A bit about us

Heather Norris, the principal consultant has extensive experience in all three levels of government in two states and the Northern Territory and has a well-rounded appreciation of the workings of government. She prides herself on a successful track record of involvement in funding submissions to both state and federal government. The combined value of funding submissions she has played a major role in over the past decade exceeds $30m.

Heather has a particularly thorough understanding of local government and its relationship to State and Federal governments. She prides herself on being able to put herself in the shoes of the assessor and ensure that the story is told and paints the picture for a successful outcome.

Key professional competencies



Norris Consulting Services

Consultant, Jan 2009 – present.
Undertaking a variety of consulting roles including project management, submission and report writing, workshop facilitation and training.

Department of Infrastructure and Planning, Queensland Government

Principal Planner (A07) June 2007 – Jan 2009

Primary responsibility for implementation of the Regional Plan for the Whitsunday, Hinterland and Mackay region (Mackay Statistical Division). Included extensive stakeholder engagement, conducting workshops, preparation of strategic documents, project management, strategic planning, statistical analysis, report writing for executive management and senior politicians and managing various groups including a Ministerial Advisory Committee (Regional Planning Advisory Committee).

Mackay Whitsunday Regional Economic Development Corporation

Transitional Chief Executive Officer June 2006 – Jan 2007

Seconded through Mackay City Council to see the Organisation through a major restructure including extensive constitutional changes to allow for a Board of Directors more representative of business and industry. Required extensive stakeholder consultation and negotiation, preparation of promotional materials and development of funding agreements and contracts with funding agencies, reorganisation of the charter of accounts and preparation of the annual report.

Department of State Development, Trade and Innovation, Qld Government

Sugar Resource Officer (AO7) Jan 2005 – Feb 2006

The Primary role was management of grants under the Sugar Industry Innovation Fund (SIIF) including development of applications, preparation of assessment reports and management of milestone payments and progress reports. Responsible for negotiation with sugar industry on value-adding developments including ethanol production, bio-commodities and cogeneration. The position was a contract position nearing its expiry date.

Central Queensland Forest Association Inc.

Executive Officer Mar 2002 – December 2004

The role was a complex one requiring initiative, self management and well developed communication skills. Duties include financial and business management of the affairs of the association, development of project proposals for funding, and management of funded projects including audited reports to the funding bodies. Development of business plan and guidelines and policy for the operation of the Association.

Norris Computer Services Pty Ltd

Director/Company Secretary 1986 –

Active director and company secretary in this business, providing assistance in all aspects of desktop and web publishing services to the range of public and private sector clients. Responsible for all financial management for the company including financial input into business planning exercises.

Itmates Pty Ltd

Director/Company Secretary/Contract Manager April 2000 – January 2002

Developed a joint venture of six Northern Territory (NT) companies to provide application development and projects and consulting services to the NT Government in response to the tender for these services. Prepared the successful tender response and formed the company Itmates Pty Ltd to deliver these services and established the operational guidelines for the company including its relationship to the six member companies and Quality Assurance procedures.

Department of Fisheries, South Australian Government

Senior Research Officer 1975 – 1986

Conducted detailed scientific analyses of species to provide input into fisheries management policies to ensure achievement of maximum sustainable and maximum economic yield. Developed complex computer population dynamics models involving population density, recruitment, mortality, growth rates and migration.


  • Through Mackay Regional Council I have worked with Heather over many years, including in capacities as a consultant. Primarily her work has been linked to economic research, business case development, and funding application development, however I also worked closely with Heather through her role as Executive Officer with the Whitsunday Regional Organisation of Councils (WROC).

    I have always found Heather to be practical, passionate, and value for money. Also a strength, Heather will be the first to advise if a project is her area of expertise, or others would be better. This is not something that every consultant will advise on.

    David McKendry
    Executive Officer | Office of Mayor & CEO | Mackay Regional Council
  • Connect Housing Group engaged Heather Norris to lead us through our business planning processes and produce numerous documents including; Business Plan, Risk Management Plan, Business Continuity Plan and Situation Analysis.

    Heather’s professional and personable approach to working with our management, staff and other relevant stakeholders resulted in our organisation getting the high quality business plan we needed to guide our future direction and become a nationally accredited Community Housing Provider.

    Heather understands business planning and is a whiz with ABS data analysis. Whenever anyone asks me to recommend a business consulting service Heather Norris is the first person that comes to my mind.

    Jennifer Emmett
    Chief Executive Officer | Connect Housing Group
  • I have worked with Heather Norris from Norris Consulting during the start-up phase of the Greater Whitsunday Regional Economic Development Organisation. Heather has consistently provided considered advice and direction on strategy and process. Heather had consulted to the organisation to successfully secure Government Grant funding. The insights and attention to detail were instrumental in developing and submitting successful funding applications. Heather is a highly experienced and friendly professional that has been a pleasure to work with.

    Garry Scanlan
    Chief Executive Officer | GW3 Greater Whitsunday Alliance

Sample reports