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Publishing guru named SCU Outstanding Alumnus of the Year


Zoe Satherley
10 August 2009
Dynamic Sydney businesswoman Lisa Messenger has been named Southern Cross University’s Outstanding Alumnus of the Year.

Lisa, who graduated with a Bachelor of Business in Tourism Management in 1999, is the managing director of the Messenger Group, a collaboration of a number of creative companies specialising in innovative publishing solutions.

“I thank Southern Cross University for equipping me with the business and research skills that were the foundation of my career path,” Lisa said. “The degree gave me a taste of many diverse career possibilities and the opportunity to move in many different career directions.

“I started out in event management – never once imagining that I would become a successful author and publisher.

“I have received many business and professional awards since graduating from Southern Cross University, but this award is the most special because it acknowledges where I came from and reflects a time in life when I was just starting out … way before becoming a successful business woman.”

Lisa has worked globally in conference and event management, PR, sponsorship, marketing and publishing and has authored or co-authored 12 books – with three more on-the-go to be released directly onto the US market next year.

Passionate about her charity work, Lisa has strongly supported organisations like Kids Help Line, Opportunity International, ROAR, Day of Inspiration and Tour de Cure.

In 2008 her company did a pro bono book for Charity Hands Across the Water, supporting children who were victims of the Asian tsunami.

Part of the profits from her first best-selling book, Happiness Is, went to support the Kids Help Line. This high quality coffee-table picture book pioneered Lisa’s concept of covering production costs through pre-sales to individuals and corporate sponsors, and involved 65 photographers, 300 individual Australians and a number of corporate sponsors.

In 2006, Lisa chaired the International Women’s Day Celebrations across three cities and in 2007, she spent International Women’s Day in Chennai in India for Opportunity International, having just trekked across the Western Ghats, the mountain range that runs along the western coast of India, helping to raise $60,000 for the women of the Chennai Trust Banks.

Lisa said her company’s business mission was to ‘make the dreams of our clients come alive and to inspire readers with beautiful books that have a commitment to integrity of content with the highest production values’.

Something of a maverick in the world of book publishing, her unique publishing model, based on pre-sales and using funding and distribution partners, has drawn international interest with negotiations underway to license the model globally. In just three years since establishing this arm of her company, Lisa has published 79 books and has become renowned as one of the world’s leading alternative publishing experts.

“We have recently formulated some key strategic partnerships and joint ventures in the US and I'll be off to New York for the second time this year in September where six of my titles are currently being released over the next few months,” Lisa said.

“I would like to think we have created a unique culture at Messenger Publishing,” Lisa said. “Our team cares deeply about the books they produce, the authors who write them and the individuals and companies that buy them.”

Lisa herself writes extensively for a number of magazines and sponsors an annual NSW Writers Centre award for best marketing plan. She is author of the popular Learn to Surf Series – a concept that she is now franchising to overseas markets.

“My passion is to challenge individuals and corporations to change the way they think, take them out of their comfort zone and prove there is more than one way to do anything. I encourage entrepreneurial spirit, creativity and innovation.” she said.

Photo: Lisa Messenger, who has been named SCU Outstanding Alumnus of the Year.