic plan that outlines the long-term direction of the City of Greater Dandenong Communities for Children Committee to improve outcomes for children and families living in Greater Dandenong (especially those who were vulnerable, at risk, or living in disadvantaged communities). Semann & Slattery conducted a consultation process that included focus groups and an on-line survey with child and family service providers. The strategic plan builds on the successes of the previous strategic plan, identifying strengths of existing funded projects and challenges that still need to be met.

Semann & Slattery undertook state-wide consultation with teachers and educators working in early childhood programs, outside school hours care centres, and in schools to see how these settings were approaching the transition to school. The Department of Education and Training wanted to know if their transition to school resources were being used and whether they were working well or needed to be improved. The consultations included small discussion groups, teleconferences, and online surveys. We also spoke to families and children who had recently started school to learn from their experience. The final research report offered a number of recommendations and considerations for the Department to improve on the transition to school process.

Canterbury City Council engaged Semann & Slattery to coach the Director of Punchbowl Children’s Centre, Karen Whitehorn, as part of her professional development. The director has met with her coach over a seven month period to explore increasing her leadership skills and confidence. Actions are agreed upon and then worked on between sessions. The outcomes are then analysed in the next session: what worked, what didn’t and is progress happening towards Karen’s overall coaching goal? "After 35 years in the early childhood field coaching has given me the opportunity to gain another professional’s perspective, discuss relevant ideas, thoughts and possible solutions in an uninterrupted space, at a convenient time for my coach and for myself. The follow up sessions allow me to give and accept feedback and open my mind to other possible outcomes, approaches and practices. I feel equipped with skills to be a stronger and more focused director." Karen Whitehorn, Director, Punchbowl Children’s Centre

Semann & Slattery used the Strengths Profile (previously known as Realise2) with team leaders from the City of Stonnington’s education and care centres prior to beginning a 12 month group coaching project. Team leaders were provided with an individual debrief prior to the first session, to discuss their response to their profile and how they could make better use of their strengths on a more regular basis in the workplace.

Semann & Slattery was engaged (in collaboration with Macquarie University) to undertake a project organising reciprocal visits between early childhood educators and prep teachers in Victoria in four locations across Victoria. The project aimed to increase participant’s understanding of curriculum design, planning and implementation in the different settings and to support stronger relationships around children’s transition to school between educators and children and their families. The project was undertaken on two separate occasions, in 2014-2015 and again in 2015-2016. The second project, while having the same broad goals, also aimed to assist participating teachers and educators to support Aboriginal children and their families to have a positive start to school. In addition to the reciprocal visits, extensive professional development courses were conducted with all participants. This project was also conducted in partnership with the Boon Wurrung Foundation.

Semann & Slattery and Macquarie University were engaged by the City of Melbourne to undertake research to be used as the basis of Council’s Municipal Early Years Plan. We carried out consultation with the community via surveys and focus groups to discover what the community wanted from Council in relation to service provision for young children. We also conducted research on policies relating to children and families within Victoria, Australia and internationally. A number of key themes emerged from the consultations and policy review which Council was able to incorporate into their Early Years Plan.

All Victorian Councils are required to develop a Municipal Early Years Plan. The plans describe Councils’ vision for children and families in the community, as well as what they will do (in partnership with local child and family service providers) to meet the needs of children and families. Semann & Slattery developed the Municipal Early Years Plan for Moorabool Shire. This project involved talking to children and families (via surveys, discussion groups, and interviews) about what they liked about where they lived and what would make it even better. We also spoke to people providing existing services. The plan also examined Council, national and state policies and demographic information about Moorabool Shire. Semann & Slattery compiled the final six-year plan as an action plan for Council and other child and family providers. A children’s version of the plan was also created.

Semann & Slattery was contracted by the City of Sydney to undertake a comprehensive review of policy and procedure documents for their education and care services. The aim of the review was to determine what policies were still required, whether the policies were meeting their aim, which policies required clarification and which needed to be updated to meet new legislation and standards. Semann & Slattery assisted the City of Sydney in developing policies common across the organisation, providing a consistency of purpose and philosophy, supplemented via specific service stream procedures as required. The review was carried out through a consultative process, bringing together perspectives and contributions of staff from multiple business units.

Semann & Slattery was engaged to provide one-on-one mentoring for over 20 NSW Inclusion Support Facilitators (ISFs) working in the Inclusion and Professional Support Program between 2010 - 2014. The ISFs received individualised support via a series of five one-hour mentoring sessions to assist them to develop the skills needed to do their jobs - supporting educators from education and care services in the inclusion of children with additional needs in their settings. Mentors focused on key skills needed by the Inclusion Support Facilitators such as how to ask effective questions, set goals, develop action plans and support positive change.

This project aimed to build the capacity of Council’s Children and Family Services team leaders to undertake their role via coaching delivered to the entire group. Team leaders participated in monthly group coaching sessions for 12 months. The Council’s team leaders completed a Realise2 strengths assessment and received an individual debriefing ahead of the group coaching sessions  because there is compelling research evidence of the benefits of using strengths in the workplace is to enhance performance at work and promote greater well-being.

Semann & Slattery was engaged to develop a youth plan for the City of Wyndham to assist the Council and their community partners to deliver programs that meet the current and emerging needs of the community. We developed an innovative arts based approach to consult with young people in the Wyndham community, recognising the importance of using research tools that are appropriate and acceptable to the respondents, and that offer different ways for them to participate and express their ideas. We engaged a local artist to work with young people to create individual art works that represented their views about important issues impacting on their lives. The artworks produced in these forums were included as data in determining key themes and priorities for the plan. They were subsequently displayed in a community art exhibition where individual artworks were auctioned and all funds raised donated to charity, at the request of the young artists.

Semann & Slattery, in conjunction with Macquarie University, was funded to research the role of educational leadership across educational settings. The research was designed to understand evolving conceptions of educational leadership and investigate the nature of leadership initiatives. The research included surveys, intensive professional development for educational leaders, focus groups and the use of practitioner inquiry as a facilitative tool to develop the role of the educational leader in both the ACT and NSW. The findings from this research project were presented at international conferences as well as in a number of publications in peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed journals and periodicals.

Semann & Slattery, with our research partners, was awarded the competitive tender to assist the Northern Territory Government in the planning of an integrated child and family service in Palmerston. The city of Palmerston is the Northern Territory’s’ second largest town and the federal government and Northern Territory Government wished to develop an integrated education and health hub in the town. Our role was to make it happen. As part of this research our research partners worked extensively with the local community to identify current and emerging needs. This required working closely with existing service providers and community leaders to assist in the development of the governance and service delivery model for the new service.

The Victorian Government sought the expertise of Semann & Slattery to provide change management training to their directly delivered and funded programs in nine regions across Victoria. The program was obviously successful because two years later the Victorian Government re-engaged us to offer an additional suite of full day courses to further support change management initiatives.

The Aboriginal Child Youth and Family Strategy (ACYFS) is a prevention and early intervention strategy that aims to provide Aboriginal children and young people with the best start in life.  Semann & Slattery was contracted by FACS to evaluate the success of parenting books produced as part of the strategy. FACS wanted to know if the books benefited families and children, whether stakeholders benefited from creating the books, whether the books promoted the use of traditional languages in the family home and in other services/programs, and whether the books helped to make services more culturally competent.

The City of Port Phillip has seen substantial growth in birth rates in their local government area over a number of years and this growth is expected to continue into the future. There was anecdotal evidence that one-child families tended to move out of the area when they had more children, generally to somewhere with larger homes and properties. In more recent times, however, anecdotal evidence points towards families staying in Port Phillip. This project aimed to explore the demographics of the area and their implications in order to plan for future needs for family, youth and children’s services, infrastructure and urban environment in the LGA.

Semann & Slattery worked with 30 leaders and aspiring leaders in education and care services in Western Australia and the Northern Territory being supported by Child Australia via the Inclusion and Professional Support Program. Participants attended three professional development workshops and engaged in three individual coaching sessions via phone in between the sessions. The program aimed to equip leaders to increase positivity (and reduce stress!) in the workplace by increasing their own levels of hope and optimism as a means to sustain leadership of the services.