The Team

Dr. Paul Monk 
Managing Director of Austhink Consulting

Paul MonkPaul is also an essayist on cultural and geopolitical affairs in the major media, public speaker and facilitator.

His doctorate in International Relations was a study of the capacity of the United States government to learn and think in its Cold War counter-insurgency campaigns against Communism in South East Asia and Central America.

He then worked in the Defence Intelligence Organization as an analyst of East Asian affairs, culminating in his appointment as head of China analysis and chair of the inter-agency analytical working group on China.

He has taught strategic studies and Chinese politics at university and is the author of 'Thunder From the Silent Zone: Rethinking China' (Scribe 2005), which emphasizes the need for critical thinking in coming to grips with the rise of Chinese power in our time. It was short listed, in 2006, for both the Gleebooks Prize for non-fiction in New South Wales, and 'The Age' Book of the Year in Victoria. Paul is a public intellectual, whose essays on many topics have appeared over the past decade in 'Quadrant', the Friday review section of 'The Australian Financial Review', 'The Griffith Review' and elsewhere. He is also the author of 'Fair Choices: Flexibility and Negotiating Power in the Workplace' (2007).


Dr. Tim van Gelder 
Director of Austhink Consulting and CEO of Austhink Software

Tim van GelderTim's research at the University of Melbourne proved that practice in argument mapping dramatically improves critical thinking skills and results.

Tim is a cognitive scientist with a background in philosophy, and a specialist in reasoning skills and argument mapping. He has over 60 publications in cognitive science, including Mind as Motion: Explorations in the Dynamics of Cognition (MIT 1995). He is also Associate Professor (Principal Fellow) in the Department of Philosophy, University of Melbourne. and a Research Fellow at Trinity College, University of Melbourne. Tim was winner of the 2001 Eureka Prize for Critical Thinking.







Dr. Yanna Rider 
Security and Defence Specialist at Austhink Consulting

Yanna RiderYanna is an experienced trainer specialising in hypothesis development and argument mapping.

If you really must know, she spent too many years getting too many degrees at The University of Melbourne, mostly in Philosophy, worrying over such things as the interactive nature of cognition.  She got a few awards out of it, and the 'Dr' in front of her name, which is a Good Thing.  That's where she met Tim van Gelder, who converted her to argument mapping and sold her the idea of turning thinking from an occupational hazard into a profession.

She spent three years in the UK running argument mapping training workshops for teachers and organisations like the National Audit Office, but was lured back to Australia in 2005.




Jane Lewis
Head, Corporate and Legal at Austhink Consulting

Jane LewisJane Lewis leads Austhink Consulting's training division for business and professional customers.

Jane's academic background is in social and organisational psychology; her professional background is in corporate training and in major B2B sales in consulting and the energy industry. Her clients include key players in manufacturing, banking, utilities, government and legal sectors.

Her experience as a professional actress and musician, as a lecturer at Monash University and as a trainer in creative training techniques, add extra impact to Austhink's critical thinking training and facilitation events.