Group Communications Manager, Telstra
Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Social Inquiry)*
*The Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Social Inquiry) is now known as the Bachelor of Communication (Social & Political Sciences).
I really enjoy finding simple and compelling ways to communicate complex ideas. Working for an NGO was personally rewarding and working in local government was a great opportunity to deeply understand my community and make a positive contribution to it.
Jonathon is a Group Communications Manager for Telstra. He’s had a broad-ranging career in the communications sector firstly working for an NGO, then local government before finding himself in the corporate sector.
Exploring the communications field
Jonathon's career started whilst at UTS when he got his first taste of campaigning from volunteering on a campaign to reform liquor licensing laws. This led him to WWF where he worked on sustainability campaigns and communications. He then moved into local government where he was a Senior Advisor to Lord Mayor Clover Moore at the City of Sydney. Jonathon is currently a Group Manager for Corporate Communications at Telstra where he’s responsible for leading a team that covers issues as diverse as financial performance, corporate strategy, industry regulation and legislation, legal and sustainability issues.
One industry, different sectors
Jonathon's worked across three different sectors but enjoys the dynamics and challenges of working in a corporate environment as it pushes him professionally. The world of communications is competitive but he credits his sense of curiosity and not being afraid to ask questions as key for his progression in the industry.
The scale in the corporate world is completely different. There are more internal stakeholders, more people paying attention to your communications and often more consequences if things don't go according to plan but I enjoy the challenge.
When Jonathon was looking at what to study at university he wanted something that was in the field of communications but broad enough to allow him to grow and adapt as he learned so he decided on Social Inquiry (now known as Social and Political Sciences). The degree gave him a firm understanding of different ideologies, economies, and societies and how the world operates. It also made him a better communicator, which is essential for the field he works in. He was also drawn to the practical aspects of the course and credits the in-course placement (54055 Professional Pathways Project) as instrumental to him landing his first job out of university.
The in-study placement gave me direct experience and a real insight into the parliamentary world and I’d really recommend it to anyone who is interested in politics, campaigning and social issues
Looking to the future
The future of the profession is changing but he’s excited by the possibilities AI and other technological advancements may bring to communications. To students and graduates, he recommends finding something you’re passionate about and letting that guide you, even if it takes you in unexpected directions.
You can add real value by bringing a range of information and experiences to your workplace and there will always be demand for curious and creative storytellers
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