Our Consultant Team

Susan F. Stevenson (nee Graham)

DipTchg, HDipTchg, AdDipTchg, CTT, BritScrtDip, DipRec&Sp,   
AISTD (Ball. London), AISTD (Lat. London), MNZFATD (Lat.NZ)
BEd, PGDip Arts (Education), GradDipCD&AL(Hons) and M.Ed (University of Otago)

Founder and Chief Executive Director


Susan has been successfully engaged in advanced educational, academic and business leadership, facilitation and research activities for over 30 years in New Zealand.  Susan has lead or contributed to numerous quality degree qualification designs or re-development projects and was appointed as an NZQA degree approval and accreditations panellist/chair in 2010.  She has held managerial and leadership roles, in school, museum, private, polytechnic, wananga, pacific island, business and university contexts. Areas of specialist expertise include institutional and staff capacity building, curriculum design and advanced transformational learning by individuals and organisations.

 Consulting work focus is generally on organisational quality development, quality facilitation and learning, curriculum design, effective and continuously improving quality management systems and applied leadership. Susan was been a USA, UNESCO Scholarship Recipient, chaired NZQA Subject Advisory Group, Research and Ethics committees and won awards for her research.  She has held a range of senior management and leadership roles which include; University Staff Developer, Senior Lecturer, Department Head and Research Fellow, specialist Degree Programme Curriculum Advisor/Designer/Developer, NZQA Approvals and Accreditations Advisor, National Academic Manager, company and charitable trust directorships as well as held a variety of professional, research and educational and professional Society’s leadership positions and editorial roles. She is currently the President of the International Higher Education Curriculum Designer & Academic Leadership Society.

Susan founded House of Montrose Limited in 2006, and is now a ‘hands on’ Chief Executive Director of this leading business and education consulting company who trades as ‘NZCDI Business and Education Consultants’ and the highly successful ‘New Zealand Curriculum Design Institute’, a NZQA Registered and Approved Course Owner organisation.

Eliot Henderson

Executive Institute Co-ordinator


Eliot manages all Institute systems and undertakes a diverse range of work that supports the Directors, Consultant team and a range of the Institute's consulting division clients. He has a background of effective work experience in management, distribution, retail, computing, marketing, social sciences and tertiary education. Eliot also currently facilitates higher education programmes. Work Eliot undertakes supports the Directors, Consultant team and a range of the Institute's and consulting division clients. He is engaged in direct services provision to clients and curriculum design. Recent work has included degree level programme design and accreditation application developments.

Higher Education Consultant

Dr Donald Joyce
CertAd&Tert.Ed, BSc (Hons), and PhD, (University of Cambridge)


Donald has a vast and successful background as a Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Professor, Academic Quality Adviser, Group Facilitator and Mentor in both university and polytechnic settings in New Zealand and overseas.  Donald has held positions at Unitec, Massey University and the Universities of Auckland, Cambridge, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Otago, Oxford, Papua New Guinea, and the South Pacific.   He has also served as chair of the National Advisory Committee on Computing Qualifications (NACCQ). Recent publications include a textbook used in 13 countries, 66 papers in conference proceedings (17 international and 49 national), 35 other conference presentations (11 international and 24 national) and 20 journal papers (9 international and 11 national). 

Academic quality system work has included contributions and leadership roles related to academic issues, academic integrity, academic standards, academic statutes, appointments and promotions, postgraduate studies, preliminary studies, undergraduate studies, and university status. His research interests have in the main focussed on academic integrity, assessment and Student success, programme development, delivery and review.  Donald has directed qualifications from certificate to doctoral level, served on two NZQA panels, acted as a subject expert for a PTE’s application for approval and accreditation of a degree and as a degree monitor at three institutes of technology. Successful supervision of Master’s and doctoral Students is also a key skill and area of experience. Donald is a highly competent, innovative and methodical consultant who can provide Clients with quality solutions, systems and materials.

Higher Education Consultant

Professor Nelleke Bak

BA (Ed), BA (Hons), MA, PhD (University of the Western Cape)

 Facilitation Foci: Research Methods and Research Supervision

About Nelleke

Before moving to New Zealand in May 2015, Dr Nelleke Bak was the Director of Postgraduate Studies at the University of Cape Town, where she was responsible for overseeing postgraduate policy, streamlining systems, encouraging appropriate innovation, developing educational resources and providing academic and professional development opportunities for 8,500 postgraduate students and 320 postdoctoral fellows. Prior to this role Nelleke was Professor of Education Policy Studies at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, Associate Professor-Director of National and International Scholarships at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, USA, Director and Chief Curriculum Developer of the South African Nation Responsible Gambling Schools Programme, Associate Professor, Director of Postgraduate Enrolment and Throughput at the University of Western Cape South Africa and, and at the start of her career a teacher and School Head of Department. Through her positions, Nelleke has developed significant skills in the areas of postgraduate teaching, supervision (both Masters and PhD students), resource development and academic management and leadership. Nelleke speaks three languages fluently, has gained an outstanding Teacher Award, is an experienced facilitator and has developed curricula – class-based and web-based resources for diverse audiences.

Research interests/expertise

Nelleke’s research interests include philosophy of education, critical and scientific reasoning, curriculum design, teaching-facilitation quality, ethics and postgraduate education. In addition, she has written a series of guides for postgraduate students, postdoctoral fellows, administrators and supervisors including: Research Proposal Guide, Thesis Guide, Supervision Guide, Guidelines for the Administration of Master’s and Doctoral Students, Guide to Academic Writing, Guide on Avoiding Plagiarism, Guide on Managing Postdocs, Publishing from your Thesis, a Supervision Starter Pack and has co-written  a Student Survival Guide. Nelleke has published in numerous journals, written a book entitled Completing your Thesis: A Practical Guide (van Schaik, 2004) and has contributed to a range of publications. Nelleke’s main research interests include ethics of the Built Environment, Scientific Reasoning and Critical Thinking, Supervision Relationships and Practices, Youth Gambling and High-Risk Behaviour.

Recent publications/research in progress

1.    Bak, N. (2015). Complementary models of supervision. Acknowledged contribution in In Holness, L. Growing the Next Generation of Researchers. Cape Town: UCT Press.

2.    Bak, N. (2011). Professionalising the supervision relationship: A reply to Waghid, Fataar and Hugo. South African Journal of Higher Education 25(6): 1047-1061.

3.    Bak, N. (2007). Taking Risks Wisely, Grades 7-9. The South African Responsible Gambling Trust: Johannesburg (Piloted version: 2007; final version: 2010)

4.    Bak, N. (2004). How to Complete Your Thesis: A Practical Guide. Pretoria: Van Schaik’s.

Professional affiliations/Editorial Boards

The South African Journal of Higher Education (1998 - 03)

The South African Journal of Education (2000 - 03)

Law, Democracy and Development (2001)

Higher Education Consultant

Foram Shah
CAdEd, B.Sc. (Statistics - Gold Medal), M.Sc. (Statistics), & M.Phil. (Statistics)

A qualified adult educator and talented mathematician, statistician and quantitative research analyst, Foram gained a Gold Medal award for her Statistics studies in India. Foram then began her teaching career in high schools and through private mathematics coaching in India.  This experience created a strong base for the education work she undertook in 2003 when Foram moved to New Zealand with her family. She initially focussed on language teaching and joined a Private Tertiary Provide as an ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) tutor.  Since her start in higher education in New Zealand Foram’s considerable capabilities saw her become a Diploma Tutor, Marketing Coordinator, Programme Leader, Campus Manager, Head Tutor and then an Institutional Director of Studies.

Over the past years Foram has successfully led a number of projects at national and international level and has been involved in strategic planning, EER preparation, NZQA Panel defences, academic leadership decision making, Quality Assurance, curriculum development, plus international and national marketing and recruitment planning and implementation. Foram has also worked in the university sector in New Zealand and is currently undertaking a PhD in Mathematics education. Foram has an array of international networks and education and business contacts in New Zealand and India.  She is a capable consultant with special skills in the support and development of international student markets, market planning, analyses and market entry as well as in curriculum development areas. An enthusiastic and hardworking advocate for the projects and interests of those she works with Foram can provide vital multi perspective which is often a key to project and market entry success.


Papua New Guinean Higher Education & Training Consultant

Christine Sumbuk
 – CertIVTaa, NTC Reg., CertOffAdmin, Cert.Train the Trainer, Cert.Workplace Assessment,
    DipBus (Frontline Management, B. Econ., MBA (University of Waikato)

Christine is the Founder and Director of Innovation Training Services in Papua New Guinea. This company works to support competency based capacity building and institutional strengthening. Based in Waigani near Port Moresby city Christine can assist locals and new businesses looking to establish businesses and a base in Papua New Guinea. Christine has extensive experience in offering comprehensive and professional service to businesses to assist them to develop, grow and maximise their potential. Staff training and development is a core   area of service and Christine can cater for most businesses by developing customised training courses to develop or improve business outcomes. 

In recent years Christine has worked with and for a range of government departments, churches, major multi-national and large and small business clients achieving a 100% project completion ratio. With experience of a broad range of people and different countries (NZ, Naru, PNG and the UK)Christine has a special capacity to provide services and supports in diverse cultural settings and deliver training that is enjoyable and effective. 

Training topics include negotiation, frontline services, business administration, Total Quality Management, Time Management, Business Planning, Change Management, Communication, problem solving, decision making, management coaching, consultation, attitude and personal development, Leadership, marketing and facilitation. Christine is a members of the Business and Professional Woman’s Assoc., Australian Alumni, Waikato University Alumni, and The Voice Inc.  A talented trainer and business and management consultant Christine is effective and positive.

All our consultants have relevant qualifications and years of experience as teachers, tutoring and lecturers at levels 1 to 9 and hold postgraduate level qualifications, have significant successful management and leadership experience of both Unit Standard and all other types of assessment, plus educational advisory experience and in conducting research and publishing educational resources/papers.

NZCDI has a further 15 associates who are often contracted for their high level expertise in particular fields and areas.  These areas include: Business and Marketing, Action Research, Computing, Hospitality, Teacher Education, Early Childhood Education, Mentoring, Facilitation and Coaching, Distance Education, Consultation and Stakeholder Engagement, Engineering, Business Planning, Human Resource Management and so on.
Should one of these other parties be required to support work you contract these additional experts will be seamlessly provided to ensure the best possible outcomes for you and your organisation.