Welcome to the spring edition of The Shell for 2018.  

As we head towards end of the 2018, with elections everywhere looming, our business is still strong and growing.

Our long-time Special Counsel, Julie Sibraa, who left to work for the NSW State Labor Party for a year, has returned just in time for the NSW election.  Julie has been nominated by the Labor Party as a candidate on the NSW Upper House (MLC) ticket at Number 8. It’s a tough call but she might just scrape in. Win, lose or draw, Julie has done a great job for Wells Haslem Mayhew. She shares her insights on Labor's election chances.

A lot has happened in NSW and Federally over the past few months.

The Liberal Party has dumped another Prime Minister in Malcolm Turnbull and the NSW State Labor Party forced its leader, Luke Foley, to quit over allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards an ABC journalist. Read my observations about Turnbull here.

All these crises are happening at a time when Victoria will go to the polls this weekend, NSW will go to the polls on 23 March next year.  A federal election has to be held by May next year and will most likely be held immediately after the NSW election.

Since our last edition we have added Larissa Jaffé to our consulting team who specialises in our newer digital service offerings. Welcome Larissa.

The Wells Haslem Mayhew team is working on a range of projects across health, aged care, education, tourism, financial services, and construction.

We continue to work closely with long-time clients - Zurich Financial Services, Swiss Re, Chris O'Brien Lifehouse, Carnival Australia, James Hardie, DOOLEYS Lidcombe Catholic Club, Ingenia and Silver Chain.

One of our new clients is Youth Insearch, an organisation which dedicates itself to helping troubled youth get back on track and lead meaningful lives. See Stav’s article here.

Another new client is the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation (NHFIC), which we are assisting with media and issues management services. NHFIC was established by the Federal Government to operate an Affordable Housing Bond Aggregator and a National Housing Infrastructure Facility. The overarching aim: increase affordable housing stock across Australia.

Our work with Carnival Australia is around assisting the leading international cruise line manage issues and engage with government and other key stakeholders.

In education, we are assisting Blacktown City Council attract a world-class university campus to Sydney’s outer west. Read more about our successful campaign here.

Kathy Lindsay provides her observations around the Federal opposition’s housing tax policy. Co-CEO Ben Haslem outlines Nissan’s new electric car for Australia.

We continue to expand our digital offerings, and digital consultant Tracey Jarvis looks at the 10 top digital trends for 2019.

Time to go

After 49 years working in journalism, politics and the past 28 years in public affairs consulting and government relations, I have decided to take a step back. It’s been a wonderful journey and I have to say that I’ve loved every minute of my working life (except for the odd one here and there of course).

I wanted to thank all those clients who I have worked with and for over many years for their support and encouragement.

I am also pleased to announce that senior consultant Kathy Lindsay has been promoted to Associate Director and will play an increased role in running the business.

To our current Wells Haslem Mayhew family and clients, I leave you in the capable hands of my long-term business partners, Ben & Amo, who I've worked with for over a decade now.

To all the marvellous people I have worked with, thanks again for the  friendship, professional help and support. Hopefully I’ll see some of you around the traps from time to time.

Might be time for lunch at the Oaks.

John Wells, Chairman