Meet the Senior Team

Avant Group is a leading consultancy firm employing 12 permanent personnel; featuring a team of specialised government grant, business advisory, technical research and marketing strategy consultants. Our business rapidly expands throughout the year during peak processing times – to upwards of 25 personnel.

To date, the business has secured its clients $150 million in grant funding across a variety of industries Australia-wide.

When millions of dollars are potentially at stake, you need to manage and maximise your chances of grant success.

Avant Group manages the entire grant application process from working through the red tape, writing the application and managing the audit and reporting requirements – so you can focus on running your business.

We work with businesses nationwide and have representatives based in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide & Hobart.


Kate Whitehead

Managing Director/Founder - Head of Research Team

Kate is the founder and Managing Director of Avant Group. Her role sees her undertake major competitive grant applications, key project management for research and development activities and other major project management activities.

Kate oversees the company’s Research and Development team which includes two senior engineers and one scientist, who are charged with project oversight and management, submission and auditing compliance.

In her previous roles, Kate has worked in the aerospace and defence sector, where she managed the commercial division of a major aerospace firm, which was bought out by a competing precision component manufacturer.

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During her time there Kate was heavily involved in industry activities, including representing the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Skilling Committee and previously as a founding member of the Australian Government’s Industry Capability Team for the Joint Strike Fighter F-35 program.

Kate’s previous work experience also includes managing the Corporate Membership division of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI), where she was involved in a $AU50 million Grow Me The Money grant in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency. Whilst working at VECCI, Kate also represented the Melbourne Commonwealth Games Steering Committee.

Outside of her role, Kate is a Director and Board Member of the Fight Cancer Foundation, a major Australian not-for-profit research organisation.

Kate holds a Masters in Marketing and a Post Graduate Diploma of Business Management from Melbourne Business School. Kate also holds qualifications in Engineering (Mech) and Business Management.

Tegan Kiddle

Grants and Funding Manager

Tegan oversees Avant Group’s grants technical consulting team, which is charged with application identification, submission, management and auditing compliance of a range of programs including Austrade’s Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) program.

Tegan understands the creative arts and film sector having worked in the film industry as a freelance production manager for film and TV advertisements while living in Asia.

Tegan holds EMDG Approved Consultant status with the Australian Government’s Austrade EMDG division, an accreditation that is only provided via invitation to individuals with exceptional claim compliance history.

Jennifer Chan

Manager, EMDG Processing

Jennifer manages a team of Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) processing personnel and also provides consultancy services at Avant Group within the EMDG division. Jennifer supports clients with their entire application from initial data collection through to the audit process. Jennifer graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Chinese language. She is fluent in Cantonese and can read and write in Chinese. Prior to Avant Group Jennifer was a portfolio administrator at an ultra-high net worth private wealth company.

Jennifer holds EMDG Approved Consultant status with the Australian Government’s Austrade EMDG division, an accreditation that is only provided via invitation to individuals with exceptional claim compliance history.

Samantha Lenkic

Head of Communications

Samantha heads Avant Group’s communication department, which includes overseeing all marketing, advertising, sponsorship and PR for the firm. Her proudest achievement to date has been securing a half-page exclusive in The Australian Financial Review, which resulted in $60 million in additional funding for the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) program.

In her previous roles, Samantha has built a career in PR, digital marketing, journalism and SEO. Her extensive experience has seen her work with some of the leading companies in Australia and internationally, across corporate, consumer and not-for-profit organisations.

In her spare time, she runs Melbourne’s largest book club, the Choose Your Own Book Club, which has more than 1,800 members and volunteers for community health organisation EACH.

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Samantha holds a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) degree from Monash University. During her time there she was one of 60 students selected to participate in a cultural exchange to Monash’s Sunway campus in Malaysia and one of four students chosen to participate in an environmental journalism exchange program in Finland and Norway.

Internship Program

R&D and Technical Writing

Avant Group has a formal Internship Program to provide 8-12 week intensive internship’s for candidates with a desire to work in our firm.

The program has been a success to date with several interns being offered permanent employment post the internship period. This includes Diwakar Devaraj who is now the firm’s IT Manager.

If you have a desire to work across a range of industry sectors, demonstrate a firm commitment to customer service and are self motivated then we would love to hear from you.

Our Internship Program is administered by a firm called Tappi. If you are interested in an internship please contact us on the email attached.