The Canberra Chapter board consists of nine peer-selected members.
ALISON SENTI, SCMP, PRESIDENT
Alison has almost 20 years working in public and private sector roles in communication, marketing, stakeholder engagement specialising in international and industry engagement. She currently works for KPMG Canberra in the People and Change team and works in strategic communication and behavioural change management roles in government. Alison loves to keep across ‘who’s doing it best’ when it comes to communication and bring these insights into her work. She joined the Board in order to connect with like-minded communication ‘busybodies’ to share, grow and change the communication profession. In February 2018 Alison was accredited as a Strategic Communication Management Professional by the Global Communication Certification Council.
DAMIAN TUNNEY, VICE PRESIDENT AND TREASURER
Damian is a highly skilled senior communication and digital professional with over 17 years’ experience across the private and public sectors in strategic communication, marketing, brand and sponsorship. He started his career working in brand and event agencies with clients such as Optus, Sony and McDonald’s (to name a few) before landing a dream role with Sony Ericsson as Brand Manager across Oceania. Shortly after starting a family he moved back to his home town of Canberra where he has worked in a number of senior communication roles across Federal Government including with the Australian Sports Commission, Department of Employment and most recently as Head of Communication for the National Australia Day Council. He currently works for Cordelta, a local management consulting firm, as an Engagement Lead/Delivery Manager overseeing the delivery of major digital projects. Beyond his experience and skills, Damian is an immensely proud Canberran—and has a strong interest and desire to contribute to the growth of our city and to the communication profession.
Connect on LinkedIn: Damian Tunney
VICTOR ZALAKOS, SCMP, PAST PRESIDENT
Victor is the change and comms guy™, a change and communications consultant living in Canberra, Australia. He is a passionate agent for change – bringing simplicity and certainty to a changing world. Victor has managed successful change programs for a diverse range of clients in consumer electronics, government, utilities and manufacturing. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a masters in organisational change and communication. Victor is a pragmatist, optimist, creative thinker and devil’s advocate. His background in engineering, marketing, psychology and business, coupled with boundless enthusiasm, makes him a potent agent for change. Victor has also served as chair of IABC’s Policy Review Committee, is on the IABC Foundation Fundraising Committee and was part of the organising committee for Fusion, the IABC 2018 APAC Conference. Victor was one of the first recipients of the Strategic Communications Management Professional certification.
Leonora has worked in senior government communication roles for over 15 years including media roles, large advertising campaigns, and developing digital communications and social media. She is currently heading up communications at the Productivity Commission where she has built team capabilities to produce infographics and animated videos to support releases of their reports, and which feature regularly on new sites such as the SMH, Age and the Financial Review.
Connect on LinkedIn: Leonora Nicol
MICHAEL LIU, DIRECTOR OF EVENTS
Michael is Communications Lead with Dionysus – a cultural development and placemaking consultancy based in Canberra – and manages project-based communications and marketing for a variety of clients such as Molonglo Group, City Renewal Authority (ACT Government) and Australian National University. Michael revels in crafting campaigns and events with audacity and authenticity, always keeping creativity at the core. He has held a variety of communications roles including work in the Press Gallery as a sub-editor for a news monitoring service, political staffer for a local Senator, and marketing manager for a suite of local hospitality venues. Michael is also a professional musician and performs throughout the Canberra region, regularly collaborating with the city’s many national institutions.
AMANDA DENNETT, DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIPS
Amanda has 13 years’ experience in digital communication strategy, crisis communication, and media issues management. She is currently Head of Digital Experience at the Australian War Memorial. Amanda is completing a Master of Research at Swinburne University of Technology, researching Australian Government use of social media to engage with citizens. She has previously worked as a media adviser, lead a government video production team, and implemented social media customer service at the Department of Human Services. Amanda is passionate about the ethics of technology, GLAM, gender equality and sport.
JUSTINE O’BRIEN, DIRECTOR OF PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Justine has worked in the communication field for over 20 years within the not-for-profit and public sectors in Australia and the United Kingdom. She began in event management in Brisbane and after completing a Bachelor of Business in Communication and Public Relations, embarked on a career journey encompassing events, media, public affairs, internal and change communication. Justine is passionate about researching and developing communication strategies to help organisations communicate better internally and externally.
Connect on LinkedIn: Justine O’Brien
ASTRID VASUDEVA, DIRECTOR OF MEMBER COMMUNICATIONS
Astrid is a content designer at Cordelta Digital, helping organisations communicate clearly to the people who rely on their online services. Since earning a bachelor of writing and completing postgraduate study, she’s written for clients including a global systems integrator, public relations firm and sports apparel brand. She’s interested in the communication challenges and possibilities that digital media presents to business.
Connect on LinkedIn: Astrid Vasudeva
VIRGINA COOK, BOARD MEMBER
Virginia has been a long time journalist and speechwriter and, since 2004, has led communications teams across the Australian Public Service. She has had key roles supporting communications for the Centenary of Federation and Australia’s 2014 G20 Presidency. Since August 2015 she has been the General Manager of the Communications Branch in the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science. Before entering the APS, Virginia was a senior correspondent with Australian Associated Press in the Parliamentary Press Gallery, a long-time radio producer and occasional presenter with ABC Radio Canberra and a reporter for The Canberra Times. During her career she has also been a regular book critic with ABC Radio.
Connect on LinkedIn: Virginia Cook