The GO Group, Asia’s leading independent media and communications consultancy network headquartered at Malaysia’s GO Communications, just got bigger. The group has announced a new addition into its fold of affiliated agencies. The strategic alliance with Banksia (formerly Michelson Alexander), one of Australia’s foremost full-service strategic communications firms, marks a pivotal moment as the GO Group marks its foray into the Asia Pacific and Australasia regions, solidifying its position as one of the largest networks of independent agencies in the world.

Banksia, helmed by visionary Founder and Director, Steve Michelson, has established itself as a frontrunner in providing decisive counsel, executing high-impact communications strategies at the intersections of policy, politics, and public affairs. With an unrivalled wealth of experience, the firm has continually delivered tangible results and executed campaigns that have transformed conversations and helped shape Australia’s landscape.

“We are thrilled to welcome Banksia to the GO Group family of agencies,” said Peter de Kretser, Chairman of the GO Group and an Australian native himself. “Their outstanding expertise, especially in public affairs, and their track record of achieving transformative outcomes will undoubtedly enrich our network’s capabilities.”

“This collaboration signifies an exciting synergy between our agencies that will propel the group towards even greater success. I am especially proud to be working together with Steve, not only because we’ve known each other for many years, but the value that he and his team of highly competent associates bring to the GO Group is truly second to none. Their combined extensive experience, particularly in public affairs, adds a strategic component to the GO Group,” he added.

Peter de Kretser welcoming the Banksia Team to the GO Group at the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
(L to R):
1. Zalfian Fuzi (Managing Director, GO Communications)
2. James Fitzpatrick, (Director, Banksia)
3. Camilla Bale (General Manager, Banksia)
4. Peter De Kretser (Chief Executive Officer, GO Communications)
5. Anna Mincham (Associate, Banksia)
6. Gordon Meredith (Content & Podcast Producer, Banksia)
7. Matilda Finn (Associate, Banksia)
8. Clare Coulter (Associate, Banksia)
9. Stephen Michelson (Founder & Director, Banksia)

Steve Michelson is a trailblazer in the field of strategic communications. His illustrious career spans the private and government sectors, politics, and the legal realm, lending him a diverse and profound understanding of the intricacies within these domains, especially within the sphere of strategic communications.

Michelson’s illustrious career has seen him play multifaceted roles – including being appointed as trusted advisor to Australian Member of Parliament, the Honourable Bill Shorten, during his tenure as Leader of the Opposition – providing invaluable insights on complex policy, political, and communications issues.

This experience, combined with his corporate advisory background and strategic communications acumen, has positioned Michelson as a trusted voice and a catalyst for transformative change. In founding Banksia, Michelson has now brought together a growing team of specialists with backgrounds across both sides of corporate affairs, journalism, crisis communications, political affairs, and creative services.

“We are buoyed by the opportunity to join the GO Group and are humbled by Chairman Peter de Krester’s interest in our specialised services,” said Steve Michelson, Founder and Director of Banksia. “Until now, our team has focused on driving strategic results for Australian businesses and organisations determined to deliver a positive social impact across key industries.

Peter De Kretser, Founder & CEO of GO Communications (left), with Stephen Michelson, Founder & Director of Banksia Strategic Partners, sharing the new Banksia Prospectus at the launch of The Journey to Net Zero Conference in Melbourne, Australia

Joining the GO Group connects us to a network of specialist agencies and opens the door to international partnerships for the benefit of the Group’s existing and prospective clients”.

The GO Group network boasts a roster of best-in-class agencies across diverse markets, including China, Japan, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and now, Australia.

The inclusion of Banksia into the group cements the network’s commitment to foster collaboration and cross-pollination of skillsets within the global communications industry, from public relations, crisis communications, and public affairs to total branding, even within the digital sector. This collaboration will therefore spur innovation and expertise exchange, elevating the capabilities of the GO Group network to new heights.

“The strategic collaboration between the GO Group and Banksia also capitalises on the dynamic and interconnected nature of today’s global landscape. Hot on the heels of the ASEAN-Australia Summit celebrating 50 years of partnership (held in Melbourne) together with Malaysian Prime Minister, YAB Dato’ Seri Anwar Bin Ibrahim, Australian Prime Minister, Hon Anthony Albanese and a host of other nation leaders, The GO Group has crossed the great divide to echo country leader sentiments on bridging the business gap between Asia and Australia,” said de Kretser.

With a specific focus on sectors such as property development and education, he added that this alliance lays a solid foundation for future ventures and sets the stage for continued exploration and growth. As the world evolves into a global tech village, the GO Group and Banksia stand at the forefront of facilitating meaningful connections and conversations, while driving mutually beneficial outcomes in an increasingly interconnected world.

The addition of Banksia heralds a pivotal moment for the GO Group as it sets its sights on expanding even further, particularly into Europe and North America. The network plans to appoint more partner and affiliated agencies in these continents to enhance its global presence and offer comprehensive PR solutions to clients worldwide.

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