Our
team

Meet the Elevate team.

Elevate Arrows

When you partner with us, our team becomes an extension of yours. Elevate’s people are some of the industry’s most respected professionals, with skills in PR, corporate communication, traditional and digital marketing, event management, stakeholder engagement, and more. 

Are you ready to elevate your reputation?

If you’re looking for the ultimate partner to protect your reputation, get in touch with our team.

Elevate Arrows

Mel
Deacon

MANAGING DIRECTOR

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.

Elevate Arrows

Mark
Deacon

ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR

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.

Elevate Arrows

Lee
McLean

GENERAL MANAGER

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
Elevate Arrows

Marcus
Hill

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER

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.

Elevate Arrows

Kim
Donaldson

OPERATIONS MANAGER

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.

Jose Abad
Elevate Arrows

Jose
Abad

CORPORATE COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST

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.

Kristina Smith
Elevate Arrows

Kristina
Smith

CORPORATE COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST

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.

Elevate Arrows

Melinda
Healy

BRAND COMMUNICATION SPECIALIST

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.

Elevate Arrows

Gareth
Duddington

DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER

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.

Caitlin Wood
Elevate Arrows

Caitlin
Wood

COMMUNICATION MANAGER

Caitlin is a creative and passionate communications professional, with demonstrated skills in stakeholder engagement, media relations, and change management. Caitlin brings a diverse perspective to the Elevate team, with experience across a range of industries including not-for-profit, technology, health, education, property, agriculture, and hospitality.

With interests in design, business development, and the media landscape, Caitlin is strongly positioned to deliver effective and strategic outcomes across all manner of projects. Caitlin strongly believes in a people-centric approach to business, and strives to approach every project with innovation and excellence.

Caitlin holds a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Queensland, and a Diploma of Graphic Design from the Billy Blue College of Design.

Elevate Arrows

Gina
Shaw

EVENTS MANAGER

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
Elevate Arrows

Madeline
Jones

SENIOR COMMUNICATION EXECUTIVE

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
Elevate Arrows

Betsy
Brandon

COMMUNICATION EXECUTIVE

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
Elevate Arrows

Darly
Ngwe

COMMUNICATION EXECUTIVE

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.

Andrea Fisher
Elevate Arrows

Andrea
Fisher

COMMUNICATION ASISTANT

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.

Manish Tidke
Elevate Arrows

Manish
Tidke

FINANCE MANAGER