Our people are industry experts with cutting edge ideas and specialist knowledge.

  • Peter Lewis


    Peter is one of Australia’s leading public campaigners and commentators with more than two decades experience in media, politics and communications. One of Essential’s principals, he has been behind some of Australia’s most successful and innovative campaigns including Every Australian Counts for the NDIS and Never Alone of the Luke Batty Foundation. He oversees the fortnightly Essential Report and is a regular columnist for the Guardian Australia.

  • Brad Chilcott

    Associate Director

    As the Founder of the Welcome to Australia movement and entrepreneurial involvement in numerous other social change campaigns for Australian Aid, education funding, marriage equality and an end to family violence, Brad has a proven ability to build powerful coalitions, effective campaign strategies and deliver real outcomes for people and communities. His experience as a Ministerial Adviser at State and Federal levels and as a regular media presence gives Brad a unique perspective on how to achieve meaningful change.

  • Amelia Brock

    Communications Consultant

    Amelia is a highly driven Communications Consultant with a passion for progressive politics and driving social change. She has coordinated and delivered media campaigns at local, state and national levels for clients across the union and non-for-profit sector, including the Yes Campaign for Marriage Equality and the Protect Penalty Rates campaign.

    Amelia holds a Bachelor of Media and Communications from the University of Sydney, and specialised her studies in Public Relations in the NGO field.

  • Tony Douglas

    Executive Director

    For 20 years Tony Douglas has designed winning communications strategies. Tony works with organisations to help them tell their story, grow their audience, own their issues and achieve their goals. Tony’s successes include the ACTU’s significant IR campaign for the 2007 federal election, the Greens 2010 Federal election campaign that saw them poll a record vote for a third party in Australian political history and a Senator in each state and the ‘Australian Made Defence’ campaign which won $97B of defence contracts for South Australia.

  • Alison Jackson

    Chief Financial Officer

    In her role as Chief Financial Officer, Alison is responsible for managing the financial operations and strategy of Essential. Alison is passionate about enhancing value, improving operations and promoting the power and role of finance insights in strategic decision making and communication. Prior to joining Essential, Alison worked in a variety of finance and accounting roles, most recently as Financial Controller for the Cathy Freeman Foundation and as a consultant with Deloitte in Japan.

  • Hannah Craft

    Campaigns Consultant

    Hannah works across earned media and digital advocacy to execute research-driven campaigns at state and federal levels, helping organisations shape public discourse and set the political agenda in the election cycle. She also manages strategic media relations for a range of NGOs, unions and peak bodies, navigating contentious issues and putting community needs in the spotlight.

  • Peter Stahel

    Associate Director

    Peter Stahel manages our Sydney practice. Before joining Essential, Peter was a senior political adviser and press secretary in roles at a state and federal level. He is a communications and government relations practitioner with expertise across a broad range of issues including environment, social services, industrial relations and human rights. With his substantial experience in campaign strategy and a background in politics, Peter has a unique understanding of the processes and pressure points that can influence decision makers.

  • Natalie Dubois

    Chief Operating Officer

    In her role as Chief Operating Officer, Natalie is responsible for managing the Operations and strategy of Essential.

    Natalie is passionate about the design and implementation of Project Management, Human Resource and Accounting systems ensuring all process are aligned with Essential’s strategic vision.

    Prior to joining Essential, Natalie worked in a variety of Operational and Finance roles, most recently as General Manager with Raines Carpets and as Group Financial Controller for Ogilvy Public Relations.

  • Gavin White

    Research Director

    Gavin has worked in research since 1997, managing projects in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. He set up a UMR office in Melbourne in 2015, and since then has run major projects for a variety of clients, including Energy Consumers Australia and Industry Super Australia.

    Prior to this, he designed and managed a new reputation monitor for Contact Energy, one of NZ’s largest electricity generators and retailers, and has also managed numerous projects for the Electricity Authority. Most of these projects involved both qualitative and quantitative research, and Gavin has extensive expertise in both kinds of research.

  • Jessica Kendall

    Associate Director

    Jessica manages our Melbourne practice and has 15 years’ experience in communications strategy, public affairs, media and stakeholder engagement. Jessica has managed media and campaign communications for the Australian Council of Trade Unions, the Australian Education Union, the Climate Council, the Smart Energy Council, GetUp, World Wildlife Fund and many other member based organisations and NGOs.

  • Alana Mew

    Senior Account Manager

    Alana Mew is a Senior Account Manager with over 13 years experience providing strategic communications advice and support to unions, not-for-profits, health and professional organisations.

    Since first joining Essential in 2006, Alana has worked on a range of clients and campaigns including the SDA’s Protect Penalty Rates campaign; the Commit to Community Radio campaign; the Australian Jockeys’ Associations’ Racing for Our Lives campaign; the Rail, Tram and Bus Union NSW; the NSW Police Association and the Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Keep Our Doctors campaign.

  • Jenny Stokes

    Account Manager

    Jenny is an Account Manager with more than 15 years of experience in communications. She has a decade of state government experience in departmental and ministerial offices and has worked with local communities across the environment, heritage and planning portfolios. She is experienced in issues and crisis management in areas of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage protection, emergency response, emissions reduction programs and native vegetation legislation. Before working in government, Jenny was a journalist in Sydney and regional NSW. At Essential she works with NGOs such as the NSW Federation of Housing Associations, Every Australian Counts, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and Council on the Ageing.

Join the team

Join our team

No roles are currently open. We are always on the look out for excellent communicators to join our team.
Contact us to discuss opportunities.