About Pioneera

Pioneera's purpose is to unleash everyone's potential to be happier, healthier and more productive at work. Working towards a world where burnout is a thing of the past is what gets us out of bed every morning and we've been doing it since 2018!
Our AI bot Indie is the flagship product for Pioneera. Indie blends AI and Psychology to identify and act on the early warning signs of stress through personalised, confidential nudges and coaching. Indie helps teams to reduce stress and burnout in the workplace.
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The Pioneera Story

It all started when...

Danielle Owen Whitford, Founder and CEO of Pioneera, spent more than two decades working for large corporations across telecommunications, finance and insurance. She loved helping customers and developing people in her teams. However in 2016 Danielle unexpectedly found herself experiencing burnout, which led to the realisation her purpose was to help prevent others from going through the same experience. Which is why she created Indie!

A world where people and organisations achieve their full potential.


To make well beings.

We believe well beings are more productive, and by understanding wellbeing in real time we can provide timely action to help people achieve their potential.

Core purpose

We are F.I.R.E.

  • Fun
  • Innovators for social good
  • Remote yet connected
  • Equally committed to a shared purpose

Meet the Team Behind Pioneera and Indie

Our people are our superpower. We're grateful to work with some of the best minds in technology, psychology and leadership.

Danielle Owen Whitford

Danielle is a former corporate executive with more than 20 years of leadership experience across operations, retail, customer service and large-scale transformation. She turned her burnout experience into Indie, an AI bot for mental health support.

Brian Hay

Brian leads Product at Pioneera. An experienced technologist with years in commercialising technology, he makes sure our product delights our customers!

Anna Fitzgerald
Anna has over 25 years' experience across a wide range of industries with a focus on using technology to change industries and create positive change. She has specific strengths in storytelling, go-to-market and growth, with a focus on governance. She's also a rugby fanatic, film buff and keen tramper.
Alex Wilson

Alex is an Engineering Manager with over 25 years' experience in software development, team management and leadership with a solid engineering foundation. In his free time, he loves to travel.

Emily Tillett

Emily is an experienced Product Designer, passionate about solving user problems with empathy.  She brings a positive energy and creative mindset to any team she works with.

Danny Kalis

Danny is deeply passionate about growing the field of Psychology research, particularly in social and progressive fields. He loves cooking, listening to music and playing board games with friends.

Chanie Hyde

Chanie Hyde is a Digital Marketer with a passion for helping tech startups make data-driven decisions and is focused on helping Pioneera achieve stellar growth.

Nav Ayopela

Nav is a highly experienced web and mobile developer with more than 7 years of expertise in UI/UX development. Outside work, he enjoys reading articles and learning new technologies and spending time in cafés.

Pioneera's Partners and Advisors

Partners & Advisors

We have teamed up with leading industry experts passionate about Pioneera’s mission to increase wellbeing in the workplace.

Our Experts

Kris White

A behavioural psychology specialist who consults on behavioural challenges and opportunities facing businesses, governments and social organisations. After discovering Indie, Kris became an instant advocate of Pioneera’s mission and Indie’s thinking and supports the team on their journey.

Kris White
Dr Michelle McQuaid

She is sought around the world for her playful approach to translate cutting-edge research in positive psychology and neuroscience into practical actions to help people and workplaces to thrive. A best-selling author with more than 25 years of global leadership experience in organisations of all sizes, she works with boards, leadership teams, managers and employees to help them move beyond their fears, improve their resilience and wellbeing, and build authentic and productive connections so they can do the best work of their lives.

Dr Michelle McQuaid
Lynn Crawford

Lynn Crawford is a Professor in the John Grill Institute for Project Leadership and Director of Education in the School of Project Management at The University of Sydney. She has worked extensively with leading corporations and government agencies, assisting them in project capability development through global knowledge networks.

Lynn Crawford
Mike McAuley

Mike has managed and built successful startups for over 25 years. Mike now helps other entrepreneurs - like Danielle and her Pioneera team - build high-growth businesses by assisting with raising capital, developing winning sales strategies and building talented management teams.

Mike McAuley
Alicia Kulczynski

Alicia is Associate Professor of Marketing in the Newcastle Business School at the University of Newcastle. She has expertise in understanding factors that motivate consumer attitudes and behaviour and has published in leading international Marketing journals. Alicia is enthusiastic about conducting engaged and impactful research that is of value to end users.

Alicia Kulczynski
Sarah Bankins

Sarah is an Associate Professor of Ethical AI and Work in the Macquarie Business School at Macquarie University. She works with philosophers, economists, computer scientists, marketers, and organisational psychologists to examine how the use of artificially intelligent technologies shape what people do in their jobs, how they experience their work, and how AI can be used to make work and workplaces better. Before academia she worked in human resource management and organisational development roles, so doing research with practical impact is in her DNA.

Sarah Bankins
Kruti Patel

Kruti has more than 13 years of experience in mobile technology development and has managed development teams at various product companies. In her free time, she loves to lift weights, play sports and loves puppies of all kinds.

Kruti P-1

Our Advisors

Dr. Alicia Aitken

Alicia holds a PhD in stress & coping and founded several tech start-ups before transitioning to corporate where she’d held several executive roles. She was the first Chief Project Officer at Telstra, the Head of Investment Management at ANZ and currently holds the role of General Manager Strategy Delivery at ANZ. She sits on a number of advisory boards including Cloudfloat, Joyous and the Office of Projects Victoria.

Nathan Moyes

Nathan brings over 20 years of experience in developing and managing teams and businesses across the product and operational lifecycles. Nath has 15 years in executive leadership positions and is an accomplished people manager, developer and leader with extensive change management experience.

Nish Chandran

Nish Chandran brings 26 years of experience in technology and leading high-performing teams, across various domains including financial services, payments, insurance, international banking, risk management and cyber. Nish is passionate about understanding the impacts of mental health in corporations and how technology may be used effectively to deal with this issue.

Chloe Hamman

Chloe is a Director of Product People Science at Culture Amp, a leading employee experience platform. Chloe holds a Masters in Organisational Psychology and Bachelor degrees in both Science and Commerce. In her current role, Chloe leads the product people science and research practice and works in collaboration with Culture Amp’s growing data science, design and UX research teams - to bring in behavioural science and research to inform product innovation.

Indie AI Chat Bot for Workplace Stress Management

About our AI bot Indie

Indie is connected easily to your daily communication channels. Through the use of NLP (Natural-Language Processing) and sentiment analysis to assess language in written text, Indie picks up and acts upon stress indicators in real-time.
Private and personalised nudges are sent to individuals and managers to prevent employee burnout in a far more proactive solution than regular employee engagement surveys.

Connect Indie to your communications
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