Previous work history (spanning 40 years)

Business owner – Sunshine Coast, self-employed (QLD)

  • Conceptualised/created a successful business offering products (therapeutic musical instruments; soothing and uplifting original music and songs on multiple albums) and services (meditative music and therapeutic sound sessions, events and concerts for deep relaxation and improved mental health) on the Sunshine Coast

  • Research, procurement, administration and importation of musical instruments and other products (Sunshine Coast)

  • All associated public relations, image and branding, online and offline marketing and promotion, website creation/management, event management, general administration and customer care

Public Relations Consultant – Brisbane and Sunshine Coast, self-employed (QLD)

  • Providing counsel and a range of PR services to both small and large clients (all word of mouth)

  • Diverse projects and services such as image and branding, corporate launches, website concepts/content/CMS, corporate videos, TV commercials, newsletters, articles, photography, sponsorship proposals, media liaison, media and publicity campaigns, brainstorming, editing, basic graphic design (PhotoShop), developing marketing/PR strategies, etc. (possessing all these skills and also at times engaging and managing sub-contractors)

  • Co-authored and 90% wrote a user-friendly, self-help book (under a previous name) aimed at grass roots organisations, charity and NFP sectors to help them attract and manage media coverage and create a more level playing field. (University of Queensland Press, out of print. Proof can be supplied)

Murray Masarik, Director and Educator, REAL Education: “Maia is a highly talented, competent, versatile and reliable professional who has high integrity, is highly ethical and focuses 110% on the best possible outcome. Her outstanding dedication, creativity and tenacious ability to find or create the right information or solution for us greatly enhanced our organisation.”

Information and Publicity Officer – Queensland Emergency Services, Brisbane (QLD)

  • Conceptualising, strategising and conducting public education and community awareness campaigns (promotion, publicity, media/stunts, alliances for mutual leverage, etc.)

  • Creating and coordinating numerous events to meet the objectives of the minister, the director-general, commissioners, etc. including speech writing, briefings, run sheets, MC notes and media campaigns

  • General media liaison; 24-hour on-call media liaison (on rotation) for emergencies and disasters; media liaison

  • in the State Disaster Coordination Centre when activated (bush fires, floods, cyclones, etc.)

  • Photo-journalism for the Department’s newspaper, ‘Emergency’

  • Major projects such as National Kidsafe Week; Operation Bright Spark (multi-pronged publicity, public education and firefighter training event via a house burn), and the highly successful VP50 Troop Train Re-enactment Project which attracted unprecedented media and public response. For my PR/promotion/stakeholder/media liaison roles I was awarded an Australia Day medallion for 'exceptional service to the organisation and community'

Ken Cullum, Director, SES: “Maia adopts a very proactive and professional approach to her work, resulting in a significant output of extremely high quality. She demonstrates initiative and imagination in communicating complex information in a manner which can be easily understood by the public. I believe her forte is in providing a media and public relations service in an environment of people helping people.”

First Aid Coordinator – Australian Red Cross Society, Albury (NSW) and Brisbane (QLD)

  • Identification of first aid training needs and provision, administration and promotion of first aid training

  • Recruitment, training and management of volunteer instructors

  • Instruction and examination of occupational and general first aid courses

  • Development, coordination, execution, evaluation and debriefing of industrial accident simulation training

  • Disaster Welfare planning

Ann Telford, Manager: “Maia's commitment to the position has been extraordinary. Under her supervision first aid training has expanded from a very small service to an important source of income for this region, with training income increased by 1000%. The staff have a great deal of respect for Maia’s drive and commitment and she is well liked and highly valued by all as a team member.”

News Journalist/Commercial Copywriter – Channel 7, Albury (NSW)

  • Television news – research, interviews, writing and voicing stories

  • Commercials – creative concepts, script writing, liaison with clients, sales staff and production staff

  • Supported other areas – reception, complaints, sales

Greg Aplin, Station Manager: “Maia is highly articulate, energetic, imaginative and dedicated – an asset to any organisation.”

Special Events Coordinator – Radio Albury-Wodonga (NSW) B104.9 (FM) and 2AY 1494 (AM)

  • Concept, development, management, sales and administration of revenue-producing promotions

  • Copywriting promotional material and commercials

Steve James, former Promotions Manager: “Maia is a ‘people person’, an asset to any organisation that is driven by the needs of people. She is creative, dedicated and determined.”

Classified Features Coordinator – Border Mail, Albury (NSW)

  • Newspaper classifieds features – concept, development, management (also tourist magazines)

  • Sales, administration, back up for front desk

  • Liaising with clients, sales staff and production staff

  • Layout, copywriting and editorial

Sue Woolcock, Classified Supervisor: “Maia has proved an invaluable asset due to her dedication and flair for advertising layout and editorial. The successful sales enjoyed by the team is largely attributable to the influence of this extremely talented lady.”

Other work experience includes:

  • Administration and reception (switchboard, P.A. announcements, front desk, customer service/complaints, wages)

  • Setting up/managing a successful equestrian centre

  • Life coaching, mentoring, counselling, mediation

Education and training

  • Year 12 matriculation*

  • Advanced/Advanced Occupational/Instructor First Aid

  • The equivalent of Certificate IV in Train the Trainer

  • National Coaching Accreditation Scheme (NCAS) equestrian coach and judge

  • Certificate IV in Small Business Management

  • Practical Psychology (Continuing Education Centre) / The School of Philosophy

  • Life Coach certification and Humanistic Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) master practitioner

*University study was intended, however, a success trajectory since my gap year made it unnecessary

History of voluntary work

  • Setting up/fundraising for/volunteering with the Red Cross First Aid Corps (providing first aid at events)

  • Red Cross First Aid coordinating/instructing and re-writing the training manual (additional to paid position)

  • Pony Club Australia (PCA) instructor, club secretary

  • Tutor with the Second Chance Reading Program (for adults)

  • Media liaison, Media Unit, Woodford Folk Festival

  • Editing three books (including digitally enhancing hundreds of historical images)

  • Community Engagement Working Group with the Sunshine Coast Social Enterprise Network

  • Queensland Greens Communications Group and articles for the Greens magazine (during Greens membership)

  • Countless hours of unofficial professional contributions to various projects

  • Coaching/mentoring individuals in need

  • Assorted voluntary work as a member of QCWA Ravenshoe


  • All things creative – music, song writing, photography, design, ideation/innovation/inventions, brainstorming, etc.

  • Planetary evolution – political, scientific, technological, ecological, health, spiritual, philosophical, social, grassroots/community-led/people power initiatives

  • Travel (22 countries to date, extensively in Australia plus have lived in Italy, United Kingdom and Costa Rica)

  • Sustainable architecture/building design/interior design/decorating, urban design for social inclusion/cohesion

  • Conceptualising/preparing a pilot program proposal for reducing unemployment in an innovative way

  • Exploring assorted socially-minded ideas and projects

  • Occasional blogs and photo-journalism (content that helps make the world a better place)

  • Self-education (reading, watching, researching, attending events in areas of interest)

Project summaries

Example 1: VP50 Troop Train Re-enactment

260 veterans (and partners) participated in the five-day re-enactment of the troop train journeys of the war. The restored steam train also carried organisers, staff, politicians and 40 on-board media from Brisbane to the national VP50 celebrations in Townsville. The crowds were overwhelmingly large (estimated at 500,000 overall).

My role in the Queensland Government project was PR, promotion, publicity, stakeholder and media liaison – however, in reality it extended far beyond that. There were very long hours of non-stop work, including looking after everybody’s needs in a timely and efficient manner. My responsibilities were to:

  • Promote the event, the veterans and major stakeholders — the State Government, Department of Emergency Services, Queensland Rail and the Australian Railway Historical Society.

  • Media liaison and looking after the needs of on-train media. Handling national media inquiries (including live crosses and television interviews), source stories and link them up with appropriate media (localising stories where possible). I also reversed Ray Martin’s back flip decision not to travel on the train, which led to the Troop Train and veterans being featured for three stories on ‘A Current Affair.’

  • Liaise with politicians and community leaders.

  • Work closely with/support the Project Coordinator, Deputy Premier, Minister and on-train staff.

  • MC duties at many of the on-platform official functions, attended by huge crowds.

  • Source information and write a daily newsletter for the veterans (and print on-route – spectacularly difficult).

  • Journalism and photography (for a four-page feature in the Department’s newspaper, ‘Emergency’).

  • Respond to veterans’ needs and inquiries and co-manage their daily activities.

“Maia demonstrated remarkable, unselfish dedication to duty, providing quality media liaison and general promotion of the VP50 Troop Train Project. The workload was particularly onerous, and included attending to the needs of 260+ veteran VIPs and also assisting me and the Minister in liaison with each of the local community leaders and departmental field representatives en route. She also demonstrated her superior communication skills when dealing with community stakeholders, volunteer staff and the general public. She somehow produced a daily newsletter and was able to continually elicit fresh information from the veterans and the people en route to provide material for national and local media which was covering the progress of the train under her facilitation. I believe the significant contribution by Maia was a leading factor in the overall outstanding success of the project.”
Graeme Prideaux, Troop Train Coordinator

“Ambulance received some very worthwhile media coverage thanks to you. You were able to highlight the amount of detailed work that goes into planning for 'what if something happens' rather than just covering the reactive phase of what we do. Your feet never touched the ground while the Troop Train was happening. It was my observation that on a day to day basis you very much held the whole thing together. Congratulations.”
Trevor Tighe, Manager, Community Services, Queensland Ambulance Service

“I would like to take this opportunity to personally congratulate you on your outstanding effort in your role in Queensland Emergency Services.”
Terry MacKenroth, former Emergency Services Minister

Example 2: National Kidsafe Week

Part of my role in Queensland Emergency Services was to create educational campaigns to effectively attract media—and therefore public—attention to important issues. One highly successful example was the burning to complete destruction of a child’s bedroom to promote the use of smoke alarms.

The Fire Service had been approached by KidSafe, seeking an alliance to have fire safety as the major theme for its annual National KidSafe Week, and asking what approach the Fire Service wished to take. We chose to focus on the importance of smoke alarms in children’s bedrooms. It was my responsibility to come up with an effective strategy for the campaign.

To attract significant attention I wanted something highly visual/big impact. At the time, fire fighting training was under way at the Fire Service’s Training Centre. I negotiated and arranged for burn dates to be changed to suit the campaign’s schedule and for one of the training house rooms to be fitted out as a child’s bedroom, complete with clothes and toys.

The media was notified and turned out in force. We coached a child to act out the role of accidentally starting the fire. The cameramen where able to film a sequence: the toy falling onto the radiator, the fire starting, smoke alarm activating, the speed/force of the fire to flashover, fire fighters extinguishing the blaze and the charred, black remains of the room.

The story was featured high in the rundown order of all television stations, and was also well covered by other media. This became the powerful centrepiece for the safety education message of National KidSafe Week that year.

I also organised the official Ministerial launch of National KidSafe Week. The centrepiece was an educational poster I developed for the campaign and the announcement of new smoke alarm legislation, which we timed specifically to integrate with the launch. The media was advised to expect a ‘major announcement.' Media coverage was excellent.

As part of our contribution to National KidSafe Week, I also arranged, and had significant input into, an intensive radio advertising campaign on Brisbane's B105 and 4KQ. The commercial was then adapted to a generic commercial and distributed state-wide as a Community Service Announcement. The project was deemed an outstanding success.

“Maia was responsible for promotions, media liaison and public education. This encompassed major state-wide projects including the very successful 'Operation Bright Spark' and 'National Kidsafe Week. Maia carried out all of these duties in a highly competent, diligent and professional manner. My work area benefited greatly from her creativity and expertise.”
John Davies, Principal Fire Safety Officer, Queensland Fire Service

Example 3: Influencing media to enhance public relations and the brand

The Gold Coast Bulletin was persisting with what appeared to be a vendetta against the Fire and Rescue Division after the allegedly avoidable deaths of two local firefighters and it was beginning to influence other media, fire fighters and public confidence. The Commissioner and operational senior management sought my advice as to whether we should ignore it or respond. My recommendations were to hold a transparent media conference, find a way to give the media an insight into a firefighter's experience that could show how safety was of utmost priority (which it was), and I queried if there were any new developments that could demonstrate how the Division was continually looking for ways to increase safety. They advised me of new technology they were about to introduce that helps firefighters see through smoke. This was manna from heaven, and perfect timing.

We strategised a fire training exercise on the Gold Coast to announce the new technology and invited journalists to don firefighting gear and oxygen tanks and enter a burning room to experience the new device first hand. This was followed by a media conference where the Commissioner spoke openly and sincerely about the deaths and what was being done to increase safety. The mostly male journalists were very enthusiastic to get into the gear, which created a notable, positive shift in their mindset pre-conference.

We achieved 100% positive, widespread media coverage, the media got a great story with fabulous visuals and The Bulletin not only dropped the vendetta, they had a total change of heart and went on to publish stories that showed the Division in a positive light. This successful strategy enabled the Division to influence the media, avert a potential PR disaster, get back into the driver's seat and strengthen its brand.

“The public relations and community education role in the Queensland Fire Service is a difficult one, requiring an ability to provide continuous professional service in relation to fire safety education while also dealing with emergency operational imperatives and the provision of timely, quality information to all media services. There is also the need to understand and work within political realities. Maia consistently provided quality service and advice, on time, meeting the operational and political requirements of various fire service activities.”
Alan Bartlett, Assistant Commissioner, Queensland Fire Service

“I commend Maia for her efficiency, reliability, thoroughness and professionalism in dealing with several competing projects, each with tight timelines, requiring a swift grasp of the needs of a diverse client group.”
Amelia Belbin, Principal Adviser, Corporate Communications, Counter Disaster & Rescue Services, Department of Emergency Services

“Maia was allocated to support my program on the basis of her demonstrated breadth of perspective and dynamic approach to work. Her enthusiasm was infectious, and her assignments were developed, conducted and reviewed in a most professional manner.”
Doug Angus, Director, Disaster Management Service

Other relevant references from former PR clients (more can be supplied):

“Maia’s enthusiasm, efforts and attention to detail are refreshing in today’s business world. The buzz cliché of working outside the square does not apply to her. With Maia there is no square, period. Her open and honest approach made it easy to make critical decisions. I highly recommend her services to anyone who wants to achieve positive results, in time and under budget.”
Miles Wood, National Marketing Manager, Hog’s Breath Cafes

“Maia is dynamic, professional and always at hand with valuable, commonsense advice. I highly recommend her as an asset – she really has made a difference!"
Rob Maclachlan, Proprietor, Organic & Quality Foods

“Maia has done an outstanding job. She has been able to understand intimately my thoughts relative to our business philosophy and put them on paper. Her services to our firm are a great asset.”
Ron Jelich, Principal, Jelich Jones