Macleay engages forward thinkers for Advertising course development


Macleay College consults with industry experts on how advertising graduates can be best trained for the future of the industry.

Macleay College, recently invited some forward thinking advertising heavy-weights to an advisory panel to discuss the future needs of the industry and what qualities and skills advertising graduates will need to be best equipped not only to be highly relevant and useful, but also to be at the forefront of the industry in the years to come.

The panelists included:

Aaron Michie, Chief Innovation Officer, ZenithOptimedia

Andy Wright, recent Managing Director at R/GA

Alex Ritchie, Creative Director at e2 Creative Group

Gaye Steel, Marketing Director, Guihen Jones

Andrew Barnum, Creative Principal at Barnum Group

Advertising program leader Ian Thomson commented “At Macleay we want to position ourselves at the leading edge of the advertising industry and be offering graduates with highly relevant qualities and skills. That’s we invited some of the industry’s forward thinkers to develop some educational strategies around what the needs of the industry will be in the next 5-10 years and beyond.”

In addition to the currently offered Diploma of Advertising, Macleay College is developing a 2 year degree course with specialisations in media, management and creative – to offer the industry more highly trained advertising professionals.

A focus of the panel discussion was the development in the digital and social space, and the need for graduates to be multi-skilled. “People who can think outside the conventional problem solving paradigms and who work comfortably with technology and closer with consumers will be the creative teams of the future” added Any Wright. “It is clear that advertising graduates also need a good level of training over an ever increasing base of technical skills” said Michie.

“Team collaboration and leadership are also qualities that ad grads need to be trained for in this increasing plural industry” commented Alex Ritchie. “And the new spirit of entrepreneurship in advertising also needs to be encouraged” mentioned Gaye Steel. “Currently the biggest gap in the industry if the lack of client focus. We need to focus more on the users (clients and consumers) and be less introspective in terms of agency culture” added Wright.

Education specialist Andrew Barnum commented “In addition to training and application, graduates need to develop analytical skills for creating arguments in order to solve problems. Hence developing a culture of change and curiosity”.

Macleay holds regular consultations with industry specialists. Previous panellists have included Matthew Delprado from Lowe Profero, Tim Brierley from GHG, Linda Anderson from the Communications Council and Tom Rankin and Kerry Boys from UM, and Linda Wong from the MFA. Macleay College is planning to launch the degree course in 2016.

Macleay College welcomes those interested in studying the Diploma of Advertising to it’s trimester 3 intake. Classes start on the 15 September. For further news and updates check out the newly launched student blog,

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