Leadership Team


Dr. Kate Mirfin
Director (Registered Psychologist, PhD, BSc[Hons])

Kate is a director of Cerno.  Kate is a registered psychologist with over 25 years’ experience in a wide range of areas (including selection and development-focused assessment centres, research, workshop facilitation, capability identification, 360° coaching sessions, performance management, and strategy and policy development and implementation).  Kate has worked with managers and leaders at a wide range of levels; from team leaders and front-line managers to candidates for chief executive roles.  Kate has worked as a Cerno consultant since 2004.  Previously Kate was the Manager of the Army Psychology Service, where she was responsible for the conduct of psychology and psychology-related services and research.  While serving with the New Zealand Army Kate developed a range of services to assist service people and their families cope with the stresses caused by peacekeeping deployments, worked within Massey University’s Psychology Department, and represented New Zealand at a range of international fora.  

Kate completed her PhD at Massey University, where she researched the psychological effects of the peacekeeping service in Bosnia.  Kate’s work has been published in Stress Medicine and Military Medicine.


Dr. Tania Graham
Director (Registered Psychologist, PhD, PGDip, MA[Hons])

Tania is a director of Cerno. Tania has over 15 years of extensive experience generating and implementing assessment tools for a wide range of capability frameworks, conducting senior manager and Chief Executive assessments for public and private sector organisations, undertaking 360° coaching sessions, and workshop facilitation.  Tania has led the development and implementation of numerous leadership development programmes for clients across the public sector and has worked with managers and leaders at a wide range of levels; from team leaders and front-line managers to candidates for chief executive roles. 

Tania completed her PhD at Massey University, where she worked with the New Zealand Police to explore the job expectations of new recruits.  She is a registered psychologist who is qualified to administer a range of psychometric tools for the assessment of personality, working styles, team preferences and cognitive ability.


Dr. Danica Hooper
Director - Cerno Australia Pty. Ltd. (Registered Psychologist, PhD, BSc[Hons])

Danica is the Director of Cerno Australia and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Queensland.  She holds a PhD in organisational psychology, is a member of the Australian Psychological Society, and the College of Organisational Psychologists.  

Danica is a registered psychologist with over 14 years’ experience providing organisational consulting services to businesses across Australia, New Zealand, and South East Asia.  Danica’s consulting experience includes a wide spectrum of public and private sector organisations, including government (local, state and commonwealth), mining, energy, engineering, transport, retail, and financial industries.  She specialises in assessment, leadership development, and coaching for employee selection and development purposes, as well as in a broad range of organisational development initiatives.  She brings a business focus to work, drawing upon her own management experience, qualifications in process improvement (Six Sigma), and her background in facilitating strategic planning workshops for organisations.




Dr. Carl Beuke
Principal Psychologist (Registered Psychologist, PhD, BSc[Hons])

Carl is a psychologist who has specialised in leadership and management development since 2002, and has worked with Cerno since 2007.  In addition to developing and implementing leadership assessment and development centres, he is experienced in training HR professionals in assessment and test interpretation, and in conducting statistical and psychometric research and development.  He has worked with managers and leaders at a wide range of levels, from team leaders and front-line managers to candidates for Chief Executive roles.

Carl holds a PhD in Psychology from Victoria University, where his topic was information processing in depression and anxiety. His PhD research was published in Clinical Psychology Review. He previously worked for Australian Psychologists Press (APP) and the Independent Testing Service of Australia (ITSA).


Barbara Alp
Principal Consultant (Registered Psychologist, BA[Hons])

Barbara has in excess of 20 years’ experience as a psychologist and a range of experience in the development and implementation of assessment and development tools, manager assessment, conducting 360° coaching sessions, organisational reviews and workshop facilitation. She has particular expertise in performance management, organisation design, individual assessment, coaching, mentoring and counselling. Barb has worked extensively with Chief Executives, senior managers, and middle managers in the public and private sectors.


Dr. Karl Pajo
Senior Consultant (PhD, MA[Hons])

Karl has a PhD in Industrial and Organisational Psychology from Massey University. He has over 25 years experience as an academic and researcher, and has undertaken various consultancy assignments with a range of clients from large public sector organisations to listed companies. His particular expertise is in assessment, quantitative and qualitative research, and data analytics across a broad range of human behaviour, learning and performance areas.


Maya Crawley
Consultant (Registered Psychologist, PGDip, MA[Hons], BBusCom)

Maya is a registered Psychologist who is passionate about helping individuals and the organisations they work for achieve sustainable performance and long-term growth. She has a particular interest in working with leaders and entrepreneurs to enhance performance and personal well-being. Prior to joining Cerno, Maya ran her own business which saw her tackling a variety of challenges, especially in the areas of business innovation and leader development.

Maya has also been involved in organisational development consulting, designing innovative talent management frameworks, and conducting organisational research. In addition to her background in Industrial Psychology, Maya has a degree in Marketing and Business Communication from the University of Siena in Italy, where she lived for a number of years.


Sofia Garcia
Consultant (MSc[Hons], PGDip, BSc[Hons])

Sofia has experience in workforce science and analytics, she is currently involved in the assessment of leadership talent, development and selection. Prior to joining Cerno, Sofia worked for IBM Kenexa and assisted wide-ranging businesses, in the public and private sector, to identify the level of engagement of their workforce and recommend solutions to lift or maintain those levels. While in this role Sofia was involved in numerous employee engagement projects including the design and delivery of executive presentations, workshops and scientific writing.

Sofia has a Master Degree in Industrial and Organisational Psychology. Her research was a meta-analytic review of newcomer proactive behaviours at work. Sofia is currently completing her Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Industrial/Organisational Psychology and registration as a psychologist.




Jennifer Chin
Client Coordinator (BA)

Jennifer is a client coordinator at Cerno and the first point of contact for senior managers who attend an Assessment or Development Centre at Cerno. She coordinates the logistics of the assessment process, and assists with the smooth running of the business. Prior to starting at Cerno, she previously worked at several public sector organisations. Jennifer graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.


Nicky Mildenhall
Client Coordinator (BSc[Hons])

Nicky is a client co-ordinator at Cerno, and often first point of contact for senior managers who attend an Assessment or Development Centre at Cerno. She coordinates the logistics of the assessment process, and assists with the smooth running of the business.  Nicky previously worked for an HR consulting firm, researched tuberculosis vaccines, and studied the aging process of tuataras. She holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biomedical Science.


Daniel Joyce
Technology and Services Administrator (BCom)

Daniel is Cerno's Services and Technology Administrator, who ensures all online and office services remain available for both client and consultant use. He also has extensive involvement in all Cerno 360° projects, and the Queensland Executive Capability Assessment and Development programme.

Daniel graduated from Victoria University of Wellington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Commerce in Electronic Commerce and Information Systems.