By Tony Hale, CEO, The Communications Council.

The advertising industry is full of incredible journeys. I’m not talking about the consumer journey that you all work so hard every day to understand, map, intercept and influence, but the stellar career paths that take people to the top of the game in ways you couldn’t imagine.

In just these past few weeks we at The Communications Council have been reflecting on several journeys in particular. The stellar career of David Droga, creative chairman and founder of Droga5, started like so many before and after AWARD School. We documented his rise from talented teen to unstoppable adman in this graphic as part of the launch of this year’s program for budding creatives.

As we assessed the 500-plus applications late into the night this week, we were excited to think that not only will this year’s national top student get to meet Droga himself in New York City, but perhaps they will forge their own equally impressive career journey that will shake up our industry in a way we can’t foresee. At any rate, we’re proud to be playing our bit in this once in a lifetime opportunity.

Ahead of their time

Taking a step back to the 1940s and 50s, we’ve also been inspired by the boldness and creativity of Howard Gossage, so far ahead of his time. We still have seats available at tomorrow’s (March 7) Perth screening of celebrated UK creative Steve Harrison’s documentary on the man’s work, but for those of you who can’t make it, our trailers featuring Jeff Goodby and Dan Wieden capture his brilliance in a nutshell. ‘Connecting to the world through the New Yorker as if it were a Facebook page’, for starters.

Oh, and Steve Harrison himself has done alright at making his mark too. Not only is he one of the world’s most decorated creatives, but his book, ‘How to do better creative work’, became the most expensive advertising book of all time when it sold on Amazon at £3,000 a copy. Not bad for a boy from the grey north of England. Steve’s AWARD Creative Masterclass, also coming up in Perth, promises to be career changing and set you on a path for greatness too.

Everyday journeys

But you don’t have to be famous to be making a difference. Your everyday career journeys are important and exciting to us too. Building career pathways is one of the key pillars of The Communications Council, which we believe is incredibly more meaningful than simply offering training, as many others in the business are doing too. This links intrinsically to our purpose – to drive the quality, reputation and long-term prosperity of our members – and our ambition to make commercial creativity one of Australia’s most valued professional services by 2025.

As we revealed in ‘Advertising Pays’, advertising helped Australian industries in 2014 grow $40bn with record growth in retail, auto and financial, and no doubt has contributed significantly to the 2.4% increase in GDP reported in the media this week (and 25 years of growth in a row). And all of you have a part to play in this every single day.

Which is why we support you and aim to propel your career journey, from professional development to events, and now, content. One of our goals in 2017 is to deliver more stimulating and inspiring content, and our first step is to revamp our newsletter in this direction. Launching this week is ‘The Journey’, our new fortnightly newsletter series featuring content to drive the careers of members at all levels, pushing you not just to the next step but to take control of the bigger picture.

This will be coupled with our alternating fortnightly series, ‘The Inspiration’, which will highlight influential creative work and showcase the value of commercial creativity. We hope you’ll find it both enjoyable and engaging and something you’ll want to share with your colleagues. If you haven’t already, please do subscribe here.

We are on a journey too and are eager to know what you think and what you want to see from us. We would love to take your contributions too, whether it’s case studies you want to share or thought leadership you want to put forward.

I look forward to hearing from you and helping you build on your success throughout 2017.