Social Change Maker Profile: Jenni Hayward, Adrenalin

Social Change Maker Profile: Jenni Hayward, Adrenalin

For the last few weeks, B&T has partnered with UnLtd to bring attention to some game-changing stars in our industry and their respective charity work. Last week, we grabbed Danni Dimitri from OMD for a quick chat.

And this week, it’s on to Jenni Hayward. She’s the senior marketing and events manager at Adrenalin, and she’s pretty damn impressive.

First ever job: For my first ever job, I was working as a stable-hand at a horse yard. I was 13 and, despite needing to spend my Saturdays shovelling horse dung, I was over the moon to be earning my own money.

If I wasn’t doing my job, I’d be: Sailing around the world. I’ve grown up sailing and love being on the water. A few years ago, I crossed the Atlantic with my family and got the taste for ocean crossings. Spending weeks without internet or sighting land gives you plenty of time to think! These days, I get my sailing fix by crewing on a boat at the weekends, we race around Sydney Harbour which is always great fun.

How I got where I am today: I got where I am today by always giving everything a try and making sure that whatever I am doing makes me happy.

I studied public relations at Uni, then worked in two PR agencies and a start-up digital agency. I’ve worked with brands including: Nokia, Burger King, J&B Whiskey, Marc Jacobs and many more. I have interspersed my career with travel. (I’ve lived in Brazil, Colombia and the UK).

Causes I care about: I strongly believe that people can do incredible things when they feel that others believe in them. Part of this comes by giving people the tools and encouragement to help themselves. The Big Issue is an organisation that helps people living on the streets or who have fallen upon hard times to get work by selling magazines.

Looking after our oceans should also be a priority for us all. I try to encourage people to pick up litter, especially at the beach. Take 3 For The Sea is a great initiative that encourages people to pick up at least three pieces of rubbish when they visit the beach.

The change I’d like to see in the world and why it’s important: Although it’s not an easy nut to crack, I would like to see a better, fairer and more efficient process to help refugees and asylum seekers enter countries and be helped integrate into local communities. As the global refugee crisis grows and shows no signs of stopping, it is of paramount importance the current system is improved.

How did you first get involved with UnLtd: Bernie, the director of Adrenalin, told me about UnLtd. He had seen Paul Fisher (the previous CEO) speaking at an industry conference. I contacted the team and pitched our idea of an ‘Agency Games’ fundraising event to bring agency land together for a good cause. The team were totally on board with our plans for a 90s-themed games day and the ‘90s Schoolyard Showdown’ was born!

We got 10 agencies to put forward their teams of 10 people to compete in old school games like bulrush, skipping, handball and more. All the teams really got stuck in and the 90s outfits were next level. Most importantly, we managed to raise $12,000 for UnLtd thanks to all the participants and our sponsors, Adobe and RythmOne.

The charity projects I’m currently working on: The Refugee Language Program at Sydney University is a volunteer led not-for-profit group that exists to offer free English lessons to refugees, which is headed up by the wonderful Lesley Carnus. I volunteer every Wednesday afternoon as a tutor.

I’m also currently planning for the second Agency Games to take place later in the year. I’m excited to continue our support for the awesome work UnLtd. does uniting the industry to undo youth disadvantage. This one is set to be even bigger and better than the last!

Some social issues I’m passionate about are: There are a lot! But here are a few:

  • Supporting refugees and asylum seekers
  • Giving people who’ve had a difficult start the chance to reach their potential
  • Reducing the amount of plastic in the ocean
  • Female empowerment – across the board from changing stereotypes, inspiring young women to reach their potential and fighting for equal pay and rights in the work place

If you’re also passionate about female empowerment, head to B&T‘s Changing the Ratio on May 28 for a day of diversity, inclusion and the promotion of women in Australia’s advertising, marketing and media landscape.

We’ve locked in some killer speakers (including Lisa Wilkinson!) and attendees will walk away with game-changing ideas, practical tools and case studies to take back to their organisations. To be one of those attendees, grab tickets here. But back to Jenni. 

Why I want to give back: I’m acutely aware that I live a very privileged life which I make a conscious effort not to take for granted. I’m healthy, have a loving family, live in developed, safe country and am part of the seven per cent of people in the world to have received a university education. I think the question should rather be ‘why wouldn’t I want to give back?’

I realised that giving back doesn’t always mean going to a remote village in Africa and digging a well – I’d probably be more of a hindrance than a help doing that! So I tried to look at the skills I already have and how they could be useful to others. For me, speaking English and being able to organise events are my most valuable ways to give back.

The best/most rewarding volunteering experience I’ve had: At Adrenalin we have a paid day each year for volunteering. I organised for the whole company to sell magazines for The Big Issue (a not-for-profit organisation that gives people a ‘hand up, not a hand out’ by producing a magazine that vendors can sell).

We met the vendors and heard their stories, then we took to the streets for a few hours and tried to sell some copies of the magazine. It was a very humbling experience and really drove home the reality these people face on a daily basis. What I really took away from the day was hearing people explain that they could earn 10x more per day by simply begging but they choose to work instead because they want to contribute.

My greatest achievement: Learning Spanish (even though I speak the language like a five-year-old) is something I never thought I would do, so I’m proud that I can now hold a conversation. It means I can talk to even more people from all across the world who I wouldn’t have been able to before!

The person/company I’d like to challenge to get involved and why: I’d like to challenge everyone reading this to take a minute to think about what micro-action they can take to make a difference. Whether it is as simple as picking up a piece of litter or even encouraging their company to take part in a charity fundraising event.

My advice for someone just starting their career is: Don’t try to look too many steps ahead or get hung up on the idea you have to have an unbridled ‘passion’ for something from the off. This can become a hurdle when you are trying to figure out what you should pursue. Instead, think about what you really like and really don’t like doing.

Then, look at what you are good at and try to match these up. Try different things, chase after opportunities and say yes when they appear! Lastly I would say don’t worry about money – it comes along when you aren’t chasing it and it also becomes less important when you find something you enjoy doing.

If I could have one super power, that would be: Being able to teleport. My family and friends are scattered all over the world and I would love to be able to just pop back and forth in the blink of an eye to see them. Come on Elon Musk – I’m sure you can crack that!

UnLtd is a social purpose organisation connecting the media, marketing and creative industries with charities helping children and young people at risk. Find out how you can get involved at

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