Dr Jarrod Gilbert

PhD, BA (hons), Dip Ad
Research Director
Dr Jarrod Gilbert is a New Zealand sociologist at the University of Canterbury. He is the author of Patched: The History of Gangs in New Zealand, an award winning and bestselling book, and the co-editor of Criminal Justice: a New Zealand Introduction. He advises a number of government agencies on policy matters and is a columnist for the New Zealand Herald.

Ian Wood

M(Ed) (hons), PGDIP (merit), Registered Clinician – Drug and Alcohol Practitioners Association Aotearoa New Zealand (DAPAANZ)
Report Writer
Ian works in private practice, specialising in the treatment of addiction and trauma. With postgraduate training and experience in the assessment and treatment of addiction and coexisting disorders, his report writing seeks to integrate the impact of addictions, mental health and environmental factors into realistic recommendations for treatment.

Julie Scott

Executive Assistant
Julie is an administrative professional having worked in senior administrative roles at the University of Canterbury Law School, the New Zealand Police and Lincoln High School. Julie is a skilled communicator who assists in managing the day-to-day operations within the office while assisting our contractors throughout New Zealand. She is also the primary contact for clients at iRS.

Mel Jessep

Mel has a Bachelor of Criminal Justice and a Masters with Distinction in Criminal Justice. Her research interests lie in youth justice and alternative court processes.

Donna Chisholm

Cert J.
Interviewer and Writer
Donna Chisholm is an award-winning journalist and editor who has worked in newspapers and magazines for more than 40 years. She has specialised in feature writing in science, health, crime and social justice.

Jess Maclean

BSc and BA Hons
Researcher, Interviewer and Writer
Jess Maclean is a lecturer at Aotahi School of Māori and Indigenous Studies at the University of Canterbury, with an interest in Criminal Justice and in particular the over-representation of Māori in the justice system. She has previously been involved in research projects supporting Te Pūtahitanga o Te Wai Pounamu, the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency for the South Island, and is currently working on a PhD in Māori and Indigenous Studies.

Rose O’Connor

Bachelor of Broadcasting Communications (Screen Production)
Interviewer and Writer
Rose O’Connor has an extensive background in all forms of reportage – from television production and government communications, to the oral histories she has recorded both professionally and for friends and family.

Beck Eleven

BA, Dip J.
Interviewer and Writer
Beck was an award-winning journalist, feature writer and columnist at The Press newspaper for more than a decade before beginning a career in freelance and contract work. Her areas of research and writing expertise include human interest stories, crime, people and pets (for television and print publications).

Mary Cunningham

PGCert HSc, BA, Dip Addictions Counselling
Interviewer and Writer
Mary Cunningham is a DAPAANZ registered counsellor in Dunedin. She works in private practice, specialising in addiction and trauma. She has completed a Bachelor of Arts (English and Aboriginal Studies), Moana House’s Te Taketake Diploma of Addictions Counselling program and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Addiction and Co-Existing Disorders. In previous roles she has worked with young people and whānau affected by addiction and co-existing problems. She has extensive experience in conducting and formulating assessment interviews and writing reports.

Phil Taylor

BA, Dip J.
Interviewer and Writer
Phil Taylor worked as a journalist for 40 years during which he developed a special interest in crime and justice reporting. He has won New Zealand’s premier prizes for reporting, feature writing and investigative journalism and was awarded journalism fellowships to Green College, Oxford University, and Wolfson College, Cambridge University.

Sarah Young

Interviewer and Writer
Sarah Young is a former print and web journalist and a current PhD in Creative Writing candidate at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Te Herenga Waka–Victoria University of Wellington. She has worked in journalism, communications and project management roles in New Zealand, Dubai, and the UK. Her research interests lie in complex trauma, literary trauma theory, and narrative theory.

Catherine Masters

Interviewer and Writer
Catherine Masters is an award-winning journalist with a strong newspaper and feature writing background. She has covered many major events and has written extensively on social issues.

Russell Brown

Interviewer and Writer
Russell Brown is an Auckland-based freelance journalist who covers a range of topics, including drug law and policy from a public health perspective. He was the founder of the award-winning Public Address community blog site and hosted Media Watch on RNZ National and the TV shows Media7 on TVNZ 7 and Media Take on Māori Television. He has served on the boards of 95bFM and the Digital Media Trust and advises and writes for the New Zealand music heritage website AudioCulture.

Dr Lyn Barnes

PhD, M Ed (Hons), B Ed, Dip T’chg, Dip J
Interviewer and Writer
Lyn Barnes is a former senior lecturer in journalism at AUT University and an award-winning editor-writer. Her career in the media varied from small-town newspaper reporter, to TV current affairs research in Australia and editing Cuisine magazine. Lyn’s PhD thesis and a number of academic papers she wrote during a decade at AUT focused on journalism and trauma.

Melanie Jones

Interviewer and Writer
Melanie Jones has more than 40 years experience in journalism. She has held a range of executive positions across broadcast media, newspapers and magazines. In these positions she has led many award-winning teams. She is currently also executive producer of The Hui.

Hana Obradović

Interviewer and Writer
Hana Obradović has a Masters in Human Rights and a Bachelors degrees in Political Science and International Relations and Philosophy. Born and raised in Bosnia and Herzegovina, she took part in grassroots movements across the Balkans. Her work overseas focused on transitional justice. She has extensive experience in understanding transgenerational trauma and working with trauma victims. Her research and personal interests revolve around early childhood trauma and brain development, with an emphasis on neurodevelopmental disorders.

Dr Chris Gallavin

Ph.D LLB(hons)
Chris is the Chief Executive of Sisters of Compassion Group Ltd and the former Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey University. Chris is recognised nationally and internationally as an expert in the area of criminal justice. He has presented at more than 35 conferences, and has in excess of 1000 media citations. Chris’ contribution to Independent Research Solutions is highly valuable and ensures complex legal policy concerns are considered. Chris offers legal consultancy services of the highest standard.

Emeritus Professor Greg Newbold

Greg is one of New Zealand’s leading sociologists with expertise around many elements of criminal justice. He is widely published including authoring seven books. He speaks regularly at overseas conferences and has published more than fifty articles and book chapters in New Zealand and internationally. He frequently acts as a consultant to the government on matters of criminal justice policy. His methodological understandings, his eye for detail and his demands for excellence help to ensure the highest possible quality of work.

Additional staff

With our close links throughout the academic and research communities, we are capable of sourcing relevant experts and other staff on a contractual basis. This means that each project has specific expertise and staffing levels as required.