Winston Harris joined the SAS Group in 2017, bringing with him high-level skills in public policy and administration, strategic development and management, and people and stakeholder management with a true understanding of the value of personal relationships. It’s a broad mix of experience gained across more than 25 years working in politics, small business and for non-government organisations.
Winston has worked as a Chief of Staff and adviser in Federal and State Ministerial offices, with portfolio responsibilities in agriculture and fisheries, financial services, and the small business sector. This background gives Winston a unique understanding of both the public and private spheres, which he uses to help achieve the best possible outcomes for clients of The SAS Group.
Winston is currently undertaking his Masters in Business Administration (MBA).
Over 25 years as a senior State Government minister, public relations company director and leading national journalist, Scott has developed an unrivalled expertise in communication and policy strategy, advocacy and crisis management.
As a senior minister in the Queensland Government from 2009 to 2012, Scott oversaw the key infrastructure portfolio of Transport and Main Roads. He also held the key economics portfolio of Treasury in the State Opposition and the role of campaign spokesperson.
Prior to politics, Scott was a media company director executing communications and publicity strategy for client companies. His crisis management plans included interview preparations for CEOs and senior management.
Scott began his career as a cadet journalist with ABC news and left as a Senior Reporter with the leading current affairs programs AM, PM and The World Today in both Brisbane and Sydney. Scott then joined The Australian where he was Queensland Bureau Chief and State Political Editor as well as National Chief of Staff during the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. He headed the coverage of CHOGM.
Scott is a Churchill Fellow, undertaking research at Harvard and Washington into emerging campaigning and communication techniques. He holds degrees in Economics and the Arts with Laws and Journalism majors from the University of Queensland.
Described in the media as an avid adventurer, Scott has trekked and climbed across the world including the Kokoda Track in PNG, Thorong-La Pass in the Himalayas, Kilimanjaro in Africa, and the Milford Track in New Zealand. He has also abseiled Brisbane’s 135m Blue Tower and swung off the Story Bridge for charity. Scott has a keen interest in fitness and enjoys reading with a specific focus on Roman history.
Mitchell Collier joined The SAS Group in 2016 as a media and communication consultant. He has a double degree in Journalism and Political Science from The University of Queensland, and during his time at University, Mitchell served as Editor-in-Chief of its student magazine. He also co-hosted two radio shows on JacRadio, and was a regular presenter on the UQ Journalism School’s news and a current affairs show, JacTV.
Since graduating, Mitchell has worked for two federal senators, where he has continued to develop his research, writing and editing skills, and learnt how to deploy these skills in campaigns to influence public opinion on issues of national importance.
John has had a broad and highly successful career spanning close to 20 years representing some of Australia’s leading publicly listed corporations in relations, and negotiations, with Federal and State Governments, as well as Government competition and environmental regulatory agencies: Westpac, Telstra, AGL, Origin Energy and Aurizon. John therefore has a deep understanding of Government policy and regulatory issues in the following areas: Energy, Resources, Resource Sector Taxation, Carbon Policy, International Trade, Banking, Transport and Telecommunications. In addition John was a key member of teams at Origin Energy and Aurizon that assisted in major Chinese companies gaining FIRB approval for investment in major resource projects.
He also has significant experience in stakeholder engagement, issues management, crisis management and media. John has a very extensive network through government, business and the media.
At Origin Energy, John was closely engaged with the (then) Federal Labor Government in protecting the position of the company’s Queensland CSG to LNG gas project under the Government’s Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) and its proposed Resources Super Profits Tax (RSPT). At both Origin and Aurizon, John has worked closely with Federal and State Environmental Departments and agencies.
Prior to joining the corporate sector in 1997, John held a number of senior positions in the Canberra Parliament House Parliamentary Press Gallery with the Australian Financial Review, Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian, as well as in investment banking and Federal Treasury.
Hon. Bernie Ripoll
Bernie Ripoll has served in the Australian Commonwealth Parliament from 1998-2016 as the Member for Oxley and worked in both government and opposition roles and on many Joint Parliamentary Committees as the Chair or Deputy Chair.
Bernie has represented the Commonwealth Government in an international capacity including as the alternate delegate to the Asian Development Bank and as leader on a number of official parliamentary and government delegations.
Bernie served as a member of the Executive in the role of Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer with oversight of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission along with the Australian Bureau of Statistics and other agencies within the treasury portfolio. Bernie also chaired the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services delivering the "Ripoll Report" that led to the Future of Financial Advice legislative reforms. Bernie has also served as a Shadow Minister and Shadow Parliamentary Secretary in a number of portfolios including Financial Services, Superannuation, Small Business and Sport.
Bernie has devoted many years to community development and as a director for not-for-profit medical practice, Inala Primary Care since 2007, and is also a director with self-directed digital advice platform, Map My Plan, a director and Chairman of BioHub waste to energy developer, Utilitas, and a director IR Plus Securities Exchange Limited, an Australian Market Licence holder, a committee member of the SMSFA Public Policy Committee and most recently appointed to the board of Crohn’s and Colitis Australia.
Bernie brings a deep understanding of the systems, processes and people in government and parliament at all levels and brings a senior level of experience and knowledge with working relationships in the corporate and community sectors. Bernie is a qualified electrical tradesman with a Business Degree in Marketing and post graduate certificate in Leadership.
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