PHOTOS - The industry celebrates R U OK? Day

Ashley Regan
By Ashley Regan | 20 September 2023

The media industry paused daily routines to encourage staff to start a meaningful conversations around mental health and celebrate R U OK? Day.

The national day of action saw ad agencies and media owners decorate offices, staff dress in yellow and while most united for a morning tea, others played charity dodgeball, workshopped with a psychologist or went for a group walk to get out of the office.

Most importantly, each activity allowed staff to check in with each other and ask 'are you OK?'.


To highlight the importance of the day, OMG had sweet treats in the kitchen and encouraged staff to take a colleague out of the office for a cuppa.

OMG told AdNews: "At OMG, the health of our people is our number one priority, and this extends beyond physical health, to mental health."


Staff were given a voucher to redeem a beverage of choice, which listed the four steps of an R U OK? Conversation. This encouraged the team to meaningfully connect with the people around them, starting conversations with those in their world who may be struggling.  

In addition, OMDers united nationwide for R U OK? Day. To mark the day, we replaced virtual meetings with meaningful face-to-face IRL conversations over coffee and heartwarming family style brunches and lunches.



 Apparent 1

Independent agency, Apparent, encouraged deeper awareness, empathy and meaningful connection through a programme of events and activities for both in-office and international staff.

From a morning juice bar, art therapy sessions and lunchtime Pilates to The Drop-Inn, a connection and conversation space, staff were encouraged to prioritise mental health and mutual support.

Trained psychologist, Emma Kavanagh also ran afternoon workshops for staff on how to identify signs someone may be struggling and best manage an R U OK? conversation.

Apparent 2


Nine had state-based initiatives around R U Ok? morning teas, editorial within its internal well-being platform Thrive, numerous stories across its own platforms such as and an internal video featuring Karl Stefanovic interviewing Gus Worland on the great work that Gotcha4Life undertakes. 



The team from data, creative and performance marketing agency, Jaywing, channelled their inner Vince Vaughan and Ben Stiller this RUOK? Day, taking part in the annual RUOK? Dodgeball Tournament at the King George V Recreation Centre in Sydney.

Drawing mustachioed inspiration from the 2004 comedy, the Jaying team dodged, ducked and dived to take out second place in the comp, with its proceeds going to Lifeline Australia.



Mediabrands perth

Mediabrands Perth.

Mediabrands canberra

Mediabrands Canberra.

Shantelle Chand, Mediabrands people and culture coordinator, said RUOK? Day served as a strong reminder of the profound importance of human connection and the significance of regular check-ins with family, friends, and colleagues at the agency.

"On RUOK? Day all markets were encouraged to initiate meaningful conversations, participate in acts of kindness, and share thoughts, experiences and suggestions via RUOK? message boards," Chand said.

"It was a collective call to prioritise the well-being of those around us, highlighting that in our busy lives, a simple conversation could change a life.

"RUOK? Day at Mediabrands was a celebration of compassion and the transformative power of genuine connection."

Mediabrands brisbane

Mediabrands Brisbane.

Mediabrands sydney

Mediabrands Sydney

Edge Agency

In the lead up to R U OK Day, Edge ECD Ben Smith shared his personal story via the agency's blog in the hope it would help smash the stigma around speaking out about mental health. 

Then on the day, to encourage our culture of openness and support, the Edge team had a picnic in the park, with a card game which nudged people to share their own stories. The afternoon in the sun gave the team the opportunity to check-in with each other, and talk about everything other than advertising. 

News Corp


Community ambassador Penny Fowler and R U OK? chairman & News Corp MD Michael Connaghan marked the National Day of Action along with Fox League Presenters Yvonne Sampson and Braith Anasta, who helped deliver an important reminder: that every day is a good day to check in with friends, loved ones and colleagues throughout all of News Corp Australia's workplaces. 


Havas Village

Havas Australia celebrated R U OK? Day on September 14 for its 400 employees, with a morning focused on self-care. This year’s theme was “I’m here to hear”, emphasising the importance of creating space to have meaningful conversations, with a session led by founding board director of R U OK?, Graeme Cowan.

Cowan’s focus this year was to offer knowledge that could be utilised in real life situations. The afternoon was provided as time off for staff to focus on themselves. 


Half Dome

On Friday Half Dome kicked off its next round of Mental Health First Aid certification with another course being held this Friday too. This ensures every team member is certified and up to date.

“This morning we gathered over a table of feel-good plates from our team, and took the time to catch up and check in with each other, sharing some of our favourite wellbeing tips, habits and resources," Half Dome said.


"We're proud to have cultivated an environment where our team feel empowered and equipped with the necessary skills to provide mental health support to their peers, and as a Mental Health First Aid® Australia gold-skilled workplace, we look forward to kicking off our next course tomorrow as we continue our mission for every Half Dome team member to complete their Mental Health First Aid certification. 

"Thank you to MOOD for supplying our office with a delicious range of tea, as sometimes all it takes is sharing a cuppa to start a conversation.”




This year, with a new and growing team at Kaimera, ‘R U OK’ day not only had the staff thinking how I can support my team on an ongoing basis by creating a great working culture, but also asking; how important is it? And, how do we do it? Jack Baldwin wrote a blog post to share with staff.


Equality Media+Marketing


Marilla Akkermans, Equality MD, told AdNews the agency wants to create a culture of genuine support and care and know how important small gestures and words can be for one another. 

"So we shared a team lunch and made the most of a sunny Melbourne day by going out for a walk, which allowed us to create space and take the time to simply ask questions, check in on each other and see how we’re all doing," Akkermans said.

"We talked about how our words could be the light that someone needs and used the four steps of 1. Asking r u ok?, 2. Listening, 3. Encouraging action and 4. Checking in, to empower our team to meaningfully connect with others."




Seven brought together their people with morning teas throughout their offices, distributed vital communication resources, reminded everyone of their Calm subscription benefits, and visually prompted the R U OK? check-ins throughout their spaces




SBS marked R U OK Day by encouraging employees to have a conversation with someone they know, and ask, “are you okay?”. Cupcakes in Sydney and Melbourne were for sale for a gold coin donation, with proceeds going to R U OK?


The Pistol


The Pistol took the opportunity to connect as a team over lunch locally in Cremorne in Melbourne, breaking down silos between departments and conversing together over a lovely meal.
Special hosted a talk on ‘Listening with Empathy’ delivered by Rachel McEwen, a Team Lead in Sydney who is a Lifeline Crisis Supporter. They have a team of 13 Mental Health First Aiders who contributed to the day's activities. All staff were encouraged to take a break and connect over lunch in both the Sydney and Melbourne offices.

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