Staff Information

Photo of Melinda Nicholls
Senior Consultant
Naarm (Melbourne)
melinda.nicholls [at]

With a comprehensive background, Melinda brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the field of design, monitoring, evaluation and continuous improvement. An accomplished leader with a proven track record in design, evaluation, and research across the not-for profit sector, international development, and the Victorian Public Service, Melinda started her career as a social worker in the field of family safety and housing.

Melinda has extensive experience in program evaluation, emergency management, family safety, gender equity and inclusion, and international development.

Melinda has held various management positions in research and evaluation leading teams of advisors spanning various projects and geographic locations. With sixteen years at Australian Red Cross she held positions including Manager of Impact and Evidence and Manager of Quality Standards. Melinda joined the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing (DFFH) to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and continued in emergency response through the Victorian flood event. Most recently as the Manager of Research and Evaluation for Emergency Recovery Victoria, Melinda spearheaded a team focusing on providing vital insights for evidence-based emergency recovery programs. Offering thought leadership and strategic guidance, Melinda simplifies the process of translating high-quality evidence into action, enhancing an organisation’s ability to make informed decisions.

Melinda is dedicated to driving outcomes-focused practices aligned with community and cultural needs and has extensive experience with participatory approaches. Melinda has a particular emphasis on capacity building initiatives and is passionate about sharing her expertise through mentoring, training programs and workshops.

In her personal life, Melinda is an advocate for neurodivergent and LGBTQI+ equity and human rights.


2015 Graduate Certificate of Evaluation, University of Melbourne
2010 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, RMIT University
2004 Masters of International and Comparative Law, Monash University
2000 Bachelor of Social Science (International and Community Development) (with distinction), RMIT University

Key service areas



Monitoring, evaluation & learning design
Evaluation capacity building
Evaluation needs assessment
Impact measurement design
Impact measurement implementation
Sector policy development
Program and model design
Program review
Strategic and operational planning
MEL training
MEL mentoring


Child, youth and family
Community development
Family violence
Housing and homelessness
International development
Prevention of violence
Quality improvement & accreditation

Population groups

LGBTIQA+ people
People with disability
Refugees & culturally diverse groups
Socio-economically disadvantaged groups
Young people

Working with Lirata

- current