Meet Shape

We are some of Australia’s best strategic communicators. We solve tough problems and cut through complexity. Each member of the Shape team is a leader with deep experience in their field, whether politics, media, brand and marketing, digital or communications.  ​

As a diverse team with a range of backgrounds, our collaborative and creative thinking is the key to helping our clients overcome their most difficult challenges.

We are some of Australia’s best strategic communicators. We solve tough problems and cut through complexity. Each member of the Shape team is a leader with deep experience in their field, whether politics, media, brand and marketing, digital or communications.  ​

As a diverse team with a range of backgrounds, our collaborative and creative thinking is the key to helping our clients overcome their most difficult challenges.

Tim O’Halloran​  |  Founding Director

Tim is a highly skilled and experienced communications strategist with over 20 years’ experience advising senior government ministers, and some of Australia’s most influential people and organisations.

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

Tim has also worked for several  large communications agencies across communications, brand, advertising, strategic change management, campaigns, media and government relations.

“When I started Shape, I wanted to create a place where people can thrive and do good in the world. I’m always amazed at the wonderful clients who trust us to support them, and the people who have joined me on the journey at Shape.”

Nicola Hepenstall​  |  Director

Nicola has over 30 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 organisations 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.

“I’m shocked to find myself old enough to be considered the elder statesperson on the team. My special talent has always been making complex things simple. My brain works 24/7 in background processing mode till it finds the answer. I love those ahh moments!”

Felix Eldridge​  |  Managing Director, Head of Strategy

Felix has worked as an adviser across sectors and continents 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 communications, stakeholder engagement, and reputational risk, with a focus on how targeted and effective communications supports core strategy.

At Shape, he’s worked with public and private sector clients in superannuation, energy, justice reform, and other sectors to help overcome strategic challenges.

I’m always looking for new challenges and at Shape, every day throws me something different. What brings it together is that our clients’ work matters – not just to them, but to people across the country and the world.

Pia Akerman​  |  Associate Director, Head of Media and Public Communications

Pia is a campaigns and communications specialist, with two decades 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 brings her skills and in-depth knowledge of the Australian communications landscape to help our clients shape their message, design a successful communications strategy and achieve positive coverage.

Since joining Shape in 2019, Pia has worked on major media campaigns for most of our philanthropic and NGO clients, as well as raising the profile of several smaller not-for-profit organisations whose important work often flies under the radar. She enjoys working closely with clients to map out strategy and execute a robust advocacy campaign.

When I jumped out of journalism, I thought I’d miss the hustle and bustle of working in the media and being on the frontline of breaking stories. But at Shape, our clients are the ones breaking news (with our help to grab those eyeballs), with terrific stories of how they’re working with purpose, changing lives for the better and achieving tremendous impact across a whole range of fields. Each day is different, but there’s not one I’ve regretted.” 

Lilia Bednarek​  |  Associate Director

Lilia is a communications and public affairs specialist with over 20 years’ experience working in Australia, United Kingdom and France. Her work spans a range of sectors including automotive, supply chain, health, and sustainability.

Lilia also spent almost a decade as an adviser to Australian government ministers at both federal and state levels, in ageing, mental health, environment and climate change portfolios.

Since joining, Lilia has worked on a number of clients in the creative industries, renewable energy and sustainability sectors, designing communications strategies with government relations and advocacy programmes to create change. 

“For many of us, our work defines who we are and gives us a sense of purpose. That is why we surround ourselves with others who hold the same values, outlook on life and, for me, an unfettered belief that change is possible. Shape is where I feel challenged, excited for the work I am doing and involved in projects that incite societal change – all while being surrounded by colleagues and clients who are working together for a fairer, more equitable and inclusive future.”

Darren 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 senior communications and public affairs consultant, Darren has led successful campaigns for some of Australia’s largest and most high-profile community organisations, unions and causes.

At Shape, Darren specialises in high stakes media management, creating and delivering hard hitting campaigns that win, and helping clients engage with government to support their strategic policy goals.

“I love working at Shape because I’m supported to deliver quality work for great organisations doing good things in the world. I finish every day knowing that, in some small way, I’ve contributed to making the world a better place.”

Rebecca Urban​  |  Senior Consultant

Rebecca is a media and communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience across newspaper and magazine organisations and now several years in communications consulting at Shape. 

A former award-winning journalist and editor, she has covered breaking news, business and financial markets, health, R&D, and education. She has worked for a wide range of clients in sectors spanning education, justice, workplace rights, construction, philanthropy, disability, and mental health.

Rebecca is dedicated to understanding her client’s objectives and exploring creative solutions to communications challenges. Her in-depth knowledge of the media industry, ability to tell a clear and compelling story, and commitment to getting the job done well ensure that her clients’ goals are met.

You’ll find me each morning with a coffee and newspapers strewn all over the place. I’m my own media monitoring service! But seriously, it helps me find the angle; the right words to challenge or reframe whatever topic I happen to be working on at the time.” 

Chris Alexander​  |  Senior Consultant

Chris has 15 years’ experience shaping and communicating policy around the energy transition, giving a voice to the needs and aspirations of the Australian community. 

During his time with Shape, Chris has worked with government and NGO clients to embed research insights in strategic communications projects, such as the shift to electric vehicles, increasing consumer energy literacy, and building community resilience in the face of more frequent extreme weather events.  

Prior to joining Shape, Chris 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 UK. 

Chris has a Bachelor of Economics (Hons)/Laws from the Australian National University and a Commonwealth Government Diploma in Government. He is currently completing a Masters at the National Security College, specialising in risk and crisis management. 

“Cookie-cutter solutions do not cut it in these messy and volatile times. I’m at Shape because we have a big green light to immerse ourselves in our clients’ worlds and formulate deeply considered answers that enable their success.” 

Lachlan Williams  |  Senior Consultant

Lachlan is a communications and public affairs strategist whose work spans media, data storytelling, advocacy, leadership communications and public policy.

He was previously communications director at the Centre for Policy Development where he led the organisation’s inaugural Purpose of Government Pulse data project. 

He has led communications for the Australian Council of Trade Unions, produced award-winning agency campaigns and advised CEOs and boards on sensitive issues such as leadership transitions, organisational mergers and market entries. 

His ghost writing and speechwriting skills have been used by world leaders, high court justices, 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.

“Like anyone who isn’t independently wealthy, I trade my skills and time for money. Doing that at Shape means I get to work with purpose and impact surrounded by selfless high performers. I get to learn every day alongside workmates and clients who build each other up and win together.​”

Amy Price  |  Consultant

Amy is a media professional with more than a decade of experience working at the core of the Australian media industry.

A former journalist and editor for a major newspaper, she covered a broad range of topics and specialised in long-form feature articles to national audiences, using multimedia to enhance her storytelling.

Amy is a passionate storyteller, motivated to make a difference, and now channels her skills to deliver creative communications strategies that make a lasting impact for Shape’s clients. 

She draws on her in-depth knowledge of media and political landscapes to shape a compelling and targeted narrative, helping Shape’s clients achieve their core objective.

“I first became a journalist to make a difference. At Shape I have the chance to do that every day – challenging myself to think strategically and creatively on projects that matter and for clients who care. That’s the rare secret ingredient we all have in common.”

Siobhan McDonnell   |  Communications Coordinator

Siobhan is a Communications Coordinator at Shape with broad experience across the public and private sector. She has worked in the Victorian Parliament and 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 stakeholder engagement.

Working at Shape allows me to harness my passion for social justice and equity into helping drive real change. I believe systemic change is possible, but it takes hard work, dedication, and capable people. Our highly skilled and passionate team supports our clients take those steps towards a more equitable future for all every day.

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.

Fiona Pinney   |  Senior Graphic Designer

Fiona is a graphic designer with over 20 years of experience working within the not-for-profit sector and organisations with a social purpose. 

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

At Shape, Fiona has worked on a wide range of issue-based campaigns and strategic communication efforts with a design focus, developing websites, complex reports, brand design for campaigns and all areas of marketing collateral, such as brochures, adverts, signage and social media assets.

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 2017.

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.

You will find Martin’s human-centred storytelling work featured in many of our clients’ projects.

“I got into storytelling because of a natural curiosity towards the world – to make sense of my own life by connecting to others. What I wasn’t expecting was for the world to speak back and say it wanted that too. This kind of work isn’t work to me, it’s a natural conclusion to a deeper hunger.”