Who we are

Polykala is a leadership development organisation. We specialise in working with the not-for-profit/for-purpose, government and community sectors. 

Our Vision & Mission

Our Vision is a society where communities and organisations mobilise to tackle tough challenges and thrive.

Our Mission is to deliver programs that equip organisations with the skills and awareness to navigate complexity and change.

What we do

We design and deliver experiential leadership development training.

 Polykala's methods are based on:

  1. adaptive leadership
  2. improvisational theatre
  3. mindful psychology

We work with organizations and communities that are committed to making a difference ethically, transparently and courageously. 

Our training generates cultures of creativity, engagement and purposeful decision-making - leadership actions that enable groups of people to tackle tough challenges and thrive. 


Tom Henderson 


Tom is a Harvard-trained facilitator and graduate of the Groupwork Institute of Australia's Advanced Diploma of Group Facilitation. He is committed to bringing the best ideas and practice to where it counts in Australia.

He combines a decade of professional experience in media associations,  politics and community organisations. He facilitates and trains with an eye for inclusivity and detail. His ability to observe and reflect ensures multiple perspectives are explored with authenticity and courage. Tom has a passion for working with people in an open and engaged environment. 


Ananth Gopal 


Ananth is a trained actor and geographer. He's an associate artist with Melbourne Playback Theatre Company. He teaches cultural geography at the Universities of Melbourne and Wollongong. He is a doctoral student at the Australian Centre of Cultural Environmental Research (University of Wollongong) and has completed the Art and Practice of Leadership development at the J.F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

His work focuses on how people craft meaning and develop purpose in spaces and organisations. He combines theatrical flair and scholarly insight in his training and facilitation. He sees reflective practice as a central feature of effective interpersonal training.


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Joanna Baker

Business Development Manager

Joanna is a qualified nutritionist and social entrepreneur. She is driven to help communities and organisations step up to tackle tough challenges and thrive. She is the co-founder of Youth Food Movement, a national for-purpose organisation that mobilises young people to create a better food system.

 Joanna is passionate about building purposeful and profitable businesses 'for good’. Her facilitation and consultancy encourages systematic reflection in order to catalyse meaningful action. Joanna has worked in a range of small and medium-scale farming enterprises and advocacy organisations. She is a Fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Program.

She puts the theory of Adaptive Leadership into practice by leading with her heart.

Michelle Nussey


Nussey is a trained actor and educator. She’s the co-founder artistic/director of The Big HOO-HAA! Melbourne, an improvisational theatre company. 

Nussey has worked for over 15 years throughout Australia as a director, producer and performing artist. She uses the principles of improvisational theatre to work with a diversity of clients including Qantas, Bunnings, Anglicare and Carlton Connect. 

Her facilitation allows participants to feel included and honoured. She is a performing member of the Melbourne Playback Theatre Company and coordinates training programs for the corporate and community sectors. Nussey is motivated by a desire to bring immediacy and tangible learning outcomes for every participant. 

Eric Woodward


Eric Woodward is a teacher, outdoor educator and educational consultant. He teaches at Parkville College and works as a casual teacher and outdoor leader for a wide variety of Victorian primary and high schools. He is undergoing Masters research into alternative education and inequity in Australian schooling at the University of Melbourne.

Eric is a passionate facilitator and teacher whose mission is to apply the latest teaching research and practices for a more humane and inclusive educational setting that challenges social inequities. He brings his performance, music and public speaking experience to engage and challenge students to get the most out of every learning experience.

Dure de winter


Dure is a highly experienced community development professional. She has worked for ten years equipping newly arrived communities with the skills to flourish in Australia. She holds a Masters in Community Development and Bachelors in International Relations.  Her life in Melbourne is enriched by the diversity of cultures she learns from. 

Dure has worked for a number of local governments and NGOs including the cities of Darebin, Maroondah, The Migrant Information Centre and currently coordinates the ‘Shout Out’ program for the Centre for Multicultural Youth.  She draws inspiration from the Australian bush and the connections between human beings. Her young children remind her to play and stay present. 

Our Values

We believe every person, regardless of their status or position, can make a difference. 

We believe the best training is experiential and reflective.

We believe in work that is ethically grounded.

We believe that diversity enriches learning.