Lack of Aboriginal people in advertising target for new pathways program

Peter Kirk

Peter Kirk

The University of Sydney’s Wingara Mura Centre is asking advertising agencies to partner with it on a program to address the lack of Aboriginal people working in the industry.

Peter Kirk, founder of agency Integrated Space, and half-Aboriginal himself, approached the university and the Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander contact centre, to set up the program after being “disgusted” by the lack of indigenous people represented in the industry.

“I think the ad industry needs it. The ad industry needs to reach out to different cultures and different points-of-view and different visions. My goal is to enhance the ad agencies and the work that is being put out,” he told Mumbrella.

The centre has selected 22 students from different schools across the university  to take part in a 12 month training program which will see them work across three disciplines of adland – business, creative and production – with the aim of giving each student the choice of what part of the business they wish to work in at the completion of the program.

“There will be some competency based things that they have to do and that will be driven by the centre and the agency they work for. That will be around process,” Kirk explained.

However, no agencies have yet signed up to the initiative despite Kirk saying there had been interest from some of the bigger agencies.

“We’re hoping to put two or three in the big agencies because that’s where I believe they’ll get the most benefit,” Kirk said.

While the centre provides mentors for its students, the program is inviting those working in advertising to nominate to work with the pathways course as a mentor to a student.

“In that environment things can be quite assertive and aggressive and heated so we’re certainly very conscious about setting up safety nets around them,” said Kirk.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.