Congratulations! AWARD State Finalists Announced For Top Student Of The Year Award

Congratulations! AWARD State Finalists Announced For Top Student Of The Year Award

The Australasian Writers and Art Directors Association (AWARD) has announced this year’s AWARD School state finalists who will go into the running to win the coveted AWARD School national top student of the year award.

Sophie Hackett from NSW, Thomas Ahearn from Victoria, Brendan Morrow from WA, Catherine Lucas from Queensland and Dallas Rodgers from SA took out the top gong in their respective states alongside Kirsty Reynolds from AWARD School’s online program, with each recognised for their incredible body of creative work developed throughout the year.

They all received a coveted AWARD School Gold Pencil for their outstanding efforts as part of graduation events held across the country over the last week to recognise the industry’s brightest emerging talent.

This year’s state winners were drawn from a national intake of 193 students, which included a student on an Indigenous scholarship. The hugely successful online program also saw participants take part from regional Australia and New Zealand.

In going into the running to be named AWARD School’s national winning student, all the finalists will have their works reviewed by an international super jury, with the winner announced on August 18 at The AWARD Pencil Bar – an industry cocktail event being held as part of This Way Up, AWARD’s signature creative festival in Sydney.

State finalists: AWARD School 2022

StateTop StudentTutors
NSWSophie HackettKatie Moore & Nicholas Sellars, 303 MullenLowe Sydney, Jari Kennedy & Anthony Campagna, Ogilvy Sydney
VICThomas AhearnPatrick Trethowan & Lee Phillips, Ogilvy Melbourne, Shaun McFarlane & Janice Ko, Special Group Melbourne
WABrendan MorrowSimon Mullins & Robert Mead, Rare, Bryan Dennis, &Partners, Matt Nankivell, Moonsail
QLDCatherine LucasWayne Smith & Carissa Jackson, Ogilvy Brisbane, Salvatore Borzillo, CHEP Network & Tim Kelly, Khemistry
SADallas RodgersDave Lawson, Design People, Corey Swaffer, KWP!, Rory Kennett-Lister & Abby Moulton, Showpony, James Rickard, JAMES, Mark Atherton & Patrick O’Reilly, TBWA, Matt Minear, BAD Advertising, Sam John, Codefish, David Ormston, Simple Integrated Marketing, Nick Brz & Alice McKenzie, NATION Creative, Adam Carpenter, Prohibition Gin
Online programKirsty ReynoldsGeorge Organ & Russell Nelson, CX Lavender, Emily Field, Kiah Nicholas & Bob Broadfoot, BMF


AWARD chair and M&C Saatchi Australia chief creative officer Cam Blackley congratulated the state winners and praised all the 2022 graduates for their hard work and commitment throughout what is renowned to be a tough 12-week program.

“AWARD School is three months of blood, sweat and tears in pushing your creativity to the limit, therefore to consistently deliver solid ideas and an outstanding portfolio of work that brings them to life is testament to each student’s creative ability and the bright future that lies ahead of them,” he said.

“We congratulate each and every finalist and wish them the best in their careers.”

National and NSW AWARD School co-heads Matt Chandler and Katrina Alvarez-Jarratt said: “Each year AWARD School proves itself to be an amazing feeder of fresh creative talent into the industry, and we couldn’t be prouder of the commitment this year’s state winners have shown in living up to, if not going beyond, the extremely high standards set by past students.

“We couldn’t be prouder of their achievements, which have been helped along by an incredible team of AWARD School heads, tutors and mentors, speakers and judges who all work so hard behind-the-scenes to foster the next generation of creative talent.

“We thank this huge team for their dedication and time, and congratulate this year’s students, in helping to make AWARD School 2022 a success.”

AWARD School 2022: top students per state


Top students

1. Sophie Hackett – Gold Pencil
2. Dean Shein
3. Jaime Laird

Top 10 (in alphabetical order)

Brittany Davidson
Charlie Rosanove
Jake Jamieson
Lachlan Wills
Laura Clare Murphy
Opal Liang
Rachel Tucker


Lewis Clark
Phoebe Gribble
Angus Whalan


Top Students

1. Thomas Ahearn– Gold Pencil
2. Tiger Hongmung
3. Liz Simpson

Top 10 (in alphabetical order)

Gideon Goldberg
Jiaan Koch
Corrine Teng
Annika Duncan
Benjamin Bryan
Pip Dolman
Courtney Whitelaw


Kate Enright
Hayden Baidawi


Top Students

1. Catherine Lucas – Gold Pencil
2. Bronnie Clements
3. Jennifer Hall


Eleni Petridis


Top Students

1. Brendan Morrow – Gold Pencil
2. Andrew Fonceca
3. Mike Dann


Jess Sutton


Top Students

1. Dallas Rodgers – Gold Pencil
2. Francesca Germanis


Andrija Sala


Top Students

1. Kirsty Reynolds – Gold Pencil
2. Thomas Charles Birts
3. Matt Ryan


Anna Brown

Top Tutor Agencies – Gold Sharpeners


Jari Kennedy, Ogilvy Sydney
Anthony Campagna, Ogilvy Sydney
Will Halstead, Howatson+Company Sydney
Tom Macphail, Howatson+Company Sydney


Patrick Trethowan, Ogilvy Melbourne
Lee Phillips, Ogilvy Melbourne
Shaun McFarlane, Special Group Melbourne
Janice Ko, Special Group Melbourne

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