Board of Directors

PRIA's board continues its commitment to strong governance, sound decision making and national strategic leadership. The board of Directors consists of a President, Deputy President, Secretary, Treasurer, the Immediate Past President and eight Directors.

National President

Jenny Muir FPRIA, General Manager, Primary Communications

With a career spanning twenty years across Australia and Asia, beginning TV news and politics, Jennifer is a highly valued advisor senior communication strategist. For the past eight years she has managed Primary Communication’s broad portfolio of clients - reinforcing and extending Primary’s reputation for frank and fearless strategies, campaigns and senior counsel. She leads an award winning public affairs team across a range of social and public health issues and regulatory impacts for not-for-profit organisations, peak industry bodies, and global commercial organisations.

Her additional expertise includes a focus on the development and implementation of conflict sensitive strategies using a 'Do no harm' approach to communication in the areas of vulnerable groups in the community.

To supplement this work, Jennifer has a strong commitment to the promotion and advocacy of human rights, peace and justice, and provides pro-bono advice and support to human rights and peace based advocacy organisations through volunteer roles.

National Deputy President

Jacquie Ray MPRIA, Managing Director, Timmins Ray Public Relations

Jacquie is a strategic communication specialist who has advised and counselled government agencies, public corporations and NGOs in Australia and the United Kingdom. She has particular expertise in crisis and issues management, stakeholder and community engagement, media and strategic marketing.

In 2015, having spent the previous nine years working with Tasmanian consultancy, Font Public Relations, Jacquie had the opportunity to join forces with her father, who returned to the state to re-establish Timmins Ray – a consultancy he took to the pinnacle of the profession in Australia.

Immediate Past President

Mike Watson FPRIA, Lecturer, Swinburne University

Michael Watson is a lecturer at Swinburne University in Melbourne, has worked in government and run a consultancy advising commercial and non-profits. He’s been deeply involved in the PRIA for over twenty years and wants it to be a great force for communication professionals.

Honorary Treasurer

Ben Keane, Finance Director, Burson-Marsteller

Ben began his accounting career in public practice, providing tax and business advice to a wide variety of clients. He then moved into the commerce area, working as the financial controller for a leading film production company. It was from there that Ben moved to B-M as the Finance Director. Ben’s area of expertise lies in commercial management, financial and operational analysis, project management, strategy development, and systems implementation.

Ben has been a Chartered Accountant since 1997 and holds a Bachelor of Economics, with a major in Accounting, from the University of Sydney. He is a Registered Tax Agent and a Justice of the Peace

Honorary Secretary

Arthur E Delbridge AM FPRIA, FAMI, FAIM, AAIBF

Arthur Delbridge is principal of Arthur Delbridge Public Affairs; formerly General Manager Public Affairs, Advance Bank Australia Limited. He was responsible for the Public Relations program for the launch of Advance Bank, in 1985, the first Co-operative in the World to take up a banking licence.

He was educated at Homebush Boys High School, the University of Sydney and at the University of NSW, and holds a Diploma in Marketing from RMIT.

In 2011 he relocated to the Southern Highlands in NSW and lives in Moss Vale. He is a member of the International Society of Business Communicators, the Moss Vale Branch of Probus, Liberal Party of Australia and the Moss Vale Golf Club.

Directors

NSW - Samara Kitchener MPRIA, Director, House of Kitch Communications

Samara Kitchener is a multi-award winning strategic communications specialist who has a passion for delivering large scale digitally integrated campaigns. With 15+ years senior marketing, communications and engagement experience working across government, food and health sectors, Samara has deep expertise in integrated planning for significant campaigns and executing across paid, owned and earned channels.

Samara established strategic communications consultancy, House of Kitch Communications, specialising in health, wellbeing and behaviour change communications. She was previously Strategic Advisor Communications and Engagement with NSW Health where she drove multi-stakeholder communications on preventive health, including overweight and obesity, HIV, STIs and hepatitis.

Samara was also Director Communications with the NSW Food Authority where she led communication strategies, digital channels, crisis communications and education campaigns.

Samara has collaborated with agencies such as N2N, Red Agency, Havas, Ward 6, R/GA and Bondi Advertising to deliver cutting edge, integrated, and award winning campaigns.

Samara holds an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management and Bachelor of Science (Hons) (UNSW)

Over the years she has also been the recipient of many awards, including the PRIAs own Golden Target Awards for her campaigns.

VIC - Alex Messina MPRIA, Principal, AM Strategy

Alex is an accomplished public affairs professional with 25 years of coal-face experience in journalism, government communications, stakeholder and community engagement, and consulting to an array of clients and industry sectors.

He believes that working in public affairs is first and foremost about thinking, not products, and then about implementing. His spectrum of skill ranges from analysing social and community issues and risk, facilitating stakeholder processes, social research, issues and crisis management, harnessing media, overseeing advertising campaigns, community engagement. and building communication teams.

He has applied his strategic thinking across diverse industries including agriculture, food production, community services, pharmaceuticals, mining and resources, fisheries, energy and infrastructure and construction.

Importantly, Alex believes the PRIA has a vital role in public affairs. Firstly, as a professional development industry body, it has a duty to harness the skill and experience of its senior members to nurture and mentor young practitioners into positions of influence and constructive contribution to the public good.

Secondly, Alex believes PRIA leaders and Fellows are uniquely qualified and experienced to be active participants in analysing and commenting publicly on the pressing matters of the day.

QLD - Marie Howarth FPRIA, Managing Consultant, Mills Wilson Communication Consultants

Marie Howarth is a communication and change strategist with 30 years’ industry experience – including eight years with PRIA as Queensland Vice-President and a WA Councillor.

Following a career in journalism, and senior PR roles in the government and private sectors, she established one of WA's first integrated communication, design and online technology studios. The business operated for 18 years before joining with national geospatial firm NGIS to form the award-winning Creative Nature Communications.

Marie relocated to Brisbane in 2009, as Industry Communication Manager with the National eHealth Transition Authority. She currently leads Queensland operations for PRIA registered consultancy Mills Wilson. Marie has postgraduate qualifications in PR and Change Management.

SA - Annette Holden MPRIA, Senior Project Officer, SA Health

Annette is a corporate governance and communications professional specialising in stakeholder engagement including the provision of high level advice, legislative requirements, risk management and informed evaluation through strategic consultation and appropriate liaison.

She is a recipient of international, national and state International Association of Business Communicators and PRIA Golden Target awards (Australia Remembers 1945-1995), and an Institute of Public Administration award.

Following an extensive journalism career throughout Australia, Annette held Australian Government Ministerial Liaison, Public Relations and Senior Communications positions in Canberra for a further 11 years.

In 2000 she established A. G Holden Media & Communications and was a consultant to the ADF Defence Writing Standards project and National Folk Festival.

Annette returned to Adelaide to lead strategic communications for Education Works and Trade Schools for the Future projects, and has since held senior liaison and management roles across SA Health.

WA - Sarah Seymour MPRIA, Edith Cowan University Office of Development of Alumni Relations

Sarah Seymour is an experienced communications professional, who graduated from Edith Cowan University with Honours when Gae Synnott FPRIA was course coordinator. Her fondest memory of PRIA during university was helping Larrisa and Jim Grunig with their presentation at the 1996 PRIA State Conference.

After graduating, Sarah worked in Melbourne, London, and Nagoya, Japan. Her experience in communications and stakeholder relations flourished during her tenure for two State Members of Parliament, and then at Telethon Speech & Hearing in Perth.

Sarah has a great passion for philanthropy, and Australian public affairs. She is a strong advocate for public relations practitioners, especially graduates, to take an interest in current affairs and policy debates.

Sarah is currently working at Edith Cowan University in the Office of Development of Alumni Relations.

Follow Sarah @desertcrossing and LinkedIn


ACT - Heike Phillips​ MPRIA, Director, Media and Speechwriting, Department of Employment

Currently Director of Media and Speechwriting at the Department of Employment, Heike’s career as a journalist and communication and engagement specialist spans more than 25 years.

Specialising in government communications in increasingly senior Public Affairs roles in the climate change and environment portfolios in the Australian Government since 2007, Heike started her career as a journalist covering South Africa’s transition from apartheid in the early 1990s. Moving to Australia, Heike was the communication manager for a national grassroots organisation representing rural communities dependent on a sustainable timber industry. In early 2000 Heike returned to journalism as environment correspondent for the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong.

Heike is passionate about communicating with clarity and purpose and at her best when working on a tight deadline. As President of the PRIA ACT Council she looks forward to giving something back to her profession, sharing her experience with emerging practitioners and in turn refreshing her own skills as our profession continues to evolve.

NT - David Rose FPRIA, Director, Media and Corporate Communications, NT Police, Fire and Emergency Services

David is a former print and broadcast journalist with more than 30 years’ experience in strategic communications. An honours graduate in political science and economics, his career has encompassed a wide range of commercial and public sector organisations.

After leaving the BBC as a radio producer, David worked for the Royal Air Force in various public relations roles including in Cyprus, Central America and the Falkland Islands. He joined Northwest Airlines in 1990 as the company’s head of corporate communications for Europe, Africa and the Middle East before moving to Australia in 1995. David has undertaken senior media roles with state governments in New South Wales, Tasmania, Queensland and Victoria, as well as with the Commonwealth Government. He was Austrade’s senior corporate communications manager, and also general manager communications for the Federal Department of Infrastructure and Transport.

He was elected a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia in 2012.

TAS - Susan Moore MPRIA, Director, Public Relations - Asia Pacific, Gartner

Susan Moore is a professional business communicator with expertise in corporate communication, media and analyst relations, content marketing, social strategy, issues and crisis management and marketing communications. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the technology industry and three years in the non-profit sector.

Susan joined the in-house corporate communications team at global research and advisory firm Gartner in 2006 and currently leads PR programs for Asia Pacific and Japan. Prior to joining Gartner, Susan worked for technology specialist PR consultancy Howorth Communications (Ogilvy) for seven years, including four years as a senior account director on the Microsoft PR account. In her final year there she also ran a corporate writing service for the company’s clients. Susan moved from marketing into PR consulting in 1996, joining a Sydney-based consultancy to work for technology clients including Vodafone.

A PRIA member in NSW since 1994, Susan relocated to Tasmania in 2010 and joined the PRIA Tasmania Council in 2014. She has a BA in Communication (CSU Mitchell), a Masters in Applied Linguistics and is a graduate of the Tasmanian Leaders Program.

WA - Katharina Wolf FPRIA MCIPR, Curtin University and PRIA Education Community Committee

MA (PR), GradCertTertiaryEd, BA(Hons)

Katharina is an academic at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia (WA), and course coordinator of the public relations program.

Katharina has over fifteen years of communications and media experience as an educator and practitioner. Her industry experience encompasses communications and research roles in Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and Australia.

She is the immediate past president of the PRIA WA Council, a former Chairperson of PRIA Young Guns and has been a Director since September 2011.

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 17 2016