The PRIA regrets the recent death of its highly respected and long-standing Life Member Carole Rushford.
Carole was not only highly active in the Victorian Branch, including its Board for more than 20 years, but also in the Australasian Reporting Awards, recognised throughout the region as the most prestigious award for public and private sector annual reports.
Her contribution to the profession and the PRIA resulted in her receiving Life Member status, the highest level of professional recognition. She was also only the fourth Australian to be awarded an International Association of Business Communicators’ ‘Gold Quill of Excellence Award’ in recognition of her concept and subsequent publicity of the ‘If you drink, then drive, you’re a bloody idiot’ campaign’.
For well over 20 years from 1986, she was deeply involved in the Australasian Reporting Awards Inc, (ARA), including holding positions as Company Secretary and Director, Marketing and Events. She specialised in assisting companies and in particular local governments with their report preparation and management with a strong focus on transparency, accuracy, governance and sustainability. This led to her becoming a member of the Municipal Association of Victoria’s Annual Reporting Committee.
Her dedication to the advancement of public relations also saw her being appointed Chairperson, Advisory Committee for BA (Public Relations and Grad Dip (Public Relations) at Deakin University and Chairperson, RMIT University’s School of Business Public Relations Advisory Board. She was also heavily involved in the organising committee for the highly successful 2000 PRIA National conference in Melbourne.
She established her own communications company, Rushford & Associates Pty Ltd, in 1997 with clients ranging from Federal, state and local governments, to legal and regulatory bodies, health and medical research organisations, the arts, entertainment and community agencies.
The profession has lost a dedicated and much valued advocate of public relations and of the PRIA.