Winston Harris joined the SAS Group in 2017, bringing high-level skills in public policy and administration, strategic development and management, and people and stakeholder management with a strong 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. Winston also worked for the not-for-profit peak organisation for the commercial fisheries sector, the Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA) and also served as the Queensland representative on the national fisheries peak body, the National Seafood Industry Alliance (NSIA).
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.
In his spare time, Winston volunteers for several NGOs that support those in need. Winston is currently undertaking his Masters in Business Administration (MBA).
Mitchell has worked as a media and communications consultant since joining the SAS Group in 2016. He has previously worked as an adviser to two Federal Senators and has
extensive experience working on political campaigns spanning all levels of government. This includes working at Party Headquarters during two federal elections, as well as being part of an international delegation that worked on the 2017 British General Election.
Mitchell has held numerous key positions within the organisational wing of the Liberal National Party (LNP). He served on the Party’s state executive for two years during his time as Young LNP President and also served on the Liberal Party Federal Executive for 12 months as part of his role as Federal Young Liberal Vice-President. These experiences, along with his previous roles as a political staffer, have provided him with key insights into the inner workings of Australia’s political system.
Throughout his time at the SAS Group, Mitchell has helped several clients achieve wide-ranging media coverage across print, radio, TV and digital platforms.
Mitchell served as Editor-in-Chief of The University of Queensland student magazine, Semper Floreat, hosted two radio shows on JacRadio and was a regular presenter on the UQ Journalism School’s news and a current affairs show, JacTV.
Mitchell holds a double degree in Journalism and Political Science from The University of Queensland.
Nino is a policy and communications specialist with nearly a decade of experience working for local, State and Federal Governments. Nino has worked as a policy and media advisor for two Premiers, State and Federal Ministers, Members and Senators.
Working initially in the Queensland Government for four years, Nino served in a policy role, briefing Ministers on public policy, contentious media issues, communications and messaging in the Premier’s office.
After more than three years working for a senior Minister and Senator in Canberra, Nino returned to work in the Queensland Premier’s media team until he joined the SAS Group in March 2017.
Nino has been involved in two dozen campaigns in Queensland and across Australia for the Australian Labor Party and has a particular interest in grassroots campaign techniques developed in the United States and the UK, and how these can be customised to the Australian context.
Nino’s experience and deep understanding of the parliamentary, departmental and political process of the Queensland Government and the Federal Government, including the complex workings of the Senate and its crossbench, have been especially valuable for state and national clients.
Nino speaks three languages and studied a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science and International Relations) at the University of Queensland.
Hon. Bernie Ripoll
As a former Member of Parliament and Assistant Minister under the Gillard Government, Bernie played a leading role in far-reaching Australian financial sector reform.
A Member of Federal Parliament from 1998 to 2016, Bernie served as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer with responsibility for Financial Services, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and other agencies within the Treasury portfolio.
As chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services, his work led to reforms culminating in the Future of Finance Advice legislation aimed at restoring trust in the industry.
Bernie also served as Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Small Business and Sport. He represented the Commonwealth as the alternate delegate to the Asian Development Bank and has led a number of official parliamentary and government delegations.
Bernie is a non-executive director with Allianz Retire+, the Financial and Energy Exchange FEX Global and a committee member with the Conexus Financial Superannuation Awards. He holds Board and Chair responsibilities with digital advice platform Map My Plan and Biogas energy developer, Utilitas Group, and sits on the Board of the Self-Managed Super Funds Association. He was a director for not-for-profit medical practice Inala Primary Care for a decade.
Bernie is a former electrician by trade and has a Bachelor of Business in Marketing from Queensland University of Technology.
Account Associate - Media and Communications
Michaela has a Bachelor of Creative Writing from the University of the Sunshine Coast, majoring and minoring in Communications and English. She joined the SAS Group in 2017, and has become an integral part of the team. She works across the business supporting the SAS Group's directors and consultants, and provides assistance to a wide range of clients.
Michaela works with the SAS Group’s Media and Communications team supporting clients with their interations with the media, media monitoring, media release research and distribution, feature article drafting, and monitoring and updating client communications and media plans.
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