ab communicates

AB Communicates website screenshotAnother site I designed and built was launched on to the web today.

This one is for AB Communicates, a Sydney-based consultancy that draws on the immense skills and experience of Andrew Buchanan.

Andrew has a very interesting history and a very interesting line of work. I first met him when he was (I think) Regional Radio Manager for the ABC at a time when my wife Hazel was a radio producer at Radio 2NC in Newcastle, when such stations were still known by their call sign rather than their wavelength.

He had progressed to this position from being a radio announcer, coming to the ABC after starting as a 17 year old in Mudgee, NSW.

Andrew continued to move on and upward in the ABC hierarchy, becoming General Manager Local Radio (in charge of 58 stations around the country with a budget of $40 million), then heading up the ABC’s International Development department, then taking charge of moving 1200 people into the new high tech Ultimo Centre in Sydney in 1991.

This senior management experience combined with his broadcasting experience made him a perfect spokesperson for the ABC, opening high profile events, representing the corporation at Senate Estimates Committee hearings, presenting papers at conferences and speaking annually at the National Press Club.

A country boy at heart, Andrew’s love of regional Australia manifested itself in his initiation of the Australian Rural Woman of the Year Award and The Royal Flying Doctor Service Appeal, while his personal experience of disability led him to start the Shine On Disability Awards and, more recently, to take on the role of Chair of the Disability Council of NSW, advising the NSW Government.

In 1995, Andrew was awarded the Public Service Medal in the Australia Day Honours List.

These days, he runs his consultancy, AB Communicates, which provides training in communications skills, media management, performance and presentation coaching and corporate management mentoring. He also still makes his mellifluous tones available for public speaking engagements and voice over jobs.

During the course of working on his website, I was privileged to watch him addressing a meeting of Interchange Respite Care in Wollongong. As an ex-actor myself it was fascinating watching him work the audience, engaging with them sincerely on matters of desperate importance to them, identifying with their family priorities, making them laugh at him and themselves, and pacing the whole thing so that it never flagged.

His voice is a marvellous tool, a real radio broadcaster’s voice: rich, warm, articulate even at low volume and pitched with an ABC crafted blend of English and Australian. “Educated Australian”, we used to call it when I studied speech and drama, which seems a bit patronising for these times.

Anyway, it was great to work on his site – which is about as close to a valid, semantic, properly structured and styled, accessible website as I’ve ever managed to get – and I sincerely hope it helps to bring him some business.