Meet The B&T 30 Under 30 Strategy Finalists!

The concept of logical thinking. Geometric shapes on a gray background. Business building concept.

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 Strategy finalists.

Brooke Thompson, Mindshare

Over the years, Brooke has learnt that you don’t need to be the most senior person in the room to inspire change. With only a few months of media experience under her belt, she won 1 of 5 Wild Card spots in the region to present at Mindshare’s 2015 APAC Conference. She was chosen for her point of view on improving the agency model 6 months after learning what an agency was.

A year later she joined Mindshare’s Strategy team and at the end of the year was awarded Rising Star. She then went on to win Employee of the Year 2017 for single-handedly influencing the global Mindshare planning process. It is the only time in Mindshare Australia’s history that the two awards have been won back to back.

In 2019 her work Volvo was awarded for Brand Value at the Australian Effie’s and the won the MFA Business Impact and Grand Prix Awards. In April 2019, after four years in a strategic role, she was promoted to Strategy Director, making her the fastest rising Strategy Director in GroupM AUNZ’s recent history.

Genevieve McCulloch, News Corp

Genevieve’s 7+ year career started in 2013 working in TV sales at MCN before moving to News Corp to expand her skill set across digital, print and activation platforms. After 2 years in News Corp Sales, she transferred into a partnership role within Newsamp; News Corps integrated partnerships department.

Some of her key highlights within her strategic partnership role include: working with NT Tourism, NT Government and NT Major Events to deliver a collaborative whole of News Corp business approach as well as recently working with KFC AFL Code Block and curating a media first partnership. Gen was promoted to News Corps Director of Sport at the start of this year, leading the Newsamp partnership team across the News Corps Sport Network.

Georgia Patch, Bastion EBA

Georgia started her advertising career at Host as an Account Executive, and after 10 months moved into the Planning Department. As a Junior Planner, she worked on the agency’s biggest account and lead a number of smaller accounts.

Eager to apply strategy 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’). They won a One Show Gold, Silver Effies, Silver Spikes Asia and placed finalisted for Glass, Cyber & Media Canne award .

She then moved to London to join a startup, Vero. She led the development of their charity initiative, Donate Now, helping major charities such as amFAR modernise how people donate. In 2019, she joined Bastion EBA as a Creative Strategist. She has been the strategic lead for Kia and Garnier’s 2020 Australian Open activations, won key pitches for Microsoft, Bunnings Warehouse, Ferrari, L’Oreal Group, Samsung and Brookfield.

Joshua Hogg, Initiative

After moving from small town New Zealand to Melbourne late 2015, Joshua started his career at Initiative.  His fascination with strategy grew quickly, when a role opened just over a year a half in, he managed to convince the Head of Strategy to give him a shot.

In his 2.5 years in strategy, he’s taken charge as the strategic lead on Bunnings Warehouse, Officeworks, Remedy, and Geeks2U.  In 2019, he was 1 of 4 finalists in UnLtd’s ‘Pitch for Purpose’, proposing a social enterprise for good. He was also 1 of 5 finalists for the MFA ‘NGEN Award’ responding on a brief to raise money for the charity, Backtrack. Joshua also spoke at MFA EX in front of 1500 industry leaders.

His proudest achievement to date is out of 160 inspiring individuals nationally, he was both Initiative’s Employee of the Quarter in Q3 and Employee of the Year for 2019, the same year that Initiative took home Gold for Australian Media Agency of the Year at APAC Campaign’s AOY awards.

Kellie Box, BMF

With just 3 years of experience under her belt, Kellie has truly made a mark in the industry. She was part of launching ALDI’s “Good Different”, winning 2 Gold and 3 Silver Effies and repositioning ALDI from a ‘discount supermarket’ to a ‘supermarket with a difference’. She has also moderated over 800 people in focus groups, in depth interviews, shop-a-longs, UX testing, ethnographic research and eye tracking.

As the only full-time planner working on the ALDI business for the past 3 years, she’s managed to become an unlikely senior authority in board-rooms and briefing rooms alike. She is a member on the UTS Public Communications Industry Panel, was a 2017 Planning Idol finalist after just 6 months in Planning and helped BMF achieve the coveted Effie Effective Agency of the Year in 2017 & 2019.

Laura Wrigley, Gemba

In 2017, Laura was sitting in a lecture tossing up whether to pursue corporate law or police prosecution. Less than 3 years later she became one of Gemba’s youngest ever Senior Marketing Consultants and had the fastest progression from graduate to senior consultant in the company’s history.

By her second ‘Gembaversary’ she’dwritten sponsorship portfolio recommendations for Australia’s biggest brands, acquired sponsorships to launch major products, designed strategies to help companies like McDonald’s and Mondelez leverage everything from footy to festivals, and conducted a strategic review of the biggest sponsorship deal in the country. 

In 2019, Laura joined the Board of a music festival, expanded her knowledge through Mark Ritson’s Mini MBA, and became one of three people leading Gemba’s sustainability efforts, launching an industry leading thought leadership event on the role of sport in sustainability attended by some of the biggest names in the game.

Matt Brazendale, Isobar

Matt started in a small, independent media agency in Christchurch, New Zealand with a total of 4 staff where he learnt all things digital. Two years later, Vizeum Melbourne offered him a role in one of the largest teams at the time. He moved from Digital to Strategy where he crafted and managed a campaign solution that earned a place in Vizeum’s global awards book as a case study for best in class work.

He then found a role at his current home, Isobar, as a Strategist in our Ecosystems team. He’s worked on multiple pitches (with wins in there too), changed the way clients fundamentally operate, helped craft the way forward for a Government agency in the way they communicate with all their customers & resurrected the Strategy team’s thought leadership initiatives.

Max Learmont, M&C Saatchi

At university, Max fell in love with economics. So, he wanted to find a job where he could professionalise his passion for behavioural economics, enabling him to provide novel solutions to real world problems. He was offered an internship in AMPs product innovation team, but quickly realised his ambition was at odds with the conservative nature of the company.

A couple years down the road, he discovered creative strategy. He was working as a digital media consultant, when two strategists presented their award entry for Young Lions.  It was at this moment, he knew he had found his “thing”. In the 5 years that have passed, he’s refined his version of behaviour-led creativity has accomplished the following: NGEN Gold 2017 & 2019, Young Lions Australia Runner-Up, Miami Ad School “Top Dog”, Young Spikes Asia Finalist and launched a top 100 Australian business podcast on strategy called “Son Of A Pitch”.

Rebecca Drummond, Wavemaker

Rebecca’s career path hasn’t been linear. She moved from investment (Mediacom) to digital sales (News Corp), to communications planning (Wavemaker) to strategy. In 2014 and 2016, she completed ADMA Creative School and AWARD School. In 2019, she co-created a small business, Smoggys, a brand of brightly patterned facemasks to raise money for the RFS.

Her achievements are eclectic; from supporting regional Australia by winning the national Boomtown competition (2019), to helping cancer charities by leading the strategy for award winning work ‘Dream Job’ for DreamLab App (2017,2018), to helping the bottom line of her agency by leading the strategy and presenting in 8 successful pitches.

These achievements have also helped raise her industry profile; being shortlisted in 4 young-achiever awards (2018-2019), being a top 5 media finalist in the Cannes Young Lions competition (2019), and being the only Wavemaker to win Wavemaker Of The Year…Twice (2016, 2019). This culminated in worldwide recognition, winning M&M Global’s Millennial Of The Year in 2019.

Thomas Davies, Mindshare

Starting as a graduate intern in GroupM’s mGrad Programme in late 2015, Thomas made it his mission to never allow his title or day-to-day role get in the way of sinking his teeth into an interesting problem. He was promoted rapidly through a number of media trading roles before 2018 saw him move into Mindshare’s strategy team, where in his first ever strategic response he designed a new retail media framework for Volvo that would help pave the way for the brand’s MFA Grand Prix a year later.

In March that same year, he received a nomination from Mindshare’s leadership team to a sit on GroupM’s shadow board, nCo (comprised of young leaders under 30 from across the country), and was promoted to Chair after just 6 months. His proudest achievement through this role was co-authoring a new wellbeing strategy for the group.

2019 was his most prolific year yet, culminating in being named Mindshare’s “Purple Power Player of the Year”, with his strategy role first expanding to cover a national patch of clients and then an APAC audience planning remit for sister agency mSIX.


p.s B&T‘s 30 Under 30 Awards, presented by Vevo (our newest sponsor – hello and thank you for your support, legends!), will be taking place virtually on Thursday, 4 June 2020. You got that? Thursday, 4 June. 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. 

Thanks to all of our sponsors!


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B&T 30 under 30 Strategy

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