Meagan van Gent
Having enjoyed a wide variety of roles in the Queensland Government, Meagan has developed strong and well recognised skills in governance and policy development.
In 2011, after working for two years as a policy advisor to the Deputy Premier across the infrastructure and health portfolios, Meagan was appointed to the role of Director of the Coordinator-General's Directorate, and among other responsibilities, most enjoyed driving the Directorate's policy and legislative program. In 2012, her role also involved managing the secretariat for the Strategic Project Program Review Board - an inter agency body established to actively monitor the cost, timing and scope of Queensland Government infrastructure projects with an investment value over $100 million.
In early 2013, the State Government's Regional and Resource Towns Action Plan committed the State, local governments and Ergon Energy to specific, short term actions for delivery within 12-24 months. While living in Roma and as Director of this program of work for the first year of its two year life, Meagan worked closely with stakeholders and oversaw the work of project managers to ensure delivery of the plan's 133 actions across 11 regional communities.
After enjoying an extended period of maternity leave, Meagan recently started as the Director of the newly formed Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) Sector Team and is leading development of the Queensland Government's industry policy for the METS sector.
Meagan lives in Brisbane with her husband, their 19 month old son and crazy, crazy labradoodles.
Bec has built a reputation in the Australian market as a visionary business leader. In her current role as Managing Director, she is credited with relaunching Columbus into its next phase of evolution, transforming it from a reputable search only business, into Australia’s largest Performance and Experience Agency. A rare combination of intuitive smarts and commercial nous, she has the ability to lead teams through rapid change management with everyone on board with her vision.
Tos has spent most of her career in marketing roles with over 17 years’ experience, 11 years in performance and search marketing and over 15 in digital. She currently leads the Columbus agency nationally and is the driving force behind the agency vision, product evolution and brand. A passion for business strategy, mentorship and consultancy, Bec thrives on looking under the hood of organisations and solving complex business challenges through insightful ideas, data and technology.
Bec began her career in the dot com days at ninemsn, moving onto senior Marketing roles at the Guardian Media Group in London and News Digital Media back in Sydney. In her previous role as General Manager at Reprise Media, she spearheaded the agency to accelerated growth over three years. It was her time in senior brand and marketing roles at ninemsn and News Digital Media that set her up for success, agency side where she’s often credited for truly understanding her clients and their challenges. She was one of the founding members of Reprise Media in early 2010 where under her leadership as General Manager, the business catapulted in growth from 5 to 55 people in under 24 months, with rates of over 100% YOY in profitability.
Bec has worked for and with some of Australia’s most influential brands including; David Jones, Woolworths, BMW, Citibank, Virgin Australia, Microsoft, ninemsn, Bunnings, The Good Guys, World Vision, Coles, BUPA, Officeworks, Target, Federal Government, ING Direct, Hyundai, Origin Energy, Sony and L’Oreal, to name a few.
She is passionate about making a difference with the brands she works with and also coaching young talent to reach their potential.
Bec lives in Sydney with her husband and newborn daughter Mahli Rose, three dogs and two cats. She has not lost sight of her dream of becoming a ballerina one day and loves an active lifestyle combined with great food and champagne.
Danielle OKeefe has worked in the arts for over 15 years establishing a reputation as one of the country’s leading youth arts creators. After finishing her studies in 2003 in London, Danielle returned to Sydney to conduct the Australian Youth Choir (AYC) and held that post until 2012 when she left to work in Outback Australia.
Simultaneous to conducting the AYC, Danielle worked with companies such as the Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP), Sydney Chamber Opera (SCO), The Australian Institute of Performing Arts (AIPA), Brent Street and PACT to create exciting works for and with young people. Alongside her work with young people, Danielle has directed mainstage shows at the Seymour Centre, The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Complex and Merrigong Theatre, to name a few.
Since returning to Sydney from her post as Artistic Director of Outback Theatre for Young People, she has been working with large ensembles of girls and women, and is now formalising a cross-age female ensemble to work together across a variety of projects.
Maryann started out as a journalist working at news.com.au. She made the move to the 'dark side' in 2012 to work as an Arts Publicist, currently alongside Amanda Buckworth (AB Publicity) and for her own boutique PR agency, The Wright Publicity.
Maryann co-founded indie theatre company Edgeware Forum and is their current Artistic Director. She also co-runs Women in Theatre and Screen (WITS), an advocacy group producing empowering symposium events for female theatre and film makers around Sydney.
Alongside her work in communications and advocacy, Maryann is an actor and singer working in theatre and television. She is currently starring as Karly in the pilot TV show Subject To Change. Previous work includes: Hyde the Movie (short film), The Little Mermaid at ATYP for Midnight Theatre, The Aurobindo Project for Merrigong Theatre Company, Heart of A Dog workshop at Street Theatre's Hive Program, and Squabbalogic’s critically acclaimed Australian Premiere of Carrie. Maryann was a semi-finalist in the 2013 Rob Guest Endowment Award, a grand finalist in the 2012 Australian Cabaret Showcase and is currently writing her one-woman cabaret show about the life of Hedda Hopper.
Sally Cahill McQuinn