The IABC Victoria Chapter is led by a dedicated team of volunteers, all successful communication professionals from a wide range of disciplines, backgrounds and talents.

The board manages the day to day operations and administration and financials of the chapter, representing IABC at a local level.

Board members are elected by IABC Victoria members each year. The board works closely with other chapters across Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and internationally, to ensure we continue to deliver the best resources, research and opportunities to our members.

We are also fortunate to have a number of volunteers who work alongside the board on our many projects and events.

Meet the IABC Victoria team

Merrin Fabre

President

My name is Merrin and I began my career as a science communicator traveling across Australia and teaching students about physics, chemistry and genetics in (hopefully) an entertaining way. I’ve worked for a number of science agencies and institutes promoting research, discoveries and technologies that benefit Australian society.

For the past ten years I’ve worked extensively in internal communication, change management and employee engagement, helping organisations to help their staff adapt to change.

I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry, a Graduate Diploma in Science Communication and a Master of Communication. In my spare time I tend to run, usually half marathons, and hike when the weather is nice.

David Imber

Vice President

My name is David and I joined the IABC Board in 2020 serving for two years as Treasurer.

I’m a passionate corporate/public affairs professional with experience across a range of communications disciplines and sectors. I currently consult through Mountain Media across a range of communications disciplines including crisis, government and stakeholder relations, advocacy, strategic campaigning advice. I’ve worked in public policy in the public, private and not for profit sectors. Professionally, my strength is in developing external affairs strategies and in managing and enhancing corporate reputation through effective media strategy and stakeholder engagement. I have a track record of building productive working relationships with people at all levels, of solving critical problems and delivering on corporate strategy.

My varied experience allows me to see and tackle issues from a number of perspectives and that’s why I am so happy to be contributing at IABC. I am a people person and have enjoyed building my network at the IABC while a consultant (having previously been a member whilst at Telstra).

On a personal level I enjoy the arts, dinners with friends, travel and keeping fit. I’m also a huge news junkie which helps me not always feel like work is a burden!

Mitchell Welch

Secretary

Mitchell Welch (BA, MA, CMP) is a strategic comms gun-for-hire specialising in organisational storytelling for agencies with unique and unusual stories to tell. As a trained writer and experienced communications manager, Mitch is a trusted strategic advisor to senior leaders in the public and non-profit sectors, having most recently worked with quasi-non-government agencies like The Greater Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust and Melbourne & Olympic Parks. He began trading as an independent, freelance communications consultant in 2021, and provides freelance project management, copywriting and editing services for a range of clients.

Alongside his communications career, Mitch is an award-winning poet and creative writer, having published creative and critical work in major Australian literary journals over the last ten years, including in Antipodes, Arena, the Australian Poetry Journal, Cordite, Meanjin, Overland, Rabbit and Southerly. His work was most recently anthologised in Groundswell: The Judith Wright Poetry Prize 2007 – 2020.

vicky-dryburgh-treasurer

Vicky Dryburgh

Treasurer

My name is Vicky and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity this year to take on the responsibility of treasurer, after being the chapters bookkeeper for the past 2 years.

I’ve been working in accounting for 30 years and diversified into systems accounting and implementations.  I’ve worked for both large corporate organisations in the UK and small businesses and SMEs here in Australia.

More recently, I work independently, providing virtual CFO and systems accounting services, consultation, training and mentoring to small business and SMEs, across a mix of industries from education, sports, building and construction, professional and the arts including a couple of nationally well-known experts in their field!  Last year I lead a company restructure covering both finance and hr which I found really exciting and fulfilling.

I moved to Australia at 40 years old with a 457 visa as ICT business analyst and soon found my destiny with my life partner peter, his 4 sons and 2 dogs.  We love travelling in the country and by the coast and are big fans of live music here in Victoria.

My profession is not known for its creative qualities, so it is a treat for me to be part of such an incredibly effervescent, creative and inspiring group of people.

sophie-bigaignon-2-2

Sophie Bigaignon

Partnerships Chair

My name is Sophie and I am a communications management professional who is passionate about the role of communication in advancing business success.

I started my career in the not-for-profit sector and have since worked in the private sector in the property industry – previously at an award-winning global architecture practice, and currently at a leading multi-disciplinary city shaping advisory firm.

I joined the IABC Victoria Board to support the organisation’s efforts in driving communication as a force for good in business, and society.

I hold a Bachelor of Arts (Global) from Monash University with a double major in communications and international studies, and an Executive Master of Arts from the University of Melbourne.

Outside of work, I am a keen Guide Dogs Victoria volunteer and design enthusiast.

Amy Gibbs

Recognition Chair

My name is Amy and I am the Editor in Chief of Digital Pulse, a PwC Australia publication on all things digital – ranging from technological innovation and people experience to business transformation. I joined the IABC Victoria board in 2021 to help communications professionals get support and gain recognition.

Over the last 15 years I have worked in education and member organisations in roles covering corporate social social media, editorial and content. In those positions I actively promoted the importance of social media communication in reaching customers and spoke at national and international conferences on social media and technology.

I have a PhD in Communications, where I researched online community longevity and a Bachelor of Arts degree, with Honours, where I studied history and archaeology. I am a passionate writer, true and fictional crime buff, photographer and genealogy enthusiast.

Jodie Mills

Brand & Communication Co Chair

Jodie is an accomplished, creative and trusted communications and engagement leader, most recently specialising in internal and strategic communications within large, complex organisations and transformation environments.

Jodie has over 20 years’ experience within broadcast media, major events, digital engagement, strategic communications and organisational storytelling. With expertise in developing strategy, leading teams and projects, and managing multi-channel campaigns to support culture and behavior change. She advises a range of senior leaders in difficult transformation scenarios and is passionate about all things digital, innovation and change, to create lasting, positive impacts through continuous improvement.

Jodie holds a bachelor degree in media arts and has completed many professional development certifications. Outside of work, Jodie enjoys a number of creative pursuits across music, art, dance, theatre, writing and photography.

Ariana Kim

Brand & Communication Co Chair

My name is Ariana and I am a passionate communications and public relations professional who has spent over a decade working in the financial services industry. I am excited to join the IBAC board as brand and communications co-chair and look forward to providing members with interesting and engaging content over the course of the year.

I have been fortunate to gain experience across a multitude of areas from internal communications to managing the complex communication needs of an organisation undergoing a brand transformation, taking a much-loved industry journal online to promoting the Ballkids at the Australian Open.

I hold a Bachelor of Communications (Public Relations) and a Master in Communications (Professional Writing).

Outside of work, I am a mother of four who enjoys spending time with my family, catching the latest theatre show, catching up with friends and I am an avid photographer and a huge bookworm.

Nicola Joubert

Events and Professional Development Chair

My name is Nicola, and I am a proficient and confident communications and events specialist with over five years’ experience.

I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Communications and my expertise extends to event production and management, creative copywriting, internal and external communications, crisis communications, and stakeholder engagement.

I believe in collaboration, diversity, learning, and open-mindedness as values both professionally and personally. I have a passion for bringing people together and developing and producing high-quality, memorable events.

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, painting (…I try), reading and staying active.

Madeline Babiolakis

General Board Member

My name is Madeleine and I began my career working in commercial newsrooms before moving into state politics as a press secretary. For most of the last decade I have worked in higher education, first in strategic comms and then, leading strategy and engagement teams. This has enabled me to gain diverse experience building large scale campaigns as well as developing and operationalising strategy.

Regardless of the role or industry, the one constant through my career has been witnessing the power of authentic communication, and I’m passionate about empowering leaders to become better communicators.

I hold a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) from the University of Melbourne and am a certified Organisational Coach through the Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership. Outside of study and work, I love to travel and escape Melbourne winters.

Want to know more about how IABC Victoria can help develop, connect and recognise your achievements in the industry? Contact us or visit our Memberships page.