Who We Are

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Penny Burke, the Director of Essence, began the Essence consultancy in 2006 after many years experience with a wide range of marketing and communications projects, in a range of sectors from traditional packaged goods and retail to services and social marketing.

 

From the very beginning, her passion for strategic communication, straight forward advice and specific measurable outcomes was evident. And today, this is still a passion that every member of the Essence team shares and seeks to uphold.

Over a number of years Essence has been lucky enough to work with a range of outstanding clients with genuinely fascinating projects, often complex and sensitive stakeholders, and frequently urgent deadlines(!)

As a boutique consultancy, we pride ourselves on our nimble and innovative services, our senior personnel who are used to working at the highest level, and our level of organisational responsiveness and attention to detail.

We also share a strong and enduring philosophy that family is important. We don’t just ‘talk’ about being family friendly – we live and breathe it every day. Everyone at Essence is encouraged to try and find that elusive work life balance – to live the joy of family life whilst simultaneously working on challenging and fascinating projects, delivering beyond the call of duty.

 

 

We do strive to ‘have it all’ – and we very often succeed. 

Our Key People

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PENNY BURKE

Director

Penny is one of a kind… once you meet her, you won’t forget her! She has worked in the field of marketing and advertising for her entire career spanning Melbourne, Sydney, and London. Prior to establishing Essence, she spent 12 years at Clemenger BBDO as Strategy Planning Director, overseeing strategic developments for major communications projects. Read more

Penny is one of a kind… once you meet her, you won’t forget her!
She has worked in the field of marketing and advertising for her entire career spanning Melbourne, Sydney, and London. Prior to establishing Essence, she spent 12 years at Clemenger BBDO as Strategy Planning Director, overseeing strategic developments for major communications projects.

Penny holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing), and has lectured and tutored at a range of Melbourne universities including RMIT, Monash and Swinburne.  She also sits on the board of Kennards Hire, a privately owned tool hire company, and Hocking Stuart. Penny is a full member of the Australian Social and Market Research Society (AMSRS), is a Qualified Practising Market Researcher (QPMR), a member of the Australian Marketing Institute and the Institute of Board Directors.

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ALISON FRENCH

General Manager

Alison has over 20 years’ experience in communications strategy development and implementation, stakeholder engagement and market and social research. Working in and with government over this time has given Alison an acute understanding of the machinations of the government environment and invaluable experience working with government stakeholders. Prior to joining Essence, Alison led a team… Read more

Alison has over 20 years’ experience in communications strategy development and implementation, stakeholder engagement and market and social research. Working in and with government over this time has given Alison an acute understanding of the machinations of the government environment and invaluable experience working with government stakeholders.
Prior to joining Essence, Alison led a team of 20 at the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services designing and implementing high profile and issues rich social and behavioural change campaigns relevant to the health and community services sector. She also held the role of Director Communications and Community Engagement at one of Australia’s leading private school’s Peninsula Grammar.

Alison owns a Bachelor of Communications, is a member of the Australian Market and Social Research Society and sits on the Mornington Peninsula Regional Tourism Board.

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BENITA TAN

Business Director

Benita is a true research nerd, always eager to crunch your numbers, survey the world or run you a stimulating focus group. She has a long career in market research that started in East Asia running global brand and advertising research before moving to Australia to take on challenging social issues through large scale national… Read more

Benita is a true research nerd, always eager to crunch your numbers, survey the world or run you a stimulating focus group.
She has a long career in market research that started in East Asia running global brand and advertising research before moving to Australia to take on challenging social issues through large scale national projects. With over 15 years’ experience in quantitative and qualitative methods in multinational and boutique agencies, she is passionate about the melding of methodologies to deliver solutions across a diverse range of challenges in health, sport, social unity, customer engagement, education and employment and much more.
Benita holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Commerce, is a full member of the AMSRS and an Associate Diploma in Teaching (Speech and Drama).

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JACKIE TUčEK

Project Manager

Jackie is our super organised and bubbly project manager. She is also a finance whiz and makes sure all our projects are delivered on time and to budget. Jackie has considerable experience and expertise in managing government and private projects. She is also an experienced event coordinator and prior to joining Essence organised a range… Read more

Jackie is our super organised and bubbly project manager. She is also a finance whiz and makes sure all our projects are delivered on time and to budget. Jackie has considerable experience and expertise in managing government and private projects. She is also an experienced event coordinator and prior to joining Essence organised a range of national events. She has coordinated a number of national research and consultation programs for Essence and has particular expertise in recruitment, scheduling, transcribing and reporting on project progress.

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MEREDITH DELANEY

Events Manager

Meredith is our expert event and logistics manager. She has an attention to detail that ensures every event, research project and consultation runs smoothly. Meredith also manages the administration and logistics of stakeholder engagement opportunities. Read more

Meredith is our expert event and logistics manager. She has an attention to detail that ensures every event, research project and consultation runs smoothly. Meredith also manages the administration and logistics of stakeholder engagement opportunities.

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