Meet our team

IMG_2421 (2) BWJohn McCluskey – Managing Director

John has over 20 years’ experience in Recruitment and started Whizdom in May 2006. John’s background in the Information Technology and Electronics space extends back to the early ’80s when he joined the Australian Navy as an Electronics Apprentice. He has an Associate Diploma in Electronic Engineering and is well versed in many of the technologies used in the Information Technology Industry. John is a Certified Prince II Project Manager and ITIL Practitioner and has extensive experience working on large Government IT Infrastructure projects.

John’s company involvement is on Business Development, Partnership, Governance and Technology. John was featured in Nicholas Beames book “Different Thinking” which included a collection of lessons, stories and inspiration from 20 of the most successful recruiters in Australia. John is a current Board Member of The Association of Professional Staffing Companies in Australia (APSCo Australia) and is an active advocate for small to medium Businesses.

When he’s not catching up with clients and consultants or managing the business, John can be found racing around Canberra on his mountain or motorbike. John is a certified APSCo Australia Recruitment Professional and member of RCSA, you can find him on LinkedIn here 

John’s mobile: 0401 672 244


 IMG_2394 - 2BWNatalie Angus – Operations Manager

Natalie has been engaged with Whizdom since 2010 and has been working in her new role of Operations Manager since January 2017. Natalie works closely with John and is responsible for finance and administrative functions within Whizdom. She also manages and maintains Whizdom’s Talent Management Standard in Quality, Recruitment and Privacy, ensuring that Whizdom maintains a high level of best practice within business operations.

Prior to working for Whizdom, Natalie worked in Connecticut, the USA for the American Institute for Foreign Study as an Operations Coordinator, where she gained valuable experience in recruitment and account management.

When she logs off her Whizdom laptop, Natalie loves to be behind the lens of her camera taking photos of the world. Natalie is a certified APSCo Australia Recruitment Professional and you can find her on LinkedIn here

Natalie’s mobile: 0401 184 342


James Belcher – Business and Client Manager

James joined Whizdom in January 2014 in the role of Business and Client Manager. James undertakes Business Development and Client Management activities with a focus on major accounts, including Federal Government Departments with large contractor workforces along with a number of leading Tier 1 Solutions providers. He also manages a number of Tier 2 Partner organisations. James ensures Whizdom is positioned to offer the best resourcing solutions.

Prior to Whizdom, James has worked across a number of Industries including Enterprise Software, Digital Marketing, and Recruitment Services, holding positions from Business Development to General Management. This experience has given James a good insight into the challenges facing small medium and large organisations when it comes to sourcing the right people for integral positions.

When James is not meeting with Clients, you can find him battling his way around one of Canberra’s many golf courses or attempting to land the elusive Murray Cod – any tips would be much appreciated! James is a certified APSCo Australia Recruitment Professional and his LinkedIn profile can be found here 

James’ mobile: 0400 585 409


Richard Courir – Business & Client Consultant

Richard has an extensive background in servicing Federal Government clients with over 30 years’ experience as a successful business professional.  In 2014, after many years representing IT firms, he secured a contract as a Strategic Industry Advisor with the then Department of Immigration and Border Protection. He continued in a Strategic Advisory capacity, having contracted with Datacom, DellEMC as a Strategic Partner Manager, and recently with EY as a Director, Business Development. The 10 years prior were predominantly with Unisys Australia as the Federal Business Director.

He holds an Executive Master’s in Business and Administration (MBA), an Associated Diploma in Electronic Engineering, and other tertiary education achievements that, together with his account management capabilities, the leadership and business skills developed, and reputation as a high achiever, enables him to diversify across a complete range of requirements to either assume or advise on Leadership, Management and/or Business Development requirements.

When he’s not catching up with clients and consultants, or contracting/consulting directly, Richard can be found enjoying time with his wife maintaining their 25-acre property, out in the country on horseback, or in the surf.  You can find him on LinkedIn here 

Richard’s mobile: 0418 620 681


Aaron Breban – Business and Client Manager

Aaron joined Whizdom in July 2018 as a Business and Client Manager to service Whizdom’s growing client base. Aaron will be working with Government and Private clients to build strong relationships and gain an understanding of their current and future resourcing requirements to meet their business objectives. Aaron will also be actively working in developing Whizdom’s business nationally to meet our growing client’s requirements.

Prior to Whizdom, Aaron spent almost 10 years in the Australian Army. Upon leaving the military, Aaron gained some experience as a contractor, which has given him a good appreciation for contracting and the procurement process.

Aaron is excited to see what he can learn from the industry as well as having a role that allows him to assist military members transition from service life into post-military life, having recently gone through the process himself.

When Aaron is not drinking coffee with clients and candidates, he runs his own Personal Training and Nutrition business.  Aaron is very passionate about health and nutrition and enjoys helping people reach their fitness goals. Aaron’s linked in can be found here

Aaron’s Mobile: 0439 394 902


IMG_2375 - 2 BW

Nicole McCann – Senior Account Manager

Nicole won the award for the APSCo (formerly ITCRA) Certified Professional of the Year for 2013.  She has been engaged with Whizdom Pty Ltd since 2008. In that time Nicole has managed the contractor engagement process and has liaised with clients to gain a good understanding of their resourcing requirements. Nicole is responsible for managing the end to end recruitment process for the Department of Defence. Nicole has the capability to source suitable candidates for her clients nationally.

Previous to working with Whizdom, Nicole was an Assistant Manager in the Trade Services Department for a Merchant Bank in Sydney.

When not meeting candidates for coffees, Nicole can be found in the kitchen cooking up a storm for her family or catching some live music around town. Nicole is a certified APSCo Australia Recruitment Professional and you can find her on LinkedIn here

Nicole’s mobile: 0403 264 161


untitled-2Kelly Shockley  – Account Manager

Kelly joined our team at the beginning of November in 2015.  Kelly has experience working on our Whole of Government Panels managing the end to end recruitment process for our Federal Government Clients. She understands the requirements of clients in all aspects relating to professional contractor placements and permanent staffing requirements. Kelly has the capability to source suitable candidates for her clients nationally.

Kelly worked previously in Early Childhood, then completed a Certificate III in office procedures which lead her to a Property Management role. She was in charge of a busy real estate office then went onto manage two different shoe stores. Kelly is a real people person who really enjoys working with and meeting new people.

On the weekend this Mum of four loves spending time with her family, she has fun trying to find new places to picnic and BBQ  – Canberra has some beautiful parks! Kelly is a certified APSCo Australia Recruitment Professional and you can connect with her on LinkedIn here

Kelly’s mobile: 0437 809 224 


Joanne Finchett – Account Manager

Jo joined the Whizdom team in 2016 and is the Account Manager for our Private Enterprise clients. Jo has experience working with large corporate clients managing their professional contractor requirements as well as permanent staffing solutions. She builds networks of candidates with a view to providing employment options in advance of current contracts. Jo has the capability to source suitable candidates for her clients nationally.

Prior to working for Whizdom, Jo was the account director at a small niche Project and Portfolio Management Consultancy for 6 years, and the previous 12 years Jo led a national recruitment team for Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in the UK. Jo’s team at RBS involved specialist and volume recruitment, including working with Government agencies to help young job seekers start a career in financial services and customer contact centres.

When not sourcing Whizdom candidates, Jo loves travelling and some more unusual trips have landed her in Iceland, Switzerland, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Gambia, Senegal and Egypt. Jo is certified CIPP at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. Jo is a certified APSCo Australia Recruitment Professional and you can connect with her on LinkedIn here and

Jo’s mobile is: 0419 263 332


Fiona Zielinski – Account Manager

Fiona joined Whizdom in August 2018 coming back into the workforce from maternity leave.

With over 20 years of experience in Account Management and Recruitment predominately specialising in Information Technology and Communications,  Fiona’s experience has led her to manage internal and external IT teams within the Private and Public sectors.

Fiona has also worked on international outsourcing projects and has managed the transformation and transition of the Customer Support Account Division for HP in Australia and Malaysia.  She has also coordinated assessment workshops for high volume call centre recruitment services.

Her previous experience working at HP and Microsoft will assist her in transitioning to her role at Whizdom where she will oversee and manage the recruitment for Defence and Corporate Industry Partners.

In her spare time, Fiona loves to spend time with her friends and family and if she could, she would be at the beach at every possible opportunity. You can contact Fiona on her LinkedIn here

Fiona’s Mobile: 0419 890 865


Haylee Burley – Contractor Care Manager

Haylee has recently joined the Whizdom team as the Contractor Care Manager working on Whizdom’s Contractor Care Program.  Haylee comes from a human resources background working in both the Public sector and large Private companies, she has extensive experience in Human Resources project work including developing training packages and communicating employee benefit programs.

Previously working in a large private company for 4 years, Haylee worked across all functions of the operational delivery of human resources services, prior to that she spent time working in an international company supporting employees globally.  Passionate about forming close working relationships with all stakeholders of the business, Haylee really enjoys meeting new people and working with them to achieve their professional goals.

When Haylee is not developing the Contractor Care Program for Whizdom she enjoys trying to keep up with her young son and his busy social calendar.  New to Canberra she is enjoying exploring Australia’s Capital and all it has to offer – mainly the café and restaurant scene.  Haylee is also working her way through a Human Resources Diploma. Haylee’s Linked IN profile can be found here.

Haylee’s mobile: 0427 730 540


 Jonathon Forrester – Marketing Director

Jonathan joined Whizdom in August 2018, bringing over 10 years of experience in branding, digital strategy and customer experience.

‘I’m passionate about purposely driven brands and the people who make them tick,’ says Jonathan. ‘It’s rewarding to have joined the Whizdom team, working in such a dynamic environment where everyone cares about what they do, and the individuals they work with.’

Before joining Whizdom Jonathan lead & mentored high performing teams, delivered award-winning campaigns & brands within both Australia & Asia. He has worked with a diverse range of industries; hospitality, financial, technology, retail, real estate, and global blue-chip brands.

When Jonathan leaves the office, you will find him sharing his knowledge helping others achieve their goals, or enjoying his love for custom cars.  You can contact Jonathan via  LinkedIn here:

Jonathan’s mobile: 0412 525 507


Amanda Yi – Accountant

Amanda joined Whizdom in February 2018 to assist in the finance and administration functions of the business. She acts as a liaison between contractors, payroll companies and clients regarding any payment or invoicing issues. Also, she helps to manage Whizdom’s staff payroll, taxation and end of month reconciliation.

Amanda was awarded master’s degree of Accounting from ANU in December 2016. After that, she worked as a tax consultant in the private sector and was an assistant accountant within an accounting practice in Canberra.

When she’s not in the office, Amanda loves to search various recipes and cook fresh food. Also, she has a lovely cat ‘Cream’, playing with her is the first thing to do when she arrives home. Amanda’s Linked IN profile can be found here.

Amanda’s mobile: 0407 989 703


Ellie Song – Finance & Account Officer 

Ellie joined Whizdom in January 2019 to assist in the management of our financial, compliance and business operations and works in the Finance team alongside our Company Accountant. She is responsible for payroll processes, client invoicing, accounts receivable, taxation and end of month reconciliations.

She holds a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Accounting from the University of Canberra in 2013. She has work experience in the early childhood industry before joining Whizdom and would like to continue with her long-term career goal of accounting.

When Ellie is out of office, she likes to go jogging or riding a bike around the suburb where she lives. She also likes cooking her national foods and watercolour painting. Ellie’s LinkedIn profile can be found here

Ellie’s mobile: 0430 361 629