Celebrating teachers with the stories behind mementos via Clemenger BBDO

1 November 2023

Creative Agency: Clemenger BBDO

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Australia is facing a teacher shortage.

Australia is facing an unprecedented teacher shortage. A shortfall of more than 4000 high school teachers by 2025, with shortages extending across the board, according to one report from the Department of Education.

A new national content-led campaign has launched across social platforms, cinema, OOH, television, and PR, celebrating the impact that teachers can have, both on the lives of students and on their own.

The campaign is centred around an exhibition of objects. The exhibition showcases real mementos from students that teachers have kept throughout their careers.

The mementos range from the expected - heartfelt letters and ‘thank you’ cards to the less expected - a star named for a teacher.

Eight films created as part of the campaign were directed by documentary filmmaker Christopher Nelius and show teachers from around Australia as they share the stories behind their most cherished mementos.

After telling their stories, the teachers visit an exhibition space to place their mementos amongst others from teachers around Australia. Each film ends with a simple but inspiring call to action, asking viewers to ‘Be That Teacher’.

One film tells the story of South Australian teacher Stacy Frogley and her former student, Izzy. Izzy has sacral agenesis, a rare congenital disorder that over time has left her unable to walk.

After Frogley suggested to Izzy that she may enjoy swimming, the student went on to become a Silver Medal-winning Paralympian for Australia.

At the end of her interview, Frogley is surprised by Izzy, who flew interstate to take part in the exhibition between swimming events—so passionate is she about the impact the teacher has had on her life.

Through social media, teachers around Australia are being invited to take part in the exhibition by sharing further stories. These stories will be published across social channels as well as on a content hub at BeThatTeacher.gov.au.

Dijanna Ratajkoski, assistant secretary, communication – people, parliamentary, communication division at Australian Government Department of Education, said this campaign is an important part of the work the Australian, state and territory governments are undertaking to attract and retain teachers.

"While I knew the teachers that feature in the advertising had great stories to share, I wasn’t expecting the emotional and uplifting journey they took me on. I’m really excited to see what the response is," she said.

Clemenger BBDO ECD, Tristan Graham, said people don’t really have to 'sell' teaching.

"You just have to get out of the way and let teachers tell their stories. That’s when it becomes very clear that teaching is more than just a job, it’s a chance to fundamentally change young people’s lives for the better–and who wouldn’t want to do that?" he said.

Be That Teacher launches on November 1 and will run for up to 12 months.


Client -

Australian Government Department of Education


Clemenger BBDO -

Executive Creative Director - Tristan Graham

Creative Director - Toby Kennedy

Creative Director - Brodie King

Art Director – Esther Parsons

Craft Designer – Sebastian Sarria

National Traffic Manager – Karen Kushinsky

Strategy Partner - Mike Ronkoske

Managing Director – Julian Bell

Group Business Director – Theresa White

Senior Business Manager – Lauren Mayne

Business Manager - Tom von Stieglitz

Executive Producer: Karolina Bozajkovska

Senior TV Producer: Alana Teasdale

Senior Editor: Jennifer Cahir

Executive Director Digital - Claire Bisset

Finished Art - Sam Tsui

Retoucher - Mike McCall


Production Company: FINCH

Director: Christopher Nelius

Executive Producer: Corey Esse

Producer: Jackie Adler

DOP: Matt Toll


Casting: Mackintosh Casting

Casting Director: Mel Mackintosh

Casting Associate: Pat McAuliffe

Editorial & Finish: ARC EDIT

Offline Editors: Graeme Pereira & Phil Horn

Online Editor: Viv Baker

Colourist: Ben Eagleton

Executive Producer: Daniel Fry

Producer: Kani Saib


Sound Production: Bang Bang Studios

Engineer: Sam Hopgood

Producer: Polly McGregor & Holli Dee


Music: Massive Music

Composer: Haydn Walker

Producer: Luci Roe


Ryan Wheatley – Photographer

Kamilla Musland - Photographer Assistant

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