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The Marketing Academy Australia announces the 30 marketing executives selected for the 2023 Scholarship Program

Following a competitive 3 stage selection process The Marketing Academy Australia has selected the 30 marketing executives from client-side brands, media owners, agencies and start-ups to attend its world class Scholarship Program.

This free but highly selective development program for the best talent in the industry is designed to utilize the collective knowledge of C Suite executives to develop the Scholars skills and prepare them for their journey towards board level business leaders. Now entering its 9th year in Australia there are 240 alumni of the program who frequently describe the experience as ‘transformational’.

The program includes one-to-one mentoring with an enviable line up of board level executives including; Jo Boundy, CMO, CBA, Suzana Ristevski, CMO, NAB, Eric Thomson, Global Marketing Director, Pernod Ricard, Anubha Sahasrabuddhe CMO, Lion; Brent Smart, CMO, Telstra; Sweta Mehra, CMO, ANZ; Jenni Dill CMO, Arnott’s; Susan Coghill, CMO, Tourism Australia; Peter Horgan, CEO, Omnicom Media Group; Stuart Tucker, CMO, Hipages; Mark Coad, CEO, IPG Mediabrands; and Leisa Bacon, Director of Audiences at ABC.

In addition to mentoring, Scholars are each assigned an Executive Coach, attend 3 residential ‘Boot Camps’ packed with inspirational speakers, and attend lectures & masterclasses hosted by renowned experts from around the world. Each appointed Scholar will also receive 10 places for their teams and colleagues to enrol on the online development program ‘The Marketing Academy Virtual Campus’.

The Marketing Academy Founder & Global CEO, Sherilyn Shackell, said: “Year after year we are blown away by the calibre of talent in Australia and this year is no different. During what may yet prove to be a challenging year for both brands and agencies. The Marketing Academy is deeply committed to supporting these incredible leaders in their personal development, leadership growth and career performance. I’d like to personally thank our selection panel, sponsors, Mentors, Executive Coaches, and speakers for their ongoing generosity in what many Alumni call a ‘life changing’ program.”

Emma Terry, CEO South Australian Tourism Commission and Alumni of the Scholarship Program added “The Marketing Academy Scholarship is a development program like no other. Its combination of presenters, mentors, coaches, peers, alumni network and content is nothing short of life changing and enables real and genuine leadership growth. The program enabled me to open my eyes, expand my horizons and build my leadership capability to step up from CMO to CEO.”

The Marketing Academy Australia Scholarship Program is funded by long time sponsors Salesforce, Google, Commonwealth Bank, KFC, IAG, Deloitte Digital and Dentsu. They are joined this year by new partners, Optus.

Here’s the list of The Marketing Academy Australia Scholarship Class of 2023:

Ainslie Williams, CEO, Qualie
Akshay Sardana, Director, Product Marketing, Optus
Belinda Drew, Chief Client Officer, The Monkeys part of Accenture Song
Ben Clarke-Groom, Marketing Director – Marvel, Lucasfilm & National Geographic, The Walt Disney Company
Benjamin Cleary, Manager-Performance Marketing & Audience, Insurance Australia Group Limited (IAG)
Bianca Mundy, Acting General Manager – Brand, Digital & Design, Coles
Daniel O’Brien, Managing Director & Partner, Frontier Australia
David Gatt, Director, Deloitte Digital
David McDermott, Portfolio Marketing Manager, Mars Petcare Inc
Edward Hughes, Client Services Director, BMF
James Peereboom, Executive Manager Brand Communications, Commonwealth Bank
Jason Thatcher, Head of Brand & Advertising, Sportsbet
Jordyn Evans, Founder, Mingle Seasoning
Kristy Bloomfield, Senior VP Global Marketing, Lyre’s Spirit Co
Larissa Nery, Global Manager Digital, Mobile & UX, Tourism Australia
Lauren Small, Managing Director, Carat Australia
Nick Cook, General Manager, Marketing, Mad Mex
Prue Mahar, Head of Marketing – Customer Content and Channels, REA Group
Rachael Townsley, Marketing Director, Indeed
Rebecca Robertson, Managing Partner, Howatson + Company
Robbie Brammall, Director of Marketing and Communications, MONA
Rosie McFarlane, Head of Loyalty, Mecca Brands
Ruth Goumans, Brand Manager, KFC
Sarah Rosales, National Marketing & Customer Experience Manager, Toyota Finance Australia
Simon Greally, Global Head of Marketing & Comms, Harrison ai
Sophie Verow, Senior Strategy & Operations Marketing Manager AU/NZ, Google
Toby Gill, AAMI Brand & Marketing Manager, Suncorp Group
Trina Ng, Senior Director, Asia Pacific Marketing, Salesforce
William Koukouras, National Director, Sport & Entertainment, Publicis Groupe
Zunilka Whitnall, New Product and Innovation Lead, UNICEF

Full details of the Scholars, Alumni, Mentors, Coaches and Selection Panel can be found at


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