Mary Balfour has management and corporate experience, as well as acknowledged expertise in strategic communications. She was managing director of a national Australian public relations consultancy from 1988 to 1990 and managed her own strategic planning consultancy in Melbourne and Sydney from 1990 to 2001, before moving to Townsville to join her brother in Balfour Consulting.
Mary has worked for over 20 years in strategic planning and public relations in Australia and New Zealand. She has a strong management background and specialises in issues management, media relations and communications strategic planning. Mary has worked particularly with government, unions and business in the community engagement area.
Mary has also developed and implemented strategic communication programs for a wide range of organisations, from BHP Steel and Telstra through to specialist companies such as Moldflow, a Victorian software company. She established and managed a community organisation in support of the National Forest Industries Campaign of Australia (FICA) for five years. Tracking research over those five years showed a complete turnaround from 20% of the public being supportive to 78% being supportive of forest industries. The campaign won national and international awards.
Mary has successfully conducted community engagement programs for projects that include road construction, major building projects, traffic management, sewerage upgrades, dredging and land acquisition by the government. During this time, she has worked with a range of major contractors including Thiess, Watpac, Abigroup, AECOM, BMD and Seymour White.
Mary has also undertaken a number of major communications projects for a range of clients in the North Queensland region, including the Department of Transport and main Roads, Townsville City Council, the Museum of Tropical Queensland, NQ Dry Tropics and Hinchinbrook Shire Council.
From 2004 to 2009, the work by Mary and her clients in Townsville has been recognised in 18 State and national awards.
Within the public relations profession, Mary has achieved recognition through international and national awards and her election as the first female President of the Public Relations Institute of Australia (Vic). She holds a BSc (Hons) and Diploma of Journalism and has served as Chair of Deakin University Course Advisory Committee for the Bachelor of Business Communications degree.
She has been a member of Boards and/or Committees for the Victorian Arts Centre Trust, Young Achievers Australia, New Zealand International Year of the Child, Spastic Welfare Association of Western Australia and Arthritis Foundation of Victoria. Mary is a past Director of DanceNorth and a member of the Townsville Business Women's Network. Balfour Consulting is a member of the Townsville Chamber of Commerce.