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Vicki Forbes 

Clever, consistent, purposeful communication

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Hello

About 
  
me 

“Do good work that does good in the world”. I wrote this on a sticky note above my desk when I set out on my own in 2013. “Never underestimate your audience’s will to avoid reading,” was on another note, hence the scale of this little website.

I am an experienced communications professional driven by meaningful work and a passion for delivering clever, consistent and purposeful communications that genuinely engage and connect with others.

This has seen me work with many organisations, including TEDxSydney, Sydney Opera House, SANE Australia, ReachOut Australia, InnoWell Pty Ltd (PwC/University of Sydney), Western Sydney University, Xplore, and a number of smaller organisations and start-ups.

Increasingly, I work one-on-one with accomplished subject matter experts on honing their personal communications on issues of importance to them and the wider community. Prof Michael Kimmel and Diana Ryall AM are among those who can attest to my skills in this space.

Before setting out on my own, I was Head of Communications at the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre, where I was responsible for critical aspects of the organisation’s establishment. This included the development of the Young and Well CRC’s corporate identity and positioning, the creation of a communication and stakeholder engagement strategy, and developing systems and processes to facilitate the efficient delivery and uptake of research outputs generated by 200+ researchers worldwide.

One of the things I love most is seeing what can be achieved through partnership and collaboration, through working with others in the same or complementary fields, and across sectors. Over the years I have managed partnerships with the likes of Microsoft Australia, General Pants Company, the AMP Foundation and many other organisations across the corporate, government, non-profit and community sectors. I’m proud to say that many of these have resulted in significant community benefit.

I hold a Bachelor of Arts (Communication – Organisational Communication) from Charles Sturt University, Bathurst. I have also completed courses in design, media engagement, annual report production and team management.

I believe that our best work is done when we can be ourselves, and that ‘gut-feel’ is an instinct to be trusted.

I also believe that the greatest discoveries, joys, friendships, and successes come from ‘leaps of faith’ – in ourselves, in others, from others – and that these can be powerful, magical, and life-changing events.

My ‘@little_forbesy’ Twitter handle made its way into the offline world a few years ago. People seem to think it suits me.

I’m going along with it for now.

“Working with Vicki has been exactly what I could have hoped. She amplified my voice and expanded my opportunities with skill, dedication, and charm. She’s brilliantly strategic and exuberantly creative. She cares deeply about the issues that animate my work, and that alignment means that she is both professionally and personally committed to enhancing that message.”

Michael Kimmel, Executive Director, Center for the Study of Men & Masculinities, Stony Brook University, New York

  

What
  
I do

Communication planning

I develop communication strategies and implementation plans to support an organisation’s goals. I do this with everyone from chief executive officers and executive teams to communication directors and project managers. These plans cover traditional, digital and social channels, and are practical resources that actually get used.

Identity development

I work with internal and external stakeholders to develop or refresh an organisation’s brand identity. This includes the process of determining a name if required, and creating the organisation’s vision, mission and values statements. I work with designers to create a unique visual identity, and to develop guidelines and resources to help organisations apply the identity consistently across all communications.

Writing and publications

I produce all forms of written and online communication resources including annual reports, media releases, newsletters, presentations, speeches, website content, brochures and other publications and collateral. I can manage the complete production process from concept development to publication, and I’m also happy to consult on projects that are already underway.

 

 

Events and media

I organise events of all types and sizes, from product launches and press briefings to ministerial events and conferences. I have links to many creative and technical suppliers, or I can work with an organisation’s existing specialists in these areas. I also develop and carry out stakeholder engagement strategies for events, including pre-event promotion and media relations.

See
 
a sample of my recent work

TEDxSydney 2015/2016/2017

Represent TEDxSydney within the global TEDx community. Led the Marketing and Communications function for TEDxSydney in 2015, and managed the Satellites program for TEDxSydney in 2016.

Young and Well CRC Identity

Conceptualised, developed and implemented the Young and Well CRC's name, vision, and visual identity across all platforms, in consultation with the Board, advisory groups, staff and other stakeholders.

Young and Well CRC Inaugural Gathering

Brought together 250 researchers, practitioners, innovators and policy-makers from over 70 partners across the corporate, government, non-profit and academic sectors for the first Young and Well CRC conference held at the State Library of Victoria.

Communication Toolkit

Developed an extensive communication 'toolkit' to support Young and Well CRC staff and research teams in the production of publications, presentations and other communication resources relating to their projects. The toolkit included templates, publication policies and procedures, editorial style guide, and guidelines on how to apply a consistent identity across all materials.

SANE Australia Annual Report 2013

Designed and provided content direction for SANE Australia's 2013 Annual Report.

Young and Well CRC Launch

Managed the official launch of the Young and Well CRC, including the involvement of Senator The Hon Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, who officiated the opening.

‘Game On’ Report

Worked with lead authors to produce the Young and Well CRC's landmark report, 'Game On: Exploring the impact of technologies on young men's mental health and wellbeing'.

Young and Well CRC Annual Highlights 2011-2012

Worked with internal and external stakeholders to produce the Young and Well CRC's inaugural Annual Highlights publication.

Inspire identity refresh

Developed a new look and feel for the Inspire Foundation - with a twist. The brief was to refresh Inspire's identity without changing or modifying the logo, so I worked with a designer to develop a collection of design elements to creatively extend Inspire's visual identity. This included the development of designed templates to enable staff to easily create beautiful, functional documents, presentations and other materials consistent with Inspire's new look and feel.

‘One Day, New Ways’ Conference

Developed a pre-event communication strategy and managed Twitter conversation throughout the second annual 'One Day, New Ways' HR conference.

Online engagement

Developed a website as the central information hub for Young and Well CRC research and news. Also developed an online engagement strategy that included a fortnightly e-newsletter, and the creation and management of the organisation's social media profiles.

National Press Club Address

Managed media engagement for Associate Professor Jane Burns' National Press Club address in August 2011.

How
  
I work

I take on communication projects of all types and sizes.

I am the person with experience who can help you map out a communication strategy to achieve your organisation’s objectives.

When priorities shift or your team’s load gets too heavy and you need someone to step in and take up or complete a project that’s already underway, I am also that person.

I can lead teams, work within teams, and I’m great at getting on with things on my own.

I am used to working within traditional project management frameworks, so I’m completely at home with the language of ‘project controls’, ‘risk management’, ‘milestones’, and ‘deliverables’.

I am not so good with the language of ‘can’t’.

I love getting a brief, putting a plan in place, and going about making it happen.

Along the way, I value open communication with the people I’m working with.

Depending on the scale and type of project, I work on an hourly, daily or fixed fee basis. These details are agreed at the beginning of a project.

If I don’t think I’m the right person for the job, I’ll pass you on to someone I know and trust who might be a better fit.

I work from my home office based in Newtown, Sydney, but I’m just as happy to work at your office if that’s what’s needed.

I don’t take up much space.

 

 

Jack Heath statement of support

“VICKI FORBES IS AN OUTSTANDING COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST.  SHE SETS HERSELF THE HIGHEST PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS AND IS PASSIONATE ABOUT DELIVERING A GREAT SERVICE. HER COMMUNICATION APPROACH IS CLEAR AND SUCCINCT COMPLEMENTED BY A GREAT EYE FOR DESIGN.”

JACK HEATH, CEO, SANE AUSTRALIA

I’m big on
  
a few things

Talking straight

I generally say what I think, and I like it when others do the same. For me, this is about authenticity, respect and transparency. It’s also about ‘gut-feel’ which is an instinct I trust. When my intuition on something kicks in, I see it as my responsibility to speak up in the interests of the project.

Thinking fresh

I don’t like to assume that the way things have been done in the past are the way they should be done in the future. I like to try new things, and this means I sometimes put forward ideas that at first might seem a bit different to you. I’m okay if you don’t always like these but, again, I see this as part of my role.

Feeling love

I’m at my best when I’m working on projects or with organisations that stand for something or add something useful to the world. This is important to me because I want to feel proud at the dinner table when I tell my daughters how I spent my day. Loving what I do also means I’m better at it.

 

Little people

I’m also big on
  
being around for these lovely little people

Jonathan Nicholas statement of support

“Vicki is one of the most outstanding communication professionals I have ever worked with. The fact that ReachOut.com is the most accessed mental health service in the country is a testament to Vicki’s skill. She is a wonderful person, and is incredibly committed to whatever she puts her mind to.”

Jonathan Nicholas, CEO, ReachOut Australia

Contact
Let’s talk

 

Call 0402 213 567
A little conversation could be the start of something grand.