It’s time to re-create the great Australian agency

Australian ideas are a means to an end. And that end is pumping up a share price in Tokyo, London, Paris or New York, writes Bastion Collective CEO Jack Watts.

Every day starts the same. Get up, get moving, get positive. Today is a new day.

Slowly, the day deteriorates. Every time the phone rings it’s a toss of the coin between triumph and disaster. Is this the ‘yes’ I’ve been waiting for, or another problem waiting for me to solve?

Sometimes I wonder why. Why didn’t I go into finance or tech or mining. Surely if you put this much work in in those industries, you’d have more to show for it. Communications, what was I thinking!

Then, there’s the things I take for granted. Surfing on a Monday morning, backstage on a Wednesday night and trying to solve a client’s biggest problems over a drink on a Friday arvo.

Photo by Peter Chamberlain on Unsplash

It’s easy to forget that this is the greatest job in the world. I spend my life inside the boardrooms of some of the most interesting businesses in the country, working with enthusiastic experts coming up with brilliant solutions out of thin air.

Could there be a better way to make a living than working in the Australian communications industry?

But there is still something missing. Something is not right here. Australian ideas used to be great. We used to punch above our weight because we were prepared to have a crack and apply some good old-fashioned Aussie spirit. Some of humanity’s greatest ideas have come out of this land of droughts and flooding rains.

These days, however, Australian ideas are a means to an end. And that end is pumping up a share price in Tokyo, London, Paris or New York. Our best and brightest ideas are being used and abused to fill a cell in a spreadsheet a thousand miles from home.

And when our best storytellers are stuck in a global hamster wheel, no wonder we can’t tell our own story about who we are as a nation. This is the sad story of our country and our industry. We grew up a nation of dreamers and storytellers. A land of opportunity. The lucky country. The old Aussie dream was to own a home. It’s time we had a different dream.

So tonight I go to bed dreaming and tomorrow, I wake up on a mission. A mission to (re) create the great Australian agency. An agency capable of re-imagining the Australian identity to put Australian brands, businesses and people back at the forefront of this country and the communications industry.

It has taken a decade of work, almost my entire professional life to build Bastion Collective to be ready for this chance. A chance to take the Australian way to the world.

It’s time to put Australian ideas back in business.

Jack Watts is the CEO of Bastion Collective.


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