Skip to content


8:45 AM
  • Welcome and opening remarks
    Richard Morecroft (MC)

    Richard Morecroft is the MC of this years' PRIA Conference. Richard Morecroft is best known... More

    Jenny Muir

    Expert in advocacy, engagement and strategic communication With a career spanning twenty... More

    30 mins
9:15 AM
  • Brain, Behaviour, Story

    Brain, Behaviour, Story: where a gruesome head wound meets the Vulcan Mind Meld to reveal the most effective way to craft mind-changing narratives

    The communications landscape is littered with failed attempts to change minds and behaviour. We jump into an award-winning creative solution… that does nothing. That’s because we’re doing it all wrong. There is a much-overlooked science to the art of narrative.

    Christopher Graves, recently was honoured with a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency for his work in connecting neuroscience, behavioural science and narrative theory for more effective storytelling.

    Graves is the global chairman of Ogilvy Public Relations, has leveraged the curiosity of his former career (award-winning top news executive for two decades) to create a thrilling, informative workshop that will leave you with a completely new view of changing minds and effective persuasion. He will run a roller coaster ride of a session that will reveal how three historic accidents can teach us to become master storytellers. You’ll find his session called “Brain, Behaviour, Story” a lot of fun and hugely informative with techniques you can use right away.

    Christopher Graves

    Christopher Graves chairs one of the world’s largest, leading public relations networks... More

    1.17 hours
10:25 AM
  • The ABC’s Innovative Approach to Digital Transformation

    Louise will discuss the ABC’s journey as it sets out to create a single digital service that is meaningful to every visitor, and celebrates the ABC’s best assets: people and content. She will share the human centred design approach applied to product design and possible scenarios for media experiences in the future.

    Louise O’Donnell

    An innovation specialist and multi-platform content director, Louise has been providing... More

    40 mins
11:05 AM
    25 mins
11:30 AM
  • Campaigning for change – the power of innovative collaboration

    This session is an exploration of how innovative approaches to collaboration and working together are helping achieve positive change in policies, cultures and communities. We’ll send you home with tips, insights and ideas on how to unlock the potential of innovative collaborations to help amplify your message and bring about a better world.

    Government relations and the means of influencing public policy are changing. The forces of cross benchers, digital technologies and reform inertia are all playing their part. But there are powerful forces emerging as people and organisations find creative ways to collaborate and communicate together to get reform on the agenda, say no to bad ideas, and bring about change. We’ll touch on recent successful grass roots movements, the dynamics of minority politics, insights on creative collaboration from Pixar Inc., and some home-grown case studies of innovative and successful collaborations for change.

    Marcia Balzer

    Marcia’s career has encompassed communications, marketing and public affairs roles in... More

    40 mins
  • Building Your Own Career Plan

    In this session, we're introducing the world's first Professional Competency Framework for PR and Communications professionals or in other words, the skills, knowledge and aptitudes required for every level of communications practitioner in Australia - agency or in-house.

    But what does this mean for you? In this session the designer of the PRIA's Professional Framework, Anthony Lowe, will use it to build you a personal five year career plan. Plus he'll also discuss how agencies and in-house teams can use the Framework for staff planning, staff training, long term talent development, easier recruitment, salary standardisation and new business pitches.

    Anthony Lowe

    After 21 years working in agency, academic and in-house roles, Anthony set up The Roxburgh... More

    40 mins
12:15 PM
  • Treasure, Measure, Walk and Talk

    Australia is one of the most creative nations in the world but one of the worst when it comes to turning innovation into opportunity.

    So can Australia achieve its innovation agenda without PR? What role does communication and celebrity play in building a new economy?

    Western Australia’s Nobel Laureates Leading the Way is the world’s first long-term study of the social impact of a Nobel Prize. At a time when the community is demanding proof of a return on investment, the data adds deeply to our understanding of academic celebrity and makes a powerful case for evidence-based PR.

    Australian Nobel Laureates Barry Marshall and Robin Warren turned medicine upside down when they discovered that a tiny bacteria caused stomach ulcers. But what has happened in the decade since they won the world’s most prestigious prize? What has been the ripple effect of their work as ambassadors and the benefits for everyday Australians?

    Two Australian communicators ask the question…

    Kris Laurie

    ‘Innovation is realised creativity’ as Kris has demonstrated during a 40 year... More

    Marie Howarth

    Marie has been breaking new ground since she joined the communications industry 30 years ago... More

    40 mins
  • Channels vs Approach

    Is communication innovation about the channels we use or the approaches we take? Perhaps it’s a combination of both to achieve the organisations goals.

    Within our industry new channels of communication have undeniably influenced the way we do business and increased information and market penetration. It has forced us to rethink the approach we take when communicating with stakeholders. However, there is no use continually adopting new channels if the core elements of an approach aren’t working across the organisation. A channel doesn’t build and maintain relationships but the approach taken whilst utilising that channel does.

    If a strong approach is developed and maintained across the organisation, regardless of the channels used then the core messages will still be effectively conveyed to your key stakeholders.

    Research shows that satisfaction with the channels used to communicate is in line with stakeholder expectations. However, satisfaction with the way we engage (our approach as opposed to the channels) is 40% below stakeholder expectations. There are exceptions and David’s presentation will demonstrate case studies in how innovation in the approach has driven organisational performance and outcomes.

    As communicators we must continuously explore ways in which to improve our approaches whilst keeping up to date with the latest channels. It is this process that I believe to be true communication innovation.

    David Hawkins

    With almost 30 years’ experience in both the communication and external affairs sectors,... More

    40 mins
12:55 PM
    50 mins
1:45 PM
  • PANEL: Research, Measurement and Evaluation – where to from here?

    With management and boards constantly seeking more concrete outcomes from their dollars, the onus is on PR practitioners to prove your value. If you are serious about taking your career or business to the next level, don’t miss this panel discussion. Led by Carol Moore MPRIA, principal of Moore Public Relations and co-chair of the PRIA Measurement and Evaluation Committee, our panellists will explore the tools available to help you implement research, measurement and evaluation in your work. With industry best-practice in this area evolving on an ongoing basis, we’ll explore what services and resources can assist PR practitioners to meet the growing demand for evidence-based, measurable practice, from free/inexpensive methods to services such as market research, monitoring and media analysis.

    Peter Lewis

    Peter Lewis is the Executive Director of Essential, one of Australia’s leading strategic... More

    Carol Moore

    Carol Moore is an award-winning public relations consultant and trainer with almost 30... More

    Khali Sakkas

    Khali Sakkas is the Chief Executive, Insights with Isentia - she directs Isentia’s... More

    40 mins
  • PANEL: Challenges and Innovations in Science Communication

    When people are connected to science, they have these amazing ‘aha’ moments – but how hard is it for the broader audience to get there? How do you make sure people digest such complex information in a way they understand and can easily repeat?

    This panel of leading science communicators will explore the unique challenge of getting the right message across in this complicated space. In this session we’ll explore how science communication needs to innovate, the barriers to overcome, and explore some of the big succusses (and not-so-great moments) that all communicators can learn from.

    Bernie Hobbs

    Best known as a judge from ABC TV’s The New Inventors, Bernie Hobbs is an award-winning... More

    Rod Lamberts

    Dr Rod Lamberts is Deputy Director of the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness... More

    Alvin Stone

    Alvin has spent the great majority of his working life in the media. He started his media... More

    Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick

    Sarah is a senior research associate and 2014 DECRA awardee in the Climate Change Research... More

    40 mins
2:30 PM
  • Copyright law in the world of imagery

    Copyright law can be a complex and expensive area to navigate, especially in today’s right-click, save-and-share digital world. The rise of smart phones and tablets, along with growing social networks give consumers and businesses the freedom to share and source images at the touch of a button. Come along and find out more about this ‘sometimes grey area’ from Getty Images Associate Corporate Council Natasha Cywinski.

    Natasha Cywinski

    40 mins
  • New Thoughts on Diversity

    The internet, especially with leading streaming outlets like Netflix and vlogging platforms like YouTube, is changing the way people hear stories. For the first time in almost 100 years a new generation are seeing visual stories in new ways; ways that are not the stereotypical Hollywood genres. As such a new generation of diverse tribes, with humble, vulnerable, open and transparent voices are proving more trustworthy and genuine when it comes to storytelling. As a result, minorities been able to access people and stories that they can easily access and relate to for the first time.

    We can link this to the professional world through Dacher Keltner’s new book – The Power Paradox. In it he sets up the new leadership values that today’s employees resonate with – which are similar: humble, vulnerable, open and transparent. It is therefore so important when we are hiring and setting the tone and culture of our organisations that we talk about and proactively deliver diversity.

    Richard Brett

    Richard Brett has 20 years’ experience of marketing communications, brand strategy and... More

    40 mins
3:10 PM
    25 mins
3:35 PM
  • Vivid: Driving the visitor economy

    Vivid Sydney is the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas attracting more than 2.31 million attendees, and travellers from around the world. Owned, managed and produced by the NSW State Government’s major tourism and events agency, Destination NSW will share how it developed a next-gen media relations program and leveraged content development to drive global PR results that translated into visitation to NSW.

    Allison Lee

    With more a career spanning more than 20 years in agency, in-house and government roles,... More

    40 mins
4:15 PM
  • Mugged by Reality

    Veteran journalist and Australian Strategic Policy Institute Fellow Graeme Dobell unpacks the realities of the traditional ‘command and control’ communication structures being superseded by the rise of the smartphone and live broadcasting by friend and foe.

    The reality of ‘truth with speed’ for the ADF impacts all aspects of current and future operation. Existing in the Media Age, forces the Defence organisation to cope with communication demands ranging from the old foe- the press, to the cyber sphere and billions of digital citizens. The simple recommendation for coping with this complexity is the motto “truth with speed”.

    Graeme will outline how to use the “truth-with-speed” principle to overcome draconian media controls and loosen the ministerial/executive leash – and will give you advice on how to turn the ship around in your organisation.

    Graeme Dobell

    Graeme Dobell, a journalist for 45 years, has been reporting on Australian and international... More

    40 mins
4:55 PM
  • Day One Closing Remarks
    Richard Morecroft (MC)

    Richard Morecroft is the MC of this years' PRIA Conference. Richard Morecroft is best known... More

    5 mins
7:00 PM
  • Golden Target Awards Gala Dinner

    The Golden Target Awards (GTA) recognise excellence in public relations and are judged by a panel of industry leaders.

    The awards celebrate achievements of PRIA members and identify innovative and exciting communication programs throughout the nation.

    Celebrate the achievements of the industry at the revamped Four Points by Sheraton in Darling Harbour Sydney.

    James Valentine (MC)

    James will MC the Golden Target Awards National Finals Gala Dinner. James Valentine presents... More

    4 hours
8:45 AM
  • Opening Remarks
    15 mins
9:00 AM
  • Come the Revolution

    Jane Caro - instigator of the original ‘Destroy the Joint’ social media campaign and ex-advertising copywriter (multi award winning) - will discuss how the internet is taking power from the powerful far more effectively than any armed insurrection in history.

    She will look at why and how the internet is creating a new form of advocacy and democracy and why professional communicators need to catch up. She will discuss actions and reactions, what works and what doesn’t and how giving up control can help you do your job better than you ever dreamed possible.

    Jane Caro

    Jane Caro is an author, novelist, journalist, broadcaster, columnist, advertising writer and... More

    40 mins
9:40 AM
  • PANEL: We Have Skin in the Game… Creating Safe and Civil Online Communities

    This panel will focus on the role of professional communicators in identifying solutions in fostering safe and civil online communities. Given that the PR and communication profession plays a critical role in community management across a range of platforms, we want to ask - how do you as a professional create a safe space in which everyone’s rights are recognised and respected, in the age of the ‘troll’, cyber-bulling and kneejerk engagement?

    Jane Caro

    Jane Caro is an author, novelist, journalist, broadcaster, columnist, advertising writer and... More

    Jane Burns

    Professor Jane Burns is Professor of Innovation and Industry at the University of Sydney. In... More

    Jenna Price

    Jenna Price began her career in journalism at the Sydney Morning Herald in 1982 before being... More

    Lewis Shields

    Lewis heads up Touch Creative and co-founded the agency with the drive to make the internet... More

    40 mins
10:20 AM
    30 mins
10:50 AM
  • From the Digital Age to the Experience Age

    The debate is no longer about why brands should embrace the digital age. The crucial role digital can play in marketing is proven. This session will look at how we are moving beyond the digital age into the experience age, whereby we no longer focus on the why, but the how. The how we use digital to drive an experience that creates a meaningful connection and emotional engagement between brand and consumer to deliver business outcomes.

    James Wright

    Group COO, Havas Worldwide Australia and Managing Director, Red Agency & Havas PR APAC ... More

    40 mins
11:35 AM
  • How diverse is the Australian PR and Communications industry?

    Susan Redden Makatoa presents PRIA’s industry survey insights and launches PRIA’s first diversity and inclusion industry policy.

    Susan Redden Makatoa

    Susan has over 20 years’ experience in corporate communications, advocacy and change... More

    David Dunn

    David is an Account Manager at Howorth working across Microsoft, Optus Business, Citrix... More

    40 mins
  • Public Relations and Entrepreneurship

    Prita Kemal Gani will lead this session with a focus on using the principles of entrepreneurship to enhance your PR practice. Prita will outline how an entrepreneurial approach to our work can help us to build a better business, develop partnerships, collaborations and deals and showcase our own best talents, and those of the team that we work with.

    Prita Kemal Gani

    From 2011 to 2014, Prita was the Chairperson of PERHUMAS, the only woman ever to hold this... More

    40 mins
12:15 PM
    1 hour
1:15 PM
  • Overcoming Propaganda

    The Climate Council was formed following the abolition of the government-funded Climate Commission in 2013. When thousands of Australians pitched in to crowd-fund the Climate Council, we were given a clear indicator of the public need for reliable, independent information on climate change. Amanda McKenzie, CEO of the Climate Council, will explore how this transition was much deeper than just a name change, altering the Council's communication style and approach. She will also share her insights on how to crowd-fund effectively in a hostile environment.

    Amanda McKenzie

    Amanda McKenzie is an environmental leader and CEO of the Climate Council, which was launched... More

    40 mins
  • Behind the Scenes of and How To Work within the New Media Landscape

    In this interactive Q&A session, we’ll explore insights from how the Pedestrian example has excelled in the disruptive and constantly changing media landscape. Chris will discuss how professional communicators can be most effective in working with new media platforms and also what lessons more broadly can be learnt from how Pedestrian, and other platforms, excel in creating and spreading their content.

    Chris Wirasinha

    Chris Wirasinha is a co-founder of pop culture and creative jobs website Chris... More

    40 mins
2:00 PM
  • Revolutionising your internal communications

    Andrew Hall, Executive General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Commonwealth Bank will explore with conference participants how the Commonwealth Bank utilised their ‘Innovation Lab’ to shift the needle on engagement, awareness and reputation, both internally and externally. This major-shake up involved creating a new purpose-built platform, from scratch, which commenced operations in September 2016 with further stages to be rolled out during October. This means that PRIA National Conference attendees will be among the first people outside CBA to learn about the details of this exciting development and the impact it’s making. By the time of the PRIA national conference, Andrew will be able to share the early results of this highly anticipated and innovative communication program.

    This platform has revolutionised internal communications amongst the 55,000 employees at CBA and contains lessons for us all in how to turn the whole organisation into a team of advocates, as well as how to take a more innovative approach to reactive PR.

    Andrew Hall

    Andrew joined the Commonwealth Bank in May 2013 as the Executive General Manager for Corporate... More

    40 mins
2:40 PM
    30 mins
3:10 PM
  • Cutting through in a fragmented media market

    With the media and journalistic landscape facing huge disruption and fragmentation, the pressure is on Public Relations and Communication professionals to think outside the box in their efforts to engage audiences. Come and join Andrew McGinnes as he takes participants through Qantas’ approach to using traditional and new media platforms to talk to different audiences across the different modes required of corporate communications, from issues management through to publicity.

    Andrew McGinnes

    Andrew’s 16 years in Corporate Affairs has spanned public and private sectors and... More

    40 mins
3:50 PM
  • Award winning lessons from Europe

    Through lessons gained from both judging and winning at Cannes, client case studies and years of experience in sustainability affairs, Anders will share with us how to create real, sustainable value in award winning campaigns and highlight how the Swedish PR industry has come to lead the way in creativity and innovation.

    Anders will also share how Prime has grown to employ 150 people in a tiny market like Sweden. He will discuss how it has become recognised globally and locally for its ideas and campaigns implemented for leading and innovative companies and brands ranging from consumer products and civil society services to organisations promoting culture.

    Prime has been rewarded with communications awards including 20 Cannes Lions, 15 Eurobest, 6 CLIO awards and 18 SABRE awards since 2010. In 2016, Prime was ranked eighth on leading intelligence company Contagious’ list of the world’s foremost agencies that consistently set the standard for excellence and innovation in marketing, making Prime the only public relations firm in the world to make the list.

    Anders Hult

    Anders Hult is a partner at Prime, a Weber Shandwick company, based in Stockholm, Sweden,... More

    40 mins
4:30 PM
  • Conference closing remarks
    Richard Morecroft (MC)

    Richard Morecroft is the MC of this years' PRIA Conference. Richard Morecroft is best known... More

    Jenny Muir

    Expert in advocacy, engagement and strategic communication With a career spanning twenty... More

    30 mins
5:30 PM
  • Networking

    Join Conference attendees and the broader PR and Communications Community for networking drinks immediately after the conference at The Port, Darling Harbour. A short walk from the conference venue across the Pyrmont Bridge. 

    2 hours