Hot on the heels of winning gold at the Campaign Global Agency of the Year awards Initiative Australia held its first national conference since before the pandemic, last week, at Glenworth Valley, two hours north of Sydney on NSW’s Central Coast.
While Australian media agencies are renowned for their commitment to innovation and pushing boundaries, Initiative Australia took this notion to extraordinary heights with its ground-breaking conference, called CultureFest. Led by CEO Melissa Fein, more than 200 people – including a 30-strong Perth contingent – from Initiative offices around Australia got together for three days of fun, collaboration and team building
CEO Initiative Australia, Melissa Fein said: “As a leadership team we recognised the crucial role that culture plays in fostering growth, innovation and a sense of belonging within organisations especially for our Young Guns who have recently joined the team and the industry. The revival of organisational culture has become a significant priority for Initiative, and CultureFest is a testament to our commitment.”
Inspired by festival events such as Coachella and Lost Paradise, CultureFest served as a platform to amplify the importance of organizational cultural values like never before, encapsulating the essence of cultural celebration, unity, and creativity.
David Burger, Initiative Perth MD, said: “For Perth’s team CultureFest embodied a symbol of resilience, adaptability, and the power of collective vision. We had the opportunity to truly immerse ourselves in this vibrant event, we witnessed the transformation of organisational culture from a mere concept to a living, breathing entity.
“Not only did it bring together Initiative’s employees from across Australia but provided unique inspiration from a fantastically diverse range of speakers and leaders, culminating in an extraordinary celebration of our shared cultural values. It served as a catalyst for innovation, collaboration, and creativity, fostering an environment that encouraged individuals to bring their authentic selves to the table.”
CultureFest showcased the boundless potential that emerges when diverse minds unite in pursuit of a shared cultural vision, from interactive installations to thought-provoking workshops and performances. Attendees had the opportunity to engage with thought leaders, visionaries, and change-makers from various industries, including the ABC’s Dr Norman Swan, Jack Riewoldt, vice-captain of Richmond Football Club and Michelle Kerrin from AFL NT and Authentic Leadership Group, igniting a spark of inspiration that will carry far beyond the event itself.
Burger added: “People are important, and investing into cultural moments that bring teams closer is now more important than ever. Culture Fest allowed teams from different states, different crafts and from different phases of their careers come together and learn from each other. When you breakdown the walls, that’s when the magic happens.
“Being on the West Coast of Australia, means we are naturally geographically removed from the conversation sometimes, so being able to connect with our colleagues and collaborate with our media partners from across Australia was a vital and inspiring example of relentless commitment to innovation and pushing the boundaries of what is possible.”