Since graduating from the AWARD Creative Leadership course, star creative Siobhan Fitzgerald has found new motivation and kicked major career goals along the way. One year on from the course, we catch up with Siobhan about the successful expansion of The Monkeys in Melbourne, and her latest project promoting creative therapy.

TCC: How long have you been in the industry and in your current role?

SF: I’ve been a creative/writer for over ten years, and at The Monkeys for four years—although I moved from the Sydney office to help start the Melbourne office in November.

TCC: What is the best thing about your job and being in the industry?

SF: I mean, it’s a really fun job. You get to work with smart people and come up lots of ideas, and then you get to make the ideas with other smart people. Plus, it pays—which can be a tough thing for a creative person to find in a career!

TCC: What made you want to get into the industry?

SF: Honestly, I did it to put off making a decision when I went to uni. See I loved both art/design and writing, and couldn’t make up my mind which path to follow. The advertising degree at RMIT was the only degree I could find that allowed me to pursue both, so that’s what I studied. By the time I’d finished I finally made the decision to become an art director… until I got a job as a writer.

TCC: What made you want to do the AWARD Creative Leadership course?

SF: A couple of my friends, Barb Humphries and Scott Dettrick, did it last year, and got a lot out of it. Plus they’ve since become creative directors and are both doing an awesome job, so it obviously works!

TCC: How would you describe it in a nutshell?

SF: Collaborative learning with some of the great minds in the industry. We had some fantastic guest lecturers and a great chair, and I loved meeting all the other attendees. The biggest thing I got out of it was that no one really feels they’re ready to step into the role of creative director—you’ve just got to plunge in and give it your best.

TCC: What have been your career highlights since then?

SF: I recently moved from the Sydney office to help start up The Monkeys Melbourne. It’s exciting to be part of a whole new agency that in some ways is a start-up, but has some of the greatest minds in the industry behind it. As I write this the agency is only six months old, and it will be great to see where it goes over time.

TCC: What do you wish you knew at the beginning of your career that you know now?

SF: I’d tell myself not to try to be too clever, but instead to find a bedrock of truth when searching for ideas. The best creative comes out of a great insight or truth, and the creativity can be layered on top of that to make it interesting. It took me years of trying to be clever (and failing) to work that out!

TCC: What sort of creative do you think you’ve evolved into?

SF: One who is thoughtful and collaborative, I hope. I don’t have all the answers yet by any means. I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by amazing creatives so I’m still learning and listening all the time, and I hope I’m still evolving, too.

TCC: Can you tell us more about Gabberish and the concept behind it?

SF: Gabberish ( is creative therapy for creative minds. It aims to help creatives work through some of the issues we face in this industry, so I’m spending all my spare time interviewing amazing creatives about things like rejection and job security, as well as editing these fantastic contributions being sent in from all over the world.

AWARD Creative Leadership Course
Sydney, 27-29 May 2018

Exclusive only to The Communications Council corporate members, the AWARD Creative Leadership course is back in 2018 by popular demand. This three-day residential is Australia’s only custom-designed course for aspiring creative leaders and features guest talks by industry trailblazers.

In 2016 and 2017, nearly 50 per cent of past delegates were promoted to leadership roles within a year of completion.