‘We’re recognising those that stand up to the establishment’: Ex-Hardhat ECDs launch ‘DisOrder of Australia’ awards

Former Hardhat ECDs, Chris Hince and Andy Segal, have launched their first major project since going freelance, unveiling the ‘DisOrder of Australia’ awards, Mumbrella can reveal.

As debate heats up again around January 26, Hince and Segal said they want to spark some fresh conversations, and show why protesting really matters. By introducing the ‘DisOrder of Australia’ awards, they hope to pay tribute to those who fought for change in 2023.

While the Governor General will celebrate and award the Order of Australia medals, Hince and Segal will award activist individuals and groups with the ‘DisOrder of Australia’ awards.

“Over the years, we’ve seen the rise and need for protest across our country,” said Segal.

“There are just so many issues where there is inequality and government inaction, that we wanted to acknowledge the passionate activists who aren’t afraid to fight the good fight. At the same time, we hope to inspire others to join.”

Hince told Mumbrella: “Australia Day has become a day of protest in so many fields. And every year we see the Order of Australia awards handed out, so it’s a perfect day to be doing this.

“We’re not taking away from the Order of Australia – that recognises great people who do great work. We’re just recognising those that stand up to the establishment and say enough is enough.

“We approached production companies and activist groups to lend a hand, and they all said yes immediately. It was nice, because yes is a word we didn’t hear enough of in ’23.”

Segal explained the idea stemmed from wanting to do something good in the social change space.

“We did a lot of thinking of how we can make a difference, how we can make a change,” he told Mumbrella. “The name of the Order of the Australia and the lack of awareness from the establishment just made us want to disrupt a bit and launch an anti-establishment award.”

Hince said there were a “couple of steers here and there” to make sure the work is tonally correct.

“We were a little bit nervous because this isn’t our natural space,” he explained. “But we get to benefit from an Australia that’s made better from people doing stuff like this. So, we wanted to make this happen and support people who do go out there and put themselves on the line.”

The ‘DisOrder of Australia’ medal design

The design of the medals, which resembles the anarchy symbol, was created deliberately and strategically, according to Hince.

“When you look at the Order of Australia, OA, and put those letters on top of each other, you’ve got the anarchy symbol,” he said. “And using that just put a nice little touch to the work.

“A lot of the activist groups we spoke to had a real socialist feeling to them, and it was beautiful to see and represent in the medal design.”

The awards have been uniquely handcrafted by Waterside Metal Art. This year the three judges for the awards are Freja Leonard from Friends of the Earth, prominent social activist from Extinction Rebellion, Brad Homewood, and leading senior advocacy campaigner, Adam Valvasori.

This year, an award will be given to an individual and a group or organisation.

“That’s not to say there should only be two winners. Next year, our aim is to give out more awards across different categories,” said Segal.

(L-R): Segal, Hince

The ‘DisOrder of Australia’ awards will be handed out on Thursday night.

The duo departed Hardhat late last year, after four years. They joined Hardhat in 2019 as associate creative directors, from WPP’s GTB Melbourne where they worked on brand campaigns for Ford Australia.

Last month Segal and Hince told Mumbrella: “It had been four years and we’ve learned a lot at Hardhat. We can take our brand strength and then combine it with CX and then take it forward [for other agencies or clients].”

They said they were starting out with freelance work as a “stop gap”, hoping to get a look under the hood at a number of Australian agencies, before landing their next permanent gig.


Founders and creative: Hince and Segal

Production company: Guilty

Executive producer: Jason Byrne

Director: Yianni Rowlands

Photographer: Tom Franks

Sound: Craig Conway, Final Sound


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