New AWARD chair announced after Cam Blackley steps down

Advertising Council Australia (ACA) has named Mandie van der Merwe as the new chair of the Australasian Writers and Art Directors Association (AWARD) as Cam Blackley steps down after four years.

The news comes after Blackley yesterday announced his exit from M&C Saatchi AUNZ, following a near-six year stint in the chief creative officer role.

Van der Merwe brings more than 20 years of experience to the role, most recently having left her joint chief creative officer remit at Dentsu to take on a role of the same title at Publicis’ Saatchi & Saatchi, with her creative partner Avish Gordhan.

“It is a privilege to lead the AWARD Executive Committee. With the creative landscape constantly evolving, it’s incredibly important that AWARD keeps innovating and adapting to maintain its status as the champion of creativity in this region. To be steering it through the next phase of growth is incredibly exciting,” van der Merwe said

“I’d like to thank Cam for his excellent enthusiasm and strategic thinking over the years. The future of AWARD is brighter for his contribution and his energy will be missed by all on the AWARD Council.”



Meanwhile, Blackley said of his departure: “It’s been a wild ride. I’m blown away by all the AWARD Council has achieved in my time as chair. We set about to bring stature back and add as much value to the creative community as time and money would allow.

“The key to success is the group of stars including Mandie, that we’ve curated to bring broad opinion and progressive thinking to everything we do. I’d like to thank them for their outstanding ideas and contributions and wish them all the best in taking AWARD and its stellar lineup of programs to new heights.”


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