Biography

Andrew Heslop is a broadcaster and award-winning keynote speaker recognised for founding Australia's annual celebration of community, Neighbour Day, in 2003. 

He commenced his media career as a journalist and content maker with John Fairfax Limited at its Macquarie Network news/talk station 5DN 972 in 1985. Andrew initially began working on Saturday afternoon and then during school holidays. He was aged 15.

 

In 1990 he joined the Australian Broadcasting Corporation but was headhunted to Austereo Limited before he pivoted his media career first into the not-for-profit sector with Australian Red Cross followed by British Red Cross. Then for over two decades Andrew worked across corporate, government and political sectors with senior roles at TransdevTSL (inaugural operator of the Yarra Trams franchise), the Rail Corporation NSW (RailCorp) and the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet as a senior adviser.

 

In Melbourne he served as Chair of the annual Winter Blanket Appeal for three years and as a co-opted Board Member of the Victorian Relief Committee. In 2005, in the appeal’s 71st year, Andrew achieved a record 10,000 new donated blankets.

 

In 2005 he was a Board Member of the GLBTIQ+ midsumma Festival in Melbourne and in 2009 Andrew delivered the keynote address at Fair Day in Victoria Park, the opening event for the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival.

 

At the invitation of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2008 Andrew spoke at UN headquarters in New York about founding, developing and leading Neighbour Day.

 

After directing and personally funding Neighbour Day for its first ten years Andrew gifted the national event in perpetuity to Relationships Australia. The organisation assumed responsibility for it in 2014. He is now an Ambassador for the day along with ABC horticulturalist Costa Georgiades, First Nations journalist Natalie Ahmat and social researcher Hugh Mackay AO, among others.

 

An Australia Day Ambassador since 2011 Andrew has given the keynote address and participated in Citizenship Ceremonies at community events including Darwin, Bungendore, Cobar, Condobolin, Howlong, Lake Cargelligo, Tullibigeal, Wentworth and the Yass Valley.

 

With an ability to craft content for diverse audiences he achieved the rare distinction of producing market-leading commercial AM news/talk radio (5DN, Macquarie; 3AW, Southern Cross) and FM music/lifestyle (B105, Austereo).

 

As a marketing communications consultant Andrew was responsible for the highest consumer engagement response to the Australian Government’s national Personally Controlled eHealth Record system (now known as My Health Record and part of the myGov suite of online resources). The contract for the ACT and southern NSW from 2011 was to achieve 12 000 registered participants. At conclusion in September 2013 more than 40 000 people had signed on. The integrated campaign ‘Your eHealth Record grows with you’ was conceived and executed by him.

 

In addition, Andrew has developed a number of fundraising and awareness campaigns for Australian Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

 

For the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 1992 he developed the ABC News campaign ‘For whenever there’s a need to know’.

 

In 2019 Andrew returned to broadcasting with the ABC. Primarily working with ABC Emergency his role communicated critical information from the lead emergency agency in each state and territory to communities under threat. During the 2019/20 bushfire season he was part of the Walkley Award winning team responsible for bringing listeners to ABC Regional and Local stations in metropolitan and regional Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia the latest information 24/7.