Icon co-founder and managing director Joanne Painter has been appointed to The PR Trust Board of Trustees of the global entity, The Future Communicators Foundation.
Painter’s appointment to the Board marks the first Australian PR industry leader to join the US-based global Foundation.
The Future Communicators Foundation (FCF) provides scholarships, learning opportunities, and outreach programs that foster communication skills around sustainability, climate science, and social justice, focusing on developing countries and underserved communities.
As part of Icon’s ongoing commitment to the FCF, the agency will sponsor two annual academic scholarships at $AUD 2500 each over four years. One scholarship will be offered to a First Nations Australian student, while the second will be open to post-graduate students in the communications and digital media fields. Full details will be announced later this year.
Painter said of her appointment: “I look forward to working with The PR Trust on its Future Communicators Foundation scholarships. I welcome the FCF’s focus on advancing diversity in the industry while focusing attention on important issues around sustainability, social justice, and climate. This fits perfectly with Icon’s purpose-driven ethos.
“I’ve spent many years sitting on university advisory boards, so I see first-hand the importance of strengthening links between industry and academia. Icon has a long history of partnering with academic institutions to foster the next generation of communications professionals.
“Our decision to join FCF’s Scholarship program is an extension of Icon’s social responsibility program and my own experience advising and mentoring students over the past decade.”
Richard Tsang, chairman of The Future Communicators Foundation Board of Trustees, said: “We are very pleased to add Joanne to our Board of Trustees, she provides a welcome addition to the Board, extending our outreach initiatives and scholarships to the Australian continent.”
Allard W. van Veen, founder of The PR Trust and Future Communicators Foundation, said: “I have known Joanne for a number of years and have always been impressed by the mentorship, leadership and support she provides to up-and-coming communications professionals.
“Joanne will add a valuable perspective from the Australasian region as we expand our global initiatives,” he said.
Painter concluded: “We firmly believe that every business, large or small, has a moral obligation to contribute to human progress and the protection of the planet. Whether it’s sponsoring gender equality research or donating time to university boards, we’re big believers in getting involved and giving back to our industry.”
With over 30 years of experience in communications, Painter is an award-winning industry leader serving on the National Board of the Public Relations Institute of Australia for 10 years. She specialises in behaviour change communications, purpose-led marketing and digital transformation and is keenly interested in mentoring young public relations professionals.
Top image: Joanne Painter