Under the Hood with ReGen's Anthony Fisk

Anthony Fisk

When Anthony Fisk identified an opportunity to better deliver messages to disadvantaged groups, he seized the opportunity.

At the time, Anthony was working for the Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW, who had identified that people from poorer neighbourhoods were having their power disconnected because many didn’t have the support they needed to negotiate payment arrangements.

This prompted him to step into action and he pitched the idea of a grassroots community engagement program with charitable agencies, which once implemented, made a difference.

This moment is what started it all for Anthony’s communications career and today he leads ReGen Strategic’s operations as Managing Director.

Anthony grew up in Sydney and has always had an interest in musicals. And, just like the characters in his favourite musical Les Misérables, Anthony has overcome many challenges.

As he reflects on his journey today, he believes his struggles have made him a well-rounded business owner.

“To be able to lead, you have to understand what can be lost,” he says.

“I don't think you can be a good leader and I don't think you can be a good father without having faced challenges and difficulties.”

Anthony describes himself as someone who has always been eager to experience new things and it is this attribute that led him to commence his university studies in cultural anthropology.

“I was dating somebody from a very different culture from my own, from an Asian culture, and it was interesting to me to try and understand how those differences came about,” he explains.

While he didn’t initially start in communications, Anthony’s interest in the area quickly revealed itself after the age of 30, in his role at the Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW.

He then went on to enhance his career and took on communication roles at the Australian Egg Corporation and Carnival Australia, while pursuing graduate qualifications in the field.

It was at Carnival that he experienced one of his most memorable career moments, when a P&O Cruise ship carrying Swine flu-positive passengers was left to wait off the coast of Brisbane. He was flown out to the coast to try to deal with the media frenzy that unfolded.

“It was an interesting exploration of how the media can be excited, but also how important it is to have strong government that can also work alongside the private sector to ensure people are protected and messaging is aligned,” he reflects.

Following this position, Anthony moved to Perth to become the Head of Communications at internet service provider iiNet. Although he acknowledges making the move from Sydney was a tough choice, he believes it was the right decision to be closer to his now-husband Joseph. 

“Perth was so different back then, the shops closed at 5pm, the restaurants closed at 8:30pm, and I thought everything was expensive. It was boom time, and I found it difficult to adjust,” he admits.

“But I made the move to be with Joseph and I haven’t looked back. In my opinion, Perth is the best place to bring up a family. It’s changed so much and I’m very proud of the place I live.”

Following his years at iiNet, Anthony took on other communications roles at Western Power and Citadel-Magnus before he became a co-owner of what was then CGM Communications in 2017, alongside founder and executive chair Daniel Smith. 

Anthony says the key to their success is being transparent and not shying away from the difficult conversations. 

“Being a co-owner means you have to be extremely close to your business partner, you have to understand their strengths and weaknesses and they have to understand yours,” he says.

“There’s a level of honesty that probably goes beyond even your closest family relationships, you just can’t keep any secrets from one another.

“You also have to constantly plan for the future and I’m someone who lives a little bit in the moment, so it’s something that’s challenged me.”

While most of Anthony’s career was spent at big corporations, he describes the move to being a small-business owner as something that presents its own struggles.

“Having a business is extremely challenging, it’s something you think of day and night, it takes up many of your waking hours – and sometimes your dreams,” he says.

“But you can mould it and you can change it, and it’s really empowering. At the same time, sometimes the impact you have on your people and your clients can be quite formidable; there is certainly pressure on you as a business owner to perform.”

When the opportunity came up to rebrand CGM Communications into ReGen Strategic, Anthony was excited by the prospect of mastering a new skill while making a difference in the world.

“You want to wake up in the morning and think, wow you've actually done something positive,” he says.

“I think with my career in communications, many days I do something positive to improve the way companies, government and stakeholders communicate with their audiences. But, I wanted to be in a position where I could do even more and see whether or not I could make a difference in the future for my kids.”

Looking ahead to ReGen’s future, Anthony plans to continue challenging himself and believes ReGen provides the perfect backdrop for him to advance his skills.

“I’d like to learn with the business and grow the business and not be stuck doing the same thing day after day,” he says.

“I’m one of those people that needs to believe that tomorrow will be different.” 


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