Tom Lawrence crowned top student at the NSW AWARD School graduation night in Sydney

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 9.43.56 am.jpgTom Lawrence (left) has been awarded Top Student at the 2017 NSW AWARD School graduation ceremony, which took place at The Rawson Room (Bar 100) in Sydney on last night. Lawrence was tutored by agency groups: Jerome Gaslain, Oskar Westerdal and Rene Schultz from BWM Dentsu; and Karen Ferry and Sarah Parris from Leo Burnett.

Lawrence 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.
Commenting on Lawrence's work, NSW AWARD School judge and AWARD chair Mike Spirkovski of Saatchi & Saatchi Australia, said: "Creating engaging, effective ideas in a simple scamp is difficult for even the most experienced creative 'as there is nowhere to hide in a scamp'. No fancy director, photography, animation or sound effects, just an idea. Kudos to this creative for stripping it all back to what I believe is the reason we are all here in this business; to make great ideas."

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 9.44.03 am.jpgSecond place was awarded to Pierce Thomson, who was tutored by: Hugh Gurney, Chelsea Parks and Alex Schieder from The Monkeys; and Matt Geersen, Dan Saunders, Sean Vrabel and John Gault from VML.

Third place went to Matt Corcoran, who also took out the Best in Show award for his 'Odds for Equality' idea, which was unanimously praised by judges for its creativity and simplicity.

Top 10 Students:
1st place - Tom Lawrence
2nd place - Pierce Thomson
3rd place - Matt Corcoran

The final seven graduates to make the NSW top 10, in no particular order, are:
Cindy Erlina
Madeline Hoskin
Grace Lemech
Jennifer Mackie
Kate Ross
Masato Sano
Leanne Serra

Screen Shot 2017-07-26 at 9.43.42 am.jpgBefore a crowd of industry professionals and supporters, NSW AWARD School heads Niccola Phillips (left) of M&C Saatchi Sydney and Brendan Willenberg  (right) of Clemenger BBDO Sydney congratulated the class of 100 graduates on completing the 12 week intensive course.

Says Phillips: "Once again, we were impressed by the calibre of the final folios submitted this year. Many of the ideas were fresh, surprising, entertaining and occasionally induced bouts of intense envy. It was also wonderful to see that once again we had such a strong representation of female creatives in the top ten."

Phillips and Willenberg also took the opportunity to thank this year's lecturers, tutors and judges for their time and support over the 12 week course.

Click here to view the list of 2017 AWARD School NSW tutors.   

This year's five state winners from Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane will have their books reviewed in the National Competition by a '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:



Congrats Grace. So well deserved.

Really? said:

Shocking night. Crap display of work. Little respect for the students. And a lot of industry has beens moaning about the industry. Award hang your heads in shame.

Lemon said:

Are you taking on the duty of respecting the students by saying the work was crap? Nice logic legend.

@really said:

What a strange outtake. I saw a lot of great work, a ton of optimism
for the business and an entire class ready to steal your job.

Congratulations Tom; your dad would be so proud.

@lemon said:

You must be the art director. If it helps: 'the way the work was displayed was terrible'.

@@lemon said:

Good to see someone else sinking the boot into art directors. I feel like I've been on a decades-long one-man crusade against these mostly illiterate idea-thieves.

Trong said:

This story is about the future talent of the industry and people are having fights about spellings?

POMA said:

The real winner here is the guy in the background.

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