Meet The B&T 30 Under 30 Creative Finalists!

Little boy drawing a huge rocket on the wall.

In these strange plague times, B&T is more determined than ever to unite the industry and revel in the glory of our industry’s best and brightest overachievers.

That’s why over the next few weeks we’ll be celebrating adland’s youngest and most talented individuals; that’s right, B&T‘s 30 Under 30 finalists.

There are 10 finalists in each category, and 10 categories overall. So, if you’re keen to see who made the ultimate list this year, now’s your chance. Let these individuals inspire you, make you seethe with jealousy and ultimately motivate you to do the best work you can, and enter the Awards in 2021.

Without further ado, here are the 10 Creative finalists.

Alessia Castiglione, Brother & Co

Alessia began her career in Brisbane, graduating on the Dean’s list with a Masters of Creative Advertising from QUT. She immediately applied to agencies with a number of means and mediums. She once delivered chairs to Y&R with resumes on them in black decals, asking them to give her a chance with “here are our chairs if you have a spare desk”.

Since then, she’s worked at most of the major agencies around Brisbane garnering new relationships and working across a number of clients in Retail, Food and Confectionary, Insurance, Government (State and Federal), Lotteries, Health, Education, Superannuation, Banking and Universities. She’s completed Award School, winning silver and bronze at the BADC awards. She also did Copy School in Sydney and served on the QLD Youngbloods committee in 2019, taking the position of Co-Chair for 2020.

Georgia Patch, Bastion EBA

Georgia joined advertising because in her words, “ideas don’t discriminate; anyone can come up with an idea no matter your age, gender or experience”.  But it was the type of ideas that she loved that made me realise I wanted to be a creative.

Eager to apply creative thinking to a high impact area, Georgia and a colleague founded #RedefineWomen. This was a social campaign that challenged Google to update sexist dictionary definitions (such as ‘nagging – a nagging wife’). With no budget, they generated over 80M OTS, $4M organic PR, removed sexism from over 21M searches per year and won a One Show Gold Pencil, Silver Effies, Silver Spikes Asia and placed finalist for Glass, Cyber & Media Canne award .

Since joining Bastion EBA, Georgia has been the creative lead for Kia and Garnier’s 2020 Australian Open activations, won key pitches for Microsoft, Bunnings Warehouse, Ferrari, L’Oreal and Samsung.

Hayley Needleman, The Haus

Hayley currently leads The Haus’ Design Studio, overseeing the design for five specialist agencies. She began as junior all-rounder working in children’s fashion in Sydney as a design school graduate. Then, she took a leap and moved to London where she worked with Twitch, creating content for activations, live streams and marketing materials. Here she had her first exposure to working with global brands such as EA and Duracell.

Over her career, she’s had many achievements including being a critical part of the launch of a Unilever brand, Day2 Dry Wash Spray. And, in 2018, she was shortlisted for a Cannes Young Lion in the digital category.

Marina Vasilieva, Host/Havas

Marina’s foray into the industry began with her AWARD School tutor asking her to come work for them, meaning she had scored a full time ad gig before graduating. Fast forward five-six years later and she’s found herself lucky enough to work across well-known agencies such as Meerkats, VMLY&R, McCann, The Monkeys, and now Host/Havas. Her end career goal is to become an ECD.

Her time in the industry has seen her achieve a lot, including: getting young men talking about depression for The Lighthouse Foundation; raising millions for Ronald McDonald House; encouraging young women to get into rugby league for NRLW, and helping educate and guide Sydney through one of its worst droughts for Sydney Water.

Melanie Huang, AKQA

Melanie’s heart was always set on a creative career. Beginning in the world of interactive installations, she was a designer fascinated by the potential of technology to improve the world around us. She has collaborated with clients such as Adidas China, Fusion Brazil, NGV, Science Gallery, Dark Mofo and Dementia Australia.

When Melanie realised she hadn’t taken the path of a normal designer, she began to share her knowledge through talks and teaching workshops. In 2018, she started Technecolour, a collaborative workshop environment partnering with like minded organisations such as Code Like a Girl, Melbourne Design Week and SIGNAL to run creative workshops that teach coding and electronics. She was a mentor at The Lab Online, a network of technology clubs for young people with high functioning autism and she’s also a sessional lecturer at RMIT teaching Creative Coding.

Melissa Hawkett, M&C Saatchi

The moment Melissa knew she would make it in advertising was the moment she found herself unemployed, broken down on the Nullarbor Plain, without reception, in a beat up 98’ model Volkswagen Transporter.

In the beginning, she turned her creativity into a career plan. She studied Graphic Design, did well, and was employed before she graduated. She wanted more, however. She wanted to come up with the ideas and call the shots, so she applied for the highly competitive AWARD School, and got in.

She then convinced 303 MullenLowe Perth to take her on as an intern, and threw herself at every opportunity with enthusiasm. She entered ADMA’s ‘Young Creative of the Year’ competition, and won. She got gold at the PADC Awards, worked on a ‘Young Shits’ international competition brief and won that too. And now, she’s at M&C Saatchi, her dream role.

Oliver Ree, Digitas

Oliver is a designer with ten years experience in solving business challenges and building movements that fight societal injustices. He’s currently the Design Lead for Digitas Australia and New Zealand, where he connects design, data and technology to find unexpected creative solutions and create measurable impact for our clients.

At Digitas he’s helped win and implement digital transformation projects and campaigns for Tourism Australia, Qantas, TigerAir, Toyota, EA Games, FCA, Westpac, and Arnotts. This work has been recognised at Cannes Lions, LIA, and for the past three years has contributed to winning Gold and Silver at Campaign’s “Agency of The Year” award.


Phillip Robbie, Isobar Australia (DAN)

Despite growing up rural, Robbie’s career as a creative started out with a pencil, paper, and plenty of time. The pencil and paper were important, but the time was crucial in landing one of his doodles an appearance on Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s TV Program: HitRecord. While the program may have earned itself an Emmy, it earned him his first pay-check and a career.

After graduating from UNSW, he landed his first role as Designer at Arc Creative and simultaneously completed AWARD school. Next, he joined WiTH Collective, and was unleashed on clients like Optus, Qantas, Fairfax, and Pfizer. Some of his key achievements include: Cannes Lion Finalist, AWARD Pencil Winner, AC&E Winner, Dentsu ANZ Innovation People’s Choice Winner, Tropfest Finalist 2017, 2018, 2019, and ADMA 30Below.

Ruby Boynton-Boardman, The Royals

Starting her career at JWT Melbourne, Ruby worked on a range of clients from insurance to fashion. She was the lead creative on Yellowglen – sparkle on! – and for the Victorian Youth Symphony Orchestra.

She is currently at The Royals where she is forging her art direction style. It’s paid off well so far, with her and her copywriter winning three large pitches with two clients within six months against some really tough competition. Her biggest achievement has been mentoring younger people within the agencies she’s worked in.

Stephanie Allen, BMF

Stephanie grew up on a sheep and cropping farm in rural NSW. She always knew she wanted to do something creative. Her friends had favourite movies, she had favourite ads. She attended CSU where she completed a double degree in Advertising and Marketing, Diploma in Communications and later a Diploma in Graphic Design. Her first job was as a hybrid, half Account Executive, half Junior Copywriter at a boutique creative agency where she worked on brands like Oral-B, Wrigely and Dettol.

Here are some of her key achievements to date:
Creating The Miracle Ham ad for the ALDI 2019; turning World Children’s Day into #WorldChildrensSay for UNICEF in a social takeover; experimenting with different techniques for Abbott’s Village Bakery such as a one-shot ad and some stop-frame animation; playing with the Dulux dog to push paint; launching an activation for Weight Watchers by hosting The World’s Biggest Degustation Dining Event; winning awards in the Effies, Sirens, Shots, The World Animation Celebration Festival, The Animattikon Project and Vimeo Staff Pick of the Week and loads more. 

p.s There’s no big in-person party like usual this year and we’re going to have to content ourselves with virtual drinking games and remote flirting. We’re rapidly figuring out just how the fuck we’re actually going to do that so stay tuned, but don’t buy any bloody tickets just yet.

Thanks to all of our sponsors!



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