More than 150 industry professionals and graduates attended the AWARD School Graduation ceremony at the Smart Artz Gallery in Melbourne last night to celebrate some of Australia’s freshest new creative talent.
The top 10 graduates from the 2014 class of 100 students were announced, with Holly Burgess taking the award for top student, followed by Ellen Fromm who was awarded second, and Ashley Gott in third. The remaining top ten students, in no particular order, include:
As the top student, Holly was also awarded a full $4,000 scholarship by the General Assembly to attend a course in either Front-End Development or User-Experience Design. Bart Macdonald, Melbourne City Director of General Assembly was on hand to present the prize.
VIC AWARD School Head Ben Keenan said: “What I love about AWARD school is that you can be working in a pizza shop you’ll have the same opportunity to carve out a career in creative advertising as someone who has done a three year degree. I’m very excited to see where this group will go post AWARD School, there were quite a few standouts”.
He added: “I’m pleased to see an increase in the number of females in the top ten this year. Diversity is at the heart of creativity and it’s encouraging to see the gender gap on the reverse.”
It was further announced that long term tutors, Michael Mulcahy (Writer, JWT) and Sarah McGregor (Head of Copy, Leo Burnett) would each respectively take on the role of AWARD School Head from David Ponce De Leon and Ben Keenen in 2015.
AWARD Chairman Mark Harricks commented: “On behalf of the Committee, I would like to say a huge thank you to David Ponce De Leon and Ben Keenen for the invaluable contribution they have made in running the VIC AWARD School over the past few years. We are so grateful for the support and guidance they have generously offered to those entering the industry.”
He continued, “We are also delighted to welcome Michael Mulcahy and Sarah McGregor to the roles. Working in the industry for 25 and 15 years respectively, both are accomplished leaders in their field as well as being long and respected members of AWARD School.”
During the evening, Jay Hynes Photography also offered the prize of a free concept photo shoot to graduate, Dion Dalton-Bridges for an outstanding piece of work selected from the AWARD School showcase.
Each AWARD School VIC student also received $50 discount to General Assembly classes and workshops in design, programming and marketing, with a further 3 months of online classes to up-skill in web development, product management, marketing and design on General Assembly’s digital learning platform, ‘Front Row’.
AWARD graduation ceremonies are still set to take place in Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth. Dates for the upcoming ceremonies are as follows:
Sydney – Tuesday 1st July
Adelaide – Wednesday 2nd July
Brisbane – Thursday 3rd July
Perth – Thursday 3rd July
*Photography by Andrew Briscoe, East 13 Photography