Jesse Young crowned top student at VIC AWARD School graduation held last night in Melbourne

6 (1).jpgJesse Young (left) has been awarded Top Student at Victoria's 2017 AWARD School graduation ceremony, which took place at Smart Artz Gallery in Melbourne tonight (26 July).

Jesse was tutored by: James Willis, Kieran Moroney, Aaron Pepper, Jake Barrow of Y&R; and Pete Cvetkovski and Adam Ferrie of Publicis.

He is now in the running for Top Student at the National AWARD School Competition, with the chance to win a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet David Droga in NYC. The national winner will be announced on Monday 7 August in Sydney.

Second place was awarded to Oliver Brock, who was tutored by: Adam Barnes and Ray Ali of Clemenger BBDO; and Anna Yates and Locki Choi of DDB.
James Orr, Michael Mulcahy, Jesse Young, Elle Bullen (1).jpgThird place went to Kate Foley, who was tutored by: Michael Punton and Lars Wannop of Isobar; and Alex Metson and Blair Kimber of Leo Burnett.

Before a crowd of industry professionals and supporters, VIC AWARD School Heads Elle Bullen (SDWM), James Orr (SDWM)jesseyoungkatefoleyoliverbrock.jpg and Michael Mulcahy (JWT) congratulated the class of 50 graduates on completing the 12 week intensive course.

Commenting on the calibre of the 2017 class, Bullen said: "We've been blown away by the effort and enthusiasm shown by this year's students. The briefs continue to get tougher and more challenging every year, but the ideas only get better and better. The level of innovativetopstudentandtutors.jpg thinking, particularly in non-traditional media, has been exceptional. Bravo to all."

The School Heads also took the opportunity to thank this year's lecturers, tutors and judges for their time and support over the 12 week course. For a full list of 2017 AWARD School VIC Tutors, click here.8 (1).jpg

VIC Top 10 Students:
1st place - Jesse Young
2nd place - Oliver Brock
3rd place - Kate Foley

The final seven graduates to make the VIC top 10, in no particular order, are:
Katarina Matic
Ben Grant
Jack Harrison
Matthew Bladin
Harrison Robbins
Aaron Bethune
Keir Telfer-Williams

AWARD School VIC Judge and Creative Director at J. Walter Thompson Melbourne, Annie Price said: "In previous years, it's been quite a clear gap between great, good and average. But thisvicgrads.jpg year, the gaps had closed significantly and it was tough to pick. We deliberated over those top spots, and there were a lot of fantastic contenders. So well done, class of 2017. Hopefully agencies will be snapping up this wealth of fresh talent at graduation night."

This year's five state winners from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane will have their books reviewed by the National Competition 'Super Jury', comprising leading creatives from around the world.

The National Competition coincides with the 30th anniversary of a teenage David Droga, Founder and Creative Chairman of renowned agency Droga5, winning Top Student at AWARD School in 1987.
To mark the occasion, AWARD School will fly the national winner to NYC to meet David Droga and to compare their winning portfolios from 1987 and 2017.
Dates for all graduation ceremonies are as follows:
QLD - Wednesday 19 July
NSW - Tuesday 25 July
VIC - Wednesday 26 July
SA - Thursday 27 July
WA - Friday 28 July
National Announcement (in Sydney) - Monday 7 August

Full details here:


Hang on a minute said:

After some serious detective work and a quick search on LinkedIn, it would appear young Jesse and Oliver currently hold the positions of Art Director and Copywriter at Isobar and have done for over a year. Isn't that against the rules of AWARD school? Even if it's not, this feels wrong. Well done though I guess?

Baffled said:

Well done all the students, good on you.

But what a shame so many CD's , leading creatives and even recruiters weren't allowed to go to graduation night this year, because the places they work for aren't corporate members of the Communications Council.

How is that fair on the students who've sweated their guts out to get noticed and paid 2K for the privilege? Surely the point of Award School is get a job and grad night is the prime networking opportunity - or even score a job.

Non comms council agencies can't tutor or judge this year either.

And surely it's not about the money. Award School generates close to 400K of gross revenue and all tutors and judges willingly give their time for free. Even the grad nights are usually sponsored.

I reckon it sucks.

CD in Melbourne said:

Didn't even know it was on.

Nice one AWARD / CommsCouncil.

Just being honest said:

Is AWARD School still relevant? It used to be about finding new creative talent. Now it's about creatives already in the industry trying to get a promotion. The tutors and judges become involved to get their names out there, a bit like has-been celebs going on Dancing with The Stars. Anyway, congratulations class of 2017 and welcome to advertising. Oh you've already been here for a year? Umm...

-GK said:

@Just being honest said:

You're not being honest, you're being sad and you belittle the efforts of those who are helping the next generation get into the industry.

Anyway, off you trot. Get back to the wonderful jaded world of you.

David Droga said:

AWARD school is outdated and out of touch. While the advertising landscape is constantly changing this course has been running in the same format for 30+ years. We've heard it all before, print is dead so why keep thinking that way, and teaching the next gen to think that way unless you want to die off too?

Elle said:

According to the AWARD website...

'AWARD School is a special course run by AWARD for people who want to become copywriters/art directors in the advertising industry - not for those currently working within a creative department of an agency.'

Gosh, we best go back over the past few years and collect back those little shiny pencils...

wow said:

@justbeinghonest what a pathetic and mean spirited thing to say. I'm so glad I don't live in your head.

Copyranter said:

What a disgrace. Top students already working in agency land. And all those others who have dreamed and worked their arses off this year, and years past that fail to nail top ten struggle to get a break. Award school is biased and rigged.

Send it said:

I was lucky enough to attend the graduation night and met both Jesse and Oli. Great guys and well deserved winners. Congrats to all involved. The work on those walls proves we have massive talent coming through the ranks.

Paid juniors winning - shocker. said:

@hang on a minute + @just being honest + @Elle

"not for those currently working within a creative department of an agency" for the reason that the work becomes a combined effort of experienced creatives and their senior colleagues who they share a desk with. Instead of of independent hopefuls trying to expand their creativity being crowned top student, it goes to those already making $$$ from it.

Nice one bending the rules to allow these guys and all the others working in the industry to partake these year AWARD school. Who could've seen this coming...

stop it said:

quit it you bunch of twats!

well done that guy and coming up with ideas never loses relevance

@Paid juniors winning - shocker. said:

That's why Award School is a perfect simulation for agency life.

It can be unfair, and sometimes having the right relationships can win over hard work.

But there are a heap of Award school students who didn't place or win, who've gone on to be superstars - your result doesn't have to define you.

@David Droga said:

Yes the advertising landscape is changing and that is why two of the briefs this year were for brand new disciplines that have never appeared in the school before.

Print/OOH has been taught since the start of the school (and still is) because it helps the students learn the basics of what an idea is and how to come up with them.

These are the foundation that they build their thinking on for the rest of the school.

You gotta crawl before you can run.

Just passing by said:

Without getting stuck in the argument. I do believe it is WRONG that an individual who is already a professional create winning a competition designed for aspiring creatives. It's like allowing Usain Bolt to run against 12 year olds...

Who really needs the tutors of Award school? said:

I was knocked back when I applied this year and perhaps I wasn't worth making the cut, but what if I was next in line? I was beat out by someone already with a job with access to CDs and senior creatives as tutors.

I asked award school what justified breaking the rules and this is what I got - "while we do stipulate that you have not worked in a creative role (i.e. Art Director or Copywriter) in an agency for over 6 mths, we do make exceptions. This year we made 3 such exceptions".

Of those 3, 2 of them won the top 2 spots. So I guess maybe @@Paid juniors winning - shocker. is right. It's a lesson that the industry is unfair and people like me are stuck to work unfulfilling jobs and try our best to get agencies to notice us, only to be snubbed by "try out for Award school next year, then we'll talk".

*shakes head* said:

As a young creative myself, it's really disappointing to read these comments. Congratulations to the top 10 and the graduating class of 2017. If AWARD School want to make it a rule, then they'll do so. If not, then play on.
Let's see a little more positivity for the group of people who *all* put in endless hours of work.

qt3.14 said:

I already had a job when I did AWARD School. I learnt more at AWARD in those short few months than I did in my first job. So, completely forbidding people who already have jobs from doing AWARD School would be wrong, in my opinion. I'm very glad I got to do it.

Me too said:

I did AWARD School previously, and the only thing I learnt was that they don't give refunds.

idiotmachine said:

I did award school and i learned all about how to be awarded and patted on the back and stabbed on the back and get awarded over and over until i had a mantlepiece of awards and a showcase of awards and a cabinet of awards next to my bowling trophy and my trophy that won a trophy for being the best trophy of all trophy awards. next year i will got to pat on the back school and hug school and get patted on the back all the time because i am a genius legend who wears a beard identity crisis and tattoos for insta-personality because im not sure who i am

idiotmachine said:

next years i will be starting a rival school called applause school where you get applauses wherever you go and win trophies for winning trophies for winning trophies until you dont know what the initial trophy was won for so its like a mobious strip of trophy winning and constant applause until your dizzied with self admiration and you dont know who you are anymore

Send it said:

idiotmachine - get off the drugs

@Send it said:

idiotmachine is the closest thing to the truth that can possibly be imagined.

Off the high horse said:

The year I did award school, which is over 10 years ago, the winner and 3rd place were advertising suits who decided to become creatives. Sure they weren't creative's already, but they were suits: writing briefs and judging creative for years before, with access to top creative's to help them. The course has always been biased towards those already in the industry and perhaps this year is no different. Again, its just evident how insular the industry is. How the fuck is a typical plumber or primary school teacher or jaded cop gonna hear about 'Award School'?? Perhaps Brief 1 next year should have a prop about attracting talent outside of the pool of people hovering around the ad industry in the first place? The average person has never heard of award school. How can the industryl attract people who aren't already in it if they've never heard of it?

These guys are talented and deserve the wins. All of them in the top ten. Those pissing and moaning about not getting in - bad luck, that's life. Have a crack next year. I didn't get in first time and I graduated top 10 when i did.

An average Joe said:

How does the advertising industry expect to be respected if all they do is award themselves? This course is meant to be an open contest because the next best thing could be working at the local Macca's. No wonder everyone who isn't in advertising hates the industry cos everyone in it just loves themselves.

idiotmachine said:

im gonna get a tattoo of a beard on my face, but on my forehead, so i swiftly cover the creative-hipster uniform trifecta - beard, tatts and irony.

Well done said:

Congrats Jesse. Second time lucky!

Another Ad Guy said:

Congrats! Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame.

Corrupt said:

Advertising has more wankers than the average high school. People contemplating this course should spend their 2+ thousand dollars on something more worthwhile. The industry is really not that glam.

idiotmachine said:

Im hiring.


I’m tired of life and I need a stand in. I need an understudy. I am taking indefinite leave from myself and need someone to fill the hollow cage of Me.

This isn't a suicide note and sounds like I’m underselling being me but it’s a great work-death balance and you get heaps of books and a cat and an Ikea bed. When auditioning for me I will just have a general chit-chat with you and call you Darby randomly a few times to see if the aural blob of syllables sits with your face and vibe.

Previous experience must include fantastic attention to cloud detail. A bit of a dreamy, thousand-yard stare would help. Experience of being an extra is a plus. If you have been a main character, you’re over-qualified, sorry. Experience prodding a sausage with a long stick will be generously looked upon and is no way a euphimism for masturbation out of boredom.
I will offer a salary (not necessarily monetary - & bonuses, based on achieving DPIs [Darby Performance Indicators]) which includes going to my job and putting in a timesheet and feeding my cat and occasionally buying flowers for the loungeroom.

When you take leave from yourself to be me, I will ask my cat if she doesn’t mind filling the previous role of being you.

Creative Director said:

idiotmachine would you like a job?

idiotmachine said:

idiotmachine here.


i'm good for freelance.

my random, non adland stuff is here:

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