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Leadership

Helen Coonan

Hon. Helen Coonan

Chair

With a distinguished career in the Australian Senate which spanned 15 years, Helen provides the GRACosway team and its clients with extensive insight and experience across a range of industry sectors.

Helen was a member of the Howard Ministry from 2001, where she held the portfolios of Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Revenue. She later served in Cabinet as Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts until 2007, and joined the Coalition Leadership Team when appointed Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Since leaving politics in 2011, Helen has been appointed to a number of board and advisory roles in the corporate sector, including JP Morgan, Snowy Hydro Limited and Obesity Australia.

+61 2 8353 0400

Level 21, 6 O'Connell Street
Sydney NSW 2000

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Kirsten Mulley

CEO

Kirsten is CEO of GRACosway, with responsibility for the overall management and strategic development of the firm.

Kirsten leverages more than 20 years’ experience in public policy, government relations and communications to deliver expert counsel to clients. She is a strategic thinker, a problem solver and a respected leader at the top of her field.

As a trusted long-term advisor, Kirsten has a reputation for creativity and clarity. Her work with clients across the health, property, infrastructure and financial services sectors is informed by a deep understanding of the political, policy and regulatory landscape.

Prior to joining GRACosway, Kirsten served in political and policy roles in the NSW Government, including as a senior adviser to the Premier and Deputy Premier. A skilled communicator, Kirsten has also previously worked in communications and media roles.

Kirsten is a director of Clemenger Group, the parent company of GRACosway, and the firm’s New Zealand subsidiary, GRC Partners. She is also a director of the Hunter Medical Research Institute and is passionate about GRACosway’s pro bono work with Ovarian Cancer Australia.

Kirsten has a Bachelor of Arts (English) from the University of Newcastle and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Sydney.

+61 408 476 470

Level 21, 6 O'Connell Street
Sydney NSW 2000

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Mark Rudder

Founding Partner, Corporate & Financial Communications

Mark is a Founding Partner of GRACosway based in the firm’s Sydney office.

With an extensive background in strategic planning for corporate transactions (including M&As, capital raisings and IPOs), Mark offers more than 30 years’ experience in media, corporate and financial communications, media presentation and crisis management programs to both local and offshore clients.

Mark has significant expertise in advising clients on senior management team restructures as well as reputation and issues management, which sees him work with a range of clients including Virgin Australia, Santos, Suncorp and DP World.

Mark previously spent eight years in commercial radio and television, as well as three years with the ABC.

+61 411 362 362

Level 21, 6 O'Connell Street
Sydney NSW 2000

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John Frey

Founding Partner, Corporate & Financial Communications

John has over 30 years’ experience in providing corporate and financial communications counsel for both listed and private Australian and international businesses.

With extensive expertise in transactional communications, corporate restructuring and issues management, John has advised clients including Lend Lease, SANTOS, Perpetual, SAI Global, Spotless Group, Commonwealth Treasury and the Department of Finance.

John is also a recognised leader in media and presentation skills training for executive management and investment banking teams.

+61 411 361 361

Level 21, 6 O'Connell Street
Sydney NSW 2000

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Geoff Elliott

Managing Partner – Corporate and Financial Communications

Geoff is based in GRACosway’s Sydney office and is jointly responsible for overseeing the firm’s corporate and financial communications practice.

Geoff provides clients with insight and advice on strategic media engagement based on more than 25 years’ experience in domestic and international journalism as a former business editor, media editor and Washington correspondent at The Australian.

Before joining the firm, Geoff also hosted the Australian Business show on Sky and was a regular commentator on radio.

In commercial life, as a strategic adviser, Geoff has built a reputation for providing valuable counsel to a range of clients, across a diverse range of industries and regulatory bodies. His knowledge of newsrooms, having worked at the highest levels of editorial management also provides great insight into opportunities and threats in any media engagement.

Geoff holds a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Western Australia.

+61 488 051 888

Level 21, 6 O'Connell Street
Sydney NSW 2000

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Ben Wilson

Managing Partner – Transactions and Corporate

Based in Sydney, Ben is jointly responsible for oversight of GRACosway’s corporate and financial communications practice.

Ben has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist and trusted communications adviser to both corporate and government leaders. He provides communications counsel to a broad range of clients in relation to complex and sensitive projects and is highly specialised in advising on transactions and critical financial matters.

Ben also leads GRACosway’s media and presentation training sessions for senior executives in the corporate, investment banking, and professional services sectors.

Prior to joining GRACosway, Ben was the Senior Media Adviser and spokesperson for a former NSW Premier. He was also Senior Media Adviser to a NSW Health Minister, and Energy and Utilities Minister.

Before his career in politics, Ben held a number of journalism roles with the ABC, including three years as NSW Parliamentary Reporter for ABC TV, and prior to that, Africa correspondent for ABC TV and Radio. Ben has also worked in current affairs with ABC Radio.

Ben holds a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) from the University of South Australia.

+61 407 966 083

Level 21, 6 O'Connell Street
Sydney NSW 2000

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Richard King

Managing Partner – Public Affairs

Leading the firm’s Public Affairs practice, Richard offers GRACosway’s clients insight and advice based on his extensive experience in both government and private sector roles.

His strong background in economic policy underpins the counsel he provides clients across a broad range of industries, including financial services, health, infrastructure, professional services and energy and resources.

Richard provides strategic advice on issues including major legislative reform, competition policy, foreign investment and regulatory approvals. He is highly experienced in advising on public affairs campaign strategy, development and execution, and also has a significant understanding of the political and regulatory processes in the UK, Ireland and New Zealand.

Before joining the firm, Richard served for eight years in a variety of senior advisory roles in the Federal Government, predominantly in the economic portfolios, including as Senior Political Adviser within the Federal Treasurer’s Tax Reform Unit. He also spent over five years as head of government relations and industry affairs with one of Australia’s largest banks.

Richard holds degrees in Business and Arts from Monash University, where he majored in Politics, Psychology and Marketing. Richard is also a Board Member of Screen Australia, a Federal Government agency charged with supporting Australian screen development, production and promotion.

+61 407 766 633

Level 3, 650 Chapel Street
South Yarra VIC 3141

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Andrew Cox

Partner

Andrew has over two decades of political and communications experience, working primarily on Federal Government public policy issues and political campaigns.

As a Partner in GRACosway’s Melbourne office, Andrew works with a range of clients across the defence, financial services and professional services sectors. Andrew is also the Secretary for the Australian Professional Government Relations Association.

Prior to joining GRACosway, Andrew served in senior political party administration and campaign director roles in Western Australia and Victoria.

He has also held senior ministerial and shadow ministerial adviser positions within the Federal Government, including media and policy roles across the portfolios of Immigration and Citizenship, Finance, Employment, and Communications. He also held a senior media and communications role in the United Kingdom.

Andrew started his career as a journalist in Victoria and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Deakin University, majoring in Journalism and Politics & Policy Studies.

0499 599 008

Level 3, 650 Chapel Street
South Yarra VIC 3141

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Kylie Ramsden

Partner - Investor Relations

Kylie has more than 20 years corporate experience in investor relations and finance related roles within some of Australia’s most reputable ASX listed companies.  She is a leader in her field having also served as a Director on the Board of the Australasian Investor Relations Association (AIRA).

She is able to leverage her experience as Head of Investor Relations for Charter Hall Group, Macquarie Real Estate Funds, and Westfield Holdings to provide GRACosway’s clients with expert counsel. She has set up the investor relations function on numerous occasions, has been involved in company transformational M&A, and managed investor relations activities through challenging economic environments and complex corporate events, positioning her well to support GRACosway’s clients.

Kylie also spent time working in the United Arab Emirates as key advisor to the Crown Prince of Ras al Khaimah on the listing of the family’s private real estate company and their investment strategy into venture capital.

Kylie holds an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management (UNSW) and a Bachelor of Business from the University of Western Sydney. She is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a Diploma of Applied Finance and Investment.

+61 412 340 850

Level 21, 6 O'Connell Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Nick-Xerakias

Nick Xerakias

Partner

Nick’s broad-ranging political experience sees him provide GRACosway’s clients with strategy and policy advice primarily relating to federal government issues.

Nick previously served as a senior policy adviser to the Prime Minister. Prior to this, he served as a senior adviser in the Opposition Leader’s office covering a range of portfolio areas, including Resources and Energy, Climate Change, Environment, Agriculture and Water.

Earlier in his career, Nick worked as an adviser in the Federal Government in the Health, Immigration, Employment and Family and Community Services portfolios, and has experience in both federal and state political campaign management.

Nick has developed a deep and thorough understanding of the legislative process and in particular, matters relating to Senate processes. This extensive knowledge and experience enables Nick to effectively work through parliamentary and committee processes in order to achieve client outcomes.

Nick is a graduate of Monash University, where he completed a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in finance and marketing.

Nick works with a variety of clients across a wide range of sectors, including energy, infrastructure, resources and health. Nick takes a leading role in the firm’s pro bono work through his role on the board of national charity, Red Nose.

+61 410 417 173

Level 3, 650 Chapel Street
South Yarra VIC 3141

Tim_Duncan

Tim Duncan

Senior Advisor

Based in Melbourne, Tim is a Senior Advisor at GRACosway and Director of Hintons, one of Australia’s most experienced corporate communications advisory firms.

Tim was formerly Head of Australian External Affairs at Rio Tinto, where he managed communications for the CRA and RTZ merger, the buyout of the Comalco minorities, and the takeovers of North and Ashton Mining.

Among many assignments at Hintons, Tim handled communications for the BHP Billiton de-merger of South 32; Murray Goulburn’s offers for Warrnambool Cheese and Butter; and CSL’s purchase of the Novartis influenza vaccine business. He handled communications for Rio Tinto’s defence against the BHPB pre-conditional offer; and on behalf of AXA Asia Pacific, the de-merger and buy-out proposals from AXA Sa and AMP and NAB.

More recently, Tim advised Alumina on the re-negotiation of the AWAC agreements with Alcoa and Woolworths SA on its buy-out of David Jones. Tim also advises Ansell, Alumina, St Barbara, and other Australian listed companies.

In addition to transaction and special situation communications, Tim has broad experience in corporate public affairs, including the development of external affairs strategy and its implementation in both corporate centres and operating businesses. Tim also has many years of direct experience in media relations, government relations, industrial relations, and stakeholder communications and networking.

Tim holds a Ph.D in Economic History from the University of Melbourne.

+61 408 441 122

Level 3, 650 Chapel Street
South Yarra VIC 3141

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