Career overview

Overview: A career marked out by multi-sector experience 

Since 2000 I have gained experience in Communications and Marketing teams at a cross-section of employers in the Public, Private and NGO sectors for equivalent amounts of time. Over this period I have worked on a variety of campaigns and projects in diverse roles as a Public Affairs Officer, Communications Advisor, Account Manager, Project Manager, Account Director, Independent Contractor, Strategic Advisor and Communications Manager. 

Employment history 2016-2022: Working in Australia and New Zealand

While the vast majority of my working life has been located in Wellington, New Zealand, in the 6+ years from January 2016 up until February 2022 I lived and worked in Sydney for four years. On returning to Wellington I have worked at the Covid-19 Group (DPMC) and Haumaru Kai Aotearoa.

Communications Manager at the Police Association of New South Wales, Sydney

  • May 2019 to February 2022 (34 months)
  • Team leader for two direct reports – initially a Social Media officer and a Publications officer, now transitioned into two Communications Officer positions
  • Work closely with the President and Executive on all media relations and responses 
  • Responsible for instituting a range of improvements to internal communications practice, refreshing and rebranding the Association magazine PANSW Police News and running a series of campaigns including #ThumbsUp4SafeCommunities (a morale booster during Covid-19) and #WorthMoreThanZero (a campaign to register opposition to a pay freeze). 

Communications & Media Lead at the Public Service Association of NZ

  • January 2018 to May 2019, across a team of 5 staff including an in-house graphic designer 
  • Managed editorial production of the quarterly PSA Journal and associated digital communications
  • Worked on projects such as member engagement during Government consultation on a new national Mental Health Strategy, and communications support during a long series of industrial disputes

Senior Media Advisor at the Health Quality & Safety Commission of NZ

  • October to December 2017
  • Primarily contracted to provide media support related to the release of a high profile report into adverse events at hospitals in New Zealand  

Communications Coordinator role for the Green Party – Election campaign 2017

  • July to October 2017, alongside a team of six people employed for the duration of the campaign
  • Focused on boosting communications for regional networks and coordination of a billboard advertising campaign

Strategy Advisor at Regenerate Christchurch

  • March to June 2017, in a role directly reporting to the GM of Regeneration Planning, James Lunday
  • Employed for a critical phase in stakeholder and community consultation on planning for the City Centre rebuild

Medianet Editor at Australian Associated Press, Sydney

  • January 2016 to February 2017, in an inaugural role to launch a new editorial/ marketing service 
  • Launched a value-adding software platform for screening media releases and trained new staff 

General Manager of Newsroom Ltd (Wellington)

  • January 2014 to Dec 2015, after the company – a media intel business – changed ownership
  • Responsible for managing a team of up to 9 FTE and casual staff, including management of outsourcing to Fiji
  • Retained existing clients and developed a broader revenue base with new offerings such as research, collaborative media partnerships and curated publishing
  • (Also played a leading role in brokering sale of Newsroom.co.nz in 2016/17)

Working across multiple sectors, projects & campaigns

Highlights of my work in Communications between 2000-2013 include: 

  • Leading two major projects for the Australian High Commission in Wellington in 2000: the content planning and launch of their first bespoke website to coincide with the Sydney Olympics and promotion of the Centenary of Federation via a book donation initiative.
  • Managing intense crisis management tasks at the NZ Department of Corrections (2001) and the Biosecurity division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (2002-03).
  • Account managing international marketing project tasks for PR firm Sweeney Vesty as a member of their Saatchi & Saatchi account team, and for NZ Trade and Enterprise‘s New Zealand New Thinking programme (between 2003-05).
  • Working as lead coordinator for nationwide consultation on a new Tertiary Education Strategy for the Minister of Tertiary Education and Tertiary Education Commission (2006)
  • Handling government relations and strategic communications for the Social Workers Registration Board (2007) and Aotearoa NZ Association of Social Workers (2008-09).
  • Developing awareness and advocacy campaigns in the social services sector, including a social justice campaign named ‘Aroha Tetahi Ki Tetahi’ for the Council of Social Services/ NZCCSS (2008-2009) and ‘Doorways to Community Housing’ for Community Housing Aotearoa (2010-2011), and in the tertiary education sector with the NZ Union of Students’ Associations (2012-2013).
  • Promoting urban development projects such as a video project for the Cement and Concrete Association of NZ for public relations firm Morris PPR and both technical writing and publicity for urban design firm Common Ground (2011+), accompanied by extensive freelance writing on architecture, design and urban topics for publications such as Pro/Design, Architecture Now and Idealog.

Prior to commencing my career in Communications in 2000 I had worked as an Executive Officer (1995-99), Researcher and Editor (1987-94) and Journalist (1983-86) with the following organisations:

  • Reserve Bank/ Overseas Investment Commission
  • Wellington Polytechnic
  • Victoria University of Wellington’s Centre for Strategic Studies
  • Buddle Findlay (law firm)
  • Network Communications (public relations)
  • Alexander Turnbull Library
  • Parliamentary Library
  • Department of Scientific & Industrial Research Library Centre
  • NZ Post Office (public relations)
  • Independent Newspapers Ltd at the Upper Hutt Leader and Manawatu Evening Standard.

Publishing and journalism skills

  • I have strong web design and publishing skills and was an early adopter of the major social media platforms.
  • I possess intermediate skills in use of the Adobe Creative Suite (Indesign and Photoshop) and in 2019 I commenced a PG Cert in Design Innovation at Victoria University (on hold).
  • I am a skilled digital photographer and in 2019 was the winner of the Sydney Open architecture photo competition run by Sydney Living Museums. 
  • I have had a long involvement in ‘Future of Journalism’ initiatives and events, dating back to Internet workshops I ran for journalists with the NZ Journalism Training Organisation in the late 1990s through to presenting at conferences of the Journalism Education Association of NZ, participation in the Online News Association conference in Los Angeles in 2015 and at Walkley Foundation Storyology conferences in Sydney between 2013-2016.
  • From 1990-1993, in my role as manager of Network Communications’ research unit Infonet, I edited seven editions of the popular twice-yearly NZ Government Directory. Research I conducted on journalism trends for the NZ Journalists Training Organisation appeared in Amanda Cropp’s book Digging Deeper – A NZ Guide to Investigative Reporting in 1997, and my analysis of news broadcast bulletins for the McGuiness Institute’s Civics and Media Project in 2015 was later cited in Gavin Ellis’ Complacent Nation (Bridget Williams Books, 2016).

Higher education qualifications

  • Master of New Zealand History (with Merit) at Victoria University  of Wellington, 2006
  • Bachelor of Arts (Politics major) at Victoria University, 1996
  • Certificate of Adult Teaching at Central Institute of Technology, 1993
  • Certificate of NZ Library Studies at Wellington College of Education, 1990
  • Certificate of Journalism at Wellington Polytechnic, 1982