Who We Are

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Kismet-Forward-Jen-LilburnKismet Forward is the progeny of Jen Lilburn, whose diverse skills and experience, combined with her inherent enthusiasm, makes a real (and timely) contribution to the successes of clients.

Jen established Kismet Forward in July 2007, having successfully run a consulting business as a sole operator during the preceding 18 months.

Jen regularly collaborates with a wide range of project partners to ensure that Kismet Forward always has the necessary capacity and skills to meet the needs of its clients.

The success of Kismet Forward is due in no small part to Jen’s 20 years’ experience in the public sector, the last 8 at the executive level.

Jen Lilburn is a member of:

International_Association_for_Public_Participation           leadr-logo

Jen-Lilburn-Kismet-ForwardPrior to establishing Kismet Forward, Jen Lilburn worked in the public sector for 20 years, the last 8 at executive level.

Prior roles include:

  • Executive Officer, Western Coastal Board
  • Various roles for Parks Victoria/Melbourne Parks and Waterways/Board of Works including Regional Manager (leading 135 people), Manager Stakeholder Partnerships, Manager Albert Park (over the first two Grands Prix), and Manager Media and Public Relations
  • Business Manager for Melbourne Wine Company/Provenance Wines
  • Secondary teacher, Tertiary tutor of biology, science, geography, environmental education for Deakin University and Department of Education

Across these roles Jen has developed exceptional skills in community engagement (including in ‘outrage’ situations), facilitation, communication, conflict coaching, leadership, strategic development, program logic, project management and evaluation.

Jen works with clients and their stakeholders to truly understand the full breadth of issues and potential solutions around a given opportunity or problem. Her fantastic communication skills enable her to quickly build relationships that are founded on trust and openness. This ensures that all points of view are aired and taken seriously in the development of the solution.

Jen takes a flexible, adaptive approach to her work. This is particularly important given the complexities of human interactions and relationships. This approach also recognises that issues and priorities can also change over the course of a project, and there is a need to build on what is learned along the way. Her strategic thinking ability enables her to put the ‘solution’ into a broader framework, indicating desired outcomes, flow-on impacts and/or need for high-level actions/ decisions.

Jen has acted as a champion for the resolution of issues faced by women progressing through the public sector. Her 2002 paper entitled “The Transition from Maternity Leave to the Paid Workforce… A Survival Guide for New Mums and their Managers” has been utilised by staff and HR departments in a range of organisations including Parks Victoria, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Department of Primary Industries, Department of Human Services, several catchment management authorities and a number of local governments. This led to Jen being featured in ‘Sunday Life’ (Sunday Age magazine) in 2004; this article in turn was used as a teaching resource by RMIT during 2007.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Education – Environmental Studies
  • Bachelor of Applied Science – Environmental Assessment and Land Use Policy
  • Advanced Diploma – Group Facilitation
  • Certificate – Conflict Management Coaching
  • Certificate – Public Participation
  • Certificate – Laughter Yoga Leader

The values which underpin our work include:

  • Developing relationships founded on integrity, honesty, openness, respect and trust.
  • Building the capacity within our network of clients to plan for and manage towards ecological sustainability.
  • Responding to our clients’ and stakeholders’ needs in a considered, timely and efficient way.
  • Doing our very best to exceed the expectations of our clients in all aspects of our work.
  • Continually evaluating our performance and striving to do better.
  • Continually learning and growing on a personal level.
  • Ensuring a flexible work environment that enables us to achieve our best at work while making the most of the other components of our lives
  • Understanding what we can offer and being proactive in seeking out opportunities which reflect this in a mutually beneficial way

Importantly, we only take on work where we believe we can deliver what our clients need. If we are not able to meet your timelines or budget, or incorporate the skills you need, we will tell you so.

As active members of the International Association for Public Participation, we adopt the following Code of Ethics:

  1. Purpose. We support public participation as a process to make better decisions that incorporate the interests and concerns of all affected stakeholders and meet the needs of the decision-making body.
  2. Role of Practitioner. We will enhance the public’s participation in the decision-making process and assist decision makers in being responsive to the public’s concerns and suggestions.
  3. Trust. We will undertake and encourage actions that build trust and credibility for the process among all the participants.
  4. Defining the Public’s Role. We will carefully consider and accurately portray the public’s role in the decision-making process.
  5. Openness. We will encourage the disclosure of all information relevant to the public’s understanding and evaluation of a decision.
  6. Access to the Process. We will ensure that stakeholders have fair and equal access to the public participation process and the opportunity to influence decisions.
  7. Respect for Communities. We will avoid strategies that risk polarising community interest or that appear to “divide and conquer”.
  8. Advocacy. We will advocate for the public participation process and will not advocate for a particular interest, party or project outcome.
  9. Commitments. We will ensure that all commitments made to the public, including those by the decision maker, are in good faith.
  10. Support of the Practice. We will mentor new practitioners in the field and educate decision makers and the public about the value and use of public participation.