Meet our team

The awards are an initiative of three Melbourne professionals with a keen interest in promoting and advocating for clear communication in Australia.

Carolyn Alexander

Director, Wheatfield Communications

Carolyn Alexander is an award-winning journalist and communications specialist who works with businesses and individuals on their short-term projects, including plain language materials. She has managed promotions for the Herald Sun, organised events attended by up to 10,000 people and judged numerous awards including Victoria Law Foundation’s Legal Reporting Awards.

Joh Kirby

Director, Kirby Governance

Joh Kirby is past Executive Director of the Victoria Law Foundation, the director of Kirby Governance and a recipient of a Churchill Fellowship to research best practice community legal information. She is a judge of the Plain Language Awards and a recent past President and board member of Clarity, the international body promoting plain language in the law. Joh has received awards for her writing and community legal information projects. She is a sought-after keynote speaker and judge for plain English conferences around the world.

Carol Mackay

Director, Design Business Council

Carol Mackay is a designer and co-founder of the Design Business Council, an organisation founded in part to promote excellence in design and its role in a successful and sustainable business. Prior to the Design Business Council, Carol co-founded the successful graphic design studio Mackay Branson design. Carol has built a career focussed on helping the financial, legal, insurance, superannuation and service sectors use design to add clarity to their often complex message.

Our judges

We are pleased to present an independent panel of local and international judges, each one an expert in their field.
Each category will be judged by three experts, one each selected for their expertise in communication, design and plain language sectors.

Judges: Communication

Judges: Design

Judges: Plain Language specialists

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Judges: Communication

Sylvia Bell is a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Director on the Australasian Reporting Awards Board. She has held executive roles in health, research, environment and media portfolios, specialising in PR, corporate communications and stakeholder engagement.

Danielle Bond is Chief Marketing Officer of global engineering and infrastructure advisory firm Aurecon. She previously led the marketing team at Ernst & Young across Oceania, where as a member of the Global Marketing Leadership Team she contributed to global brand and marketing strategies across 140 countries.

Amanda Dennett is Head of Digital Experience at the Australian War Memorial, previously Director of Digital Media for the Australian Department of Human Services. She is a Board member of the International Association of Business Communicators (Canberra).

Harley Dennett is editor of The Mandarin, Australia’s news and analysis site for public sector leaders. His work as a senior journalist and communications professional in Australia and USA included two campaigns with Barack Obama.

Sophie Elsworth is national personal finance writer for News Corp and a regular commentator on Your Money and Sky News. Her articles appear in newspapers across Australia on topics like banking, investing, home loans and superannuation.

Gerry Gaffney is the former Director of Publications at UXPA and former managing editor of User Experience magazine. He is co-author of Forms That Work: Designing Web Forms for Usability and runs UX podcast uxpod.com

Elle Geraghty is one of Australia’s best-known content strategists and presenters. Elle runs the Sydney Content Strategy Meetup and has worked with Qantas, Atlassian, the Australian Museum and Australian Government.

Michelle Guillemard is the founder of Health Writer Hub, a freelance health writer and President of the Australasian Medical Writers Association. Passionate about helping people improve their health communication skills so they can write clearly and concisely, Michelle has taught courses and workshops for writers and corporations in 38 countries.

Kerry O’Shea is Public Affairs Manager for the Law Institute of Victoria. A former journalist, she has many years’ experience leading communications for the courts, a law firm, the legal regulator, government and media.