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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, Crown Resorts Limited and Obesity Australia.

61 2 8353 0400

Level 21, 6 O'Connell Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Sydney, Thursday 27Sep18GraCosway Les TimarPhoto ©Michele Mossop

Les Timar

CEO & Founding Partner

Les is CEO and a Founding Partner of GRACosway, with responsibility for the overall management and strategic development of the firm.

As one of Australia’s most experienced public affairs practitioners, Les provides counsel to clients across a broad range of industries in relation to public policy, legislative change, regulatory approvals and government inquiry processes at both federal and state levels.

Les broadly contributes to client strategies in addition to directly managing a number of longstanding client relationships and leading the firm’s work with several private equity and investment fund clients.

A lawyer by training, Les previously held a senior position with an Australian property and infrastructure development company. He also served as a senior ministerial adviser to the NSW Coalition Government in the early 1990s.

Les is a director of Clemenger Group, the parent company of GRACosway, and the firm’s affiliated Perth business GRA Partners as well its New Zealand subsidiary GRC Partners.

Les was one of the founders of the Australian Professional Government Relations Association (APGRA) in 2014 and served as its President from 2015 to 2018. In December 2019, APGRA conferred life membership on Les for his service to the organisation and the profession.

61 2 8353 0404

Level 21, 6 O'Connell Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Sydney, Thursday 27Sep18GraCosway Mark RudderPhoto ©Michele Mossop

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.

He 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.

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

61 2 8353 0403

Level 21, 6 O'Connell Street
Sydney NSW 2000

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John Frey

Founding Partner, Corporate & Financial Communications

John is a Founding Partner of GRACosway.

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

John also has extensive expertise in transactional communications, corporate restructuring and issues management, and is a recognised leader in media and presentation skills training for executive management and investment banking teams.

61 2 8353 0406

Level 21, 6 O'Connell Street
Sydney NSW 2000

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Geoff Elliott

Joint Managing Partner, Corporate & 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.

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

61 2 8353 0420

Level 21, 6 O'Connell Street
Sydney NSW 2000

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Ben Wilson

Joint Managing Partner, Corporate & Financial Communications

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, providing communications counsel to a broad range of clients managing complex and sensitive projects. He 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 2 8353 0414

Level 21, 6 O'Connell Street
Sydney NSW 2000

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Kirsten Mulley

Managing Partner, Public Affairs

Kirsten is responsible for GRACosway’s Public Affairs Practice, providing a guiding hand to its effective management while delivering high-level strategic counsel on a range of client projects.

She has more than two decades’ experience addressing complex policy, political and media issues across the public and private sectors.

Kirsten advises GRACosway’s clients in relation to a broad range of public policy and communications issues across the health, ICT, infrastructure and financial services sectors. She is passionate about the firm’s pro bono work with Ovarian Cancer Australia.

Prior to joining GRACosway, Kirsten served in senior roles in the NSW Government, including as a senior adviser to the Premier with a focus on environment, climate change and water. She also served in a number of senior political and policy positions in the Health, Education, Community Services, Transport and Police portfolios.

With a background in journalism, Kirsten has worked in several communications and media roles across the NSW public sector, and offers particular expertise in health.

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 Secretary of the Australian Professional Government Relations Association (APGRA), the national professional body for government relations practitioners.

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

61 2 8353 0405

Level 21, 6 O'Connell Street
Sydney NSW 2000

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Richard King

Managing Partner - Melbourne

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

Richard provides strategic advice on issues including major legislative reform, competition policy, foreign investment and regulatory approvals, and his strong background in economic policy underpins the counsel he provides clients across a broad range of industries, including financial services, health, infrastructure, automotive, professional services and energy and resources.

He 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 to the Federal Coalition, 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 3 9660 1402

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 of Diploma of Applied Finance and Investment.

61 2 8353 0419

Level 21, 6 O'Connell Street
Sydney NSW 2000

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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.

Tim also advised on Oxiana’s merger with Zinifex and provided communications counsel to Coles on its acquisition by Wesfarmers. 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 3 9660 1413

Level 3, 650 Chapel Street
South Yarra VIC 3141

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Matthew Stevens

Senior Advisor

As one of Australia’s most experienced and respected business commentators, Matthew has earned a market-leading reputation over a four-decade journalism career in Australian and overseas.

Matt provides strategic counsel to a range of GRACosway’s clients as a Senior Advisor, bringing his deep experience in resources, infrastructure, energy, industrial relations and business policy to bear on client issues.

Matt is a former business journalist, editor and columnist for major mastheads including Business Review Weekly, The Age, The Business Australian and The Australian. Progressive roles at The Australian included appointments at Victorian Editor, Europe Correspondent, National Chief of Staff and Editor of the newspaper’s flagship weekend edition. Most recently, Matt was a leading columnist at The Australian Financial Review.

Level 3, 650 Chapel Street
South Yarra VIC 3141

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