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About Your Trainers

Sue Monk
Senior Consultant and Principal Trainer 

Sue has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist and public relations professional, including senior roles in the UK and Australian Governments. She has also provided media and communications services to several blue chip Australian companies including Brisbane Airport Corporation, Xstrata, Port of Brisbane, Seqwater, Sunwater, McCullough Robertson, BDO, Shine Lawyers, Corporate Travel Management and Puma Energy. 

Sue holds a Bachelor of Arts (Journalism) from the University of Queensland and a Masters of Science in International and European Politics from the University of Edinburgh. She began her career as a journalist for The Courier-Mail, where she was an editorial writer and reported on areas including legal affairs, property and women’s issues.

After leaving journalism Sue worked for the Scottish Executive, European Commission and went on to become a media adviser to Britain’s second most powerful politician, the then British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown. Sue has also worked in house at PR agency, BWH, and engineering firm, SKM. More recently Sue was the Media Centre Manager for Brisbane’s G20 Leaders Summit. Sue is a multiple award winner for her public relations work, and is also certified as a public participation practitioner. 

Margaret Lawson
Managing Director and Media Trainer

Margaret has 18 years’ experience in media relations and corporate communications, including nine years as the managing director of Cole Lawson Communications and several years spent working in-house at the Queensland University of Technology, Ergon Energy and as media adviser to a Howard Government MP.

As Managing Director of Cole Lawson Communications, Margaret has worked with a variety of clients across many different industry sectors and has won accolades for her issues management work.

As a journalist, Margaret has worked at newspapers in Australia and the United States, and has written for publications including The Courier-Mail, The Charlotte Observer, Australasian Science and Australian Journalism Review.

Margaret’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Business (Communication), a Graduate Diploma of Arts (Journalism), and a Master of Science and Technology (Aviation), specialising in risk management. She is a member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia and has been recognised more than a dozen times at the PRIA’s Golden Target Awards. In 2016, Margaret was appointed as a Golden Targets Award judge for major campaigns and community relations.

Trina McLellan
Group Account Manager and Media Trainer

Trina has worked in and with the media in senior roles across three decades. She has strong verbal, written and interviewing skills, extensive media liaison experience, ample training and presentation delivery as well as significant issues and crisis management expertise.

Trina has held communication management roles for more than a dozen years in Queensland and Victoria, spanning the private, public and higher education sectors. Over that time, she has provided strategic media liaison advice and support to state government departments and agencies, telecommunication and manufacturing executives, health industry specialists and community groups.

In addition, Trina has had more than two decades of media communication experience on behalf of not-for-profit organisations and has been a carer consultant in both the public and private health systems. Her own media expertise grew out of working in demanding metropolitan newsroom roles in both Queensland and Victoria over more than 15 years.

She has built – and maintains – a strong network of contacts in newsrooms around the country and invariably thinks like a journalist. Since 1987, Trina has provided media awareness training, and advanced media engagement training, to senior business and government executives, university leaders, researchers, community leaders and aspiring politicians. 

With a Bachelor of Business (Communication) majoring in journalism and public relations from the former Queensland Institute of Technology as well as a Master of Arts (Research) in journalism from the Queensland University of Technology, Trina has also been a tertiary journalism/communication educator and workplace trainer since 1995.

Rhiannon Smith
Account Executive and Presentation Skills Trainer

Rhiannon is an enthusiastic and engaging trainer with a passion for developing an individual’s soft skills and professional potential.

She believes that public speaking is not an innate talent, but a learned skill, and works with professionals to master this skill by helping them discover their unique presentation style and the tools, structure and delivery required to help keep audiences engaged.

As an Account Executive with Cole Lawson Communications, Rhiannon has experience in corporate, consumer and not-for-profit communications, journalism and marketing. 

This experience enables her to offer empathy and support to participants, whilst providing direct feedback and practical advice to help them improve their performance.

Rhiannon has trained numerous executives from businesses including Australia's second largest wholesale funds manager QIC, Australia’s largest medical equipment manufacturer Cook Medical and award-winning creative agency Khemistry.

She holds a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Communications (Public Relations) from the University of Queensland.