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Mel is the founder and Managing Director of Elevate Communication. She started the company in 2007 and has built it into one of the most successful, independent communication agencies in Australia.

In a career spanning more than 20 years, Mel has worked for some of the world’s top companies and brands in Europe, Australia and New Zealand including Diageo, Westpac, Domino’s Pizza, Frosty Boy Australia, QSuper, Sodexo and the Surf Life Saving Foundation to name a few.

With an enviable network of contacts worldwide, Mel specialises in issues and reputation management, stakeholder engagement and strategic communication advice and management.

Mel holds a Bachelor of Business (Public Relations) from Queensland University of Technology and a Diploma of Business German from the University of Queensland.

She is a professional member of the Registered Consultancy Group and currently holds the position of Queensland President of the Public Relations Institute of Australia.

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Mark is an experienced business manager responsible for Elevate’s business development, finance and operations.

He has more than 20 years’ experience with international organisations, including multinational alcoholic beverage producer Diageo.

His commercial and business savvy make Mark an invaluable member of Elevate’s senior management team.

A multi-skilled operator, Mark negotiates acquisitions for property and assets, and financially forecasts and budgets to ensure the ongoing success and growth of the company.

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Lee has over three decades of experience in the Australian PR and communication industry. She works to ensure campaigns are strategically driven and achieve engaging outcomes such as those that educate, change behaviour, build and protect brands and motivate stakeholders.  

She has worked across all industries including retail, FMCG, finance and investment, technology, government, healthcare and mining. Her experience has enabled her to be a strong adviser during times of issues and crises, and a much sought-after media trainer. 

Lee holds a Bachelor of Business Communication from the Queensland University of Technology; she has IAP2 accreditation and is a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia. 

Marcus Hill
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Marcus boasts over 14 years of experience in business advisory services, SME valuation services, merger & acquisition services, management accounting services, financial performance analysis, complex business financial modelling, taxation services, and small business compliance.

Marcus currently holds a BCom, DipFP, JP (Qual), GradDipAppFin, Chartered Accountant, CA Business Valuation Specialist, Tax Agent.

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A versatile and resourceful professional, Kim’s detailed and logical approach combined with her extensive problem solving skills, sees her to oversee the business’ systems, policies and processes in order to deliver operational efficiencies for both the company and its clients.

With a career spanning almost 20-years across a number of operational and administrative roles and responsibilities, which has been complemented by her background in events and marketing, Kim has cultivated a unique understanding of the requirements in how to effectively blend business operations in an agency environment.

As a highly skilled Operations Manager, Kim has coordinated the development of online portals and websites, CRM and ERP systems, change management programs, new and revised human resources policy banks, and resourcing planners with multi-layered financials, to name a few.

Kim holds an Advanced Diploma in Marketing from APM Training Institute specialising in Sports and Entertainment Management and is an active member of the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce.

Kristina Smith
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Kristina is an experienced communications’ specialist with more than 15 years’ experience in Australia and the UK. She has worked across a range of sectors including education, environment and resources, healthcare, development and construction, franchises, state government and council.

She specialises in strategic and creative communication, strategic messaging and branding, issues and crisis management, and stakeholder engagement. Her approach centres on elevating clients’ reputations and ensuring they are speaking efficiently and effectively with their targets—internal audiences, external stakeholders, communities and media—in times of stability and growth, and in times of crisis.

Kristina grounds her advice in internationally recognised best practice and she is a sessional academic at The University of Queensland where she teaches crisis communication, issues management, stakeholder engagement, public relations and media strategies.

Kristina holds a Master of Writing, Editing and Publishing from The University of Queensland, and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Public Relations and Journalism from Griffith University.

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Phil has 25 years of experience across the Australian and international media landscape as a journalist, editor and strategic communications professional. He brings a deep understanding of the modern media environment and helps clients to fully leverage platforms, outlets and content providers to deploy key messages and lift profiles.

He has worked across complex, ongoing crisis communication scenarios, community engagement campaigns and spearheaded media engagement for major organisations and sports. He is a leading media trainer and passionate about helping clients find and share their stories. 

Prior to that, Phil was an award-winning senior reporter at the Sydney Morning Herald and lead Olympics writer for the SMH/Age. He has covered four Olympic Games, three Commonwealth Games, swimming World Championships, cricket and rugby Tests, State of Origin rugby league, NRL grand finals and a multitude of major domestic and international events.

In 2021, he was named as Australia’s leading sports writer at the prestigious Australian Sports Commission Media Awards and remains on the judging panel.

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James is an award-winning marketing and communications professional with two decades of experience honed in Australia and the UK.

His strategic planning, marketing and communications expertise encompasses business-to-business and consumer marketing and is underpinned by a deep understanding of the customer and storytelling, which are used to Elevate brands and their commercial performance.

Throughout his career, James has supported blue-chip brands, small businesses, start-ups and industry associations in the construction, infrastructure, automotive, financial services, software, media and not-for-profit sectors.

Prior to joining Elevate, James was the founder and Director of Social Beast, a boutique marketing agency that merged with Elevate in January 2024.

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Mel has enjoyed 20-plus years in communications, working across PR, television and magazine production, sports media, as well as newspaper reporting and editorial production.

Having worked in the media in Australia and overseas, Mel understands the importance of creating quality content. She has a creative mind and a sharp news sense that has seen her clients featured on local and national news and current affairs programs, in metro and regional newspapers, on radio and on the pages of national magazines.

As a former news journalist, Mel has intimate knowledge of the media and prides herself on her ability to lead and mentor those around her.

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Tash is a communications leader with more than 20 years experience in creating great outcomes for people, processes, and products within commercial media.

Her skill set spans all storytelling platforms, ranging from on-air news delivery to crafting digital editorial distribution strategies for prominent Australian news and information podcasts.

Adept at problem-solving for both clients and team members, Tash champions inclusive innovation and thrives in navigating challenging scenarios.

A perpetual learner with a curious mindset, she holds a Bachelor of Communications (Marketing & Journalism) and possesses practical expertise in Leadership, Coaching, Innovation, and Conversation Design.

Jose Abad
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Jose Abad is a seasoned communicator with over 20 years’ experience in corporate communication strategy, planning, implementation and media management in Australia and internationally.

Jose commits to his clients, learns their business and engages strategically and effectively to deliver outcomes while remaining vigilant for opportunities and risks.

He manages every detail of the client experience from strategy development, media, marketing and communication plans, issues and crisis management, social media, client liaison and project delivery.

He has expertise in working in both consultancy and in-house communications management positions in the corporate, property, food, agribusiness, mining and not for profit sectors.

Jose holds a Bachelor of Arts (Majors in Journalism and Communication) from the University of Queensland and is a professional member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia and Australian Institute of Marketing.

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Gareth is passionate about online advertising and has over 10 years of dedicated digital marketing experience working in various agency positions.

With a skillset that encompasses copywriting, Google Ads, and social media advertising, Gareth has a proven track record of implementing creative campaigns that meet the brief and provide a true return on investment.

Originally from South Africa, Gareth holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Marketing) from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a Diploma in Copywriting from the AAA School of Advertising.

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Gina brings more than 15 years’ experience in the conferencing and events industry having worked with several national and international brands to provide the full gamut of event management services. Gina has delivered hundreds of events across Australia and abroad through carefully curated programs to ensure client objectives are not only met, but exceeded.

Her extensive experience coordinating conferences and business events is further enhanced through Gina’s industry qualifications including accreditation as a  Certified Event Manager with the Professional Conference Organisers Association (PCOA), a Certificate III in Events Management, and completion of the Executive Ready Course through Women In Leadership Australia.

Gina’s expertise in this industry is highly sought after as she quickly becomes a trusted advisory immersing herself in her clients’ teams to fulfil their visions.

Madeline Jones
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Working within the corporate communications pillar of Elevate, Madeline has worked on a diverse client base which includes established national franchises, multinational corporations and professional service providers.

With a background in non-profit, her passions lie in the delivery of meaningful and direct communications that enhance client operations. Madeline’s experience ranges from internal communications, media relations, social media management, RAP and ESG framework development, and award writing.

In 2022 Madeline was named the Gold Student of the Year in the PRIA Golden Target Awards.

Madeline graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Communications and a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Public Relations, Writing and English Literature. 

Betsy Brandon
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An enthusiastic and diligent PR professional, Betsy loves integrating storytelling, innovation, and strategic thinking into all client projects. Betsy has demonstrated experience in written and digital communication, media relations and management, stakeholder engagement, media training, and crisis communication.

Betsy brings her unique experience to the Elevate team having worked across a range of industries from not-for-profit, property, education, health, lifestyle, and government agencies. Approaching business with a people-centric and growth mindset, Betsy is dedicated to achieving outstanding results for her valued clients, focusing on goal-orientated, creative, and effective solutions.

Betsy holds a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Public Relations and Media & Communications at the Queensland University of Technology.

Darly Ngwe
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Energetic, imaginative and dedicated, Darly engages with fresh ideas and high-level thinking in public relations. She has experience in both private and not-for-profit sectors, working closely with clients to achieve inspirational, valuable, and worthwhile outcomes.

Darly produces creative solutions that showcase people, brand and values with her keen appreciation for the power of words and strategic aesthetics. Whether working behind the scenes or directly with clients, Darly strives with integrity to deliver powerful, relevant and timely results for our clients.

Darly holds a Bachelor of Communications majoring in Public Relations from the University of Queensland and was the 2022 valedictorian.

Jess Quinn
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Thought-driven and with a passion for people, Jess has a particular interest in the area surrounding user experience.

Jess’s strengths lie in her logical thought process and thorough writing and communication abilities where she aspires to develop innovative and creative solutions that are easily consumed by clients.

Through her role at Elevate, Jess strives to go above and beyond to expand her existing skillset, while building meaningful relationships with the team and clients.

Having completed an internship with Elevate at the beginning of 2022, Jess joined the team as a Digital Marketing Assistant after showcasing her willingness to learn and desire for a challenge. Jess was quickly promoted to Digital Marketing Executive after just six months on the team after demonstrating her eagerness and commitment to the team.

In 2022, Jess was nominated and shortlisted as a finalist for the Public Relations Institute of Australia’s Student of the Year Award in the 2022 Golden Target Awards in Sydney.

Jess holds a double degree consisting of a Bachelor of Information Technology (Information Systems) and a Bachelor of Communication (Digital Media) from the Queensland University of Technology. She also holds a Professional Diploma in UX Design from the UX Design Institute.

Andrea Fisher
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As a driven and tenacious communication and journalism professional, Andi is passionate about making a positive impact and is motivated by projects that allow her to be part of something bigger than herself. Andi aims to bring her background in digital media and journalism, alongside her creative flair and achievement-focussed mindset, to deliver quality and bespoke work.

With a special research interest in Digital Media, Andi is passionate about the intersection between digital culture, technology and lived experience and hopes to bring this unique perspective to her role.

As a strong copywriter, she is always assigning words to seasons of her life. Andi’s current mantra is ‘tenacity’ which reflects her ambitious and motivated spirit.

Andi holds a dual degree in a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Communication majoring in Digital Media at The University of Queensland.

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Sofia is a highly dedicated and passionate communications professional, with a background in print journalism and public relations. She is committed to using her unique and robust skills to create meaningful projects and help clients reach their goals. Sofia has always held a desire to make a positive impact where she can, motivated by opportunities that allow her to give back to the community and beyond.

With a special interest in media relations and all things writing, Sofia aims to utilise her experience as a journalist to achieve a wide variety of media coverage for her clients and help bring their campaigns to life.

Sofia holds a degree in Bachelor of Journalism (minoring in Public Relations) at The University of Queensland.

Manish Tidke
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