Our team

Debbie Sonin, Managing Director

Debbie Sonin brings her down-to-earth, honest sensibility to companies looking for a consultant who can improve workplace relationships and productivity by tapping into the skills and potential of employees.

With over 30 years experience as a conflict resolution mediator, management consultant, facilitator, coach, professional counsellor and trainer, Debbie’s purpose is to bring the best to her clients through building better workplace relationships. Her passion is creating more diverse and inclusive workplace cultures.

Debbie combines sound practical knowledge and experience with academic studies and professional qualifications. These include Conflict Management, MBTI (Myers-Briggs) Communication Style, Workplace Diversity/EEO, Employee Engagement Training and Employee Wellbeing.

Nationally Accredited Mediator under the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS)

Fellow of the Institute of Leaders and Managers

Certified Member of the Australian Human Resources Institute (CAHRI)  

Master of Social Work

Accredited Mental Health First Aider

Member of the Institute of Community Directors Australia (MICDA)

Philip Cornish

Philip has worked for over 30 years in health, community services and education across public sector and not-for-profit workplaces across three states. He specialises in organisational improvement and change, innovation and developing new operational models.

As an experienced, adaptable Executive and Non-Executive Director, he combines knowledge of policy and practice with effective ways to operationalise policies in community health, hospitals, sub-acute care, rehabilitation, community services, management, refugee and immigrant support, indigenous health and professional/vocational education.

He has extensive experience in running a health service and can provide consulting and advisory services in areas such as:

  • Acquired Brain Injury, Aboriginal Health Care and Board directorships in health and community sectors.
  • Innovation around healthcare process, culture and time frames.
  • Translating and implementing new government initiatives and policies.

Core areas of strength include organisational development, improvement and change management, policy and strategy implementation as well as connecting systems and peoples’ strengths.

Bachelor of Social Work, Bachelor of Psychology

MBA, Post Graduate Diploma of Health Law

Fellow of the Australasian College of Health Service Management (FCHSM)

Graduate of the Institute of Company Director's (GAICD) director's course

I will be forever indebted to the person who recommended DK Sonin & Associates to me… Debbie just did not write a report and leave. She worked with the organisation at all levels to bring the recommendations alive.
Andrea O'Neill, General Manager, Berrigan & District Aged Care Association
Debbie displays a wonderful balance between achieving positive and timely solutions and encouraging a supportive and inviting process built on mutual responsibility, accountability, and open transference for change.
Nick Koletsis, Principal Consultant - Workplace Relations, Fire Rescue Victoria
Deb’s insightful coaching increased my confidence, enhanced my performance and provided a fresh perspective to support my growth.
Michael Schoen, Parks Victoria
Debbie is approachable, professional and practical. She provides consistent quality support and is a great sounding board. Dealing with Debbie is like an extension of our own organisation. She understands the business and moulds her style around us.
Brant Doyle, Manager Organisational Development, Moira Shire Council
Deb Sonin is an acknowledged expert in workplace conflict resolution and has extensive experience advising on discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying. Deb’s professional background makes her an obvious choice to assist with difficult cultural and interpersonal issues in the workplace.
Michael Gorton AM, Principal, Russell Kennedy Lawyers
With her clinical and human resources background, Debbie offers a unique value proposition for businesses that want to implement change… Debbie always goes above and beyond for her clients and thinks deeply about providing solutions that will work for all parties.
Catherine Brooks, Practice Leader, Moores
Debbie is an astute observer, facilitator and communicator. She is a highly skilled mediator and excels in coaching team leaders to effectively manage and improve team dynamics, behaviours and interactions.
Leigh Rhode, Chief Executive Officer, Gateway Health
I highly recommend Debbie as an expert in conducting strength-based workplace cultural reviews.
Jenny Salkeld, Executive Director of Nursing, Colac Area Health
Debbie is warm, friendly and helpful and always makes challenges manageable.
Kurt Porflit, Managing Director, Busch Australia
Debbie is sensitive, engaging, warm… She is able to see the challenges and opportunities and find solutions in quick and practical way.
Greg Embleton, CEO, Byte
Deb's professional, warm and sincere approach is evident in her engagement with individuals and management alike through difficult and sensitive matters, with her ability to gain respect from all parties that facilitates successful outcomes.
Linda South, General Manager, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
I recommend Debbie Sonin to any employer who wants to provide their staff with opportunities to turn workplace behaviours around, improve their teamwork or learn new ways of interacting with others.
Robyn Shilton, Executive Officer, Community West Inc
Debbie has always demonstrated an appreciation of the industrial and personal impacts of her work, and has achieved results beyond what might have been expected given the complexity of the matter.
Estelle Fyffe, CEO, annecto
Deb Sonin's breadth of experience across change management, industrial relations and conflict resolution is evident in her unique ability to address complex and intractable issues to synthesise the complexity into workable, tangible, successful results.
Linda South, General Manager, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital
Debbie is highly skilled and engaging, making interactions professional and fun. Personally, Debbie is great to work with and is always able to have a chat about a situation that might arise outside of the regular engagements.
Sue Rolland, General Manager, Deakin University Student Association
Debbie provides a sense of calmness and direction during difficult situations to help me remain in control. The experience and knowledge that Debbie brings is incredibly useful and helps me to get the most out of the team I work with.
Liz Moore CPA, Practice Manager, Bluebird Accounting
Debbie is an extremely talented and resourceful practitioner, demonstrating a deep and extensive understanding, knowledge and expertise in mediation, coaching and facilitation. Whenever I need support from an external provider in facilitating a conversation, I engage Debbie.
Brant Doyle, Manager Organisational Development, Moira Shire Council
Debbie operated with integrity, sensitivity and empathy for all within our team and encouraged staff to find their voice in sharing their experiences of the dynamics of the workplace.
Peter Nancarrow, Chairperson of the Board, Jacaranda Village
I have a high level of trust in Debbie’s ability to read the dynamics of a work environment and to co-design and implement respectful and thoughtful approaches to solving problems and improving team functioning.
Leigh Rhode, Chief Executive Officer, Gateway Health
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