Curriculum Vitae

Learn more about Mary-Anne and her achievements.


Mary Anne Waldren

[email protected]

Executive summary

Mary Anne Waldren has earned global respect for her skills in developing networks, fine-tuning leaders, creating and managing events, fast-tracking business and research entrepreneurs, helping to produce radio programs for millions of listeners and raising millions of dollars in sponsorship dollars. Mary Anne is a gifted communicator who has been recognised by the Ernest & Young and Telstra entrepreneur award programs. She has advised governments and business people in Korea, New Zealand, Austria and the United States on establishing science festivals. She holds a Master of Management (ANU), is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and has a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. Mary Anne became Rotary’s ACT and Southern NSW Communicator of the Year in 2012. She has judged business plans and pitches for start-up organisations and universities, was a member of the Federal Government’s Science and Technology Committee and other Federal and ACT agenda-setting bodies and has sat of numerous boards ranging from Questacon: the National Science and Technology Centre to the Electric Vehicle Council, Gallery of Australian Design to family businesses with a multi-million-dollar portfolio of property and motels and several private company boards.

Professional Experience

2020 - Current

MAW Action Ltd

Mary Anne is great at finding the talent within others and introducing them as an authority in the media with terrific outcomes.  One of her specialties is putting panels together for one hour radio and  Television Shows.  Whether it’s a National Press Club Address or a forum piece in a major newspaper, Mary Anne knows how to position ideas and people in campaigns to achieve maximum media coverage. Putting together innovative launches and strategically placing people in the media ensures that individuals and organisations stand out in their industry.  Whatever your interest Mary Anne can work with you to shine in the media spotlight.  Mary Anne has produced or worked on over 80 ABC RN programs since she pioneered a partnership with the ABC Radio National 28 years ago when she ran the Australian Science Festival and established National Science Week.  Celebrating 80 years of International broadcasting is a recent program she produced with ABC Radio National

Mary Anne is also a business and personal mentor. Working with Mary Anne you will have the opportunity to grow yourself, your business and your community.  Mary Anne works in both Australia and New Zealand.

Mary Anne runs a series of training programs and has advised international governments on how to develop events for the media.  Being well connected Mary Anne has  sat on and guided numerous government, private, not-for-profit and association boards. Mary Anne has a Master’s Degree in Management, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.


MAW Action Pty Ltd

Mary Anne Mentors and trains not-for-profits, associations, public relations and small businesses in Strategic Event Management, Success and Leadership.  Runs a Master Series of workshops and develops and coproduces radio programs for ABC Radio National for government, associations and not-for-profits.

  • Developing one hour radio programs for conferences that are broadcast nationally with ABC Radio National 
  • Developing and delivering Master Certificate in Strategic Event Management, The Master of Success and The Master Certificate in Business Intuition online national training programs for small business owners, project managers, marketing, communication and event professionals.
  • Providing national professional and personal mentoring online to businesses and individuals 
  • Mentoring, facilitating and delivering strategic programs in change management that influence agendas within their organsiation and in their community.
  • Volunteering St John's Opportunity Shop

 1993-2011: Chief Executive, ASF Limited

Mary-Anne took over the Australian Science Festival after its first troubled year, restructured and grew the festival into one of the world’s largest and most successful celebrations of science. She kick-started National Science Week and around Australia two years later and created ICAN, Canberra’s innovation festival five years after that.

Some of Mary-Anne’s pioneering achievements include:

  • Providing a career springboard for 63 professional Australian science communicators who have been  deployed around the world to key positions, and launching the speaking/media careers of people 
  • Working with ABC Radio National and sponsors to produce more than 80 outside broadcasts themed to science, which were broadcast to many millions of listeners 
  • Bringing Good News Week, at the height of its popularity, to the Canberra stage five years running, theming the hit show to science and delivering it to hundreds of thousands of viewers, underwriting the risk, generating sponsorship and ticket sales, and cost-recovering the entire exercise. Doing the same for Australia’s longest-running radio program, How Green Is My Cactus?
  • Bringing to Canberra and touring around Australia luminaries ranging from the late author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams, Sir David Bellamy, IVF pioneer Lord Robert Winston and three NASA astronauts to vacuum cleaner baron James Dyson, the man who coined the term “lateral thinking” Edward DeBono and scores of others
  • Consistently generating more than a million dollars in media coverage and more than 80 per cent awareness for each Australian Science Festival 
  • Raising over $1 million a year for science communication



1979                       Secretarial Diploma

1992                       Enterprise Workshop participant; voted most likely to become CEO of an Australian Company

1993                       GAIDC (Australian Institute of Company Directors)

2007                       MMgt (Australian National University)

2015                       Certificate IV Trainer (TAE 40110) Plenty Training

2016                       Certificate in Mentoring (Insight Aust Pty Ltd)



1999                       ACT Telstra Businesswoman of the Year, AusIndustry Private Sector Award

1999                       Canberra-region Tourism Award

1999                       Financial Review Sponsorship Award Finalist

2000                       Honorary Ambassador for the ACT

2000                       Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Community Business Partnerships ACT Large Business Category

2000                       Canberra Business Council’s Business Success Series Award

2001                       National CommunityLink Awards Certificate of Commendation

2001                       Australian Marketing Awards, ACT winner in the shopping centre category for Science in the City

2002                       Ernest & Young Eastern Region Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist, Eastern Region

2002                       National CommunityLink Volunteer Awards, Highly Commended

2011                       TEDx Canberra talk – Superheros and Self-Belief

2012                       ACT & Southern NSW Communicator of the Year 2012


PAST board memberships

Federal Minister’s Science and Technology Committee, National Science Week Management Committee, Questacon: the National Science and Technology Centre, Richardson O’Rourke (ICT company), the Electric Vehicle Council, Canberra Business Council Economic Development Committee, ACT Government Innovation Taskforce, Gallery of Australian Design, Waldren family businesses, including motels and commercial property development and real estate.



Judge of business plans for the Universities entrepreneurship courses, business plans and pitches


Advising international bodies

Advised Austrian equivalent of National Science Week on festival establishment, the Korean government on setting up the biannual APEC Youth Science Festival, the New Zealand International Science Festival, organised Australia’s delegations and exhibitions to the Second APEC Youth Science Festival, to visiting delegations from China, Japan, Singapore and Korea. Advised international Associations on strategy, sponsorship and events.