Kos Samaras – Director Strategy and Campaigns
Kos has over 25 years of experience in advertising and politics. From 2005 to 2019, Kosmos served as Labor’s Victorian Deputy Campaign Director. During his 14 year experience in this role, he developed and implemented campaign strategies for Labor’s Victorian state and federal election campaigns. This includes four Victorian state elections, four federal elections and countless by-elections. He was one of the longest serving and most experienced campaign strategists in the Australian Labor Party history.
Kos specialises in combining research, analysis and marketing to maximise influence within the broader community, whilst utilising the best persuasion tools applicable to any given project and campaign.
25 years of political experience has also enabled him to develop an extensive knowledge on how governments and political parties function and what drives them. With that knowledge, he can provide you with a realistic but targeted approach on how to best engage with all levels of government.
Kos is also an Advisory Board member for the John Curtin Research Centre.
Simon Welsh – Director Research and Policy
Simon brings expertise in research and policy analysis. He has worked in market and social research for nearly 20 years, building on his background in cognitive psychology. During this time, he has developed extensive relationships within government at the federal, state, and local levels.
Simon’s specialty is the collection of intelligence on complex and sensitive issues to inform strategy and policy development. He helps clients by gathering information that may otherwise be unattainable to them, drawing insight from that information, and then working with them on the strategy and/or policy response to that insight.
Notably, Simon delivered the qualitative research program that supported the Daniel Andrews Labor election victory in 2018.
For over a decade, before establishing RedBridge, Simon led a research-based strategy consultancy providing strategy, marketing and organisational change services to clients across the private and public sectors. Simon worked closely with senior executive teams and Boards to deliver strategic planning programs, market/policy analysis, and organisational reviews.
Tony Barry – Senior Consultant
Tony Barry has 25 years of government, media and corporate affairs experience at the highest levels in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
He has worked with and for Prime Ministers, Premiers, Federal and State Opposition Leaders as well as several Top 20 ASX companies.
Tony has extensive government experience working in policy areas including regulatory affairs, financial services, superannuation, transport and health. As a trusted corporate consultant Tony has provided risk management advice to banks, superannuation funds, health care providers, telecommunications and mining companies, and professional sports organisations.
Tony started his career in 1997 working as a media advisor for Christopher Pyne.
In 2003, Tony accepted a position as the Deputy State Director of the Liberal Party (Victoria Division) where he was responsible for the marginal seats campaign in Victoria for John Howard’s 2004 federal election win. Following the 2004 election, Tony joined Sir Lynton Crosby and Mark Textor as a polling consultant where he worked with Prime Minister John Key’s campaign team in New Zealand and on over 30 federal, state election and by-election campaigns in Australia.
Tony joined the staff of Malcolm Turnbull in 2008 as his Senior Press Secretary before spending four years at an international corporate. As a Manager of Government Relations, Tony led large teams to achieve public policy outcomes by building values-based narratives as well as crisis and risk management.
In 2014 Tony returned to politics to work as the Director of Communications for the Opposition Leader where he designed and executed complex communications plans.
His career includes work on over 50 political and corporate campaigns including qualitative and quantitative polling to move numbers in the court of public opinion through the identification, persuasion and mobilization of target audiences.
He has provided media training and strategic advice for a number of senior executives from ASX listed companies and senior federal and state MPs and Ministers. An experienced media performer, Tony has been a regular commentator on SKY News, 2GB, ABC and MTR. He has also worked on five election telecasts and broadcasts including Channel 9 with Laurie Oakes and Ray Martin and the ABC with Kerry O’Brien.
In an environment where business and political leaders face increased competition, intense public scrutiny and an accelerated news cycle, Tony understands the importance of brand reputation and building coalitions with key stakeholders.
Simon Adams – Associate Consultant
With over 14 years’ experience in political campaigning, Simon Adams provides comprehensive strategic, digital, communications and logistical expertise to ensure that your engagement is targeted and delivered to your audience with the best possible results.
Simon has worked on every by-election and election campaign for Victorian Labor since Kevin ’07, including 3 State Elections, 4 Federal elections and a substantial number of by-elections and local government contests.
As a political campaigner for Victorian Labor, Simon has utilised a wide range of persuasion, research and communication techniques to develop and implement policy advocacies pitched at a diverse range of communities. Successfully campaigning for (and sometimes against) government policy has given Simon unique insight in how best to engage with all levels of government, to ensure your message is heard by the people who need to hear it.
Filip Despotoski – Associate Consultant
Filip has facilitated some of the most impressive political and influence campaigns in Australia, including securing the largest electoral swings in NSW political history. During his time as Director of the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party, Filip helped steward the rise of the minor party across Australia. Notably, Filip managed electoral campaigns which resulted in the unseating of decades long incumbent party MPs. He was the youngest political Director in the country at the time.
Filip’s specialises in harnessing the needs, ideas and goals to build political legitimacy and organisational preparedness. He guides clients through the complex world of public opinion and political banality through simple but effective campaigning and narrative building, that achieves the desired results.
Filip has worked with and in competition with all levels of Government, public and private institutions. He can successfully navigate through the interpersonal and inner workings of the political process. With a keen eye for detail and sharp political sense, Filip understands ideas and causes are best advanced through a careful, methodical and politically aware campaign.