Our History

  • 1980s

    • 1980

    • 1981

    • 1982

    • 1983

    • 1984

    • 1985

    • 1986

    • 1987

    • 1988

      The company's story begins. Respected communication specialist John Walker establishes a public relations consultancy to undertake work in the business, industry, trade and primary industries sectors. Early work includes major projects for Austrade, AQIS and peak bodies and associations including the Chamber of Manufactures.

    • 1989

      John's early work to help grow Canberra's public relations industry includes helping to establish the Public Relations Institute of Australia and forming the Registered Consultancies Group, which he leads as chairman in its early years. These organisations are now recognised nationally as the peak professional bodies for the industry.

  • 1990s

    • 1990

      Danielle Morris joins the business and Morris Walker is born. The company's first major projects are won in the health sector, beginning with World AIDS Day in 1990.

    • 1991

      Morris Walker designs and implements the world's first HIV/AIDS information campaign for travellers, TRAVEL SAFE®. This campaign, which used a range of innovative media and communication tools to highlight the risks of contracting HIV overseas, was created after extensive consultation and collaboration with the Australian travel and tourism industry, including Qantas, AFTA, the Australian Tourism Industry Association and the Australian Tourism Advisory Council. The project was later expanded to encompass Australian business travellers through cooperative marketing initiatives with Austrade, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Australian Tourism Export Council.

    • 1992

      Morris Walker commissions renowned Australian Indigenous artist Brownyn Bancroft to produce Prevention of AIDS part of a trilogy of paintings designed to raise awareness of the pandemic amongst Indigenous Australian communities.

    • 1993

      To help kids explore health and friendship in the context of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, we develop a multi-media package that is distributed to all primary schools as part of Australia's National HIV/AIDS Strategy. We secure the support and help of key stakeholders including the Australia Education Union, the Catholic Education Commission and Independent Schools Council of Australia to ensure the campaign's important messages are delivered appropriately, sensitively and effectively.

    • 1994

      The importance of exports to the Australian economy is under the spotlight thanks to a series of projects we undertake on behalf of Austrade. This includes a comprehensive program of exporter education initiatives to help small and medium-sized companies understand how to market, sell and manage overseas business opportunities. Building community awareness of the value of exports to the Australian economy is also a priority including within schools which we help to communicate through a series of training and education packages that we develop.

    • 1995

      Planning begins on the prestigious Australian Export Awards, a project run by Austrade and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and which Morris Walker worked on for seven years.

    • 1996

      John Walker travels to South America and Russia on behalf of the Australian Government to report on boom opportunities for our exporters in the mining, technology and financial services sectors. While there, he posts a series of reports highlighting the regions strong economic growth and revealing the export opportunities being created for and by Australian businesses.

    • 1997

      Responding to the threat of climate change is a key Australia Government priority, and Morris Walker is at the coalface helping business and industry meet the challenge. As well as researching and preparing a series of energy management manuals specific to high emitting sectors, we're helping to deliver education workshops nationally, develop the Greenhouse Challenge initiative for small businesses, and establishing and delivering the Australian Greenhouse Awards program.

    • 1998

      Work begins to conceptualise, stage and manage the Australian Engineering Excellence Awards the major recognition program for nationally significant engineering projects. Over the 10 years we managed this program, major projects including the Eastern Distributor in Sydney, Federation Square in Melbourne and South Australia's Olympic Dam Mine all received recognition as nation building initiatives.

    • 1999

      Danielle Morris is elected President of the PRIA (ACT). In preparation for Australia's centenary of federation, we also began the search for the nations centenarians.

  • 2000s

    • 2000

      Morris Walker commences business communications for the Howard Government's landmark Tax Reform initiatives and the introduction of the GST. Our work to explain the changes and new reporting requirements to small business is described by The Australian as a high watermark in business communications. This year, we also managed media associated with the Sydney 2000 Olympics Torch Relay in the ACT as well as Canberra's Olympic Village.

    • 2001

      Morris Walker is appointed to manage media promotion for the largest floral festival in the Southern Hemisphere, Floriade. In 2010, our public relations program achieved nearly $3.6 million in advertising equivalent coverage across national, metro and regional media outlets for the month long event, and helped boost attendance numbers by more than 30 per cent. The event delivered a record economic return to the ACT, record levels of interstate visitation and the events highest attendance figure since the introduction of turnstiles in 1999 to aid attendance counts.

    • 2002

      Our team moves into our current premises, a converted warehouse and art gallery at 285 Canberra Avenue. At the same time, we're designing the route, selecting runners and rolling out logistics for the Queen's Jubilee Commonwealth Games Baton Relay in the ACT, including three major events, a welcome with the Prime Minister, lunchtime community event in the city and a farewell function at Government House.

    • 2003

      We're in our third year of managing local, national and international media publicity for the Rally of Canberra and Asia-Pacific Rally Championship. As well as building awareness and anticipation in the lead-up to each event, our role encompasses accreditation of media representatives who fly in from all over the world, as well media centre management and in-field media arrangements during the event. This year, we're taking live audio grabs from drivers at stop points, uploading these to the event website and emailing them to broadcast outlets for news bulletins.

    • 2004

      The Australian Engineering Excellence Awards are now well regarded and highly respected. This year we're charged by the Australian Greenhouse Office to develop and establish a new program to recognise the contribution of industry in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We begin small and position the initiative as a category of the Excellence Awards, but within two years it has grown so popular we launch the Greenhouse Challenge Awards as an annual stand-alone event with about 10 award categories and 500 guests at a gala event in the Great Hall of Parliament House.

    • 2005

      Next year is the Centenary of Trade marks and IP Australia wants a national competition to find the nations favourite amongst icons including Arnotts, Victa, Blundstone, Vegemite and Qantas. We've enlisted Ken Done, Carla Zampatti, Siimon Reynolds and George Gregan to help and have collected more than 600,000 online votes from across Australia. The winner - Weet-Bix - is being announced at a major media event at Martin Place in Sydney with celebrity chefs including Manu Feildel and Darren Simpson, live crosses to TODAY and Sunrise, and speeches from the Minister and Sanitarium's CEO.

    • 2006

      We've just farewelled the last international media crews and left the finish line of the 2006 Rally of Canberra and Asia Pacific Rally Championship. Now we're travelling to Melbourne to manage Australian Government issues associated with the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games. From security to anti-doping, opening and closing ceremonies to the Queen's Baton Relay, we're providing intensive issues analysis and advice to the Minister and senior officials across all areas of the Australian Government over the duration of this major event.

    • 2007

      There's fallout from the Palmer and Comrie Reports into how an Australian citizen and a permanent resident were both wrongfully detained - and one wrongfully deported - and the Department of Immigration and Citizenship is responding. To help demonstrate how client service issues are being redressed, Morris Walker is designing, building and erecting a major expo, and arranging and staging a simultaneous stakeholder symposium event, in the Great Hall of Parliament House. This highly scrutinised and politicised initiative includes a Ministerial media launch, as well as workshops for external stakeholders and 2,000 staff nationally.

    • 2008

      As the Australian Olympic team prepares to depart for China, the Morris Walker team readies itself to manage any issues that may arise from Australia's involvement in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. As well as daily media and issues analysis throughout the event, we're on stand by to provide high-level advice to the Minister and Australian Sports Commission's senior executives whenever required.

    • 2009

      In November our team is picked from a national line up of competitors to conceptualise, stage and manage the Prime Minister's National Apology to the Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants. Morris Walker designed and implemented all aspects of this highly complex event, which was conducted in the Great Hall of Parliament House and also featured a barbecue lunch for about 1,500 on the lawns of Federation Mall.

  • 2010s

    • 2010

      As the global financial crisis takes hold, Morris Walker starts work to promote the Australian Government's $42 billion Nation Building Economic Stimulus Plan. Members of our team move on-site to the Department of Infrastructure and Transport for 12 months to manage national communications and to develop and implement strategies promoting new initiatives including the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program and the Boom Gates for Rail Crossings Program. Our work also included the rollout of new branding for the Nation Building Program, which is currently used for all land transport projects in the nation.

    • 2011

      Communicating to 42,000 staff nationally across six agencies is no easy feat, but we're tasked with helping Australia's largest government entity - the Human Services portfolio - communicate Service Delivery Reform. This major initiative will see the portfolio's agencies brought together into a single, integrated department, and bring about significant changes in how services for the Australian community are designed, delivered and evaluated.

    • 2012

      Morris Walker launches a full-scale national publicity roll-out in February to promote the Enlighten festival and highlight the 52 separate events on its program, as well as the dozens of accompanying community activities. The outcome is so successful, we're appointed again for 2013.

      Our work in the defence sector continues and we start managing arrangements for the Defence Industry Study Course. This initiative involves dozens of delegates travelling across Australia and our role is to ensure that every logistical detail from flights to finances, hire cars to hotels is spot on.

    • 2013

      Morris Walker is retained to conceptualise and stage the National Apology for Forced Adoptions on 21 March, a major event that identified and acknowledged the experiences of those affected by forced adoption practices. As well as managing logistics for about 2,000 attendees - including catering, venue management and staging - our team works closely with senior government and opposition officials to coordinate the involvement of the Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, Attorney-General and Speaker of the House of Representatives.

    • 2014

      How do you promote greater awareness and acceptance of work health and safety practices amongst employers and employees across Australia? That's Safe Work Australia's task. The challenge for Morris Walker was to evaluate and determine the effectiveness of agency's communication activities, and to develop a plan to improve these.

      We're also working with Goulburn Mulwaree Council to help increase population growth in the region as part of the "Right now in Goulburn" advertising campaign. Media generated over our six-month campaign had an editorial value of just under $500,000.

    • 2015

      In April, we're called into Treasury to help respond to and manage a number of internal communication challenges. From the agency's enterprise bargaining agreement to its proposed shared services arrangements, graduate recruitment to international secondments, Morris Walker is tasked with researching and developing a coordinated approach to Treasury's communication challenges and helping to guide its strategic responses.

      Later this year, we design and deliver an open day for the ANU's Research School of Economics to help steer Australia's future economists down their preferred career path. Crazy actors posing as stockbrokers, analysts and financiers are on site to help new students choose one of 10 bright yellow doors we've installed across the campus and to open these to follow a fun virtual representation of their future career path led by ANU experts.

    • 2016

      Autumn, winter, spring and summer, we're working for Canberra's premier fashion destination to help promote the latest trends in beauty and fashion from Australia and the world. From women's seasonal collections to mens styling, art installations to international Champagne houses, the work is tough and includes rubbing shoulders with fashion legends and luminaries.

      By August, we're ready to deliver the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan as part of the 100 Years of Anzac commemorations. This includes managing arrangements for the Governor-General and Prime Minister at a ceremonial reception at Parliament House, maneuvering tanks on Anzac parade for the commemoration service, and transporting over 100 veterans and guests on a charter flight from Canberra to Brisbane for a second ceremonial event on the same day - all within a 24 hour period.

    • 2017

      In July we start work on the Minister for Human Services’ Website Readability Reforms––an ambitious project to re-write the entire Human Services website within just a few short months. Our team of specialist writers and editors works around the clock to review and re-purpose content, and to ensure it meets international comprehension and minimum readability measures.

      The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has appointed us to manage editorial requirements for the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper: the first comprehensive review of Australia's international engagement for 14 years. As well as our work to edit content for this important document, we’re also charged with editing, reviewing and finalising content for companion documents to demonstrate Australia’s foreign policy in action.

      This year we also start work with the Embassy of Japan in Australia, managing strategic communication, media, events and diplomacy activities across the arts, business, culture and special events areas. As well as promoting the embassy’s activities nationally, we’re also drafting speeches for the ambassador and senior staff, preparing technical presentations, and advising officials on initiatives to grow the embassy’s profile in Australia.

    • 2018

      In February, we plan and deliver a high profile celebration in the Great Hall of Parliament House for UNSW Canberra’s 50th birthday. The anniversary marked the signing of the 1967 agreement between UNSW and Defence to provide tertiary education to military cadets. “Our students in 1968 were studying against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, an era of field telephones and paper maps,” said UNSW President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Jacobs. “Today they must be across areas as diverse as cyber security, space, systems engineering, logistics and public sector management and conflict studies.”

      Our work with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs steps up a notch to keep pace with the Centenary of Anzac roll-out. This year we’re planning three commemorations––two on Anzac Parade in Canberra and one in Ballarat, Victoria––and managing the detailed logistics involved in delivering these special events.

    • 2019

      Our work to write and edit annual report content covers clients right across Australia, including state and territory government agencies, high profile businesses and not-for-profit entities.

      By the end of this year, our team had developed, edited and delivered content for 12 annual reports, covering both Australian and ACT government and commercial entities. Added to this was a major body of work for the Australian Government on international trade and diplomacy, which provided market insights for more than 80 export destinations.

      Battle of Binh Ba

      The 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Binh Ba completed Morris Walker’s extensive work with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to deliver Anzac Centenary commemorative activities across Australia. This included significant work with the Australian Broadcasting Commission to deliver live national telecasts for many of the events to ensure Australian audiences could experience these special commemorations.

      Emerging Disruptive Technology Assessment Symposium

      In 2019 we worked with the Defence Science and Technology Group and CSIRO to deliver a high security event on next generation technologies. Based in Perth at Woodside HQ, the event brought together some of the best brains in Australia and the world to discuss and debate future technologies.

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