What our clients say about us

Debbie Sonin is a uniquely skilled professional possessing many skills and competencies as a restorative mediator, negotiator, strength-based coach, trainer and trusted advisor.  

Debbie’s work within the organisation has been to work across several different work areas to address highly sensitive and challenging workplace issues. Over the past several years of working with Debbie, I have always found her to display 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.

I highly recommend Debbie where an organisation is not only addressing conflict but also the goal of achieving results and engaging others in a change cultural process.

Nick Koletsis, Principal Consultant - Workplace Relations, Fire Rescue Victoria

Fire Rescue Victoria

Debbie has provided our organisation with consistent guidance over a number of challenging issues to help keep our organisation moving forward. Her guidance has brought clarity to me in my role as Executive Officer, and supported me to make decisions and lead staff.  As part of a small organisation, it's been wonderful having someone to discuss complex issues with, and who can offer wise advice.

Jo Connor, Executive Officer, Environment Education Victoria

Environment Education Victoria

I have engaged Debbie’s services over a number of years in different workplaces where she was engaged to conduct workplace cultural reviews. Debbie was at all times professional, understood the brief and treated all parties with respect and discretion.

Based on her many years’ experience in the health sector, Debbie was able form clear, practical and strength-based recommendations. Debbie was also able to support the organisation to implement a number of recommendations – these  included powerful, transparent feedback sessions to staff and additional coaching and professional development. I highly recommend Debbie as an expert in conducting strength-based workplace cultural reviews.

Jenny Salkeld, Executive Director of Nursing, Colac Area Health

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Deb’s insightful coaching increased my confidence, enhanced my performance and provided a fresh perspective to support my growth.

Michael Schoen, Parks Victoria

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It is always a privilege to work with Debbie and learn from her vast knowledge and experience. With her clinical and human resources background, she offers a unique value proposition for businesses that want to implement change within a regulatory framework. Debbie always goes above and beyond for her clients and thinks deeply about providing solutions that will work for all parties concerned. I look forward to continuing to work with Debbie to help make a difference in the lives of those running businesses and not-for-profits.

Catherine Brooks, Practice Leader, Moores

In forming a new executive team at Gateway Health I have called on Debbie Sonin to work with us in setting foundations for ways of working that bring out the best in each other and our organisation. Having worked with Debbie in a previous work setting, I know her to be 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.

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. I have no hesitation in recommending DK Sonin & Associates.

Leigh Rhode, Chief Executive Officer, Gateway Health

Gateway Health

I have had the pleasure of knowing Debbie Sonin since 2014. 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.

Debbie supported me with developing our ‘respectful workplace behaviours’ policies and procedures as well as a training program which she facilitated, and has done for many years now. I have also engaged Debbie to undertake various reviews into our business, including a health and safety culture review.

Debbie has been instrumental in working with challenging circumstances, providing opportunities for staff relationship and performance improvement and in some situations, developing opportunities for staff exiting the organisation to do so in a dignified and respectful manner.

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.

I am very pleased with our association with Debbie and will continue to engage Debbie well into the future. If you are in need of support, I can without a doubt strongly recommend Debbie.

Brant Doyle, Manager Organisational Development, Moira Shire Council

Gateway Health

I will be forever indebted to the person who recommended DK Sonin & Associates to me. As an organisation we really needed to dig deep if we were ever going to make the changes to ensure we could be sustainable into the future. But how do you do that? People could see that change needed to be made but no one knew how to do it. We didn’t have the skillset or the knowhow to get there.

Debbie came into our business, reviewed the staff and the current culture and provided management with recommendations and a roadmap to the future. Debbie just did not write a report and leave. She worked with the organisation at all levels to bring the cultural review recommendations alive.

Two years down the track and those changes are now embedded into the organisation. We have experienced firsthand the amazing job Debbie has done in what are sometimes very difficult times. Change is never easy but with Debbie’s experience and guidance everyone was respected and heard and the best outcome was achieved.

I would recommend DK Sonin & Associates to any organisation who really cares about their staff and wants to be the best organisation they can be.

Andrea O'Neill, General Manager, Berrigan & District Aged Care Association

Berrigan & District Aged Care Association

Busch Australia has been working with Debbie Sonin since 2009 and we continue to use her services on a regular basis to assist our business with generalist HR activities including addressing employee relations issues, recruitment, developing our HR processes and addressing our employee wellbeing needs.

We have found Debbie to be extremely knowledgeable, practical and a significant valuable asset to our business as she addresses all of our HR, employee relations and employee wellbeing needs. This allows me to focus on our core business. Debbie is warm, friendly and helpful and always makes challenges manageable.

Kurt Porflit, Managing Director, Busch Australia


I have worked with Debbie Sonin intermittently over the years where she has provided consultancy on a range of people management and change management issues. Debbie is sensitive, engaging, warm, and uses her social work and human resources skills and knowledge in an integrated holistic way. She is able to see the challenges and opportunities and find solutions in quick and practical way.

Greg Embleton, CEO, Byte

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Engaging DK Sonin & Associates for conflict resolution, mediation and improved communication has been extremely valuable for my organisation. Deb Sonin's breadth of experience across change management, industrial relations landscape and conflict resolution frameworks is evident in her unique ability to address complex and intractable issues with capacity to synthesise the complexity into workable, tangible, successful results.

Deb's flexible approach is responsive to changing requirements whilst being specific to management's needs. Her 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.

DK Sonin & Associates are a professional, capable and highly competent business that truly work in partnership to resolve conflict and help build sustainably better workplace cultures.

Linda South, General Manager, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital

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Community West chose Debbie Sonin because she had a broad range of experience in the NFP and for-profit sectors and because her professional qualifications were evidence that she is familiar with the human services industry. Workers in our industry are often at the coalface of supporting people in crisis and therefore stand to suffer great stress at work.

Debbie provided coaching to senior staff, mediation around complex staffing issues, training across all levels of staff, and group facilitation. She has a great capacity to drill into issues and encourage those she is working with to reflect and find the learning required to improve their work practices and their interactions with both internal and external customers. Debbie’s information is always contemporary and she is a great ‘people wrangler’.

Our organisation was a more harmonious and respectful workplace after Debbie’s input. I recommend Debbie Sonin to any employer who wants to provide their staff with opportunities to turn workplace behaviours around, improve their teamwork, learn new ways of interacting with others or simply gain an awareness of the latest legislation and its impact on employee rights and responsibilities.

Robyn Shilton, Executive Officer, Community West Inc

Community west

On several occasions I have sought assistance from DK Sonin and Associates with complex employee matters including staff restructure, performance appraisal, coaching and general human resources advice.

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. She is professional and ethical in her approach.

I can highly recommend the work of DK Sonin and Associates.

Estelle Fyffe, CEO, annecto


Debbie Sonin has been working with DUSA since late 2016 and has provided services in Cultural Reviews, Professional Development Training, Individual Mentoring and Critical Incident Debriefing.  

Debbie’s Respect in the Workplace Training commenced in 2017 across the organisation. This training is continuing each year as a mandatory program for all new staff and members of the Student Council (Board).

Debbie is highly skilled and engaging, making interactions professional and fun. The DUSA staff warmed to Debbie, they have confidence in her ability to empower them to resolve issues and implement the practical advice provided. 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.

I am delighted to recommend Debbie to any organisation working to develop their teams.

Sue Rolland, General Manager, Deakin University Student Association


DK Sonin & Associates has worked alongside our practice since inception. My role is to oversee the practice and implement change. Debbie works closely with me behind the scenes to assist with this change from a people-centred perspective. She 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.

Working with someone who understands people and organisational processes has been instrumental to the success of Bluebird Accounting. To have someone assist and coach through challenging situations and conversations has resulted in positive outcomes for the practice. Debbie makes me take a step back from the issue, to stop, think and reflect. This process has allowed me to improve on my weaknesses and strengthen my relationships.

Debbie has also assisted me in reflecting on my own leadership style and how I can engage, build and strengthen our team to increase performance and efficiency and become more inclusive. To have someone I can trust and who understands the way I engage with others internally and externally has been very helpful. Debbie is very professional and I always feel comforted and supported when I work with her.

Liz Moore CPA, Practice Manager, Bluebird Accounting

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I have known and worked with Deb Sonin for many years. She is an acknowledged expert in workplace conflict resolution and has extensive experience advising matters involving 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 as well as assisting in ensuring that workplace policies and process are contemporary and effective.

I have enjoyed and valued my time working with Deb.

Michael Gorton AM, Principal, Russell Kennedy Lawyers

Russell Kennedy Lawyers

Debbie Sonin was appointed by Jacaranda Village to assist us in exploring how our values, behaviours and teamwork operate within our organisation. We were extremely impressed with the quality and thoroughness of how Debbie approached this ‘unpacking’ through a variety of processes including conducting an organisation-wide workplace cultural review.

Debbie took a consistent and unbiased approach to the exploration that reflected her understanding of our organisation within the aged care sector and business culture.

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. She shared their ideas of how to further strengthen the workplace culture to make our organisation even more open and inclusive, and further enabling a ‘speak up’ culture.

The timely manner in which the cultural review was conducted allowed us to move forward with positive outcomes and new ideas for implementation.

Peter Nancarrow,Chairperson of the Board, Jacaranda Village

Jacaranda Village
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