Shifting perception. Shaping outcomes.


The Shape Agency was established to help organisations with a social interest objective achieve their communications goals. By helping you shape the public debate and stakeholder perceptions, we create the space for change and enable you to achieve your objectives.

We involve our clients in the creative and strategic process, drawing together a sharp analysis of the policy and political environment with a tested and highly strategic communications approach to affect change in the most complex parts of the economy.


At Shape, we believe in an evidence-based approach to communications. We study your audience in depth to understand their motivations and drivers. 


Armed with this research, we will design a strategy to shape the perception of your issues and achieve your communications goals.


We provide services across organisational strategy; execution of communications tactics and media; and evaluation & improvement.


Organisational strategy

  • Market & opinion research
  • Communications strategy & campaign design
  • Branding
  • Political & public policy analysis
  • Event facilitation & strategy workshops

Execution & delivery

  • Media relations
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Advertising
  • Digital & social media
  • Crisis & issues management

Evaluation & capacity building

  • Review organisations’ external relations strategy & structure
  • Internal capacity building
  • Media training


The Shape Agency ran Dying with Dignity’s Victorian State Election campaign in 2018, mustering support for Australia’s first voluntary assisted dying legislation.


With short timeframes, we created an integrated digital and traditional media campaign which generated more than 100,000 engagements in four weeks and multiple hits in the Herald-Sun and mainstream broadcast media.


A simple website, integrated with Facebook, and premium digital content including three powerful videos combined with strong newspaper coverage to reach Victorian voters, particularly those in marginal seats.


Robocalls featuring Andrew Denton were the final push to ensure voluntary assisted dying remained a talking point in a cliffhanger election campaign.


By using traditional and new media, our strategy steadily intensified pressure on political players, culminating with Opposition Leader Matthew Guy committing to leave the legislation untouched during the final week of the campaign.


Computer Website


Media Clip

We are proud we’ve helped lift the standing of the engineering profession in Australia. Working with Professionals Australia, the Shape Agency has helped convince multiple state governments to implement a mandatory, statutory registration scheme for engineers.


Registration provides a critical oversight mechanism to maintain professionalism, competent practice and ethical conduct in the engineering sector, but most importantly acts to protect the safety of workers and the community.


By creating a national engineering campaign – Engineering a Better Future – we have strengthened recognition and respect for the profession and influenced specific workplace reforms and government policy.


Utilising digital tools such as Facebook and email, we drove engagement with a website that encouraged engineers to get involved with the campaign and help push the message both in the broader community and by specifically targeting policy makers.


Victoria has already put legislation in the parliament for a scheme which will come into effect this year. The ACT has also indicted they will establish a registration scheme, mirroring the long-established system in Queensland. 


The campaign also successfully pushed for the creation of Chief Engineers, with four jurisdictions adopting the position.


While continuing to push for statutory registration, Professional Australia also engaged the Shape Agency to develop its own accredited registration scheme, RPEng, which has seen thousands of engineers sign up as members.


Social enterprises are businesses that trade to tackle social problems, improve communities, provide access to employment and training, or help the environment. Guided by their mission, they reinvest the majority of their profit/surplus for a broader community benefit.


Social enterprises represent an important and growing sector which help improve social equity while easing the burden on government services. There are currently more than 3500 social enterprises trading across Victoria, employing an estimated 60,000 people and contributing more than $5.2 billion to the state’s economy.


We supported our client Social Traders, producing Australia’s first Social Enterprise Strategy to help drive and develop policy while also producing the final document for government.  


The process involved liaising with government agencies, myriad stakeholders, policy coordination and extensive drafting.  The policy had a long incubation period, and we were called in to bring it home in a tight timeframe.


Adopted by the Victorian government and launched in 2017, the strategy continues to be rolled out today and has been widely hailed by the state and national social enterprise sector.


See the strategy here.



It’s an alarming statistic – construction workers in Victoria have the highest suicide rate of any workforce, with roughly one death reported every month.


Industry redundancy fund Incolink turned to The Shape Agency to help raise awareness of this vital issue and save lives.


Together we devised the Bluehats suicide prevention initiative, helping workers experiencing who might be experiencing suicidal thoughts by creating a culture of talking about the issue and an army of trained “Bluehats” available onsite to offer a sympathetic ear and support workers.


The Shape Agency carried out market research to ensure the communications strategy and campaign design was based on a clear understanding of our audience. We then produce a multifaceted campaign including branding, targeted advertising, on-site brand activation and media relations.


We managed a successful campaign launch which garnered widespread print, television and radio coverage. Better yet, our client reports that the Bluehats are already making a real difference to workers’ lives on-site.



Obesity is one of the greatest health challenges facing Australia, growing at an alarming rate over the past decade despite improving awareness about the health impacts.


When the Obesity Collective – an alliance of more than 100 research, corporate and advocacy organisations – came together to rouse action on the issue, they turned to The Shape Agency to deliver their message.


We developed a campaign strategy to raise the profile of the issue in the Federal Election, kickstarting with a new report Weighing In: Australia’s growing obesity epidemic which outlined the scale of the problem.


The report received broad coverage, including front page of the Fairfax/Nine papers, and generated over 500 news items across TV, radio and online.


This public focus on obesity formed the context for the Collective’s policy submission to government, which was also written, branded and designed by The Shape Agency.


We continue to work with the Obesity Collective to drive meaningful action on this pressing issue.



Media Clip

Newspaper Clip

The bushfires of 2019-20 were unprecedented in their scale, burning over 10 million hectares and reaching into the lives of millions of Australians.


The Shape Agency was engaged by the peak energy consumer advocate Energy Consumers Australia to track how the disaster affected the energy experience of households and small businesses in one of Australia’s worst hit regions, as well as the recovery and rebuild.


Over the course of a year, our research team will conduct a longitudinal study with local people to draw lessons for the energy sector and policy makers.


Our team brings decades of market research experience to this project, which will include a series of interim reports as well as a comprehensive final report that ensures the experiences of energy users in Australia’s ‘Black Summer’ are heard and remembered.


We were engaged to develop and run a campaign highlighting the flaws of the Religious Discrimination Bill ahead of its tabling in Parliament.


We developed a campaign strategy and built the assets including website, email platform to inform and mobilise supporters, while also spreading the word through targeted digital advertising and earned media.


We launched the campaign with strong mainstream media coverage, including an opinion piece by former High Court judge Michael Kirby, news articles and interviews with very broad reach.

Australia has a proud track record of health and medical innovation, driven by brilliant researchers who improve and save lives by dedicating themselves in our laboratories, hospitals and research institutes.


As the peak body championing health and medical research from lab to patient, Research Australia recognises the brightest stars of this challenging field through its prestigious Health and Medical Research Awards.


Research Australia asked the Shape Agency to drive a media campaign around the 2019 Awards to highlight the achievements of the award finalists and raise community awareness of the importance of health and medical research. 


We interviewed each of the 18 finalists to get the real story behind their work and created individual media releases to highlight the newsworthy angle of their nomination. Using our in-depth knowledge of the Australian media scene, we successfully pitched these stories across national, metropolitan, regional and industry media outlets.


We achieved over 160 story hits across broadcast, print and online media, with one researcher’s breakthrough picked up by international media. In total our online/print coverage was measured at 86.29 million potential views, with millions more reached thorough broadcast and social media.


We’re proud of these results and our role in lifting the profile of Research Australia and our amazing health and medical researchers.


The Shape Agency has worked widely across the union movement delivering research, communications, campaign and brand strategies as well as media relations and tailored advice drawing upon our wealth of experience.


This depth of knowledge is one of the reasons the Australian Services Union turned to the Shape Agency when considering a rebrand.


We know that rebranding is about more than a new logo and clever design work. For organisations like the Australian Services Union, the brand speaks to the promise to members.


Rebranding offered an opportunity to recommit to that promise and the union’s organisational values, while improving member engagement and reaching new members.


We spoke to more than 100 ASU members and non-members in a detailed qualitative research project to inform our approach.


We also led a series of branding workshops with the union’s leadership as we worked to develop a comprehensive brand strategy.


This work culminated in new branding that reinforces the organisation’s promise to its members in a modern context, with the strapline ‘By your side’ complemented by a strong logo design.

The Shape Agency draws together a wide range of skills and experience, including expertise in digital engagement and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms.


We were engaged by Early Learning and Care Council of Australia to build a new website and CRM initiative to improve their data systems so they could spend more time focusing on their key mission – driving innovation and greater access to early childhood learning.


We reviewed their existing technology platforms and assessed their business requirements so we could match the organisation’s needs to the best platform. The key to this was designing a system that would be easy to maintain and operate, flexible and scalable.


Our digital team built a new website, introduced a new CRM system with seamless integration of communication channels and tools, reducing manual data entry and increasing efficiency. 


We created a manual and provided training and support in the early execution phase to help the Council get the best from their data and new technology.



Tim O’Halloran

Founding Director

Tim is a highly skilled and experienced communications strategist with 15 years’ experience advising senior government ministers, and organisations on how to achieve their strategic goals.


His background includes 10 years working as a senior communications adviser and Chief of Staff to senior government ministers, at state and federal level, in both economic and social policy portfolios.


Tim has also worked for two large and respected public relations agencies – managing teams of consultants and advising organisations on communications, campaigns, media and government relations.


Connect with Tim on LinkedIn

Nicola Hepenstall

Nicola Hepenstall


Nicola has over 25 years’ experience in evidence-based consulting. She brings extensive knowledge of research and marketing theory and practice, as well as expertise in identifying the metrics to drive business outcomes.


She has consulted to many of Australia’s largest companies and State and Federal Government departments helping them navigate complex research, organisational and strategic challenges  and develop strategies to enhance business and social outcomes.


Prior to her current role, Nicola was the CEO of a large market research business and also served as Chair and President of our industry’s peak-body, now known as the Australian Data and Insights Association, where she led the industry’s response to the new rules under the Australian Privacy Principles Legislation.


Her depth of knowledge and experience across all types of market and social research makes Nicola well-placed to establish a rigorous research framework for your project and deliver real insights with impact.


Connect with Nicola on LinkedIn



Pia Akerman

Associate Director

Pia is a media relations specialist, with more than a decade of experience working at the heart of Australia’s media industry.


As an award-winning journalist for a major national newspaper, Pia covered a diverse range of areas including state and federal politics, breaking news and legal affairs.


She now brings her skills and in-depth knowledge of the Australian media landscape to help our clients shape their message, design a successful communications strategy and achieve positive coverage.

Felix Eldridge

Associate Director

Felix has experience as an adviser across sectors and continents, working with leaders in state and federal government, not-for-profits, the United Nations, and Australian and international corporates.


With 15 years’ experience in high-profile, politically-challenging environments, his expertise includes strategic communications, stakeholder engagement, and reputational risk management, with a focus on how targeted and effective communications can create trust and support core organisational strategy.


Having worked on both sides of the client-consultant divide, Felix places a high value on building and maintaining direct, strong, and successful relationships. 


Lilia Bednarek

Associate Director

Lilia is a communications and policy specialist with over 20 years’ experience working for governments and business in Australia, United Kingdom and France. She has experience working in-house and for large public relations agencies.


Her work spans a range of sectors including automotive, supply chain, health care and ESG.


Outside of the corporate world Lilia has spent almost a decade as a policy adviser for Australian government ministers at both federal and state levels, in ageing, mental health, environment and climate change portfolios.

Rebecca Urban

Senior Consultant

Rebecca is a media and communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience across local, state and national newspaper and magazine organisations.


A former award-winning journalist and editor, she has covered breaking news, business and financial markets, health, R&D and education. 


Rebecca is dedicated to understanding her client’s objectives and exploring creative solutions to media challenges.


Her in-depth knowledge of the media industry and ability to tell a clear and compelling story across a range of mediums also contribute to an effective communications strategy.

Darren R Rodrigo

Darren R Rodrigo

Senior Consultant

Darren has an extensive background as a political, campaign and PR adviser, who has worked at the highest levels of politics and conducted successful election campaigns at both State and Federal level.


As a communications and public affairs consultant, Darren has undertaken media management and delivered successful campaigns for some of Australia’s largest and most high-profile community organisations and business groups.


At the Shape Agency Darren specialises in high stakes media management, creating and delivering campaigns that win and helping clients engage with government in most effective manner possible.

Chris Alexander

Senior Consultant

Chris has fifteen years experience in the policy and communications of consumer markets and infrastructure in crisis and transition.


Prior to joining Shape, he held senior positions in advocacy bodies and regulatory agencies in Australia and the United Kingdom, including with the Energy Security Board, Energy Consumers Australia, and Citizens Advice.


He has learned through experience that achieving policy and commercial outcomes in complex, uncertain and contested environments, requires bringing diverse people and perspectives together to ask the right questions, make sense of the evidence, and connect with the community.    


Chris has a Bachelor of Economics (Hons)/Laws from the Australian National University and a Commonwealth Government Diploma in Government.

Lachlan Williams

Senior Consultant

Lachlan is a communications and public affairs specialist with experience across media, data storytelling, business, advocacy, and public policy.


Prior to joining the Shape Agency he was communications director at the Centre for Policy Development, working across climate transition, early childhood, wellbeing economics, place- centered service system reform and international relations. He led the organisation’s inaugural Purpose of Government Pulse data project. 


He previously led media communications for the ACTU, has produced award-winning agency campaigns and advised CEOs and boards on sensitive issues such as leadership transitions, organisational mergers and market entries. He has ghostwritten for world leaders, politicians, multinational CEOs and ASX 50 directors.


Lachlan has been a fellow of the Centre for Australian Progress, holds degrees in Journalism and Writing from the University of Wollongong, and has undertaken data analytics and visualisation training through RMIT.

Amy Price


Amy is a media professional with more than 10 years’ experience working at the core of the Australian print and digital media industry.


A former journalist and editor for a major news organisation, she has covered a broad range of topics for newspaper, magazine and online platforms, edited her own news column and regularly published feature articles to national audiences, using multimedia to enhance her storytelling.


Amy is a passionate storyteller dedicated to understanding her client’s objective and delivering a creative communications strategy that makes a lasting impact.


She draws on her in-depth knowledge of the media landscape to shape a compelling and targeted narrative across a range of mediums to help her clients achieve those objectives.

Siobhan McDonnell

Communications Coordinator

Siobhan is a Communications Coordinator at The Shape Agency with broad experience across the public and private sector. She has worked in the Victorian Parliament and in the community sector, both in Australia and southeast Asia, where her work in Cambodia focused on financial literacy.


Siobhan has advanced training in campaign development and management, having completed the Australian Progress Fellowship and worked on several high-profile community campaigns at Shape.


While she has a broad communications background, Siobhan brings her strengths to the table with Shape’s clients, including digital campaign strategy and execution, audience-led message development and decision-maker engagement.


Her passion for social justice is what drives her work.


Simon Collins

Creative Partner

Simon began his career at JWT London as a copywriter working on global brands like Kellogg’s, Nestle and Unilever. In the late 1980’s he was brought to Australia by Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney, where he developed the iconic ‘Which bank?’ campaign for CBA. He was subsequently creative director of creative powerhouse The Campaign Palace and in 1997 opened his own agency, Collins Thomas Cullen, which launched AAPT as a consumer brand and was an agency of record for the NSW Government.


Since then, Simon has been the creative brains behind campaigns generating public support for the 2017 Australian Olympic team, Recognise, and the ‘Vote Yes’ Equality campaign for the 2017 national survey on marriage equality. As well as being a strategist, a hands-on copywriter and an award-winning creative director, Simon also directs all his own film projects.

Martin Ingle

Content and Video Production Specialist

Martin is a filmmaker, writer and creative slashy who has worked extensively across media industries in many capacities. He’s travelled the world with his projects, including covering the 2016 US presidential election with The Chaser, and has been working closely with Shape on campaigns since 2015.


His documentary work has been featured across national broadcast and his writing has been published in The Guardian, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and ABC Online.

Fiona Pinney

Fiona Pinney

Graphic designer

Fiona is a graphic designer with over 15 years of experience working with small to medium enterprises and not for profit organisations with a social interest purpose. 

Her background includes working as a senior designer and account manager, and also working for a Sydney-based design agency as a production coordinator, where she was responsible for a team of 10 staff across print procurement, fulfilment and logistics for national and LSM promotional campaigns.

Fiona has worked on a range of issues-based campaigns and strategic communications efforts with a design focus, developing websites, social media content and collateral.



If you’d like to get in touch please contact Tim direct.


The Shape Agency

The Hub

Level 3, 223 Liverpool Street

Darlinghurst NSW 2010


Staff located across Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.