Kate Heffernan

Business Development and Strategic Partnerships

Master of Business Communication (MBusCommun) Griffith University, Bachelor of Arts (DRAMA) Queensland University of Technology

Kate has broad experience leading state-wide and institution wide programs in engagement, fundraising and communications. She is known for her ability to deliver value to organisations through developing a strategy and then delivering on goals by bringing in new funding, government support and increased community engagement.  She has over 20 years’ experience leading teams within local and state government, higher education and the NFP sector.

Area of Specialty:

Experience as a General Manager, Director and Board Member overseeing communications, customer service, engagement and fundraising activity for Queensland wide and organisation wide.


  • Experience providing direct support to Premier, Minister, VC,CEO level staff for 10 years on media strategy as well as thoroughly researched policy analysis and recommendations


  • Experience with Queensland Government processes and relationship between ministerial staff and departments (parliament processes, estimates, correspondence, PBN, reports and briefs etc)


  • ​Guidance and advice on impacts of policy decisions in planned strategic complete report and also in crisis management mode when decisions must be made quickly


  • Premiers Department - Leadership of state wide engagement strategy/ 10 staff $13 Million budget


  • Leading teams with budgets up to $4 million annual for 10+ years


  • Experience delivering broad communications strategies (internal and external) across a range of channels and adapting strategy as media has evolved


  • Ability to navigate within organisations and deliver strategy and operational targets while considering future trends


  • Corporate sponsorship – ingoing and outgoing – strong marketing background to harness this funding


  • Crisis experience  – managed a range of media issues at Wesley Medical research, UQ and Premiers


Major Appointments:


  • General Manager, Engagement, Communications and Philanthropy, Wesley Medical Research


  • ​Engagement Director, Anzac Centenary (Anzac Centenary Campaign, Department of the Premier and Cabinet


  • ​Acting Deputy Director (Advancement), Institute for Molecular Bioscience University of Queensland


  • Senior Advancement Manager, University of Queensland 


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