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Dr Stephanie Kelly
PhD, MA, BA Hons. BA

New Zealand National Certificate in Adult Education



The Professional

'I understand only too well the challenges of our professional practice worlds and our communities. These tools have also helped me immensely in my ongoing professional journey'.

With a professional life spanning over three decades in Canada, remote Australia, and in Aotearoa New Zealand, as a social, community and cultural researcher, organisational advisor, senior manager across tertiary education, health and social services; educator, and a businessperson, when asked about my professional identity, always I am a sociologist.


I have felt privileged that my work has led me to be involved with many high performing teams, organisations, and grassroots community development initiatives.


I have planned, conducted, and supervised many academic and social research projects; community needs analyses, social and environmental impact analyses, scoping analysis, participatory action research, stakeholder engagement frameworks, orgnisational and community ethnography, policy analysis and development; and social service advocacy.

My 12 year ethnographic research with Ngai Tahu (Maori iwi of Te Waipounamu (South Island of New Zealand), welcomed and invited by kaumatua (tribal elders) and leaders of great mana, who shared their experiences of identity and whakapapa; and my community research with many communities, Maori, Pacific, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and refugee and migrant; have informed my professional work and values.  

Collaborative and facilitative are the words most used to describe my work with teams, organisations, communities; and in teaching and developing leaders to think and work critically and sociologically.

In 1995 I co-founded and directed Coffee Culture Limited, a new coffee concept, and T Teahouse, in the South Island of Aotearoa New Zealand.


I aim always to bring a sociological imagination to every professional encounter.

Real leadership is nuanced, often quiet, sometimes silent; seen and felt by those who are just actively getting on with it in selfless yet critically informed and astute ways, contributing to seemingly small outcomes for humanity.


These small outcomes are events and practices and form part of the wicked solutions needed for sustaining and thriving in our professional lives, buffeted by the social issues of our times.

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What Professional Poise offers: Sociologically informed

  • Professional supervision – for managers and interprofessional practitioners

  •  Leadership training and development – community, iwi, organisation, and personal

  • Identity and diversity training and analysis

  • Workplace oppression & scapegoating analysis, profiling, and risk rating for solutions

  • Organisational and community ethnography and life history

  • Policy development and analysis

  • Advocacy

  • Strategic planning

  • Training solutions


PhD, MA, BA Honours, BA Sociology, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

National New Zealand Certificate in Professional Workplace Supervision

National Level 5 New Zealand Certificate in Adult Teaching and Education.

Current memberships, committee representation, and international academic contributions

  • New Zealand PBRF ranked researcher.

  • ORCID: 0000-0002-6874-5055

  • ResearchGate





The Personal

Born in Toronto Canada, I grew up in an Irish Canadian family. My parents, while young, bravely left their large families and the ‘troubles’ of Northern Ireland to raise us in Canada.   I grew up learning to value hard work, education, spirituality, and comfort with change. Perhaps my own whakapapa places of colonisation, and a life punctuated by movement, sparked and curated a sociological and ethnographic imagination. When I was 19 years old, I moved to Christchurch New Zealand, where my academic, research and business life truly emerged.  Here I raised my own family. After the experiences of the Christchurch earthquakes, my professional journey has led me to beautiful Wellington and to working with Indigenous communities and great leaders, as I took up senior management roles  in the remote Northern Territory of Australia.  My professional continues to move between these spaces.

Get In Touch

Thank you for your enquiry, we will be in touch soon

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