Neil Lawrence's children accept posthumous ADMA Hall of Fame award

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 31 October 2016
Tom & Anna Lawrence

Following his death in a tragic diving accident in the Maldives last year, well-known adman Neil Lawrence's children have accepted an award and started a new campaign to continue their father’s legacy.

At the 35th annual ADMA awards at Star Casino, Lawrence, whose high-profile work includes the widely respected Feels Like Home campaign for Qantas, was awarded the exclusive Hall of Fame award. The accolade is given to a person who has not only given outstanding service to the industry over a number of years, but who also has demonstrated inspiring leadership and stewardship in how the industry has evolved.

Lawrence died suddenly in July last year in a diving accident in the Maldives while on holiday with his son Tom. As a result the award was given posthumously to his children, Tom and Anna Lawrence, who accepted the honour on the night.

“Dad worked on a lot of brands throughout his career but it was his later work that he was proudest of and that we remember him for such as Kevin 07, Jay Weatherill, Anna Bligh, Recognise and finally his campaigning and documentary on the pokies,” his son said.

Just months before he died, Lawrence completed a documentary on the poker machine industry, ‘KaChing! Pokie Nation’, an expose which reveals the predatory nature of the industry and how the pokies are specifically designed for addiction.

Both Tom and Anna have now found their own way to continue the conversation their father started and bring this issue to a new demographic. Just last Sunday the pair launched their campaign, Proudly Pokies Free, which aims to reduce the harm the pokies have on Australian communities and celebrates and promotes pokies-free venues in Sydney which do not rely on the unethical revenue. More than 500 people attended the launch of the refreshed venture.

Proudly Pokies Free wants to challenge the acceptance of the proliferation of these machines in our pubs and clubs. The campaign will see a series of screenings of ‘KaChing! Pokie Nation!’ in a number of pokies-free venues, with the first one kicking off at The Unicorn in Paddington on Monday 7 November at 6.30pm. Visit for more information.

Following Lawrence's death last year tributes flooded in overnight for the talented and extremely popular adman. Leading the tributes, Alan Joyce group CEO for Qantas, said Lawrence was one of the best storytellers this country has ever produced.

“He had an incredible understanding of human nature and the Australian mindset, and he was able to express it in a way that no one else could. His passing is a tragic loss for his family and a deep, deep sadness for everyone who ever had the pleasure of knowing him,” Joyce said.

See here for: Qantas CEO leads tributes to adman Neil Lawrence.

Some of Lawrence's work included:

Qantas: Feels like home

Let’s keep building South Australia


Recognise, a brand and campaign created for the peoples movement to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution.

Keep Queensland strong


Generation One - a movement to bring all Australians together, to end the disparity between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians in one generation.

Kevin '07 - The 2007 Federal Election Campaign


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