The Canberra Chapter board consists of 9 peer-selected members.
Victor Zalakos, President
Victor Zalakos is the change and comms guy™, a change and communications consultant living in Canberra, Australia. Victor 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 master’s 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 is also Chair of IABC’s Policy Review Committee.
Mardi Stewart, Vice President
Mardi Stewart is a passionate, award-winning communication professional with more than 20 years’ experience in leading, developing, implementing and evaluating strategic communication programs across Commonwealth and State government.
With 15 years’ experience at the Director level, Mardi has led and directed communication teams of up to 28 dedicated communication practitioners to consistently deliver innovative and cost-effective communication initiatives that achieve results. As the Director of Strategic Communication at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for six years, Mardi and her team won two IABC Gold Quill Awards. Previously, Mardi was the Public Affairs Manager at the Sydney Children’s Hospital for six years, and Director of Communication at the NSW Premier’s Department. Mardi currently leads a team of communication professionals at the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission.
In 2016, Mardi became the first communication practitioner in Australia to become IOS accredited through the independent Global Communication Certification Council.
Mardi also looks after Membership for the IABC Canberra Chapter.
Leanne Joyce, Past President
Leanne was President of IABC Canberra from 2013-2016 and has been a member since 2009 when she first attended the IABC World Conference. She is also Past Chair of IABC Asia-Pacific region and continues to play an active role across Australia and APAC.
Leanne has 20 years’ experience in policy and strategic communications roles in the government, not for profit, and corporate sectors. She has skills and qualifications in journalism, public policy, business administration and executive coaching.
Leanne works as a consultant providing strategic advice and on-the-ground support in government relations, media and communications, public policy and advocacy, stakeholder management and reputation management. One of her key current roles is External Relations Adviser for Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), a not-for-profit foundation working on antimalarial drugs.
Jess Salvage is Director and head of Digital at Rowdy Digital, a digital first agency with a focus on creative strategy. Prior to Rowdy, Jess spent 11 years as owner and Managing Director of Link Digital. With over 15 years of industry experience, she is an accomplished administrator, marketer and manager of day-to-day business including resourcing, communications and strategic operations.
Jess’ foremost strengths lie in solutions consulting, project management, and business analysis. As a Digital Consultant, Jess works closely with clients to develop high level project requirements and ensure that proposed solutions align with operational capability and expertise. Jess enjoys a healthy reputation for trusted advice and as an honest and upfront communicator. Her clients benefit equally from her capabilities, intelligence and exceptional customer focus.
Jess Is Digital/Design lead for the IABC Canberra Chapter.
Alison has over 15 years working in public and private sector roles in communication, marketing, stakeholder engagement (specialising in international and industry engagement) and event management roles. 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.
Alison is Treasurer to the IABC Canberra Chapter Board.
With a BA in Journalism and Film &Television, Jeanne has worked as a journalist and producer at the ABC, as a ministerial media advisor in WA and in various senior communication and marketing roles in the Australian public service over the past 30 years, including with the Commonwealth Departments of Health, Defence and the ATO.
With 10 years’ experience at the Director level, her career has included many highlights. Seeking out interesting and challenging communication roles she has had the good fortune to play her part in promoting the work of the NHMRC, the New Tax System at the ATO, communications during development of a Defence White paper and the so-called ‘Henry Tax Review’ at Treasury.
Jeanne most recently headed up Health’s Publishing Unit providing services in web development, graphic design and print. Prior to this she managed a team with responsibilities for developing communication strategies, ministerial speeches and media releases.
Jeanne is Secretary to the IABC Canberra Chapter Board.
Marina has 15 years’ experience (private and public) in the fields of marketing, strategic communication, media and crisis management, public relations, sponsorship, and market research.
In 2009, Marina launched the first International Missing Children’s Day global campaign within 17 countries, and was awarded a Cannes Film Festival (Corporate Media category) Silver Dolphin for the 2009 National Missing Persons Week campaign. She has also won a Global Rebrand recognition for the redevelopment of the Constable Kenny Koala education program.
Marina has been a strategic communication and media advisor to the former Chief Police Officer for the ACT, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Crime Commission. Her career highlight was managing President of the United States Barack Obama’s media strategy during his visit to the Nation’s Capital in 2011.
Marina is currently a Director at the Australian Federal Police, specialising in crime prevention strategies in the areas of child exploitation and missing persons. She joined the IABC Canberra Board in 2015, and holds a Masters in Market Research.
Marina looks after Sponsorship for the IABC Canberra Chapter.
Kim has worked in the public sector in communication, marketing, stakeholder engagement, ministerial and policy roles for over 20 years, holding professional qualifications in Communications and Journalism.
Kim heads the Digital Communications Branch in the Australian Government Department of Communications and the Arts, looking after internal and external communication strategies, campaigns, media, digital and social content and ongoing implementation of the Department’s digital strategy—focusing on user centred design, using digital channels and content to inform and engage, and build internal capability. Kim is the Department’s Digital Transformation Coordinator and is leading delivery of the Department’s first Innovation Strategy. She is a passionate believer that communication and engagement is critical to the development of good policy.
Kim looks after Professional Development for the IABC Canberra Chapter.
Sophie has more than 15 years’ experience in the area of communication, media, government and corporate relations. Previous positions have included journalist, sub-editor, media adviser, public affairs, events management, fundraising and corporate relations roles within the private sector and Federal Government.
Sophie is currently consulting to a Federal Government department and leading the Change Management/Communications around the relocation to a new office space. She enjoys the challenges of problem solving and finding a solution to any situation and communicating change through a variety of internal avenues and creative designs.
Sophie coordinates events for the IABC Canberra Chapter.
Michael Liu is a Media and Events Strategist with Dionysus – a cultural development and placemaking consultancy based in NewActon – and manages project-based communications and marketing for a variety of clients such as Molonglo Group, Hindmarsh, In The City Canberra and Australian National University.
Michael has held roles in a variety of industries including sub-editor, media advisor, business development manager and events manager. He is also a professional musician and regularly performs throughout Canberra.
Jane is a passionate senior communication professional, with more than 20 years’ experience in roles ranging from journalism, to management roles in both the private sector and public sectors.
She started her career in journalism in Melbourne, before moving into the private sector, then onto Canberra to join the Australian Government in communication leadership roles.
Having worked with a variety of industries and stakeholders, Jane delivers communication advice and solutions ranging from media issues management, strategic communication and digital communication.
She is passionate about leading high-performing teams and working collaboratively to achieve outcomes. Jane is also a mentor and has been an active board member for other professional associations.
Something you won’t read on Linkedin is that her great-grandfather was Montague MacGregor (Monty) Grover, foundation editor of the Sun News Pictorial, and her grandfather was Alex Gurney, creator of WW2 comic strip Bluey and Curley, before you ask, no, she can’t draw!
Jane coordinates Communications for the IABC Canberra Chapter.