Perspective - 'By helping them find their purpose, I have found mine'

By Emma Davis | 15 December 2023

The AdNews end of year Perspectives, looking back at 2023 and forward to next year.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you would know that Brisbane and QLD are booming.  We still have the highest interstate migration numbers post COVID, the second fastest state population growth, and there is a little event coming in 2032 that is seeing the city and state, flourish with big changes and improvements to infrastructure that will benefit our city for generations to come. 

In the advertising world, we absolutely hold our own now alongside our southern cousins, with a cohort of exceptionally talented and passionate professionals, servicing a suite of top clients.

As a proud Queenslander, with an almost 20-year tenure in our industry, I finish 2023 feeling more grateful and proud than I ever have before of our great state.  Since following my passion and joining our industry’s social purpose organisation UnLtd this year, I have called on Brisbane media & advertising industry to join me to drive more purpose and change for our charities that support youth at risk, and I am blown away by the way they have stepped up to the challenge.

Soon after joining, I learnt that all of our charity x agency partnerships were owned by agencies in Sydney and Melbourne, and with three new charities onboarding from July when I commenced, I made it my mission to find some Brisbane agencies to commit to these critical partnerships.  I knew we had the passion and skills here to own these partnerships, and it was one of my proudest weeks last week to see two incredible partnerships launch here in QLD – dentsu QLD partnering with DeadlyScience to help provide STEM equity and resources to Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander learners and Wavemaker with Bravehearts, to help protect children from sexual abuse.  Knowing that this work is going to change lives brings me so much fulfillment and I credit dentsu QLD led by Chris Ernst and Emily Cook and Wavemaker QLD led by Jane Sullivan – three phenomenal leaders who have supported me from day one. OMD in Brisbane has also answered my call to strengthen the QLD bond with The Pyjama Foundation, and Rob Swinton and his team have blown me away with the work they have done to support The Pyjama Foundation in their mission to instil a love of learning for children in foster care.  I hope this will be only the beginning for our QLD based charity x agency partnerships.

With over 60,000 charities in Australia, we often hear how people want to help but sometimes just don’t know where to start or who to support.  This spurred me on to open up a variety of ways to make it easy for the industry to get involved and engaged on the ground here in QLD and the support that has been offered to our charity partners has been nothing short of incredible. 

I’ve had so many media/advertising organisations involved across engagement opportunities including tours, and Christmas gift collections for Radio Lollipop at the QLD Childrens Hospital, Christmas gift wrapping for the foster kids in The Pyjama Foundation program, raising funds for TRACTION via their CEO Bike Build event, World Kindness Day morning teas fundraising for The Kindness Factory, a Gala Ball and countless team presentations, lunches and speaker opportunities, alongside phenomenal engagement in our UnLtd events.  I have been so warmly welcomed by so many organisations new to UnLtd and I am so excited about what will bloom out of these relationships in 2024.

One of our inspiring charity founders talks about the work he does with the kids in his program and says that “by helping them find their purpose, I have found mine”.  This is exactly the way I feel about my work in QLD within our industry, and I cannot wait to reflect this time next year, on the young lives we have all changed in 2024 and the magic that the industry has made by coming together under a common purpose.

Emma Davis, General Manager QLD, UnLtd

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