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 seven Directors.

National President

Leigh McClusky MPRIA, Managing Director, McCo Group

Leigh has previously held the role of SA State President and the SA head of the Registered Consultancies Group. Leigh launched the McCo Group as McClusky & Co in 2008 following a 30 year career in print, radio and television journalism across Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. Her company works across South Australia and Victoria with a broad range of clients.


National Deputy President

Helen Hutchings FPRIA, Group Executive Director, Phillips Group and QLD President, PRIA

Helen has extensive experience in stakeholder engagement, project management, marketing communication and public relations, having worked in consulting and corporate environments in Australia and the UK.

Helen has over 19 years of international and national engagement and strategic communication experience.She is a multiple industry award winner and highly regarded for her stakeholder engagement, consultation, strategic planning, issues management, insight and project management experience.

Helen leads Phillips Group’s infrastructure and public sector divisions and manages a portfolio of work ranging from managing the impacts of policy change to delivering stakeholder and communication strategies across infrastructure, health, education and transport  and public sector. She has worked on projects of a sensitive and controversial nature and is experienced in managing multiple stakeholders with conflicting views on a project. Helen adopts a thorough risk management approach to stakeholder relations and ensures that project reputation is protected and maintained at all times.


Honorary Secretary

Luke Schepen, Executive Manager - Corporate Affairs Strategy, Commonwealth Bank


Honorary Treasurer

Shane Allison, CEO and Founder, Public Address and NSW President, PRIA
Shane Allison is the CEO and co-founder of Public Address, where he leads a team focused on delivering cutting-edge media relations tools for Public Relations professionals across the world. 
Prior to founding Public Address, Shane was the Client Services Director at Sefiani Communications where he led teams delivering communications and public policy advice and specialised in supporting executive teams to manage high-stakes reputation challenges.
Shane was recognised as the Mumbrella Commscon PR Professional of the Year and Mumbrella neXt Award PR Talent for his work in the sector, and was recognised as one of the AFR's Top 100 Future Leaders while studying at MGSM.



Claire Bell MPRIA, Director, Associated Advertising & Promotions (AA&P)

Claire is a corporate communications specialist with over 30 years’ experience working with a range of major clients within both Government and the private sector. 

Claire has worked in the Northern Territory for most of the last 30 years and established Associated Advertising & Promotions (AA&P) in 1999, a Darwin-based media and strategic communications agency. Over the last ten years, the agency has grown to include an award-winning business events division, AA&P Events.

Claire is an experienced marketer, copywriter, editor and creative director who has a proven track record for being a strategic thinker and hands-on project manager. Claire has worked on Federal and NT Government contracts as well as providing advice to multi-national clients such as Rio Tinto Alcan, CHC, ERA, INPEX and Darwin Port/Landbridge. Originally from Lyon (France), Claire is fluent in both French and English.


Victoria Evans MPRIA, Owner, VEPR




Joanne Painter FPRIA, Managing Director, Iconic Holdings Pty Ltd

A leader in Australia’s communications industry, Joanne has over 30 years experience across the communications and public relations industry. Formerly a senior journalist with The Age, Joanne has since founded Icon Agency with her partner Chris Dodds, offering integrated solutions for digital-era businesses, government departments and organisations. She has built Icon Agency to be well known as a leading powerhouse that consults to government and corporate clients nationally.

In her role as agency head, Joanne regularly provides strategic communications counsel for various change management programs including the website transformation of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, communications strategies for the National Library of Australia, the City of Stonnington brand and major projects. She also provided counsel for the Victorian Department of Justice behavior change campaigns, the website redevelopment and online service change management for the Department of Communication and the Arts. Joanne also assists with Icon’s major digital transformation projects, including the current redevelopment of the Department of Defence entire web estate which consists of 130+ websites and technology stack.