The Work 2023 Contenders: R/GA Australia

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Campaign Brief recognises and showcases the great work that is being produced in the region with The Work 2023 Contenders…

The Work 2023 Contenders: R/GA Australia

We Are Warriors is designed to inspire – people, brands, organisations – to join the WAW by spotlighting Blak excellence and encouraging the next generation to “see it to be it”. Having faced his own uncomfortable truths, founder Nooky recognised the need to create a platform to give Indigenous kids something to aspire to – to unlock their inner Warrior and drive positive change.

In the past, other organisations have focussed on improving outcomes for First Nations youth by attempting to change how non-indigenous Australians saw Indigenous people; challenging negative perceptions and behaviours. However, the positive impact on Indigenous youth had been limited. So, we flipped it. Rather than ask non-indigenous Australians to change the way they saw Indigenous youth, we needed to change the way Indigenous Youth saw themselves.

We didn’t just create a campaign, we created ‘We Are Warriors’ (WAW): a social enterprise to enable Indigenous youth to reclaim their power. An organisation providing Indigenous youth with positive role models by putting a spotlight on ‘Blak Excellence’; focusing on building positivity, rather than fighting negativity. WAW engages with allies, brands and organisations to make them feel part of a movement, radically changing the narrative and taking pride in the process, knowing their financing and participation is driving real change.

How do you activate a movement designed to help Indigenous youth take back their power? By doing it on a day when they traditionally felt the most powerless: ‘Invasion Day’. On the 26th of January 2022, WAW officially launched. WAW launched by telling the story of six Indigenous ‘warriors’. Successful role models demonstrating excellence within music, fashion, sport, photography and performance. Their inspirational stories invited Indigenous youth to see themselves as warriors too. One year later, we continued to build momentum by creating ‘Blak Powerhouse’. An event taking over Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum to showcase Blak Excellence in music, film, photography and art. It turned a day of oppression into a day of inspiration for 6,000 people.

While it takes many social organisations years to make traction, WAW has defied the odds. In just over a year: JD Sports introduced WAW Welcome to Countries POS across 50 stores across Australia. A Tik Tok partnership valued at $20k in sponsorship for 2023 content production. Adobe has committed to developing a WAW academy program, facilitating pathways into creative internships and work placements.

A grant from the City of Sydney has enabled WAW to establish a physical space in a high traffic area: the Warrior Community Centre. For the first time ever, the entire Sydney Powerhouse Museum was ‘donated’ to an organisation for a 24 hour takeover where it was rebranded as the ‘Blak Powerhouse’. The financial value of the venue hire alone was valued at over $100k, not to mention personnel and talent who gave their time, and the amplification via the museum’s owned channels including social and in-situ media spaces. But most importantly it provided a space for thousands of people to gather.

Don’t just take our word for it, here is what our audience at Blak Powerhouse had to say:

“The kids here at Blak Powerhouse are going to be impacted by the powerful Blak people here. They are influencing a new generation that is coming through and that will create major change… just because they were seen.”


The Work 2023 Contenders: R/GA Australia

MOCA (Museum of Chinese in Australia): Stories of Home
MOCA (the Museum of Chinese in Australia) is a new museum based in Haymarket, adjacent to Sydney’s Chinatown, due to open in 2023. MOCA began as a conversation over dinner when its founders recognised a need for a representative space for Australia’s largest Chinese Australian community. They were further galvanised by the events of the past few years and the subsequent impact of divisive rhetoric on the Asian community. Businesses closed and tourism declined, putting the rich cultural legacy of Australia’s oldest Chinatown at risk.

A home for Chinese Australian stories, we developed a brand identity built around the idea of home. The roof radical 宀, a Kangxi character used in the Chinese word for ‘home’, symbolises the protection a roof provides. It’s the basis of our logo and identity system, acting as a dynamic frame constantly adapting to house content. Using blue signals a shift from the traditionally red palette associated with China to acknowledge this as a multi-dimensional Chinese Australian story.

MOCA is a museum that works alongside local businesses, focuses on engagement and education, and spotlights culture in a contemporary way. Pivotal to the foundation of the brand was blurring of the physical and the digital. The digital presence collects crowdsourced content through the Stories of Home online exhibition. The resulting collection of stories will put the spotlight on the contemporary experiences of a long-standing community that’s integral to Australia’s social fabric, while building connection, promoting engagement and providing a platform for fundraising for the museum. The intention is that these digital stories will form MOCA’s first permanent exhibition ‘Stories of Home’ when the doors of the physical museum in late 2023, and that this exhibition will continually evolve as more Chinese Australians share their tales.

Additionally, the activation featured five influential Chinese Australian figures. The new website details MOCA’s story, refreshed brand, features a glimpse into the exhibition, and encourages involvement and donations. An interactive digital experience, able to scale into new territories, is a digital representation of the new dynamic, ever-evolving brand.

MOCA has gained the traction and awareness needed to strengthen the Chinese Australian community and fund the museum’s opening, already receiving a government grant of $2.8m. And this is just the beginning.


The Work 2023 Contenders: R/GA Australia

You can’t be what you can’t see. THROUGH THE FIRE is a documentary by We Are Warriors (WAW) founder, Nooky, celebrating his own upbringing as a self-proclaimed Warrior. Told through Nooky’s lens, THROUGH THE FIRE unpacks the uncomfortable truths faced by First Nations people, but more importantly, shifts the narrative to one of bravery, resilience and Blak excellence.

The film harnesses the prolific power of Indigenous achievements across music, fashion, sport and beyond. It aims to inspire and empower Indigenous youth by connecting them with Indigenous role models, so they can see it to be it.

THROUGH THE FIRE is the story and the origins of WAW. The song called ‘We Are Warriors’ is the graphic account of the WAW’s origins and narrative. THROUGH THE FIRE tells the story of the black cockatoo – significant to Nooky’s birthplace of Nowra. The white cockatoo – facing adversity, pain and torment – flies through the fire to emerge a black cockatoo, bringing rain and lessons of perseverance, resurrection and resilience. With Indigenous youth facing the highest incarceration rate on earth, the story is as symbolic as ever.

THROUGH THE FIRE is Executive Produced by Nooky of We Are Warriors, Ben Miles, VP, Executive Creative Director, Brand Design & Consulting APAC at R/GA, and Seamus Higgins, Former SVP, CCO, R/GA. Directed by Gabriel Gasparinatos and produced by Erin Moy. It is an Entropico production in collaboration with Garuwa. With support from Rare by Google, Adobe JD Sports and Heaps Normal.



The deadline for Campaign Brief’s The Work 2023 is Monday May 8. Entries are FREE with only an acceptance fee charged for those that make the cut. See full details and enter here… If your agency has entered The Work and would like to showcase your best work in our Contenders series email