Sydney Opera House

Leading editors, Walkley-award winning journalists, communications experts and digital natives form a formidable reputation management team.


Mark Forbes

Mark Forbes
Director of Reputation

Mark is a Walkley-award winning journalist and former Editor-in-Chief of The Age in Melbourne. He has also worked at Four Corners and Channel Seven, in the Federal and State parliament press galleries and as an overseas correspondent.

Mark brings almost 30 years of success at the highest levels of communications practice to his strategic communications services, including issues management, crisis management, interview coaching and media relations.

Specialising in reputation building communications strategies, he has raised the profile of major companies, guided global manufacturers through controversial issues and assisted CEOs enhance their reputations.

Benjamin Haslem

Benjamin Haslem
Director of Media and Public Affairs

Ben is one of Australia’s leading public affairs specialists with over 30 years of experience in public relations, government affairs and journalism. He is well-versed in all aspects of public and government relations, with strong networks in media and political circles.

During his 20-year consulting career, Ben has advised CEOs, C-Suites and Boards to help them address complex commercial, public policy and public relations issues through government relations, issue management, media marketing and crisis management services.

Ben’s career included a decade at The Australian, where he worked as a senior reporter in the Federal Press Gallery and was the High Court Correspondent.

    Justin Armsden

    Justin Armsden
    Media and broadcast consultant

    Justin has almost 30 years’ media experience across print and broadcast, both in Australia and internationally with CNN.

    Over the past six years he has been providing presentation advice to leading companies, along with guiding communications strategies and issues management.

    Justin started his career with News Limited’s Brisbane Sun newspaper, then joined the Gold Coast Bulletin as a Police and Crime Reporter. During his time on the Gold Coast he was awarded Journalist of the Year and Story of the Year, and made his transition to broadcast reporting with Channel 9’s local news.

    He then became an Anchor and Correspondent for CNN International in London, travelling the world covering major news events and hosting live breaking news for CNN International.

    Justin returned to Australia in 2010, where he joined Channel 9 as an investigative reporter for A Current Affair, then became Victorian Bureau Chief for A Current Affair.

    Joanne Painter

    Joanne Painter
    Managing Director

    A leader in Australia’s PR and communications industry, Joanne has over 30 years experience across media, strategic communications and public relations.

    Formerly a senior journalist with The Age, Joanne now consults on strategic communications, issues and reputation to government and corporate clients nationally.

    A digital communications specialist, Joanne brings a deep understanding of digital transformation and how new technology is reshaping citizens’ relationship with brands – and the relationship of brands with their target publics.

    Supporting team

    As part of the Icon Agency group, we’re backed by a team of integrated communications professionals.

    • More than 100 staff

    • Full production and design studio

    • In-house digital web development, web design and UX and digital marketing

    • One of Australia's most awarded PR agency's at home, and on the global stage

    • Creative and brand strategists

    • Behaviour change specialists

    • Global PR partner network

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    Surry Hills NSW 2010 Australia
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    25 King Street
    Bowen Hills
    Brisbane QLD 4006 Australia
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    Suva, Fiji

    ICON recognises the First Peoples of this nation and their ongoing connection to culture and country. We acknowledge First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Owners, Custodians and Lore Keepers of the world's oldest living culture and pay respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

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