Bespoke Approach

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Bespoke Approach is an Australian corporate advisory firm and registered political lobbyist. It has provided services to major international resources, energy, technology, transportation, food and beverage companies. The firm has offices in Adelaide, South Australia and Melbourne, Victoria.

Political lobbying[edit]

Alexander Downer
Alexander Downer
John Olsen
John Olsen

The firm was established in 2008 by England-born lobbyist Ian Smith in partnership with former Federal politicians Alexander Downer, Nick Bolkus, and Andrew Butcher, a former spokesperson for Rupert Murdoch. Smith had identified that Downer and Bolkus each possessed experience and qualities that he regarded "highly saleable and highly beneficial to companies."

Bespoke Approach has lobbied on behalf of major corporations in Australia including Woodside Energy, Petrochina, Huawei Technologies, Xstrata and Fosters. The company is allied with the Albright Stonebridge Group in the USA, which provides them with additional contacts overseas. Successful lobbying efforts by Bespoke Approach have resulted in Xstrata benefiting from the Gillard government's reduced mining tax and receiving environmental approval for its Wandoan coal project, while PetroChina received government approval for a $3.5 billion joint takeover of Australia's biggest coal seam gas developer, Arrow Energy.[1] Other clients have included Devine Homes, Genworth Financial, Genesee & Wyoming Australia and CSR.[2]

Smith has been described as the driving force behind the company. He has said of effective political lobbying:

"Working with the public service – not even the most senior ranks of the public service – can secure a really successful outcome... effective lobbying should happen away from the glare of politics."[1]

Former South Australian premier John Olsen works as a Special Advisor to Bespoke Approach,[3] and former South Australian Treasurer, Kevin Foley has also worked with the firm following his retirement from parliament in 2011.[4]

As of November 2015, Bespoke Approach is a registered lobbying organisation federally, and in states of Western Australia,[5] South Australia,[6] Victoria,[7] New South Wales,[8] Queensland[9] and Tasmania.[10]

Bespoke Territory[edit]

Bespoke Approach is also directly associated with Bespoke Territory, a firm represented by Ian Smith, Hon Paul Henderson and Mike Burgess AM. Its members have previously worked on major projects in Australia's north including the Ichthys LNG project, Darwin Correctional Precinct, Darwin Marine Supply Base and various indigenous housing and infrastructure programs.[11] As of November 2015 their client list includes aquaculture company, Seafarms Group Ltd.[12][13]

Cancer research and treatment clients[edit]

Bespoke Approach’s commercial client list includes some of the preeminent conventional cancer research and treatment facilities in Australia, specifically: the Australian Association of Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI), the membership of which includes (inter alia) the Garvan Institute of Medical Research/Kinghorn Cancer Centre, the Children's, Olivia-Newton John, and Peter MacCallum cancer research institutes; and GenesisCare, which claims to be Australia’s largest provider of radiological oncotology services for the treatment of cancer.

In April 2015, Bespoke Approach provided pro bono services for disgraced social media entrepreneur and cancer fraud Belle Gibson.[14][15] Bespoke Approach later dumped Gibson as a client.[16]


As of 11 November 2015, Bespoke Approach's clients include:

Past clients include (but are not limited to):[18][19]


  1. ^ a b Knott, Matthew (2011-11-20). "Lobbyists No. 10 - Ian Smith". The Power Index. Crikey. Archived from the original on 2015-04-14. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  2. ^ Emmerson, Russell (2011-04-01). "Bespoke on track with new clients". The Advertiser. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  3. ^ "About Us". Bespoke Approach. Archived from the original on 2015-04-13. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  4. ^ "Hon Kevin Foley". Foley Advisory. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  5. ^ a b c "Register of Lobbyists - View Lobbyist Profile". Retrieved 2015-11-11.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "South Australian Lobbyist Registration - Bespoke Approach" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-11-11.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Commission, Victorian Public Sector. "Lobbyists Register - View Lobbyist Profile". Retrieved 2015-11-11.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "Who is on the Register?". Retrieved 2015-11-11.
  9. ^ a b c d e Cabinet, c=AU; o=The State of Queensland; ou=Department of the Premier and Cabinet; ou=Department of the Premier and. "Untitled Page". Retrieved 2015-11-11.
  10. ^ a b "Register of Lobbyists : Bespoke Approach Pty Ltd as trustee for Bespoke Business". Archived from the original on 2015-09-19. Retrieved 2015-11-11.
  11. ^ "Bespoke Territory". Bespoke Approach. Retrieved 2015-04-14.
  12. ^ "The Trustee for Bespoke Territory Unit Trust". Australian Government Register of Lobbyists. Australian Government - Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
  13. ^ "Register of Lobbyists - View Lobbyist Profile". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-11-11.
  14. ^ Sullivan, Rebecca. "Belle Gibson: 'No, None of it is true'". News Limited. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  15. ^ Mary Elizabeth Williams. "Cancer charlatan Belle Gibson will perform her ritualized public apology interview on "60 Minutes"". Salon.
  16. ^ Richard D. Pace. "Cancer Faker Belle Gibson Dumped By Her PR Firm - News". Everything-PR: Public Relations, Marketing and Social Media News.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Cabinet, corporateName=Department of the Prime Minister and. "About the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet". Retrieved 2015-11-11.
  18. ^ "The Trustee for Bespoke Business Trust". Lobbyist Register. Australian Government - Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet. 2015-04-07. Retrieved 2015-04-15.
  19. ^ a b "South Australian Lobbyist Registration - The Trustee for Bespoke Business Trust" (PDF). Department of the Premier & Cabinet. Government of South Australia. 2015-02-04. Retrieved 2015-04-28.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "Deakin Speaking | Spying on Timor-Leste". Retrieved 2015-11-28.