Following our announcement of the Women in Defence Awards 2023 finalists last week, ADM will be introducing each of our amazing finalists across the 10 categories in more detail. Today we are focusing on the finalists in Communications.
In this category, judges were looking for entries that exhibited excellence in delivering communications/marketing/stakeholder engagement beyond the expectations of their job description. The finalists conceived and/or implemented strategies in 2022 which were creative, original, and delivered exceptional outcomes for their organisation or client.
Many are also excellent ambassadors for Defence or Defence industry, championing Defence’s vision in their pursuits outside of work.
Wing Commander Deanna Nott, Founder and Managing Director
Wings Public Relations and Royal Australian Air Force
Deanna is the Founder and MD of Wings Public Relations and a Specialist Reservist Wing Commander in the RAAF. In that capacity, she is the RAAF’s Deputy Director Values and Behaviour and an appointed Assistant Inspector General ADF. In 2022, Deanna successfully introduced autonomous robotics technology expert Exail to the Australian defence community to enhance its bid for RAN's SEA 1905; led the highly successful inaugural Pacific Airshow Gold Coast 2022 media launch; fully rebranded major Defence ICT supplier Insitec; and produced Air Force’s new Culture communication strategy.
Lieutenant Jessica Craig, Officer in Charge – Influence Activities, Information Warfare Force
Royal Australian Navy
Jessica leads cognitive Information operations development at a Fleet level under the Director of Fleet Information Effects Unit. In 2022, Jessica produced the ‘2022 OPSEC in Fleet Report’ which was followed by a phased marketing campaign roadmap. The roadmap took the findings and turned them into a tangible plan to change lagging OPSEC behaviours and address the needs of Navy employees. She has also recently supported new female PAOs and volunteers for the Animal Welfare League NSW and CORE Community Services.
Kristie Lavery, Strategic Communications Practice Lead
Kristie is the Strategic Communications Practice Lead for Professional Services firm Elysium EPL. In 2022, Kristie and her team delivered communications and stakeholder management for Plan Galileo, the new approach to Naval sustainment for the Commonwealth. This resulted in positive national media coverage; significant reforms being successfully implemented, with two Request for Tenders released; hundreds of personnel educated; the first Regional Maintenance Centre operating in Cairns; and a successful launch of Horizon 3 at the SeaPower Conference.
Meilin Loi, Communications and Marketing Director, Airborne Solutions Leidos
Meilin is the Communications and Marketing Director, Airborne Solutions for Leidos Australia. In 2022, Meilin’s employer Cobham Special Mission, was acquired by Leidos. Unusually for an employee within the company being acquired, Meilin played a key role in the creation and execution of a highly successful communications plan. In addition, Meilin went above and beyond to support the company’s emergency response to the global shortage of pilots and aircrew. Outside work, Meilin has hosted fundraising events for Legacy, volunteered for CanDo4Kids, and supported a community action group addressing food waste reduction.
Sarah Cullens, Founder and Managing Director
Precision Public Affairs
Sarah is the Founder and Managing Director of Precision Public Affairs. In 2022, Sarah produced the Inaugural AIDN Policy Symposium & Sovereign Capability Showcase in Parliament House. Sarah was able to secure a VIP line-up of 21 speakers, led by the Secretary of Defence; and attendance by a large number of MPs, Senators, and Staff, including the Minister for Defence Industry and senior Defence officials, and more than 300 business representatives. Sarah is also an ambassador for the Commando Welfare Trust and regularly provides pro-bono government relations advice to defence-related advocacy organisations including Defence Families Australia.
The winners and Hall of Fame inductee will be announced at a gala dinner at The National Arboretum Canberra on 25 October 2023. Book your tickets here – we hope to see you there!