Ms Penny Burke

Penny Burke graduated from Monash University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) having completed her entire degree part time, whilst working in advertising full time. She worked in the field of advertising and marketing for over twenty five years in Australia, the US and the UK.

She was responsible for some of Australia’s most loved advertising, from ‘Not Happy Jan’ to Stainmaster Carpet (Meester Hart, what a mess!). She was a Director of Australia’s largest advertising agency for many years, and was recognised by her peers as a member of the all time best advertising agency ‘Dream Team’.

Seeking a better balance in life having produced two beautiful young men, in 2006 Penny founded Essence Communications, a research and communications consultancy. Essence now employs five people and consults to a large range of organisations including clients such as Specsavers, Holden, Ambulance Victoria, and Australian Red Cross. Essence also regularly consults to all three levels of government with a range of social marketing behaviour-change campaigns, including national security, border protection, the second airport in Sydney, farmer support, heavy vehicle reform and defence industries to name a few. It is probably fair to say that Essence has been wildly more successful than she ever intended it to be – but very happy to be riding that wave.

Penny is also an accomplished Board member and currently sits as a non executive Director of Kennards Hire and Karrikins, a school based training company.

Penny is also a ‘oncer’ – one of those annoying people who likes to do lots of things ONCE. She has run one marathon; bungy jumped once; jumped out of a plane at 10,000 feet once; sung the Hallelujah Chorus at Carols by Candlelight at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl once; and has written just the one book. And so far has been married just once.