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PRIA Appoints New President and Deputy President at AGM

Public Relations Institute of Australia is thrilled to announce Shane Allison as PRIA National President, and Helen Hutchings (Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia) as Deputy National President.

New President Shane Allison is an experienced communicator who has served on the PRIA’s board as NSW President and most recently Honorary Treasurer. His company, Public Address, provides a comprehensive media relationship management platform used by communicators across Australia.

Helen Hutchings has been elected to a historic third term as Deputy President, to drive the ongoing member consultation to consider the most appropriate identity for the association. She has twenty years’ experience in the public relations and communications industry and is a Group Executive Director with Phillips Group in Queensland.

Addressing members at the Annual General Meeting yesterday, Wednesday 1 December 2021, Shane said that the role of communicators was more important than ever, and requires a strong industry association in this period of rapid change.

“I believe that our industry needs to be represented by a strong industry association that advocates for our industry, celebrates our success, promotes best practice, provides industry leading training and shapes the future of our profession,” Shane said following the meeting.

“We must provide effective leadership and advocacy for our industry as we chart new waters of influence and impact - ensuring we help give our members a strong voice at every table.

“With the appointment of CEO Louise Harland-Cox, the execution of our new strategy and a committed and engaged board, I believe that we can build on the progress to date and build an association that is forward-facing and ready for the challenges that our profession faces.

“I am incredibly thankful to Helen for stepping into a historic third term as Deputy President, to drive member consultation on our identity.”

Shane also paid tribute to Immediate Past President Leigh McClusky for her inspirational leadership during some of the association’s most trying years.

“Leigh has steered our association through some of the most difficult years in our history, tackling the challenge of a transition to a digital model with the passion and energy that are her trademarks,” said Mr Allison.

“To say that we might not be here without Leigh’s hard work and dedication is an understatement. The PRIA is in a position to tackle the disruption and change that we face largely due to her hard work.”

Outgoing President Leigh McClusky added that the organisation couldn’t be in safer hands.

“There is plenty of work to do and I’m confident that Shane is the leader that our industry needs today. During his time as Honorary Treasurer he has shown unfailing support for our organisation, helping drive more effective member engagement and bringing renewed energy and enthusiasm to everything he touches,” Leigh said.

As newly appointed leaders of the PRIA, Shane and Helen are focused on delivering value to members through implementing the PRIA’s new strategy, resolving the consultation on the PRIA’s identity and preparing the organisation for a decade of growth.

Helen said she was delighted to have the opportunity for a third term as Deputy President and was looking forward to leading the consultation process around the organisation’s identity.

“PRIA has delivered significant member value over the past two years and we are seeing a renewed vigour within the organisation. In 2021, we released a strategic plan for the organisation which focuses on leading the industry, delivering member value and strengthening professional relationships,” Helen said.

“I am looking forward to the continued engagement with our members and broader industry as to how PRIA can deliver this strategy and whether a new identity is required to reflect the broad skills and experience within our industry.”

Shane also thanked the Board, PRIA office staff and members for their support.

“I’d like to thank the PRIA’s staff for their continued hard work, my fellow directors for volunteering their time, energy and enthusiasm to our association, and our members for their continued support,”

“There’s work to be done in the core delivery of services to members, across networking, training and recognition. Much of this work is underway and anecdotal feedback suggests that our industry’s impressions of your Institute are changing – rapidly – and we are well positioned for growth,” concluded Shane.

Taken from PRIA.

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