John WELLS, chairman

For 21 years John was a founding partner and senior consultant in one of Australia’s leading public relations companies, Jackson Wells.

Prior to that John’s career embraced journalism at the most senior levels in Australia and overseas. He has extensive experience in media management in both television and radio, has provided policy advice to Federal political leaders and offers public affairs consulting.

John began as a cadet journalist in 1970 on the Narrandera Argus newspaper in south-west New South Wales. In 1974 he worked for the European Movement on the campaign which resulted in Britain joining the European Economic Community, later working a brief stint on London’s major afternoon newspaper, The Evening News, as a casual sub-editor, before travelling through Europe, Asia and the Middle-East.

Returning to Australia in 1976, John joined News Limited as a senior journalist with the Daily Mirror, later becoming the newspaper’s chief crime reporter and chief-of-staff.

He was posted back to London and assigned to the News Limited bureau as a group correspondent covering the United Kingdom, Europe and Africa. After two years, he returned to Australia and joined Channel Nine as chief-of-staff, subsequently transferring to Radio 2UE as director of news and current affairs.

In 1987, Opposition Leader John Howard recruited John to his personal staff as press secretary and political adviser. John later performed the same role with Howard’s replacement, Andrew Peacock, retired Australian ambassador to the United States.

Following the 1990 Federal election, John briefly joined a multinational public relations group before establishing his own practice where he worked in close association with Keith Jackson. In early 1992, the two established Jackson Wells to manage a growing list of Australian and overseas clients.

In 2012, John joined with former Jackson Wells colleagues to establish Wells Haslem.