Maria Issaris first became engaged in community media and radio after moving to rural NSW in 2001 with her family. This move followed a corporate career specialising in human resources and diversity with Qantas, the Nine Network and the NSW Public Service.
In the Northern Rivers of NSW she founded and managed a not-for-profit community newspaper which grew to a print run of 12,000, employing admin and journalist staff, and engaging over 200 community volunteers. She collaborated with the local community radio station to deliver news and general interest programs. On returning to Sydney she joined the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia (CBAA) as their Membership Manager, working closely with the Community Media Training Organisation (CMTO), and progressed to be CEO of the Royal Australian Historical Society until 2013 when she joined RPH Australia.
Maria carried out a three-year contract with the RPH Australia Board as its Strategic Consultant, carrying out communications, grant application and business management projects. She represented RPH Australia when liaising with key stakeholders and partners such as the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF), Australian Communications Media Authority (ACMA) and CBAA, and for two years sat on the Community Broadcasting Roundtable, which formulated plans and strategies regarding issues facing the entire sector.