IPA Business & Agency Leadership

3 DAY Residential

Business & Agency Leadership is a three-day residential course, renowned as a unique opportunity for agency leaders to equip themselves with the skills necessary to build and lead a resilient and forward-thinking business. Combining presentations from inspiring guest speakers and experts in transformational leadership, these interactive sessions are designed to stretch and challenge your thinking.

2022 Course manifesto


Uncertainty is the new certainty.

After two years of pandemic-induced upheaval across every facet of the advertising industry, agency leaders have had to become comfortable and brave living in a state of flux. Agility, flexibility, individuality and open-mindedness trump dogma in every instance. This is an extraordinary moment in time for leaders to make the most of the industry’s ability to adapt and lead no matter what set of circumstances are thrown their way.

This year, IPA’s Business & Agency Leadership course will focus on the expanding scope of leadership and how to navigate complex social, legal and interpersonal challenges now faced by many top ad executives.

2022 Chairs

Lindsey Evans
Partner and Co-CEO, Special Australia
Chris Howatson
Founder and CEO, Howatson+Company

2022 Speakers

Dr Karen Coates
Australia's leading holistic medical doctor and naturopathic physician
Joe Pollard
Non-Executive Director
Liz Jones
Associate Director - Strategic Relations, Dattner Group
Mike Read
Founder and Director, Pigs Can Fly Too
Helen McCabe
Founder and Managing Director, Future Women
Susan Coghill
Chief Marketing Officer, Tourism Australia
Joshua Grace
Chief Marketing Officer, Colonial First State
Scott Nowell
Co-Founder, Group CCO The Monkeys; Accenture Interactive ANZ
Peter Kirk
Indigenous Consultant at Advertising Council Australia
Aimee Buchanan
CEO, GroupM Australia & New Zealand
Melinda Geertz
Former CEO – Leo Burnett Australia, Non-Executive Director, Mentor
Mark Green
Co Founder Group CEO The Monkeys; Lead Accenture Interactive ANZ (& ACA Chair)
Laura Aldington
CEO, Host/Havas
Nick Garrett
Partner, Deloitte Digital
Adrian Paul
Chief Operating Officer - Oceania, TBWA Australia
Dave Hartmann
Strategy Partner, Special Group



What to expect

This three-day residential course includes two nights accommodation and meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner). The course has been designed to be residential so that participants can remove themselves from their daily routine (even if they are based in the same city) and enjoy the opportunity to learn from course chairs, speakers and fellow delegates.

The residential nature also helps with the group and individual work. Participants will:

  • Reside with other course delegates, allowing for evening networking and group work, building close working connections with industry peers
  • Participate in absorption sessions, exercises and discussions
  • Benefit from small group sessions and presentations from a range of industry leaders
  • Undertake one-on-one guidance throughout the experience from the course chairs.
Who’s it for?

Group account directors (or equivalent)

Course Content

Day 1: Sustainable Leadership

  • Welcome and introductions
  • Finding and sustaining your authentic style
  • Communication and learning preference
  • Dinner

Day 2: Leading into the Future 

  • What is it that you’re leading and how to create your growth mindset
  • Industry change and vision
  • Value creation for tomorrow’s clients
  • Q&A 
  • Dinner

Day 3: Leading through Challenges

    • Duty of care in leadership
    • Diversity and inclusion
    • Learnings from COVID
    • Procurement and pitching
    • Final discussion

Please note, content may vary.

Former Chairs

Melinda Geertz
Former CEO – Leo Burnett Australia, Non-Executive Director, Mentor
David Brown
Managing Director at Noisy Beast
Michael Rebelo
CEO, Publicis Groupe Australia & NZ
Laura Aldington
CEO, Host/Havas
Andy Pontin
2017 Chair - Sydney
Aimee Buchanan
2017 Co-Chair - Sydney
Kimberlee Wells
2017 Chair - Melbourne
Ricci Meldrum
2017 Co-Chair - Melbourne
Nick Garrett
Partner, Deloitte Digital
Paul McMillan
2016 Co-Chair - Melbourne
Paul Bradbury
2016 Chair - Sydney
Nitsa Lotus
2016 Co-Chair - Sydney

related Articles

Lindsey Evans and Chris Howatson to chair 2022 IPA Business & Agency Leadership residential course
Throw yourself in! by Emily Pockley
Melinda Geertz and David Brown to chair 2021 IPA Business & Agency Leadership residential course

Participant Feedback

It was such a gift to step back from the every day and put things into perspective. It’s rare you get the luxury of having those ‘bigger picture’ thoughts and discussions, let alone with a group of like-minded individuals while being inspired by the crème de la crème of the industry! 
2022 delegate

There were lots of directly applicable learnings, but the biggest value to me was just inspiring me to think bigger and giving me some fresh perspectives to take into my career.
2022 delegate

Understanding that there is no single way to be a leader. Authenticity and doing what feels right is right… I most valued the sincerity and honesty of each speaker and I thought Lindsey and Chris were fab!
2022 delegate