A new player has arrived on the Brisbane scene – and it’s growing fast. Colony is a strategic communications advisory that started in Port Moresby in 2015, working with major Asia-Pacific clients like the Brian Bell Group, Digicel and Puma Energy.
To build a greater capacity to support the Port Moresby office and serve these major Asia-Pacific brands, co-founders Matt McCarthy and Katelyn Woolley expanded the Colony network by setting up two strategy led, creative-based offices in Cairns and Brisbane.
In the years since, Colony’s natural expansion into the Australian market has been bolstered by the hiring of widely respected agency talent across strategy, creative, digital and account services. Today, the company has grown to more than 60 people across the three offices.
Led by McCarthy and Woolley, Colony has carved out a niche by focussing heavily on collaboration, accountability and flexibility.
The result has been long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationships that transcend the normal agency/client template – even serving as the internal marketing department for some partners and it’s working.
In just the last 12 months, Colony has added multiple prominent brands to the client list including Coca-Cola, Colgate Palmolive, Kraft Heinz, Kina Bank, Tramontina, PNG Tourism Promotion Authority and UNICEF.
“Our aim was to have an organisation that is not revenue or profit-focused – when you chase the money, the outcome is rarely achieved,” said McCarthy. “By operating with a pure focus on the partnerships with the brands we work with, demonstrating value, and a commitment to providing a team of the right people, we continue to succeed on every level.”
This approach also extends to the owners’ strong philanthropic spirit – working with multiple charities including the Starlight Foundation, St John Ambulance, RSPCAPNG, The Sir Brian Bell Foundation, The Grass Skirt Project and COUCH Cancer Wellness Centre.
Now one of the largest independent agencies in the Brisbane market, Colony recently moved addresses to newly built offices in the King Street precinct of Fortitude Valley. Simultaneously, the Port Moresby office is also expanding to a purpose-built facility in the Brian Bell Plaza.
The agency now turns its attention to landing more Australian-based business under the leadership of McCarthy and Woolley.
McCarthy said: “Since the beginning, we have been working with the boards and CEOs of national and global organisations to set the business direction for communications, strategy and planning in Asia-Pacific. So, it’s only natural that we now bring this same offering to Australian client partners.
“As Colony focuses on further building its Australian-based business, we continue to invest and value our great people and their commitment to how we work in new ways with our partners.”
Woolley said: “While often the focus is placed on Matt and me, our business is all about our people and culture.
“Everyone has the ability to contribute and we encourage this daily. We have strong leadership provided by our creative directors Simon Buutveld and Jim Strachan, and our digital capabilities have grown with the recent addition of digital experience director Mark Cox.
“In recent weeks, we’ve also added Andy Taylor as our of director strategy and innovation. These are just some of the amazing people working at Colony.
“We are definitely looking forward to sharing more information about the rest of our crew with Brisbane and all of Australia in 2022.”
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