M&C Saatchi strategist Alistair Stephenson (pictured) has been appointed chair of Youngbloods NSW.

Stephenson’s appointment kicks off 2017 alongside a fresh calendar of events and three new committee members. Building on the success of 2016, this year will focus on bridging the knowledge gap between young people and creative industries.

Stephenson said he is excited to position the organisation as a unique educational and networking force in 2017.

“Last year we adopted a ruthless back-to-basics approach. We challenged our assumptions about what young people know about the industries we work in. Not enough of them are getting the support they need to thrive in their early years,” he said.

“We see Youngbloods servicing those at the very beginning of their careers, before they build towards learning skills from other organisations. There’s a lot to be done to simplify the understanding of our industry and prove its relevance to the bright individuals who want to join our ranks.”

The 2017 calendar boasts a suite of events that seek to educate and inspire. It kicked off in March with the sold-out panel ‘Started from the Bottom’ at Saatchi & Saatchi. Michael Rebelo (Publicis Australia CEO), Claire Salvetti (One Green Bean MD) and Kate Smither (Head of Strategy, Saatchi & Saatchi) spoke passionately about their years starting out as juniors.

Event favourites such as inter-agency trivia and the annual ping pong tournament will also return.

This year Youngbloods NSW also welcomes fresh faces Rachel McEwen (TKT, Clemenger Group), Natalie Rempalski (TBWA Sydney) and Cat May (We Are Social) to the committee. They are supported by current members Fiona Harris (Saatchi & Saatchi), Courtney Fay (WiTH Collective) and Aaron Wall (The Conscience Organisation, Nestle).

Youngbloods NSW would like to acknowledge and thank Berlian Ayudya for three dedicated years as Chair, as well as committee members Scott Moore (VML) and Vanessa Kolaczkos (VML).

All under 30s (and those young at heart) across advertising, communications and media are encouraged to visit the Youngbloods NSW Facebook page, and subscribe to Youngbloods NSW for invites and updates.