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Welcome to the latest edition of Wells Haslem’s regular magazine, The Shell. It’s hard to believe this is our fifth edition, marking more than two-and-a half-years since we established the business in July 2012.

As you will see from our cover story, we have exciting news, with the forging of a partnership with our Melbourne affiliates, Robert Masters + Associates and Inter Capital Group. Our three company partners write about this exciting evolution in our business on page 3. Our relationship with the companies’ founders, Rob Masters and John Kananghinis, dates back to our days at Jackson Wells. We are also excited to welcome another member to our Wells Haslem team here in Sydney, Geoffrey MacDermott. Geoffery joins us from Charles Sturt University where he just completed his communications degree.

Regular readers of The Shell would be familiar with Rob Masters’ article on then newly-appointed Victoria Premier, Denis Napthine, in the magazine’s third edition. 12 months on and Dr Napthine has been relegated to political history, the victim of a rapidly emerging trend in Australian politics: the one-term government.

Shortly after the Victoria Coalition government was swept from office, Queensland’s LNP Government led by Campbell Newman suffered the single-biggest swing against a first-term Queensland state government in history, leading to the ALP forming minority government.

If opinion polls are any guide, the Tony Abbott-led Federal Government is in serious danger of being a one-term wonder. Gone, it seems, are the days of voters giving a new government a second term. Nick Wright from Luntz Global provides some reasons why in his insightful piece on page 6.
The lesson for any organisation or business dealing with governments is the importance of forging long-term relationships with both sides of politics. You just don’t know how soon the shadow minister will be occupying a spot on the treasury benches.

Not only are voters eager to boot out politicians who fail to deliver on promises, it seems from Julie Sibraa’s article on pre-polling on page 8, that they are keen to do so at the earliest opportunity.
While Australian voters are chomping at the bit to exercise their democratic rights, the United States is gearing up for the 2016 Presidential race. With Barack Obama finishing his second term, irrespective of which party wins the swipe card to the Oval Office, there will be a new President inaugurated on the steps of the Capitol on 20 January 2017. On page 11, Isabelle Walker casts her eye across the GOP and Democrat hopefuls seeking their party’s nomination for presidential candidate, including New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie; Former Florida Governor (and brother of ‘Dubya’), Jeb Bush; a woman who needs no introduction, Hillary Rodham Clinton; and Vice President, Joe Biden. 

It has been another terrific six months for Wells Haslem but one tinged with great sadness. 
In early February our good friend and former work colleague, Kate Breeze, passed away. ‘Breezey’ worked with John Wells and me at Jackson Wells in the first half of last decade before moving on to a variety of PR roles including at the Sydney Opera House; the successful London 2012 Olympic Games bid; APEC 2007; and Surf Life Saving Australia. To quote Wellsy: “She was a terrific girl”. The huge turnout at Kate’s funeral in Sydney on 16 February was testament to her ability to win people’s hearts and forge long-term friendships across the globe. She will be missed terribly.