Young Guns: Dentsu Aegis Network innovation manager Tish Tambakau

By AdNews | 9 August 2018
Tish Tambakau

Our Young Guns profile takes a weekly look at some of the young talent across the advertising, ad tech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles, people and companies across the buzzing industry.

Today we speak to Dentsu Aegis Network innovation manager Tish Tambakau.

Time in current role/time at the company:

Two years (five with the company).

How long have you been in the industry?

Eight years.

How did you get here? Was this always the plan?

The irony of my career was entering advertising as an aspiring designer and landing a job in a hybrid role of account/project management. In hindsight, what that pivot has taught me was a deeper understanding of business, which allowed me to established my first entrepreneurial venture at 19, launching Fashion Market ‘Mister Mode’, which was part of the L’Oréal Melbourne Fashion Festival cultural program 2013. Shortly after, I also started my own experiential food brand ‘Cook In’ and was featured in a cookbook by Chin Chin’s head chef.

After being a part of leading digital agency Isobar for three years, I was offered the opportunity to pioneer our parent company, Dentsu Aegis Network’s, Innovation Council, a first-of-its-kind role that ensures innovation remains front of mind for over 1,900 staff across ANZ. While this was never the plan, my goal was to always learn as much as possible to enable myself to do whatever I wanted in the future. When this came along, it was the opportunity I was waiting for. To be celebrated for my diverse skill-set and work on my passion of bringing great ideas to life is probably the biggest success story of my career to date.

Who's your right hand person/who guides you day to day?

I have a few people that I can tap to for different things.The Innovation Council members are all incredibly smart people in their own right. But I do need to give a special call-out to Erik Hallander and Konrad Spilva as without their guidance and helping hand, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

What’s the best thing about the industry you work in?

Ideas and smart people. Put those together and you have a few game-changers helping shape the world for future generations to come.

And the biggest challenge?

Closed-minded people. Nothing kills creativity faster than a no-can-do attitude.

Whose job have you set your sights on in the future?

There’s no specific person or role that I have in mind. I’ve always been one to shape my own path so the way I see it, my future job is really anything I want it to be.

Where do you turn for inspiration?

My biggest inspiration comes from people that I meet - hearing their stories, life experiences, cultural or family upbringing, or the highs and the lows. A simple conversation has the power to enable a new fresh perspective and that’s what I find as one of the most energising things in life.

My favourite advert is (and why):

The first thing that comes to mine is Dove Real Beauty Sketches. I loved that campaign so much because it was really based on a true human insight around how everyone faces their own challenges of how they perceive themselves. The advert had such a meaningful and strong message - to realise and empower a sense of beauty back into everyone.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?

I know about seven languages, and counting.

In five years' time I'll be:

A strong, fearless women leader, continuing to influence positive change and hopefully inspiring new movement of change-makers.

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