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The Business

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Astute Advocacy enables businesses, Not-For-Profits and peak organisations succeed with government.


You are in business, in industry associations, peak consumer advocates, non-government organisations  - whose endeavours and operating environment are impacted by government policy, regulation, blind-spots or blunders. You are those working in and around government keen for professional development. In short, you have problems that need fixing - where government federally may be both the problem and the solution – and you want help.


I believe with astute advice on who/what/when/how, you are the most authentic spokesperson for your cause. The message will be conveyed best by you, as you are at the coal face with real-life experience of the issue and people it impacts. I can make it easy for you to burst the ‘Canberra bubble’. I am well-placed to advise on strategy and approach, and coach you on effective delivery – while at your side.


More than ever, those who bolster their capacity and plan beyond now will be better placed to succeed into the future. There are many options available and steps to be taken before exhausting ‘direct action’ as last resort (tempting though it may be). I’m here to help.


Donna Edman, as Astute Advocacy, is offering deep experience in government relations, corporate public affairs and crisis management for stakeholders to advance with Government.

About Me

Donna has over twenty-five years’ experience in corporate public affairs, policy and crisis management – delivering rapid diagnosis, triage, creative problem solving and relentless execution for outcomes.
She provides campaign development, strategic government relations plans, stakeholder mapping, briefs and position statements, policy and corporate affairs guidance, end-to-end stakeholder engagement, Association management & secretariat support, and a weekly political Bulletin that bursts the ‘Canberra bubble’. Donna offers Executive coaching on how to pitch for effect outcomes - she knows that with the right advice (who/what/when/how), businesses and patient organisations are authentic and best placed to advocate for their interests. 


Prior to establishing Astute Advocacy, Donna was the Senior Consultant to The Strategic Counsel (2013 – 2019). She provided a range of consulting services that improved business value for leaders in Health including: AbbVie, Abbott Diabetes Care, Actelion, Air Liquide, Aspen Medical, API, Blackmores, BTG, Complementary Medicines Australia (CMA), CSL and its subsidiaries CSL Behring and BioCSL/Seqirus, Glaukos, Hearing Care Industry Association (HCIA), Janssen-Cilag, MedAdvisor, Medicinal Cannabis Industry Association (MCIA), the National Pharmaceutical Services Association (NPSA), Private Healthcare Australia (PHA), and Servier Australia. In addition, from December 2017 - June 2019 she also formally performed the roles of COO and Company Secretary for both the NPSA and the HCIA.

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Donna Edman

CEO, Astute Advocacy

From 2008-2013 Donna led public affairs for Medicines Australia where she developed and implemented strategies and campaigns that measurably improved the public reputation and protected the commercial interests of the Australian medicines industry. She led a team with a remit for corporate communication, industry brand development, government relations, media, patient group & sectoral stakeholder engagement, and event management. Prior, Donna headed the parliamentary liaison office and government engagement for the CSIRO, federal government relations for Ansett Australia, was a Director in the department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet (PM&C) delivering the first national community education campaigns on domestic violence and work-family policy, and supporting the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation. She has worked within a Cabinet Minister’s office. Donna established the first Women’s Sport Promotion Unit at the Australian Sports Commission and was seconded to SOCOG to contribute to delivery of the Sydney Olympic Games. 

Donna holds a BSocSc (Hons) from UNSW, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a long-time member of the National Press Club of Australia. Astute Advocacy is Donna’s business and is listed on the Federal Register of Lobbyists.


"Donna has been exceptional to deal with.  Not only has Donna quickly grasped the essence of the services our members provide, she has worked closely with us to maximise our impact with all sides of politics.  She has provided sage advice in our preparations and presentations, whilst ensuring that we, as her clients, are always at the front of every discussion. At every point Donna has added immense value to our advocacy efforts. First Voice has been working with Donna Edman from Astute Advocacy since late 2019.  As an entity focused on support those helping the development of speech and language with children with hearing loss, First Voice has needed to engage with various parts of the federal Australian parliament to ensure the system Australian maximises outcomes for children and their families.”

 Mark Fitzpatrick
Chair, First Voice

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