The IABC Victoria Chapter is led by a dedicated team of volunteers, all successful communication professionals from a wide range of disciplines, backgrounds and talents.

The board manages the day to day operations and administration and financials of the chapter, representing IABC at a local level.

Board members are elected by IABC Victoria members each year. The board works closely with other chapters across Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and internationally, to ensure we continue to deliver the best resources, research and opportunities to our members.

We are also fortunate to have a number of volunteers who work alongside the board on our many projects and events.

Meet the IABC Victoria team

Deb Ganderton

President

My name is Deb and I’m passionate about business, communication, content and data driven customer insights. The challenges of cultural change associated with creating and maintaining a customer-centric organisation gets me out of bed in the morning. I’ve successfully blended traditional communication and customer service roles with community and employee engagement roles to support my quest for customer centricity.

I’m a recognised leader in strategic communication, government relations, media, and community and employee engagement with over 30 years’ experience. I hold a Master of Arts (Communications) from Deakin University and a Master of Management (Strategic Foresight) at Swinburne University.

I’m a story teller, an influencer and a futurist working with a passion for people and the urban environment. I live with my architect husband John Henry (and his many chairs) in Research, Victoria.

Merrin Fabre

Vice President

My name is Merrin and I began my career as a science communicator traveling across Australia and teaching students about physics, chemistry and genetics in (hopefully) an entertaining way. I’ve worked for a number of science agencies and institutes promoting research, discoveries and technologies that benefit Australian society.

For the past ten years I’ve worked extensively in internal communication, change management and employee engagement, helping organisations to help their staff adapt to change.

I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry, a Graduate Diploma in Science Communication and a Master of Communication. In my spare time I tend to run, usually half marathons, and hike when the weather is nice.

Sia Papageorgiou FRSA, SCMP

Immediate Past President

My name is Sia and I’m a globally certified and multi-award-winning strategic communication leader who believes in the power of connection, the spirit of change, and embracing adventure.

I’ve led and worked with high-performing multi-disciplinary teams and clients across Australia and internationally. I sit on the Global Communication Certification Council and was named IABC’s 2020 Chapter Leader of the Year. I’m also a former regional leader in IABC.

I hold a Bachelor of Arts Media and Communication, a Graduate Certificate in Management and a Diploma of Business Administration.

Katherine Loftus SCMP

Secretary

My name is Katherine and I’m new to the IABC Victoria Board in 2020.

I’m a globally certified strategic communications practitioner and I’ve been working in communications for the last decade. I’ve found my sweet spot in public affairs: I like the big ideas, and that I get to work closely with those making big decisions that affect peoples’ lives.

I get a kick out of great writing, too: particularly those moments that politicians and leaders use words to cross the ‘normal’ language barriers to make their point. Communication has the power to innovate and influence change, and that’s why I love this work.

I joined IABC because I believe professional standards are essential to building trust and respect in our profession, and I’m really excited to be part of the IABC Victoria Board.

I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Communications and a Graduate Certificate in Editing and Communications from the University of Melbourne.

David Imber

Treasurer

My name is David and I’m delighted to be joining the IABC Board in 2020.  I have recently started work at Incolink heading up their corporate affairs function.

I’m a passionate corporate/ public affairs professional with experience across a range of communications disciplines and sectors. I’ve worked in communications, government and stakeholder relations, advocacy, strategic campaigning advice and public policy in the public, private and not for profit sectors. Professionally, my strength is in developing external affairs strategies and in managing and enhancing corporate reputation through effective media strategy and stakeholder engagement. I have a track record of building productive working relationships with people at all levels, of solving critical problems and delivering on corporate strategy.

My varied experience allows me to see and tackle issues from a number of perspectives and that’s why I am so happy to be contributing at IABC.  I am a people person and getting to build my network was what drew me back to IABC in 2019 when I was consulting (having previously been a member whilst at Telstra).  This is a great organisation and I’m keen to meet more of you.

On a personal level I enjoy the arts, dinners with friends, travel and keeping fit.  I’m also a huge news junkie which helps me not always feel like work is a burden!

Alisha Benson

Partnerships Chair

I’m Alisha, and I bring a wealth of global experience to the IABC Board, having worked in PR, communications and events in London, Copenhagen, New York City and in my beloved hometown of Melbourne.

Following a successful career in communications, I found my groove on the other side of the fence. I now help communications and marketing practitioners find their chosen careers through my role as Principal at nationally acclaimed executive recruitment and advisory firm, Ampersand International. 

Day to day I work with communications professionals to help them to realise their career passions and goals, and it’s this partnership approach that really drives me; a perfect fit given my role as the IABC’s Partnerships Manager! 

I hold a graduate diploma in Public Relations and I’m completing a Graduate Certificate of Customer Success Management from RMIT University.

Christine Elmer SCMP

Student & Academic Chair

My name is Christine and I am a corporate affairs leader with more than 20 years’ experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. My expertise includes reputation stewardship, branding, media/issues management, corporate and stakeholder communication and community participation.

With degrees in leadership, marketing, public relations and professional writing and editing, I’m at my best when leading communication and stakeholder engagement strategies for organisations with a strong mission and purposeful alignment.

I’ve been a member and Vice President of the IABC’s Editorial Advisory Committee since 2015. In 2019, this committee transformed into the IABC Trends Watch Taskforce and I became President.

In 2020, I began working pro bono with social change initiative Inclusive Australia, and began my side hustle The Definite Article which provides editorial services to a range of clients.

Salam Hasanein

Brand & Communication Co-Chair

My name is Salam and my experience spans corporate and public affairs, radio, digital and social media. I’m skilled in copywriting, writing and publishing, marketing, event planning and design.

Right now I’m working for Metro Trains Melbourne as a Rail Communications Advisor for the Metro Tunnel Project, developing and delivering communication activities for internal and external stakeholders and supporting with media and internal communication stories.

I hold a Bachelor of Arts from Deakin University, majoring in Public Relations and Journalism.

I believe in a holistic approach to achieving successful outcomes and often draw on creative attributes to tackle issues and connect to others.

Sam Sinclair

Brand & Communication Co-Chair

My name is Sam and I’m a corporate communication and investor relations consultant at WE Buchan, a full-service communication agency. I love the ASX small and microcap environment and tackling the unique investor communication challenges faced by our ASX-listed companies. Investor relations has given me a strong eye for how companies create value, as well as the important role brand plays in this process.

I like seeing brands that are bold and contribute powerfully to the public sphere. I love innovation and fast-movers, but as a consultant I also enjoy helping industry-defenders reach a whole new audience with new content on digital, social and interactive media platforms. In my spare time I like to trek overseas, meet inspiring people, keep fit and read as much as I can.

I hold a Bachelor of Arts (Media & Communication) from Deakin University and am completing a Diploma of Business (marketing).

Meaghan Francis

Engagement Chair

My name is Meaghan and I began my communication career in local government and haven’t looked back. After a four-year stint in Asia I returned to the public sector and have delivered strategic communication outcomes for numerous high-profile government projects ever since.

I specialise in internal communication, culture change and engagement, and have recently expanded my expertise to include large-scale recruitment attraction strategies, playing a leading role in revamping the ATO’s employee value proposition.

In my spare time I love to sew and see live music.

Veronica Goluza

Events Chair

My name is Veronica and I have worked in the communications space for more than 15 years. It has taken me across the globe to the UK and Europe, where I gained executive level experience in strategic communication, change management and stakeholder engagement within highly sensitive and political environments in both small and complex organisations.

The key stand out is the people I meet along the way.  That is why I love the IABC: the opportunity to link to both local and international communication professionals to share experience and knowledge.

As Events Chair I look forward to engaging to create opportunities for everyone to learn, share and enjoy.

Sameer Babbar

Professional Development Chair

My name is Sameer Babbar. After completing my post-graduation in Engineering, I became a space scientist. As a consultant, mentor, trainer and business strategist, I enjoy being in front of an audience; it really energises me. In my various roles I have delivered strategic business benefits leveraging on technology, innovation and leadership. I credit all this to being able to stand in front of people and convey my ideas convincingly with facts + stories to get the much-needed buy in.

I also earned my MBA and GAICD corporate governance qualifications to take care of my role as Asia Pacific head of a dual listed firm. I am a published book author and presenter on a wide range of technical, commercial and business topics. I have flair for playing flute and saxophone both off and onstage. I love travel and meeting people from different walks of life.

My focus continues to use a mix of education, skills and experience to raise the business impact via expertise, exchange and enrichment, raise the level of skills in business via connection, communication and collaboration, and to influence all and be influenced by all with a purpose of higher vision, aspiration and recognition.

Want to know more about how IABC Victoria can help develop, connect and recognise your achievements in the industry? Contact us or visit our Memberships page.