Top CMOs, global execs, agency bosses, leading creators and business agitators set for Clear Hayes House stage at SXSW® Sydney


One of Australia’s biggest creators Kat Clark joins a slew of top media and marketing industry execs on stage in a dynamic two-day takeover called Clear Hayes House in the heart of the SXSW Sydney next week. 

Topics from ethical business to life as a top creator, the agency/client relationship, promoting small agencies and the future of media are all set to be debated on Wednesday, whilst Thursday sees a career-focused takeover from ADMA and meetups to discuss climate-change and SXSW Austin. 

Both days end with unique parties, with subscription PR service CHPR taking over the venue for some alternative vibes on Wednesday and Yahoo bringing duelling pianos to drive donations in aid of charity MMAD on Thursday. 


Joining more than 30 speakers on stage across October 18 & 19 are:

  • Kat Clark, creator with 5 million followers on TikTok
  • Sian Whitnall, Co-CEO at OMD; 
  • Lara Thom, Global CMO, Guzman y Gomez; 
  • Liana Dubois, CMO, Nine;  
  • Yaron Galai, Co-Founder of Outbrain; 
  • CMC’s Liam Loan-Lack
  • behavioural science expert Dan Monheit
  • Supermassive founder Laura Aldington;  
  • Glamazon creator Alright Hey;
  • Nik Robinson, Co-Founder of ethical sunglasses brand Good Citizen

Partners helping to bring the collaborative space to life over the takeover are: ADMA, Amplify, MOOD Tea, Outbrain, Samba TV, StudioSpace, Yahoo and On Device Research, 

Clear Hayes Consulting Principal Alex Hayes says: “I’m really proud that alongside our partners we’ve curated a space which will stand up alongside any other at SXSW Sydney. The on-stage content is going to be thought provoking, our meetups will be impactful and the evening parties will be talked about for years to come – for all the right reasons.

“It’s a place for people to come and network, listen, learn and indulge in a couple of gyozas, a MOOD tea, Samba TV coffee or something a little stronger, and I can’t wait to welcome the whole industry in when doors open.” 

See the full program below.

Clear Hayes House will operate between 9am -11pm on Wednesday, October 18 and Thursday, October 19 at the Harajuku Gyoza Beer Stadium in Darling Harbour.


10am: Business: it doesn’t have to be this way

For the last 50 years good business has been primarily about continued growth, which has created some interesting side effects for the wider world, among them staff burnout and environmental damage. Increasingly we’re seeing the rise of more companies where good business is fundamentally about the impact they have on the world, not their bottom line. 

These pioneers are rewriting the rules and looking to do things differently and shake up categories dominated by entrenched behemoths. But can doing good really be good for business? In this session we meet companies blazing a different trail and examine why and how they’re doing it, and ask if it is worth the fight to go against the grain and take the path less trodden?


  • Nik Robinson, Co-Founder and Creative Director, Good Citizen 
  • Chris Freel, CEO, UnLtd
  • Anna Yanatchkova, Senior Manager Global Goals Planning & Engagement, Sydney Opera House
  • Tim Hodgson, Founder, My Net Zero
11am – 1pm: Welcome to the Creatorverse! with Amplify

Session 1: Creator, the career of the 21st Century

Boasting more than 6 million followers between them, this panel of creators including Kat Clark, Alright Hey and Ella Watkins are some of the most recognisable faces in Australia. Moderated by leading talent manager Alex Reid, We will dive into what it takes to build a career out of content and community on TikTok with some of the world’s biggest creators.


  • Moderator: Alex Reid, Co-founder, Amplify
  • Kat Clark, creator
  • Alright Hey, creator
  • Ella Watkins, creator

Session 2: Creating content at scale on social and TikTok

Creating content at scale for any platform is a prerequisite for success for any modern brand – but it can be daunting to get started on, particularly if you’re not a native to that channel. 

In this session we deep-dive on brands on TikTok and look at how they are overcoming the perceived barriers, address myths and facts and share some surprising tips on success. Most of all we’ll examine how you can cost-effectively start to maximise the channel and create real business impact. 


  • Moderator: Tom Maynard, Co-founder, Amplify
  • Kelly Collier, Media Manager, Universal Pictures
  • Michelle Melky, Creative Director, Amplify 

2pm: Cracking the Client & Agency Chemistry Code

Client-side business leaders responsible for digital, marketing and innovation need to deal with an increasingly complex and fragmented landscape of fast changing trends, technologies and skills in order to succeed. And with that, the range of external partners and specialist agencies that position themselves to support those clients has also exploded. 

So how do you get the right ‘match’ between client and agency? What are the benefits of working with deep specialists and how do you choose them with confidence? And what role does culture and chemistry play in getting the best results?


  • Robin Scarborough, Co-founder & MD Australia, StudioSpace 
  • Kristina Craig, Head of Innovation, News Corp Australia 
  • Kelly Gilsenan, Director of Marketing, MA Financial Group 
  • Paul Hewett, CEO, In Marketing We Trust

3pm: Through the looking glass: What’s going to happen in media and marketing?

The decisions marketers, lawmakers and media businesses make today will shape the world we’re living in for years to come, but what is that likely to look like? 

A top CMO will grill a panel of execs on the thinking behind some of the bold moves and big bets being made across the industry. From AI to VR and privacy to publishing, the panel will examine the factors shaping thinking and the likely future implications on us all.


  • Yaron Galai, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Outbrain 
  • Sian Whitnall, Co-CEO, OMD Australia 
  • Nicole Bardsley, CMO, CashRewards 
  • Matt Rowley, CEO, Pedestrian Group

4pm: Indies unleashed: How to elevate smaller advertising agencies

There are over 9,000 advertising agencies in Australia. Why do we only hear from the same ones over and over? Diversity also means diversity of voices, and in this crowded industry, smaller agencies may struggle to cut through the noise. But often these companies are the true innovators, able to move more nimbly than their larger counterparts. 

In this wide ranging discussion we’ll look at how independent agencies and smaller players are microcosmic of wider changes affecting the marketing and advertising industry, yet rarely get the showtime and recognition they deserve. The panel will share ways in which these companies can better advocate for themselves, as well as addressing the everyday challenges that may prevent indie agencies from giving their own self-promotion the dedication it needs.


  • Alex Hayes, Principal, Clear Hayes Consulting 
  • Laura Aldington, Co-Founder, Supermassive 
  • Matt Lawton, Managing Director, Five by Five Australia 
  • Alisha Buaya, Agency Editor, Mediaweek

7pm – 11pm: The CHPRty

Not invited to that glitzy upfront? Us neither. So we’re throwing a party to celebrate the other 99% of the industry, and it is going to be 99 times as fun.  

So come and join us at Clear Hayes House and find your crew, with creatives, technologists, mad musos and a whole host of other folk who are actually building the future.

We’ve got an epic lineup of DJs briefed to bring the fun, and we’ll be slinging a few complementary gyozas and beers your way too (the clue is in the name of the venue).


9.30am:  The Climate Changers Meetup

Something has to give. Australia is a global poster child for climate change, oscillating from catastrophic bushfires to generational flooding and storm events in just hours. We can all do more as individuals, but industrial-scale changes are where the real effects will be felt. 

Launching at Clear Hayes House this inaugural meetup of The Climate Changers is organised by The Payback Project and aimed at anyone within the media and marketing industry who is motivated to reduce their carbon footprint. Come and chat to people who are already leading the charge and get some useful tips and allies in the ongoing battle to make a positive impact, and become part of the movement for Climate Change.

11.30am: Official SXSW Austin Meetup

Bringing together anyone who has attended or is interested in learning more about the original SXSW Austin, this meetup will allow us to share and compare tips and tricks as well as the great things we’ve heard and seen in the first ever SXSW Sydney!

Come along and meet some of the SXSW Austin crew, a host of industry veterans and find out how you can get involved in the OG SXSW event in 2024.

2pm – 5pm: The ADMA Takeover

Session 1:  AITA? The client/agency edition

Relationships can be hard, especially when you’re working with partners you didn’t have a say in choosing. Yet having good chemistry and the right rapport is essential to creating good work and making the impact you need to move your business forward.

In this session we’ll channel Reddit and ask ‘Am I the a*#hole?’, posing some hypothetical* scenarios and asking a panel of seasoned agency leaders for their take to get a better understanding of what’s fair play, and what’s unreasonable. 

So if you’ve ever wondered whether asking for changes at 4pm on a Friday, launching a pitch before heading off for Christmas break or tweaking the logo in the 27th round of creative was really ok, come and find out for yourselves. *By ‘hypothetical’ situations we mean real things that have happened but we’ve anonymised to protect identities.


  • Gemma Anderson, Marketing Lead, ADMA 
  • Dan Monheit, Founder, Hardhat 
  • Liam Loan-Lack, Head of Commercial APAC and Canada, CMC

Session 2: How not to fuck up your marketing career

Mistakes, we’ve all made a few. Most are small, whilst others trigger that icy dread in your veins and the thought ‘I’m going to get fired for this’. So just how do you come back from those major gaffes? If ‘feedback is a gift’, how forthright can you really be with your boss? And how open should you really be about your career aspirations? This session opens the floor to some experienced marketers to share about the times they’ve nearly ended their careers, the lessons they learned from those situations and how they take them with them now.


  • Andrea Martens, CEO, ADMA 
  • Liana Dubois, CMO, Nine 
  • Lara Thom, Global CMO, Guzman y Gomez

7pm – 11pm: Groove for Good with Yahoo (Invite only)

Join us for a night of duelling, dancing, dedicating and donating as Yahoo brings a taste of the Austin party vibes to the heart of SXSW Sydney. 

Witness a real-life rap battle, request a tune from Australia’s best duelling piano players and indulge in a little karaoke in this not-to-be-missed extravaganza, all to raise money for our friends at Musicians Making a Difference (MMAD). 

We’re celebrating MMAD Day a little early by giving you the chance to dedicate a song to someone very special #ThisSongIsForYou, with some amazing prizes to be won!

Find out more about MMAD Day:

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