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Board & Volunteers

The Victoria Chapter is led by a dedicated team of volunteers, who are communication professionals from a cross section of disciplines, backgrounds and talents. The board manages the day to day operations and administration and financials of the Chapter, representing the IABC at a local level.

The board consists of elected members voted by the members of the chapter annually. The board works very closely with the association across Australia, the Asia Pacific Region and at an international level, ensuring that our members get the most out of their membership.

There are also a number of volunteers who work with the board offering their time and energy on the many projects within the chapter, delivering greater benefits with belonging to an international association on a local level.

Meet your team of volunteers below.

Deb Lemcke

President

Deb is the Director of The Launch Box, a strategic communications agency that works with a wide range of government, community and private clients covering all aspects of the communications spectrum from strategy to implementation, media relations, issues management and events. Her greatest strength – apart from her sparkling personality – is her ability to create the right team and solutions to deliver projects on time and within budget.

With almost 20 years’ experience, Deb has a passion for working within the public sector and for-purpose space. She is a Graduate and Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and currently sits on two Boards.

A strategic thinker with a keen ability to view issues/challenges from a broad perspective, Deb loves nothing more than using her networks in business, government and the community to achieve great results.

Mother to eight-year-old twins and a nine-year-old beagle, Deb has an excellent sense of humour and a story on hand to make you laugh.

Phone: 0478 742 263

Email: deb@thelaunchbox.com.au

Twitter

LinkedIn

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Ivan Levacic

Vice President

Ivan’s holistic perspectives are honed by a lifelong impulse to see things from both sides of the fence.

He has deep experience across the Communications spectrum – working above, below and through the line, on client and agency side, in corporate and government sectors.

Starting as a copywriter, Ivan moved through the agency ecosystem to become an agency General Manager in Melbourne, before eventually leaving to become a founding partner in integrated agencies WMC 360 Degrees and the Graffiti Group.

In recent years, I van has moved into Government communications at both State and Federal level, with a focus on essential services, social and behavioural agendas.

He is currently Brand Activation Manager at City West Water, with responsibilities across brand development, behavioural marketing and customer research and insights.

Ivan joined IABC Victoria to continue to learn from the best in the business, and to help advocate for excellence in Communications practice.

Phone: 0404 134 301

Email: ivan.levacic@citywestwater.com.au

LinkedIn

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Damien Batey

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT

Damien has more than two decades of experience in corporate communications and journalism, having served domestic and multinational companies in the energy, technology and aviation sectors.

Before corporate life, Damien learned the ropes as a journalist and editor with Fairfax newspapers where the early sparks of lifelong passion for the written word would fly.

Presently Damien is the regional communications leader for Motorola Solutions throughout Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

He is also a Fellow of the Melbourne University’s Asialink Leaders program and holds an Advanced Diploma and Certificate in Professional Writing and Editing.

Away from all that you might find him encouraging his two young sons to continue their burgeoning love for Star Wars or trying to run up hills (slowly) with his kelpie.

Phone: 0428 036 806

Email: damien.batey@motorolasolutions.com

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Julie Weldon

Secretary

Julie is the Principal Consultant and Director of JAW Communications, a boutique consultancy that develops and implements integrated communications strategies and campaigns, particularly for small to medium-sized professional services organisations.

Julie has provided communication advice to business leaders for more than 20 years, starting in not-for-profits, before working with listed and privately owned corporations and small businesses in various industries in both the UK and Australia. She has experience across virtually all aspects of internal and external communication, from reputation and issues management; to leadership positioning and employee engagement; branding and sponsorship; and policy development. She has also managed public and media relations, as well as developed and delivered large-scale events.

A long-time IABC member, for the last three years, she has looked after membership. She has been a Gold Quill judge since 2013 and previously served on the judging panel of the global IABC Excel.

Phone: 0423 110 802

Email: julie.weldon@jawcomms.com.au

Twitter

LinkedIn

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Christopher Whitefield

Treasurer

Christopher has worked in a number of high-performing corporate affairs roles across government and the private sector over the past decade, currently as Communications Manager for leading infrastructure developer and operator, Plenary Group.

He has managed and worked across a range of functions including corporate communication, PR, investor relations, government relations, marketing and digital.

He enjoys the variety and challenges of busy corporate affairs environments, helping to promote his organisations' reputation and manage their reputational risk. This includes working as company spokesman in his current role and previously for Toll Group, Metro Trains and V/Line.

Christopher joined IABC in 2015 and looks forward to contributing to the 2016 board, as well as further improving his professional development and networking opportunities.

Christopher holds a Master of Business (with distinction) from RMIT University, a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University and a Diploma of Investor Relations from the Australasian Investor Relations Association.

Phone: 0418 530 806

Email: christopher.whitefield@plenarygroup.com.au

LinkedIn

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Mary Todorov

Sponsorship Chair

Mary is a proven Corporate and Community Affairs Professional, with extensive experience in strategic communications. Her expertise is in developing and delivering stakeholder engagement frameworks for communities across Australia, to enable successful ‘buy-in’ to key project objectives.

Working across all levels of government, business and community including ‘grassroots’ organisations with competing agendas, Mary also has had experience in national and state positions for organisations such as the National Broadband Network.

Coordinating and implementing national strategies regarding rapid responses to critical incidents; and fostering effective and programmed communications, measures and collaborations with national providers, to help mitigate political and media sensitive issues, is part of her repertoire. She also has a Masters in Communications (RMIT University).

Mary is passionate about helping individuals, businesses, and communities thrive, and be more sustainable in a global and competitive marketplace; and aims to help IABC members reach new heights in their communication profession.

Phone: 0473 492 515

Email: marytodorov24@gmail.com

LinkedIn

Stina

Stina Webb

Events Co-Chair

Stina is strategic thinker and communicator with experience across a wide spectrum of communication practices from helping organisations navigate through issues, prevent, prepare and respond to crises through to developing and implementing outcomes driven advocacy campaigns.

She is a member of team at Socom, a boutique public relations agency specialising in issues and crisis management and crisis communication, where she works with clients from both public and private sectors including local government, property, transport and food safety.

Stina holds a Bachelor of Strategic Communication from La Trobe University which included eight months studying at Copenhagen Business School in Denmark.

She places great emphasis on building robust and transparent stakeholder relationships and has a keen interest in social impact and innovation and organisational change.

Phone: 0452 101 303

Email: stinaw@socom.com.au

LinkedIn

Twitter

 

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Jenna Waite

Student & Academic Liaison Chair

Jenna is a media-savvy communicator and an authentic relationship builder with agency and in-house experience spanning government, not for profit, business and corporate sectors.

She has devised and implemented strategic solutions for a range of communications projects including behavioural change and awareness initiatives, brand reputation and media relations campaigns, and launch events.

Jenna is passionate about working on meaningful projects at Think HQ, an independent Melbourne communications consultancy specialising in social change campaigns.

She holds a Bachelor of Media and Communications (Public Relations) (Journalism) and a Diploma of Design Technology.

In 2015, Jenna was the IABC Student Ambassador, and successfully developed new student-focused initiatives and online networks. Enthusiastic, driven, and results-orientated, she looks forward to sharing the benefits of the IABC with the Victorian Academic and Student community.

In her spare time, you'll likely find Jenna on a tennis court, or camping and catching waves somewhere along the Great Ocean Road.

Phone: 03 9682 0259 (work)

Email: jenna@think-hq.com.au

Twitter

Linkedin

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Verity Lowe

Brand / Communications Co-Chair

Verity has thirteen years’ experience in corporate communications, working for large multi-disciplinary PR agencies in London, including Hill+Knowlton and MSL Group.

Verity is now Strategy Director at Melbourne-based independent PR and content agency Keep Left.

Verity is a member of Keep Left’s senior management team and leads its portfolio of technology and professional and financial services clients. She is a corporate communications all-rounder, with a particular passion for thought leadership and executive profiling.

In 2009, Verity was voted one of PR Week's '29 under 29' rising stars in the PR industry. She has executed corporate communication campaigns for some of the world’s largest companies, including HSBC, American Express, The Coca-Cola Company, Infosys and GE Money.

Verity joined IABC Victoria because of its strong sense of community and to experience working with comms professionals that have different backgrounds and specialties.

Phone: 03 9268 7814 (work)

Email: verity@keepleft.com.au

Twitter

LinkedIn

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Ingrid Nienaber

Brand / Communications Co-Chair

Ingrid is a Corporate Communications and Corporate Affairs specialist with 16 years’ experience in internal, external and marketing communications. She has had roles in various countries in Europe and Asia Pacific for a large global company in the issue-rich chemical industry. Currently Ingrid is an independent consultant providing communications advice and services.

She joined the IABC Vic Board because of her passion for high quality communications, improving the reputation of communicators as experts in their fields and giving back to the communicators’ community by fostering exchange of best practices.

Ingrid is a highly regarded expert in media, public and government relations plus community outreach as well as in crisis communications and reputation management. Her strengths include delivering employee engagement, coaching senior leadership teams, and developing and empowering others to achieve their goals.

Email: ingrid.nienaber@wayfinder5.com

Twitter

LinkedIn

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Fiona McGregor

Brand / Communications Co-Chair

Fiona has in excess of 10 years’ experience working in Communications, specialising in internal, change and project communications.

Fiona has worked for some of Australia’s largest corporates, including ANZ, Bupa, Vicinity Centres (formerly Centro) and Toll Group.

Currently, Fiona is an Internal Communications Advisor at Foxtel, Australia’s largest subscription television provider. At Foxtel, Fiona is responsible for communications to the Customer Service area, spanning strategic, leadership and operational communications.

With a passion for writing engaging communications, Fiona joined the IABC Victoria Board with the intention of reinvigorating the chapter’s communications channels and learning more about the operations of a not-for-profit.

Phone: 03 8325 2851 (work)

Email: fiona.mcgregor@foxtel.com.au

Twitter

LinkedIn

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Kate van der Drift

Membership Co-Chair

Kate has enjoyed a portfolio of experience in banking, television, creative media, community inclusion and strategic communication delivery. An outcome-focused communicator with a passion for social inclusion, Kate enjoys putting the human needs of her audience at the heart of every engagement.

Kate currently works in the corporate affairs team at Australia Post as the Editor of their workforce magazine, ‘Post Journal’ and works with her broader corporate affairs team to integrate content across digital enterprise channels.

Phone: 0410 888 992

Email: katevanderdrift@outlook.com

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Kate Gore

Membership Co-Chair

Kate Gore is a Senior Communications Advisor at Telstra and her current role involves leading the internal social team which includes Telstra’s innovative use of business collaboration tool Yammer.

In a career spanning eight years at Telstra, highlights include project management of the content for the 2014 Annual Report, responsibility for internal communications for Telstra’s FY14 Financial Results, leading the publishing team responsible for Telstra internal corporate news and running the communications program to support Telstra’s major property refurbishment projects in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra.

Prior to Telstra, Kate worked for ANZ providing internal communications support for their wealth management division and also spent three years as a media spokesperson in their Media Relations team.

Kate joined IABC Victoria because she is passionate about creating valuable career development opportunities for the profession.

Phone: 0477 349 999

Email: kate.gore@team.telstra.com

Twitter

LinkedIn

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Cerise Paul-Igai

Education Chair

Cerise is a communications all-rounder with a decade of corporate communications experience in government, private and not-for-profit sectors.

Cerise has developed internal and external communications for print, digital, face-to-face, social media and audio-visual channels. She has also worked with creative agencies, managed suppliers and provided strategic communications advice for executive leaders. Her expertise includes strategy development, stakeholder management, leadership, tailoring communications solutions for micro and mass audiences, and meaningful change communications.

In 2015, Cerise won a Gold Quill for a groundbreaking communications initiative for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander audiences, featuring small business stories from the community.

Cerise joined IABC Victoria to make connections and contribute to thought-leadership in the industry locally, internationally and in the Asia-Pacific. Cerise has an affinity with this region, having lived in Malaysia and Australia, and wrote her Master of Communication thesis on public relations campaigns and the Australian identity.

Phone: 0404 015 896

Non-Board Volunteers

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Monika Lancucki

Public Officer

Monika brings 20 years’ experience to her corporate affairs and investor relations practice. During that time she has advised senior management and Boards on all manner of internal and external corporate communications and provided strategic counsel on issues impacting clients’ industries and businesses. She has developed comprehensive communications strategies to deal with capital restructure, receivership, corporate restructure and change and has managed communications strategies across both traditional and social media platforms. Monika has taught public relations at Deakin University and currently works in corporate affairs at a top performing ASX listed company.

Monika has an Honours degree in Law, a degree in Commerce, a Diploma of Investor Relations and is an IABC Accredited Business Communicator (ABC).  Monika is also a four-time IABC Victoria Bronze quill winner and a multiple IABC Gold Quill winner. She serves as the Vice Chair of the IABC Gold Quill Awards Program and will Chair the program in 2016.

In her spare time, Monika can be found pounding the pavement, swimming, working on her yoga practice or exploring the world with her son or writing about it in her "traveling with kids" blog. She is also active on twitter @niska7.

About

IABC Victoria is the world's largest IABC chapter outside North America. Through our active program of communications thought leadership, events, certification and awards, IABC Victoria can offer you professional development, connection to your local and global peers and global recognition that will set you apart from the rest.

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