"My primary career objective has been to promote a culture of love, life and truth by utilising new technologies to give a voice and visibility in a strategically efficient way..." - Catherine to young pilgrims, Vatican City, 2004

Catherine is the Managing Director of both Catalyst Commedia (Strategic PR/ Marketing consultancy for the Catholic/ Not for Profit Sector) and Virtual Shout (UX Optimised, lead generating web and mobile sites) which are due to be consolidated as a complete IMC Agency in the latter part of 2012 toward a full incorporated launch in 2013.

She also travels the world sharing her expertise in using multimedia and the web to amplify the voices of non-profit organisations with a special focus on advocacy and Church/ Faith aligned issues and groups.

Her work in media consultancy, production and campaign management for organizations the world over has consistently succeeded in capturing the imagination of the mainstream global community with a series of innovative and pragmatic methodologies.

Catherine’s clients have been particularly satisfied with her strategic use of new digital medias such as web 2.0 podcasting and social media/ viral marketing combined with the more classic approaches of organizing media launches and press packs.

Catherine has a Bachelor of Media and Communications from Macquarie University where she also majored in Women’s Studies and Psychology. She has done further post-graduate studies in Bioethics, Theology and Communications during her nearly eight years based as a media correspondent in Rome, Italy … Consequently Catherine is a fluent Italian linguist.

Speaking of languages, as a self-professed ‘nerd,’ Catherine loves to talk (and work directly with) coding – CMS’s, CSS, UX, SEO, CRO, Java, HTML5 – and general digital “geek speak” as she calls it. “It’s necessary that I’m as across all the latest in programming languages so as to better serve my team and clients throughout each project.”

She has managed the development of hundreds of ineractive websites/ online portals over the last 7 years to coincide with strategic awareness building, legislative changes, brand development and fundraising/ commerce for clients.

Catherine’s approach is 100% collaborative – not competitive – and her value proposition is that of having the capacity to align her interests intimately with those she is servicing so successes are shared by all.

“Yet, I owe our success to excellence in the skills of my staff and their abilities to follow best practice business processes while remaining innovative and creative,” she notes.

Her latest “Data Loves” include: Her Canon 7D; Adobe CS6; the WPMU plugin; and ActivCollab.

 

THE VATICAN YEARS … IN BRIEF

Originally travelling to Roma, Italia to work on a month-long project at the Vatican Youth Centre, Catherine quickly began a contract as an Executive Producer at Pater TV creating documentaries and AV campaigns about humanitarian crises for various news agencies – both secular and religious.

Her work was noticed here and she began a contract as a radio broadcaster and producer with Vatican Radio doing news and features as well as live commentaries from the Vatican (e.g. from Canonisations to Christmas streamed on EWTN et al.) and on Apostolic Journeys with the Holy Father. She acted as a specialist reporter and fixer for TVNZ, TV3, SBS and Channel 10 Australia during the Papal death, Conclave and Election.

During these year, she also continued her passion for web-based outreach via the development of a series of popular podcasts with a special focus on social justice and faith, giving a voice literally to forgotten wars and issues no-one dared to cover, which were rebroadcast on BBC and other international news channels.

She wrote articles for the Catholic News Agency, ZENIT as well as working on the set up and creation of H2Onews – an online video and cross media channel for the Church.  She was a keynote speaker at various international media conferences particularly on ‘Branding the Faith in a Web 3.0 World” but also as a delegate to various UN Commissions such as the one on Women held in New York City, where she presented discussion notes around ‘Pro Life Feminism.’

*Some Archived Material can be Read/ Viewed/ Heard Here*

Catherine was encouraged to return to Australia to manage the H2O CrossMedia coverage of the WYD2008 and various international journalists.  It was in this time she began her own company to apply her knowledge to her own national community, beginning with projects for Womens Forum Australia and Church Resources.

“The best thing about Rome is having the chance to meet all the incredible people who pass through the city and hear their stories,” she insists.

And as I read for him, Pope John Paul II seemed to gaze deep within the core of my being and read me in turn — with Pope John Paul II.

“And as I read for him, Pope John Paul II seemed to gaze deep within the core of my being and read me in turn” — Catherine Smibert Toomey

 

PERFORMANCE & ENTERTAINMENT

What some people are not aware of is Cath’s artistic flair – whether on stage singing or speaking, she’s at home. She loves to paint and create beauty for people to be inspired as well.

She created a singing trio – The Eastside Belles – a group which reflects her interest in the vintage eras.

She also assists in the management of her sister’s musical work as Alexis and The Missing Pieces, booking events and managing media.

While in Roma, Catherine also spent time in music ministry.  She worked with the Emmanuel School of Mission on singing and choir development with the students. She also worked with Fr Markus Wittal on the creation of the original musical – Mary, A Story of Hope.  She played Mary Magdalene and a sample of Catherine Toomey singing a song from the show – ‘Nevermore’ – live in Paray les Monial, France that she co-composed for the musical can be heard HERE.

Her most recent show was “Oliver” with the Queensland Musical Theatre Society where she played the role of ‘Nancy.’

More performance notes HERE

 

VOLUNTEERING & OTHER PASSIONS

Her volunteer/ pro bono work includes coordinating youth performing arts troupes for local government, UN youth leadership lecturing, crisis pregnancy counselling and fundraising events management for good causes including human trafficking.

Catherine has won a series of awards for her social justice outreach to the community over the last 20 years, including the St Aiden’s Citizenship Award and the Young Citizen of the Year award from the Australia Day Council.

Catherine’s passionate about many things and protecting our planet is one of them. That’s why she’s a co-founder of the social networking site, SuperGreenMe for which she’s helped produce a 70 part series on the Great Barrier Reef called ‘The Reef Reality.’

As you can imagine, travel, food and wine is also a passion but it has to be off the beaten track and it must be shared … hence the launch this year of the video blog site with Hubby, David Toomey – “Peddling Passion.”

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“Any organization seeking to beat all odds in the publicity game could benefit from her experience in strategic and creative communications, cross-medium marketing, public relations, and project management as well as her extensive international and Australian-based network of contacts.” – Laura Carr, JPII College, Brisbane, Queensland