Meet the Senior Team

Avant Group is a leading consultancy firm; featuring a team of specialised government grant, business advisory, technical research and marketing strategy consultants.

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

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.

Yvonne Reynolds

R&D Project Manager

Yvonne manages the firm’s research and development project activities, bringing a strong history of compliance management after specialising in regulatory compliance within technical manufacturing businesses for more than 10 years.

Yvonne holds a Bachelor of Science (Chemistry Major) from the University of Melbourne, a Graduate Diploma of Chemical Engineering from Swinburne University and further qualifications in project management, quality assurance and customer satisfaction.

Outside of her role, Yvonne enjoys volunteering at local sporting clubs.

Diwakar Raju Devaraj

IT Coordinator

Diwakar Raju Devaraj is the IT Coordinator at Avant Group, where he works to meet all of the firm’s IT needs by implementing and managing all IT services including Dynamics 365 applications and SharePoint online collaboration applications. He also manages Avant Group’s automation processes by working in all aspects of Microsoft Cloud Services.

Prior to joining Avant Group, Diwakar was responsible for Application Development in Cognizant and DXC Technology for two different US projects for three years. While there he achieved key delivery milestones for BRIGHT HORIZONS with his technical skills including ASP.NET MVC, SQL, JavaScript, jQuery and Angular.

Diwakar holds a Masters in Information Technology from Central Queensland University and a Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from Anna University. He also holds a Microsoft Certification in Dynamics 365. When not hard at work, Diwakar enjoys watching different sporting events.

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.