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Michelle Kovacevic

I craft experiences that surprise and transform people. I help people learn, tell and create stories.

 

  • Strategic thinker, effective writer and project manager.
  • Experience managing six-figure budgets.
  • Team player with leadership experience. Also adept at handling long-scale self-governed projects.
  • Science and data driven, with a first class honours degree in neuroscience
  • Pioneered innovative methods to effectively engage early career scientists, young professionals and students in global science policy conferences.
  • Strong press, non-profit, private sector and government networks.

kovamic[at]gmail.com   michellekovacevic1


Professional Experience

The Welcome Dinner Project

National and Victorian state co-coordinator / Melbourne, Australia / November 2016 – present

  • The Welcome Dinner Project brings together people who are new to Australia with people who are established in their community over dinner in someone’s home or trusted community space. The aim of these pot-luck-style dinners is to create a platform for meaningful connection, sparking friendships between people of diverse cultures who are living in close proximity to one another but have not had an opportunity to connect in a supported environment.
  • Developed a strategic approach to building partnerships with key agencies, groups and institutions as well as strengthened and grown the local network of volunteers to host, facilitate and promote Welcome Dinners in Victoria.

Communication consultant

Various / January 2015 – present

My role varies from client to client. I provide strategic communications advice, media management, writing, editing, workshop facilitation.

Young Professionals for Agricultural Development (YPARD)

Mentoring program coordinator / Freelance / January 2015 – October 2018

  • Ran mentoring programs that helped hundreds of young farmers, students, entrepreneurs and extension agents access the support, guidance and networks they need to realise their ideas. Read more at “What we’ve learnt about mentoring young people in agriculture
  • Project manager and lead author on a mentoring toolkit aimed at people who are considering setting up a mentoring program in or for their organisation, community, or wider sector, synthesising a decade of learnings and resources from agriculture and forestry mentoring programs implemented by a variety of organisations. 

Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

Communications and capacity building specialist / Freelance / November 2013 – December 2016

  • Devise and implement external training programs to improve skills and scientific understanding of environmental journalists, young forestry professionals and other audiences of strategic interest.
  • Devise and implement internal training programs to improve communication skills of scientific staff and knowledge sharing between communication departments
  • Projects:

Our Common Future Under Climate Change conference

Communications coordinator /Paris, France / Feb – August 2015

  • Coordinated social media activities for the biggest climate science meeting in 2015 which involved managing the conference Twitter handle, generating content for the conference blog and coordinating a team of delegates to live report from the conference. Our achievements far exceeded the conference organisers’ expectations:
    • Edited and published 97 blogs by conference delegates, some of which led to direct press coverage of their science.
    • 400,000 hits on commonfuture-paris2015.org
    • Grew conference twitter feed by 2,000 followers in the space of 4 months
    • 1 tweet every 6 seconds during the conference, with #CFCC15 tweets were delivered to 22 million accounts
    • 500 slides and posters loaded to SlideShare receiving 36,000 views.
  • One conference delegate remarked: “You have raised the profile and demonstrated the value of online engagement to the climate research community, which will mean that more researchers will use it themselves for their own science communication for the benefit of science in society.”

Office of the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor

Social media coordinator, Science Advice to Governments Conference /Auckland, New Zealand / June – September 2014

  • Tripled website traffic after setting up and curating conference blog (www.globalscienceadvice.org/news).
  • Coordinated virtual social media team (over 30 members).
  • Set up Twitter channel (@GlobalSciAdvice) and ran Twitter chats with distinguished speakers.

Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

Blog Editor and Social Media Coordinator / Bogor, Indonesia / January 2011 – November 2013

  • Devised and oversaw implementation of an innovative social media strategy. As a result, pageviews of CIFOR’s Forests blog increased by 1000% and associated social media channels in English, French, Spanish and Indonesian grew to over 30,000 followers.
  • Line managed contributions from a team of eight full-time and freelance writers, a graphic designer and social media consultant.
  • Coordinated Forests: The 8th Roundtable at Rio+20 event in Rio de Janeiro, attended by 600 stakeholders. This involved concept note preparation; managing a budget of US$100,000, speaker selection, invitation and logistics; communication materials preparation; and donor report writing.
  • Wrote and pitched various stories to top-tier media outlets such as Reuters Alertnet, BBC, Mongabay, the Guardian, National Geographic, SciDev.Net, as well as building partnerships with local media networks in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
  • Prepared and performed science shows on the environment to school children and educational seminars on forests and social media for teachers, educators and policymakers.

Florey Neuroscience Institutes

Personal Assistant to Professor James Wiley / Melbourne, Australia / September 2010 – November 2011

  • Wrote and edited manuscripts, review articles, conference abstracts, ethics and grant applications.
  • Assisted with the analysis of experimental data
  • Coordinated interstate board meetings
  • Prepared Professor Wiley’s lecture material

Science in Public

Project Officer / Melbourne, Australia / January 2010 – July 2010

  • Managed the production of and wrote articles for the 2010 Australia-China Commemorative research booklet, which was distributed at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
  • Compiled a monthly bulletin for the Australian Institute of Physics and the International Year of Biodiversity.
  • Assisted with media strategies for the 2010 International Conference of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, RACI/IUPAC Conference, UN DPI Conference, Fresh Science 2010.

University of Melbourne Student Union

Clubs and Societies Office Bearer / Melbourne, Australia / 2008

Advised and process grant applications from over 50 university clubs and societies, 12 articles published in the Melbourne university newspaper, chaired fortnightly council meetings.


Volunteer work and internships

World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community

Member / Melbourne, Australia / September 2014 – present

  • Invited to join the World Economic Forum’s network of young leaders who are “exceptional in their potential, their achievements and their drive to make a contribution to their communities.”
  • Find out more about the projects we are working on: www.globalshapersmelbourne.com

Ranwadi Churches of Christ College

Science and Nutrition teacher / Pentecost, Vanuatu / July – December 2009

  • Developed upon science and nutrition curriculum for years 9 and 10
  • Ran national-level exams
  • Worked with science teachers and village nurses to implement comprehensive sexual education program.

3RRR 102.7 FM community radio

Co-producer and online editor / Melbourne, Australia / 2008-2010

  • Organised guests from various scientific fields for interview on the weekly radio show Einstein a Go Go
  • Managed the website and wrote online content
  • Briefed and prepared the guests and broadcasters before we went on-air
  • Answered listener’s queries

Luna Media

Editorial Intern / Sydney, Australia / January 2007

Seven articles published (online and in the March/April print edition) in Australia’s largest science magazine – COSMOS and G Magazine.

Melbourne University Science Communicators Pilot Program

Science Communicator / Melbourne, Australia / 2009

Prepared and delivered a 6 week science and engineering immersion program for high achieving primary school students. See more here.

Science Students Society

Treasurer / 2007

The largest student club at Melbourne University, with a six-figure turnover. Managed budgets of over 12 events and helped increase profit margins from the previous year.

Melbourne University Physics Promotion Education and Teaching Services (MUPPETS) (now defunct)

Cast and crew member / 2006-11

Performed physics shows to primary and high school students.

Museums Victoria (Scienceworks), Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Science presenter  / 2000-2005

Ran holiday science activity programs for thousands of primary and high school children.


Education

Advanced Diploma in Group Facilitation

Groupwork Institute/ 2017 (expected)

BSc (Hons) in Neuroscience, Pharmacology with High Distinction Average

University of Melbourne / 2006 – 2011

My honours thesis explored how the biology of a protective cell in the brain, the astrocyte, could be manipulated when grown on nanofibrous scaffolds. This strategy has the potential to facilitate repair following brain injury.

Diploma in Modern Languages (Indonesian)

University of Melbourne / 2006 – 2011


Awards

  • Fellow, Center for Sustainability Leadership (2015)
  • University of Melbourne Global Mobility Scholarship (2011)
  • Selected to attend a Journalism Practicum Program run by the Australian Consortium for In-Country Indonesian Studies (ACICIS) and was awarded the highest score (95%) in the Indonesian language component (2011)
  • Offered a Dean’s Scholarship for Academic Excellence at Latrobe University, Australia (2006)
  • Selected to attend Australia’s National Youth Science Forum (2005)
  • State semi finalist, Plain English speaking award, Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority state semi finalist, (2005)
  • Inaugural recipient of the Aitken College Foundation Scholarship (2004)


Skills

Polyglot:

  • English (native)
  • Indonesian (fluent)
  • Croatian (intermediate)
  • Bislama (intermediate)
  • Portuguese (beginner)

Advanced knowledge of: Microsoft Office suite, Mac OS, WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, SlideShare, Google+, YouTube, Flickr, Storify, Soundcloud, Paper.li, Pintrest, Google Analytics, Hootsuite, Social Report, Addthis, Crowdbooster, Bit.ly and TweetDeck.

Basic knowledge of: HTML, Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Final Cut Pro.


Academic Publications

Lau, CL and Kovacevic, M et al. (2014) 3D Electrospun scaffolds promote a cytotrophic phenotype of cultured primary astrocytes. Journal of Neurochemistry DOI: 10.1111/jnc.12702

Drafting a paper titled Building confidence, skills and knowledge of youth to promote meaningful participation in conferences: A case study of the Global Landscapes Forum


Presentations and workshops

“Engaging with change” A workshop with Prof Karen O’Brien for Climates. Australia. March, 2o17

Pre-conference youth workshop, Young Africa Works Summit. Rwanda. February 2017.

Why is global hunger and food insecurity still a thing? Global Hunger Hack at Monash University, Australia. February, 2016.

Data expedition: Explore Copenhagen’s bike paths using data. Kopenlab Citizen Science Festival (on the sidelines of the Euroscience Open Forum), School of Data and Open Knowledge Foundation. Copenhagen, Denmark. June, 2014.

Working with scientists in developing countries to communicate research that delivers real outcomes”. Australian Science Communicators Conference. Brisbane, Australia. February 2014.

Looking for solutions in climate change communications” Be the Movement Workshop, Connect4Climate (World Bank). Warsaw, Poland, 2013

Board games, role-playing and 3D maps: Facilitating forestry research uptake in Indonesia”. Public Communication of Science and Technology Symposium, Jakarta, Indonesia, 2013.

Marketing your Green Project” International Youth Green Summit. Jakarta, Indonesia, 2013.

“Cara berkomunikasi ide-ide ilmiah yang kompleks” (How to communicate complex scientific ideas). Center for Forestry Organization Capacity and Institution Development, Bogor Agricultural University. Indonesia, 2012.


Memberships

World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community, Melbourne
World Federation of Science Journalists
Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST) network
Australian Science Communicators (ASC)
Young Scientists of Australia


Interests

  • Avid volleyballer and badminton player. Previously captained the division 2 volleyball team atMelbourne University Renegades club.
  • Pianist and saron player in the the Melbourne Community Gamelan ensemble