It’s B&T’s Best Of The Best Social Changemakers, Presented by Finecast, Part Of GroupM Nexus

It’s B&T’s Best Of The Best Social Changemakers, Presented by Finecast, Part Of GroupM Nexus

People, famously, don’t like change. And yet, change is often what we need.

It takes an immense amount of courage to look at the status quo and acknowledge that something isn’t right. It takes an even greater amount of courage to talk about this issue and work towards making a difference. 

Every single person on this planet wants to be safe, seen, valued and respected for who they are, yet too often social inequality can stop this happening. 

The people on this week’s lists are the ones challenging the unacceptable and doing all they can to build a fairer society.

It was very hard to pick just 10 people, because there’s so many people in and around the industry who are passionately advocating for change – so a massive congratulations for those who made it onto the list!

10. Sean Hall, CEO, Energx and Strategic Change and Comms Manager at Ventia

Sean Hall is someone who blends a deep desire to help people with a  deep knowledge of how to create change within the confines of the business world we work in today. 

Speaking previously to B&T, Hall revealed that he was head of brand strategy and marketing at Telstra when he suffered a near mental breakdown. 

“I found myself wandering around David Jones one day, not knowing how I got there”, he said. 

He has gone on to be a powerful advocate for creating mentally healthy workplaces, founding Energx and using data and insight to help executives understand the true cost of neglecting their employees wellbeing.

9. Joshua Green,  Strategy Director at Spark Foundry 

Anyone who has met Joshua Green will likely tell you what a great person he is. As Chair of the MFA’s diversity, equity, inclusion and advisory council, Green is someone especially skilled at rallying teams and creating change. 

He is unafraid to use his voice to stand up for what he knows to be right and has spoken out about a number of issues such as the recent Voice Referendum. 

He understands that change doesn’t happen overnight. Speaking on the MFA website he advocated for the power of the tweak – incremental change over time. 

“They’re tweaks. But they’re tweaks that have impact,” he said of a number of changes the MFA has achieved this year.

8.Mitch Wallis, Founder & CEO, Heart On My Sleeve 

If you know anything about mental health you would have probably heard of Mitch Wallis. 

In his own words “After working for Microsoft in Australia and abroad for almost 7 years, he left his successful corporate career to devote himself full time to helping overcome suffering and reimagine the healing potential of the mind through the power of storytelling, connection & living with authenticity.” 

In a corporate world where even the slightest signs of vulnerability can be judged harshly, Wallis has reimagined the narrative and achieved a huge amount when it comes to creating a world where it is okay to talk openly about your mental health. 

His mental health business Heart On My Sleeve helps people “heal by being real about how they feel”.

7.Jen Sharpe, Founder/Managing Director at Think HQ

A lot of agencies now are working to incorporate equality into their business plan, however Jen Sharpe is one of the few who has actively built her business on these principles. 

As she says on her LinkedIn – “My personal values are reflected in the values of Think HQ. The business is dedicated to projects that result in positive social impact and we work closely with clients from all sectors who want to do good in the World”. 

After launching her business from her kitchen table in 2010 it has grown exponentially – now taking the form of a thriving, award-winning 85 person strong full service agency.

Who says you can’t do good and run a great business!

6. Jasmin Bedir, CEO at Innocean Australia. Founder of Fck The Cupcakes

In the spirit of Mean Girls, how do you begin to describe Jasmin Bedir?

The spark that leads to any change is passion and fire – two things Bedir has by the bucket load. 

As Founder of Fck The Cupcakes, Bedir is unafraid to take a firm stance against behaviour in the industry that is unacceptable. She has also been very successful in rallying not just women, but also men against the issue of gender equality. 

Aside from all of this, she is a regular keynote & panel speaker on topics like brand experience, diversity, equality and inclusion. 

5. Chris Freel, CEO At UnLtd & MOOD Tea

Our industry has an incredible amount of creative and business talent and Chris Freel is someone who has been immensely successful at using that talent to achieve tangible good. 

UnLtd supports over 25 charities in the youth at risk space across Australia and New Zealand, and over the past 5 years they have generated almost $200million (based on Freel’s LinkedIn) worth of value to their charity partners. 

He also founded and steers the industry’s first social Enterprise, Mood Tea in late 2020. 

Mood tea is a range of tea products stocked at stores including Woolworths. All profits from Mood tea fund youth mental health projects.

4.Yatu Widders Hunt, General Manager at Cox Inall Ridgeway

A descendant of the Anaiwan and Dunghutti peoples, Widders Hunt had an early passion for Indigenous storytelling as well as arts and communications. These early passions went on to ignite a career based on both creativity and equality. 

She has extensive experience working with the government and NGO sector, spending 10 years in Federal Government departments working on issues such as immigration, sustainability and mental health. 

She has also undertaken work with NITV, the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence and the Koori Mail and is co-director of Film Biographies Australia, a small video production and communications company that focuses on  Indigenous affairs.

3.Mariam Veiszadeh, Chief Executive Officer Media Diversity Australia

Mariam Veiszadeh is an award-winning changemaker and inclusive thought leader who has dedicated the last 15 years of her life to championing intersectional gender equality, human rights and cultural diversity. 

After initially working as a lawyer, Veiszadeh found her calling in social policy and has been described as a “leader in fighting hatred” and an advocate who “uses her considerable wit and smarts to punch holes in the stupidity of racism, sexism and xenophobia”.

As CEO of Media Diversity Australia she has been instrumental in rallying key stakeholders together to help fight the inequality that still exists within the industry. 

2.Dylan Alcott OAM, Paralympic & World Champion

There is a reason visibility is mentioned in so many equality campaigns. When we have more diversity in content we create a new ‘normal’. Despite nearly 20 per cent of Aussies having a visible or non-visible disability, just 1 per cent of ads feature people with a disability. 

Which is why Dylan Alcott features so highly on this list. The paralympian, in partnership with Special, made waves this year when he got Australia’s biggest brands together for the Shift 20 Initiative. 

The initiative was set up to increase disability representation within the Australian media industry and says “we believe that together, our industry can help shift the perception of what disability is and what it can be – creating a more inclusive Australia, for everyone”.

1.Sunita Gloster AM, Director, Gloster Advisory 

Sunita Gloster is someone who is so committed to achieving social change that even the King of England knows who she is. This year she was named in the King’s Birthday Honours List “for significant service to the media and marketing industry, and to gender equality”. 

A fearsome fighter for gender equality, Gloster has also pushed for better on key issues such as sustainability and, most recently, the Voice Referendum. 

During the Referendum, Gloster showed herself to be a powerhouse when it comes to moving quickly and rallying people together to stand loudly by what is right. Alongside The Monkeys she was able to convince hundreds of directors and executives to sign a list publicly backing the Yes Campaign. 

The founder of business consulting firm Gloster Advisory, Gloster is also a senior advisor for UN Women Australia, UN Global Compact Network Australia, and is also  co-chair of Media and Marketing, Tech Council of Australia.




Please login with linkedin to comment

Best of the best changemakers

Latest News

VALE Dennis Merchant – A Giant Of The Media Industry
  • Advertising

VALE Dennis Merchant – A Giant Of The Media Industry

Dennis Merchant OAM, a pioneer of Australian independent media buying, passed away yesterday at age 82. Truly ahead of his time, Merchant started the first independent media buying agency in Australia in 1974. Merchant and Partners was a powerhouse media business initially representing smaller indies that didn’t have the media scale or clout of some […]

Gravity Media Australia To Deliver Crankworx Cairns For Red Bull TV
  • Advertising

Gravity Media Australia To Deliver Crankworx Cairns For Red Bull TV

Gravity Media confirmed details for the global coverage of this year’s Crankworx Cairns. Gravity Media Australia will deliver the international broadcast technology and production outcome for Crankworx Cairns, the world’s largest mountain bike festival, from 22 to 26 May. Coverage of Crankworx Cairns will be delivered across Red Bull TV. Crankworx, a four-day festival of […]

Connecting Plots Nabs Former Saatchi & Saatchi Leader Craig Page
  • Advertising

Connecting Plots Nabs Former Saatchi & Saatchi Leader Craig Page

connecting plots has announced Craig Page as the new Strategy Partner as Tim Collier departs to pursue new opportunities. Lead image: Craig Page, strategy partner, Connecting Plots. Craig Page, esteemed integrated strategist and founder of strategic consultancy WeirdWorks, joined Connecting Plots as a strategy partner to lead the company’s strategic services. Page, who founded WeirdWorks […]

Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal Revive Core Values Campaign For Louis Vuitton
  • Campaigns

Roger Federer & Rafael Nadal Revive Core Values Campaign For Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton launched a new iteration of its storied ‘Core Values’ campaigns, captured by Annie Leibovitz. The campaign featured Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as they ascended to the summit of Italy’s Dolomites mountain range. The tagline reads, “There are journeys that turn into legends”. 3,000m high, Nadal and Federer are seen not as competitors […]

One Year Later, Is BAR Ogilvy’s Livingfont Making A Difference?
  • Advertising

One Year Later, Is BAR Ogilvy’s Livingfont Making A Difference?

This International Biodiversity Day, ANP| WWF and BAR Ogilvy are reinforcing the importance of ‘The Endangered Typeface’ campaign to “protect all animal life”. When talking about the 6th mass extinction, can you really tell the difference a year makes? With the endangered typeface, a living font created in 2023 in a partnership with Associação Natureza […]

“These Issues Aren’t Unique To Our Industry”: Rose Herceg Chats To B&T Ahead Of Create Space Census Results
  • Advertising

“These Issues Aren’t Unique To Our Industry”: Rose Herceg Chats To B&T Ahead Of Create Space Census Results

On Tuesday, 21 May, the Advertising Council Australia (ACA) will host an all-industry webinar to reveal the findings of the second Create Space census. Close to 2,500 professionals from advertising, media, and marketing participated in the anonymous census in November 2023, providing an updated picture of the industry’s demographics and experiences of diversity, equity, and inclusion. […]

Kieran Moore: ‘No Client Has Ever Asked For More Junior People On Their Account’
  • Advertising

Kieran Moore: ‘No Client Has Ever Asked For More Junior People On Their Account’

Kieran Moore is one of Australia’s most experienced public relations leaders, having most recently served as the CEO of public relations, government relations, experiential and design for WPP AUNZ, following a six-year stint as the CEO of Ogilvy PR. Now as the director and principal at comms and reputation management consultancy Brangwin and Moore, which […]

Zitcha appoints Josh Forsyth as sales lead to drive retail media growth across APAC
  • Advertising

Zitcha appoints Josh Forsyth as sales lead to drive retail media growth across APAC

Following global expansion and continued strong local demand Zitcha appointed Josh Forsyth as APAC sales lead. Lead image: Josh Forsyth, sales lead, Zitcha. Australian-headquartered Zitcha, which operates across four continents in countries including the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa, is looking to Asia as the next major emerging retail media market. In […]

Moët Hennessy NZ Adds Special PR To Agency Roster
  • Advertising

Moët Hennessy NZ Adds Special PR To Agency Roster

Special PR has been added to Moët Hennessy’s roster of communications agencies in New Zealand following a competitive pitch. Special PR will be responsible for integrated communications for Moët Hennessy across its luxury brands, including Cloudy Bay, Whispering Angel, Veuve Clicquot and Glenmorangie. The scope of work includes media relations, influencer marketing, content creation, events […]