AWARD School unveils 2020 enrolment campaign

14 January 2020

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The ‘Hardcore Thinkers Only’ campaign is aimed at individuals interested in unleashing their inner creativity and breaking into an industry of ideas.

AWARD School has launched a new enrolment campaign to kickstart the decade, calling on the nation’s creative rebels to hone their skills with advertising course in 2020.

Developed by AWARD School alumni Rubini Gunaratnam from M&C Saatchi Sydney and Marina Vasilieva from Host/Havas Sydney, the ‘Hardcore Thinkers Only’ campaign is aimed at individuals interested in unleashing their inner creativity and breaking into an industry of ideas – whether it be in an advertising agency or another field.

The 12-week short course, which is supported by Facebook Australia and New Zealand, is held outside of work hours, and no experience is required to join.

Mandie van der Merwe, AWARD School head and executive creative director at M&C Saatchi Sydney says the course is not limited to aspiring ad-landers, and benefits people from all walks of life.

“AWARD School is not just for people who want to get into a creative department," van der Merwe says.

"The course is designed to provide people with the skills, not only to make ads, but also to generate and develop ideas that can take them further with their careers, beyond the creative department.

“Hardcore Thinkers Only is the new campaign designed to show that shift in focus. The advertising industry will always need writers, art directors, digital and data-focussed brains.

"But the fuel that drives this industry forward, is ideas. We’re looking for talent that recognises the power of thinking and we want to help develop and grow that innate potential."

In 2020, AWARD School continues to encourage diversity and accessibility, particularly beyond major cities, with the expansion of last year’s successful regional pilot program.

The Regional Program, now available nationwide, will feature a series of online lectures and group tutorials presented by the industry’s most talented minds.

The program is available to applicants in the ACT, Northern Territory, Tasmania, as well as applicants who live more than 50 kilometres outside the city fringe of Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide.

The popular Indigenous Scholarship Program is also back this year, with the availability of scholarships valued up to $2,200 to cover the entire AWARD School course.

Individuals who are interested in big ideas and are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent are encouraged to apply through

AWARD Chair Cam Blackley says that broadening AWARD School’s reach will increase diversity and inclusiveness within the industry.

“There is no doubt that some of our most creative minds hail from regional and remote Australia, and I’m incredibly proud that AWARD School is helping these individuals to bring different perspectives to bear in adland," Blackley says.

“For many students, AWARD School is also their first glimpse into the world of advertising, and it provides rare access to a pool of dedicated lecturers and tutors who are behind some of our country’s most recognisable and revered campaigns."

Facebook head of marketing Australia and New Zealand Alexandra Sloane says creative careers look different in 2020 compared to in the past.

“AWARD’s 2020 focus on diversity and inclusive recruitment is especially important as we think about developing Australian talent that is optimistic and ready to tackle challenges and opportunities in the next 10, 20, 30 years,” Sloane says.

Since 1983, AWARD School has earned an enviable reputation as the region’s most in-demand course for creatives. In 2019, nationally AWARD School received 518 applications, of which 212 were successful.

The 2020 campaign is being rolled out via online and social media, as well as a presence at TAFEs, Universities, art schools and design stores.

Applications for 2020 AWARD School open on February 6 via

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