Public consultation and corporate education have become imperatives of governments and private enterprise, driven by consumer concerns about the environment, social issues, accountability and transparency. In the armoury of public consultation there are many mechanisms but, without doubt, the most useful still is the videotape documentary although the new leading edge technologies are likely to be DVD (Digital Versatile Disk) based. Newton's research, write and produce broadcast quality documentaries. Some highlights:

  • Newton's was engaged by the Gold Coast City Council on the Surfers Paradise Streetscape Strategy which involved public display, audio visual theatre, community consultation and newsletter production.
  • Over many years, the company has had considerable success with communication strategies and public education campaigns for the Gold Coast City, Albert Shire, Beaudesert Shire and Redland Shire Councils on complex issues such as Strategic and Town Planning, waste management and environmental controls. All involved audio visual components or video.
  • Newton's provided advice on planning communication for the Gold Coast City Council which commissioned a videotape documentary on its town planning philosophies. The video was acknowledged as a contributing factor in the award of a certificate of Merit from the Royal Australian Planning Institute.
  • Newton's wrote and produced a documentary for Neumann Contractors of Currumbin on their innovative treatment of acid soils on the Chinderah by-pass project in New South Wales. Their technologies, explained by the video documentary, won for the company the 1997 Case Earth Award, acknowledging them as the most environmentally conscious contracting company in Australia.
  • Working alongside Burchill Partners (now Burchill VDM), Newton’s produced a major documentary on the role of government, private sector developers, infrastructure providers and the public, on a new Central District Redevelopment Master Plan for the old city of Johor Bahru, capital of the state of Johor, Malaysia. The documentary was produced in five editions reflecting the planning progress and was used extensively to brief government, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the local council. Ultimately it was a crucial element of a one month public consultation initiative.
  • In its role as multimedia consultants for the Institute Sultan Iskandar, Newton’s has produced a series of successful documentaries on social, economic and environmental reform, commissioned by the Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman (Chief Minister of Johor).
  • Ken Newton was invited to present a paper at the 1998 SEACEUM in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, sponsored by the Institute Sultan Iskandar and the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany on the subject of marketing imperatives and multi media technology.
  • Ken Newton appeared on a panel at the 1998 national Public Relations Institute of Australia convention dealing with public relations in Asia. His paper, Communication and the Art of Patience in the Malaysian Culture was published in the Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal (Vol 1, No. 1 Summer 1999 University of Canberra).
  • Among the many consultations arranged through the Institute Sultan Iskandar, Newton's, in collaboration with Paul Noonan (All in One Media) have contributed significant strategies dealing with environmental education and public relations management in Johor, and these were presented personally to the Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman (Chief Minister of Johor).
  • Newton's produced a major documentary called Discovery, for Malaysia’s biggest technical campus, the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and it was first presented at the national launch in Johor to Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The video documentary showcased Malaysia’s first gold medals at the Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions. The objective was to stimulate private sector investment in university discoveries and encourage commercial partnerships.
  • In 2000, Newton's produced a nostalgic review of the soul of Surfers Paradise in its documentary "You Must Remember This", originally produced for the official opening of the Chevron Renaissance in central Surfers by the Raptis Group. The documentary was hailed as the first of its kind to capture the spirit of Surfers and why it became an international tourism icon. Jim Raptis, present at the first viewing, remarked "That's the best documentary I've ever seen."
  • In 2001, Ken Newton was invited to expand his corporate affairs role with the international automotive non-profit association VASA (Vehicle Airconditioning Specialists of Australasia) and became its CEO. Through to 2007, he steered VASA and a kindred association, the Australian Association of Automotive Electricians, through the minefield of the new federal legislation dealing with gas emissions into the atmosphere.

I write scripts to serve as skeletons awaiting the flesh and sinew of images

Ingmar Bergman - Swedish Film Director

Despite the corporate rush to embrace information technologies such as video, CD Rom, the internet and now DVD, the fact remains that the content of communications is still the most under-rated element, often subdued by the technology itself.


Website developers are generally providing only a fragment of the service required by corporations, which accept their output as being state of the art web marketing. The result is a proliferation of websites which may be big on design and digital wizardry, but small on content. The content must drive any communication.


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