Industry Profile: Wavemaker trading director Philippa Noilea-Tani

By AdNews | 11 October 2018

Our Industry Profile takes a look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, ad tech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry.

Meet this week's industry profile, Wavemaker Sydney trading director Philippa Noilea-Tani. 

Duration in current role/time at the company:

Two years in the role, 13 years at Wavemaker (previously MEC prior merger with Maxus).

In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?

Wavemaker’s Purchase Journey planning fixates on what inspires society and what motivates consumer choice, to build our clients’ brands in effective and efficient ways.

In one sentence, what do you do day-to-day?

I ensure the Wavemaker Investment & Activation team have the support, guidance, insights and inspiration they need to continue learning.

Define your job in one word:


I got into advertising/ad tech/marketing etc because:

I fell into my first role in media and I haven’t looked back – the company, the culture, the rate of change and the challenges along the way, have kept me inspired to stay.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?

Finding the balance between my role as Mum to three very little ones and my career in media. A high level of flexibility and support from Wavemaker helps.

What’s the biggest industry-wide challenge you’d like to see tackled?

A more positive outlook on employee loyalty. It disheartens me to hear the question “Why would you stay with the one agency for so long” with such a negative tone.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:

Does work experience at Initiative when I was 16 count?

Who is/has been a great mentor to you and why?

Alison Vandyke and Seb Rennie. They both inspire me, support me, challenge me, and have taught me the importance of accountability, problem solving and curiosity. I don’t see either of them often, but I always feel comfortable reaching out for guidance.

Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours?

You’ll learn something new every day. Be conscious of what you don’t know and surround yourself with great minds who can teach you new ways.

If I wasn’t doing this for a living, I’d be:

A Special Effects Make-Up Artist for Film – my college degree is currently only exploited for Halloween parties.

My mantra / philosophy is:

Live Simply, Dream Big, Be Grateful.

My favourite advert is (and why):

Qantas, ‘I Still Call Australia Home’. There are so few commercials that focus on building an emotional connection with consumers and this ad does so for me, in the most powerful and memorable way.

Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to? 

My kids take over my phone and TV at every opportunity they get. My ‘me time’ is my drive to work – I fill the drive with podcasts (Teachers Pet update, please) and shameful Islander remixes at full volume, streamed from Fiji’s national radio station.

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

I lost my Dad to depression when I was 18 years old. It shattered my heart and my world, but has shaped my life in so many ways and I am now so much stronger than I ever imagined I could be.

In five years’ time I'll be:

Enjoying life!

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