Directors Steve Michelson and James FitzpatrickWritten by Steve Michelson & James Fitzpatrick 

The new year marks a significant milestone for Michelson Alexander.  

After careful consideration and planning, we are thrilled to announce that we are undergoing a comprehensive rebrand in 2024. Over the past several months, led by Head of Creative Jack Angliss, our team has been diligently working on a new identity that reflects the evolution of our company, commitment to quality service delivery and passion for results driven social impact.  

As of this week, “Michelson Alexander” has become “Banksia Strategic Partners”.

Banksia Strategic Partners new brand identity

The name Banksia comes from the well-known Australian plant that is associated with resilience and adaptability with the banksia seed pods opening during or soon after fire to release new growth. Just like the plant, we thrive when supporting clients through complex and high-pressure situations, often at the intersection of policy, politics and public affairs.  

The Banksia genus is also reliable and diverse, with a wide range of species that can grow in harsh and varied environments. This versatility and flexibility reflect our diverse professional backgrounds and our ability to adapt to the range of challenges our clients face in their respective industries.  

Rebranding the firm is not just a change in name, logo and colours. It represents a renewed commitment to partnering with you to achieve the highest level of service, innovation, and excellence in strategy, communications and stakeholder engagement.

Importantly, our rebrand also acknowledges: 

  • A transition away from a personal identity to a whole-of-team identity; 
  • Our diverse clients and ambition to make a positive impact in new markets; 
  • A dedication to growth, innovation and continuous improvement; and 
  • Our expanding range of strategic communications services including an expanded creative service offering.

The Banksia name is also a nod to our Australian roots and work ethic without being obnoxiously patriotic. This is important as we announce our partnership with global communications network, the GO Group. 

Go Group network

The GO Group is Asia’s leading independent communications consultancy network committed to collaboration within the global communications industry. Chaired by Peter de Kretser, the GO Group boasts a roster of best-in-class strategic communications agencies across diverse markets, including China, Japan, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and now, Australia. Banksia’s invitation to join the GO Group provides our clients with access to expertise in a range of emerging markets and presents exciting professional development opportunities for our staff. 

Further information about our brand transition can be found at our new website ( and we welcome any questions or feedback you may have.


The team at Banksia Strategic Partners have not only used the summer break to prepare for the firm’s new identity but also to analyse the big issues that we will face in the year ahead.  

With that in mind, the following is a shortlist themes that we a think will define 2024.

Watercooler weather chat will be on the rise

We love weather chat as much as the next person, but 2024 could be a year defined by its remarkable weather.

Globally, 2023 was the hottest year on record, and this year is predicted to be hotter still. The current Australian summer has already been peppered by heatwaves, violent storms, and unseasonal rainfall. The symptoms of climate change are indisputable, and frankly, sometimes frightening – but the situation isn’t without hope.  

Recent studies from the International Energy Agency, suggests that global greenhouse gas emissions may have peaked in 2023, and with continued progression of the clean energy transition, emissions may begin to fall in 2024 and beyond. The study is cause of optimism, but not complacency.  

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that global emissions must be halved from 2023 levels by 2030 to keep the 1.5°C goal (a threshold crucial for stabilising the Earth’s climate) within reach. The task is daunting and difficult, but also possible with increased commitment to clean energy practices.

Ross River Solar Farm

The Ross River Solar Farm developed by OX2 in Queensland

The purse strings will remain tight

If there is one topic that is at the forefront of everyone’s minds domestically, it’s Australia’s cost of living crisis.  

Everyone is feeling the pinch currently, including state and federal government budgets which are under increasing pressure. In the coming year, as decision makers grapple with how best to offer financial relief to those who need it most, they will also be calculating how to minimise the hit on bottom lines. 

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas ahead of the 2023-24 Victorian State Budget
(AAP Image/James Ross)

Due to the pressures facing all levels of government, the next rounds of budget commitments are likely to be restrained especially in states and territories with ballooning budget blowouts, such as Victoria.  

Budget season mockupWith submissions now closed for the 2024–25 Budget, now is the time to start planning your organisation’s budget requests for the 2025-26 financial year. It is never too early to engage and socialise budget requests with departments and ministerial offices, especially if you can highlight how your proposal aligns with community needs and the government’s priorities. 

If you would like further information on budget submissions, please see our how-to guide, or contact us for a conversation about how we can assist in preparing your next proposal.

The world is going to the polls

2024 has been dubbed by Vox Media, as the biggest election year in global history, with half the world’s population heading to the ballot box within the calendar year.

14th Prime Minister of India – Narendra Damodardas Modi

While the top billing for media coverage will be the US presidential election, the national elections occurring in South Asia will arguably have the biggest impact on Australia’s national and strategic interests. The largest of which will be India’s multi-day legislative elections, where the Modi government will face significant challenges to maintain its current vast majority.  

Australia’s interests in South Asian countries differ considerably between contexts, but there is an overarching desire for political and economic stability in the region.  

India is obviously a lynchpin partner for Australia is it tries to decouple its economy from China, but “middle power” countries such as Bangladesh are playing an increasingly large role in this as well.  


Furthermore, Australia’s growing diasporas from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal (to name but a pertinent few) will mean that domestic issues in South Asia increasingly permeate into the day-to-day of Australian political life.  

If the thought of approximately 4 billion people from 60 countries heading to booths leaves you with feelings of democratic FOMO, fear not! Australia’s next federal election is due in the second half of 2025, and the byelection of outer-Melbourne electorate, Dunkley, on Saturday 2 March.  

We will have more to say about both of those campaigns in future newsletters.

The best Olympics ever, or the last?

Just like the athletes participating, Victorians experienced the highs and lows of elite sporting events in 2023. We enjoyed the euphoria of a successful FIFA Women’s World Cup and marvelled at the groundswell of support for the Matildas.  

Paris OlympicsWe also experienced the confusion and complexity that hosting a major sporting event presents with the short-lived Victorian bid for a Regional Commonwealth Games.

So, while we believe that major sporting events still offer many upsides for host locations, this year’s Paris Olympics will act as a litmus test.  

All the issues we’ve explored above – climate change, cost of living increases and international political relations – will be on full display during the lead up to the two-week global event. No longer is sport something that people escape the world from, it is now a lens by which to view it.  

Justifiably, many millions of eyes will be on the athletic pursuits and the medal tally of Paris 2024 – but just as many will be focused on all the events happening away from the fields and stadiums, and in turn what it might forecast to us about the viability soft-power global events in the future.

Banksia Strategic Partners is looking forward to the year ahead and we hope to have the opportunity to showcase our enhanced brand identity and service portfolio with you. Please reach out to Banksia Strategic Partners here if you or your company would like to talk about the year to come. 

Banksia Strategic Partners 2024 group shot