Department of Home Affairs
Mr Jaycob McMahon: Assistant Secretary, Media & Engagement Branch at the Department of Home Affairs. In this role, Jaycob is responsible for the delivery of all media management and external engagement functions for the Department, including, but not limited to; media support for Ministers and Executive, media enquiry management, social media, strategic communications, campaigns and graphic design and production. Prior to this, Jaycob has worked in various roles across the APS covering International Policy, Strategic Issues Management, Service Delivery Reform, Ministerial and Parliamentary, and Counsellor in Washington DC. He holds a Bachelor of International Studies (Asian Languages) and a Master of the Arts in Communications Management.
Gemma joined IP Australia in 2015 and in April 2019 became the General Manager of People and Communications Group (PCG). The PCG is focused on the provision of specialist HR and strategic communication expertise that continues to build the capability of the agency’s people and increase awareness of intellectual property and IP Australia.
Gemma’s expertise is predominantly in HR across private and public sector, specialising in injury management, workers compensation and Code of Conduct. Over the span of Gemma’s career, she has led teams through the HR landscape as it has evolved from an administrative function to a strategic and critical enabler to meet business objectives. Gemma’s focus for Communication is to provide value added services that support our core business while also seeking to optimise our communication activities to enhance customer experiences.
Gemma has a strong record of getting positive results in complex and often challenging transformation environments, by establishing a clear vision for success, strategic planning, good change management practices and leading committed and cohesive teams. Gemma’s passion lies in the personal and professional development of people and believes strong and motivational leadership is vital for the success of any organisation. Gemma’s motto is…
If you can be inspirational and hilarious at the same time, you’re really on to something
Australian Taxation Office
Ellen Bortolot is a passionate Marketing Communications Strategist currently delivering high level, national campaigns with community impact for the Australian Tax Office. With a career spanning over 20 years, she is well respected for her work and drive to continually deliver best practices in her field.
She is a Fellow and Certified Practicing Marketer with the Australian Marketing Institute, and has a background in law, policy development and implementation. She holds post – graduate qualifications in Strategic Marketing as well as a Master’s in Taxation Law. Ellen has also contributed to shaping state education policy through her volunteer leadership role as Commissioner on a State Education Policy Commission.
Ellen is an influencer and authoritative leader on behavioural insights within her organisation, and in her prior roles as a Behavioural Insights Practitioner has been able to make a vital contribution to the successful implementation of high – level client and staff experience strategies. Her success is underpinned by her strong expertise in stakeholder management and staff engagement.
Alicia Thomson is the Assistant Director Program Delivery (Engagement) for Geoscience Australia’s Digital Earth Australia program. Alicia is an award winning communications professional with over a decade of experience in the international communication industry, and academic qualifications in communications and management. Alicia enjoys working within the scientific community, with a background in the international higher education sector taking her to universities and academic institutions around the world before joining Geoscience Australia in 2017. A passionate mum, Collingwood supporter and communicator, Alicia is dedicated to her family, her team and to bridging the gap between science and the community.
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning VIC
Paul Sellars is a former journalist who has spent the last 10 years working in Victorian public sector communications, predominantly with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and its predecessor organisations. Paul began his career as a cadet journalist at the Shepparton News in northern Victoria and later joined The Weekly Times, where he covered politics and water before becoming chief of staff in 2007. Paul has undertaken a number of roles since moving to the public sector in 2010, leading media, strategic communications, corporation communications and content teams before being appointed as Director, Corporate and Strategic Communications at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, in 2019.
Eva Rodriguez Rodriguez has over 10 years’ experience in coordinating and leading the creation of collaborative end-user driven innovations utilising earth observation and other space-derived data and technologies in Australia and Europe. Eva is the Portfolio and Strategy Manager at FrontierSI, where she leads the design, creation and implementation of long-term strategic work in the space and spatial sectors. Eva’s project experience spans fields including telemedicine, disaster monitoring and emergency response, ocean weather forecasting, air and water quality, and forestry monitoring. Eva holds a Master of Science in Telecommunications Engineering and Management, a Bachelor in Telematics from BarcelonaTech (UPC), and is currently undertaking Stanford University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate.
Bureau of Meteorology
David has more than 25 years of experience in marketing and communication, holding senior positions at Monash University and The University of Melbourne, in state and federal government agencies, and in research and operational organisations. Over the last five years he has led a major transformation program within the Bureau of Meteorology to modernise and restructure the marketing and communication functions.
As the Bureau’s General Manager Community Outreach, David has responsibility for enabling a deep and effective engagement between the Bureau and the Australian community by aligning the Bureau’s communication capabilities with its frontline forecasting and warning services. David also has responsibility for the Bureau’s state media management, social media, video production, public education, marketing and brand, design and engagement functions.
The Community Outreach team comprises 40 extraordinarily talented staff largely based in Melbourne with others in all states and territories except Canberra.
Department of Primary Industries NSW
Lyndall Hilder is a communications professional with more than 19 years’ experience including leading engagement on major government reforms; managing strategic communications during emergency responses; and international experience driving successful media campaigns and developing communication opportunities.
Lyndall has established productive relationships within government and with key stakeholders throughout 13 years in the NSW public sector.
Ipswich City Council
After a 30-year career in journalism which saw Simon at the forefront of digital newsroom innovation, Simon Holt has a good grip on what it takes to build audiences. Simon has been editor of multiple publications, most recently editor-in-chief at Fairfax’s digital-only newsroom, Brisbane Times. Simon has written a book about ways media and public relations practitioners can best interact with modern newsrooms. But Simon’s biggest challenge is now – re-thinking the way government organisations view their communications strategy to suit a rapidly-changing media landscape.
As co-founder of Swift Digital Paul has extensive experience working with government agencies at all levels for over 18 years. His experience and insights have helped shape the Swift Digital Platform to meet the demands of the government and private sectors alike.
Alcohol & Drug Foundation
Cinzia Marrocco has worked in Marketing and Communications for over 15 years, having worked on major brands such as St John Ambulance, Cancer Council, YMCA and now the Alcohol and Drug Foundation. Cinzia has lived and worked in the UK for six years and spent that time building brands in the private and not for profit sectors. Back in Australia Cinzia has been fortunate enough to lead teams with a focus on how developments in technology and customer expectations can lead innovation, creativity and behaviour change. Cinzia’s specialties lie in championing positive change, engaging stakeholders and strategy development and implementation.
Lead The Room
Australian Securities & Investments Commission
Andrew is currently leading the Next Gen MoneySmart project, a key deliverable from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to help Australians take control of their financial lives.
Andrew has worked in the field of financial education for 15 years with a background across communications and finance and he leads a team of project leaders and insights providers across service design, financial education, communications, social media, behavioural insights and data analytics.
Australian Institute of Health & Welfare
Rebecca Richter is Head of Strategic Communication and Stakeholder Engagement at the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. She leads a high performing team who deliver the full suite of communication services to support the organisation in its vision of stronger evidence, better decisions, improved health and wellbeing for all Australians.
Starting her career as a public relations consultant, Rebecca has over 15 years’ experience in media and communication, including roles at CSR Ltd, Australian Sports Commission and as media advisor to Australia’s Chief Scientist. Rebecca has a Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Commerce and post graduate qualifications in Public Policy & Governance and Applied Finance & Investment.
Karyn Wong is the Managing Director of Woolcott Research and Engagement and has had over 25 years’ market research and community and stakeholder engagement experience.
Her depth of knowledge of research principals combined with ‘best practice’ engagement methods adds a unique level of value to all projects. She has worked on a range of diverse community and stakeholder engagement assignments for electricity, gas and water suppliers as well as for local, state, and federal government in the key areas of communications, policy formulation, and programme co-design.
For the past 10 years, Karyn’s team has been at the forefront of the growing customer and stakeholder engagement industry, leading projects many of which have been recognised as Engagement ‘best practice’.
Robbie has lived, worked and travelled all over urban, regional, rural and remote Australia. She is respected both within and outside agribusiness as a rural leader and advocate.
Robbie has previously been named Westpac Australian Financial Review Woman of Influence, Agrifutures Australia NSW Rural Woman of the Year and is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program, of which she was also a Foundation board member for six years. She was and is a member of boards and advisory groups for governments, businesses and not-for-profits. Robbie has been a member on the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Small Business Finance Panel and is currently the Chair for the Panel conducting the Independent Assessment of Social and Economic Conditions in the (Murray-Darling) Basin, appointed by the Minister for Water Resources, and is Deputy Chair of the National Australia Day Council.
Robbie has represented Australian rural women in local and international forums and is was one of six people nationwide who is examining telecommunications services in regional, rural and remote parts of Australia. She was appointed to the Committee by the federal Minister for Regional Communications. Robbie uses her skills to encourage corporate and government clients to develop policies and communication initiatives that enhance the vital contribution to Australian life made by that rural, regional and remote communities.
As Creative Director, Jason explores opportunity to influence and motivate behaviours alongside his creative team that specialise in creative communications and behavioural change across both public and private sector; whether in the role of internal communications and change, or national advertising and social campaigns. Thinking about culture, strategy, communications and brand from the perspective of experience, Jason has built a name for himself as an unconventional, creative thinker, a strategic ideator, and a champion of curiosity.
Jason serves as a board member on the Chief Minister’s Brand Strategic Advisory Board for Canberra, is the founder of Synergy’s Be Curious series, a veteran of Gruen’s The Pitch, winner of multiple international awards, and has worked with local, and international brands including Eveready Batteries, ANU, Continental Tyres, Unilever, Cricket Australia, the ADF, and SABMiller.