October 9, 2012

The team

At The Communication Link the sum of the parts is greater than the individual; the Communication Link has a strong commitment to equal opportunity and flexible work environments.  Our experienced team seeks opportunities to contribute to challenging and interesting communications projects while maintaining positive work-life balance, often associated with raising children – tomorrow’s community.

Managing Director – Helen Leayr

Helen is the Managing Director of The Communication Link. She has over twenty years’ experience in industry representation, including five years as Executive Director of the Canberra Business Council, a leading regional development organisation.

Helen has extensive industry, government, bureaucratic and media networks, and is experienced at dealing with all levels of public and private sectors. Helen delivers a well-planned, dynamic campaign that engages key stakeholders, including the media, and produces clear outcomes for clients. She is an outstanding facilitator of meetings, workshops and consultation sessions. Her high level of empathy across the community and business sectors delivers a balanced session where all stakeholders feel they have had an ability to contribute.


Director – Adam Leayr

Adam has been a Director of The Communication Link since 2008. He has over fifteen years of web design and development experience with extensive government administration and management skills. Adam ensures that The Communication Link’s clients have the right technological support to meet their information needs, including managing the data analytics associated with understanding extensive community or stakeholder feedback. Adam provides web development and maintenance service to several clients and community organisations. He provides financial management and back-office logistical support across all The Communication Link work to ensure projects are delivered on time and to the client’s financial specifications.


Senior Communications Consultant – Kerri Hannaford

With almost twenty years of experience in management of government-based programs. Kerri has strong skills in stakeholder liaison, stakeholder management and support to management. Her experience includes business readiness, working as a conduit between technical and business, conference management, milestone reporting and applicable payments, monitoring external reporting to management, secretariat services and community consultation.

Building sound working relationships with stakeholders has been crucial to the roles Kerri has fulfilled. She has experience working with many different industries and groups including health, insurance, water, law enforcement, local, state and Commonwealth Governments.

Kerri takes the time to understand the needs of a stakeholder, client and the objectives of all projects. She is able to show enormous empathy and interest in community views and opinions. She draws on her experience to establish lasting relationships with partners and stakeholders and ensure successful project outcomes.

Kerri has excellent communication and coordination skills, providing considered input to projects and taking responsibility for outcomes.


Senior Communications Advisor – Ellen Samuels

Ellen has fifteen years’ experience in communications, change management, stakeholder engagement and community education working across a range of industry and government programs. Ellen has been part of The Communication Link consulting team since 2011. She has outstanding communication and liaison skills, high level research skills and advanced presentation skills. Ellen is highly skilled in explaining complicated, technical information in accessible, relevant ways. Ellen has technical experience across a range of environmental, scientific and informational technology fields.

She is experienced in preparing and delivering communications and stakeholder engagement strategies, providing on-the-ground community stakeholder engagement, developing communications materials, managing the production of social and digital media product and coordination of a variety of engagement activities. She has strong organisational skills and is recognised as a valuable member of multi-disciplinary project teams.


Senior Communications Advisor – Julia Teale

Julia has extensive experience leading cohesive teams to deliver innovative and sustainable transformational programs of work across the health, disability, transport, safety, education and law enforcement sectors. This has incorporated developing innovative strategic directions for stakeholder engagement, communications, marketing and brand management, digital transformation, customer experience, media and change management. Julia has high level people management skills and has managed a diversity of budget, clients and stakeholders. She is outcomes focused and achieves results through strong interpersonal, oral and written skills.


Senior Communications Advisor – Kate Clement

Kate is an experienced group process designer, facilitator and consultant. She has strong communication skills and is dynamic, creative and skilled at process design, stakeholder engagement and working with groups of all sizes and profiles. Her competency has been honed from facilitation experience in the not for profit, public and private sectors, as well as with the general public, for more than twenty five years.

Her most recent project in Canberra involved leading the stakeholder engagement process for the new bus network for Transport Canberra. She is also working as a coach with teams in various APS Departments to develop personal efficiency including DFAT, DWAR and DSS.

Kate lived and worked in the dynamic environment of South Africa for sixteen years after doing a graduate traineeship with Ausaid. In this time she worked in all kinds of settings on development projects. She is no stranger to big challenges and the value of effective and respectful group facilitation.

Her facilitation specialties include :

  • Group facilitation – interpersonal and organisational with Deep Democracy, emotional intelligence and creative thinking methods.
  • Communications management support, including stakeholder engagement.
  • Team development – building trust, moving through conflict and improving communication.


Senior Change Management Advisor – Susan Scarlett

Susan is a senior change manager with experience in organisational restructures and system implementation changes in large, complex organisations. Susan has led change streams to merge groups, create commercial alliances, align functions and introduce re-engineered/ new business processes. Her experience includes IBM’s Maximo and Mincom’s Ellipse and SAP’s CRM and ISU modules and document management systems.

Susan is a motivated change leader who works to engage staff, meet business objectives and decrease risk to organisations. She has qualifications in Prosci (ADKAR) and People Centred Implementation (PCI). She has been responsible for Organisational Change Strategies, Change Impact Assessments, implementing change, and transition planning in large, complex organisations.


Senior Change Management Advisor – Letitia Kennedy

A senior change management professional with over 25 years’ experience in successful delivery of largescale organisational change programs for both public and private sector clients.  These programs include process improvement, legislative, product/ service, technology and cultural driven change.

Letitia’s strengths include:

  • developing change strategies aligned to business strategy, supported by creative and practical solutions for implementing successful change
  • highly developed consulting, engagement and facilitation skills to achieve successful outcomes
  • effective communication and key messaging for complex and technical concepts in both verbal and written forms
  • building strong working relationships with people at all levels within an organisation.


Senior Change Management Advisor – Sarah Dunning

Building on a career of more than 20 years leading and managing strategic marketing plans, Sarah has spent the last 20 years in leadership, designing and delivering large scale business change and transformation programs. She has a passion for driving innovative data driven strategies and market focused initiatives.

Sarah recognises the importance of aligning with an organisations’ vision, strategic plan and growth model and has worked utilising methodologies such as RACI and working in an Agile framework.

Sarah is highly respected as a change and marketing leader, with the ability to forge collaborative working relationships with key stakeholders to drive organisational reform.


Senior Communications Consultant – Alison Abernethy

During a career that spans more than 20 years, Alison has worked extensively in public sector communications, focusing on external communications and policy advice as well as internal engagement and cultural change programs. She has a well-developed sense of strategic policy as it guides public sector communications and has fulfilled leadership roles to implement new communications within government agencies.

The portfolio of work Alison has delivered is diverse from central agencies programs in the ACT Government through to public housing, education, social services, workplace relations and industry development. Her experience includes both Commonwealth and ACT Government service.


Senior Communications Consultant – April McFadden

April is an excellent communicator drawing on skills acquired through her psychotherapy training, her organisational coaching work, and client-based work experience. She has a high level of emotional intelligence drawing on her self-awareness, empathy and social skills to engage effectively with all stakeholders.

She adopts a solutions-focused approach to coaching and group facilitation and works proactively with teams to think and solve problems. She value-adds to team projects through her understanding of the broader strategic objectives supported by a practical ability to plan and prioritise work. She brings passion, energy and integrity to a project, delivering great shared results.

Senior Communications Consultant – Marty Elliott

Marty Elliott is a change communications professional with ten years of content production and management experience across traditional and new media in advertising, organisational communication and change management.

Marty is a communication all-rounder, capable of delivering with a multifaceted approach to organisational change communication. He began his communications career with a focus on digital multimedia production and has experience developing and delivering marketing campaigns across a wide range of new and traditional media platforms.


Senior Communications Consultant – Michelle Peck

Michelle enjoys the challenge of taking complex and technical information and making it accessible and interesting through succinct writing supported by diagrams and infographics.

Her communications skills are complemented by an eye for design, document layout and presentation that supports the effectiveness of any communication artefact.

Michelle is highly goal oriented and outcome focussed. She is highly skilled in a diverse range of communication and engagement areas, making her a flexible and valuable member of a team.


Senior Communications Consultant – Rebecca English

Rebecca is a communications professional with six years’ experience in delivering creative and strategic communication in government, international and not for profit sectors.

Rebecca’s strengths lie in social media, events, video development, and media liaison activities. She is a proactive communicator and understands the needs of a target audience and builds a targeted, dynamic suite of communication activities to deliver true engagement with her audience.


Senior Communications Consultant – Tanja Dullemond

Tanja is a flexible all-round communicator with skills in developing communications to meet strategic needs while engaging the target audience. She has a background in marketing, graphic design, and web design and is also experienced in managing events, research, and document control.

Tanja is a reliable and highly organised team member and draws on over 10 years’ experience working for Private, Government and Non-For-Profit organisations. Her work drives engagement with stakeholders, enhances brand reputation and focuses on the needs of the end user.


Communications Consultant – Jessica Smith-Roberts

Jessica is a genuine, grass-roots connector with community.  She currently provides community liaison and stakeholder outreach services to a number of projects and has built lasting community relationships to underpin this work.

She is experienced in preparing and delivering communications and stakeholder engagement strategies, developing communications materials, managing the production of social and digital media product and coordination of a variety of engagement activities. She has strong organisational skills and is recognised as a valuable member of multi-disciplinary project teams.

She has outstanding customer service skills and provides a professional, engaging outreach services to residents impacted, or potentially impacted by construction projects.


Communications Consultant – Melanie Calvert

Melanie has a passion for writing. She produces concise, high-quality, error-free text, drawing on excellent research and analytical skills, and has a flair for ‘translating’ technical or complex information into accessible and engaging content.

Melanie has a background in government communications and web publishing, including writing and editing web content, developing and advising on web publishing standards and guidelines, producing communications plans, project management, and the development and implementation of web publishing policy. Melanie also has a strong knowledge of Australian and international accessibility and usability standards and guidelines.

Melanie is a quiet and efficient worker with highly developed computer skills and a wide range of skills in administration, policy, communications, and the Arts. She is a committed team member with a strong focus on the needs of the end user and a track record of delivering quality results.


Communications Consultant – Lina Blair

During an international career that includes a senior role at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Lina has provided administrative, human resources, communications, marketing and public relations support to senior management teams.

Lina is an engaging, focused on results with an attention to detail. She has excellent organisational, time-management, communication and planning skills.


Change Management Consultant – Vanessa Mann

Vanessa is a skilled and dedicated consultant with valuable experience in areas of communications management, transformational change, and training design and delivery. Vanessa has a strong commitment to delivering results, focusing on identifying and addressing business user needs as the primary driver for sustainable change.

Vanessa’s dedication to supporting people allows her to distil and communicate business and technical information that leave audiences feeling supported and confident in their changing workplace. She has a proven ability to work collaboratively with team members and colleagues, providing mutual benefit to deliver within time constrained and complex project settings.


Senior Communications Consultant – Victoria Sylvester

Victoria is a highly experienced and talented media manager and entrepreneur. Her strengths lie in media strategy development and implementation, utilising press releases, media statements, holding statements, Q&As and speaking points, to share government messaging with the community.

Victoria is experienced in liaising with ministers and media, creating content which is clear and concise and delivered in a timely manner.

Senior Communications Consultant – Louise Burgess

Louise has been a valued member of The Communication Link team since 2013. Louise’s wide ranging experience across both ACT and Commonwealth Government agencies allows her to provide support to strategic communications and change management initiatives, particularly in relation to systems implementations across broad stakeholder groups. She successfully works across all levels of management able to influence positive outcomes within a team environment and as a leader.  She is an outstanding promoter of change and associated communications campaigns.

Senior Writer and Editor – Lisa Borella

Lisa has recently joined The Communication Link team working with projects that include the Garage Sale Trail and Canberra Metro. Lisa has excellent writing and proof-reading skills and is able to draw together key themes and arguments on behalf of a client to deliver collateral well-matched to the target audience.  She has extensive stakeholder engagement experience and understands the power of the written word to provide a strong basis for relationships with stakeholders, clients, potential clients, media and members of the public.  Lisa provides particular expertise to The Communication Link team in the area of social media and community content.

Graphic Designer and Artist – Karen Silsby

Karen has extensive experience in a wide variety of private and public sector positions. She has run her own graphic design business for over 20 years, and worked with clients in a large number of industries, including engineering, pharmacy, education, fisheries, and social work. At The Communication Link, Karen provides high quality graphic design across all client projects, including the production of collateral, reports, discussion and consultation papers, infographics and the creation of logo’s brand and styles guides if required. Karen is also a practising artist, has exhibited widely and won the inaugural Radford Art Prize in 2016.

BLAKEIMAGE013TeamHelenLeayr           BLAKEIMAGE106Helen Leayr

Our team members are highly experienced and draw upon a range of different backgrounds in both the private and public sectors including:

  • communications professionals
  • writers
  • proof readers and editors
  • project managers
  • event managers
  • graphic designers
  • marketing professionals
  • PR managers
  • administrative support.

The Communication Link draws on the diverse experiences of its team members to put together an outstanding team for every project.