Yahoo Academy 2023 Announces Class of 40 from Across Australia and Singapore

This year’s program will be led by Rosie and Faris Yakob from Genius Steals.

John McNerney, Managing Director of Yahoo AUSEA

Yahoo has revealed the 40 emerging leaders chosen from a record 250 entries to participate in the Yahoo Academy 2023 program.

Now in its 12th year, the Yahoo Academy is a leading talent-building initiative. This year’s leaders include participants from Singapore for the first time, and is made up of individuals across major holding companies, indie agencies, and brand marketers from Australia and Singapore, including dentsu, Mindshare, Starcom, Spark Foundry, PHD Media, UM, and American Express.

This year’s program will be led by renowned award-winning nomadic strategists Rosie and Faris Yakob from Genius Steals. Their program will focus on equipping attendees with the tools they need for the huge evolutions facing their roles and the industry over the next few years, with advancements in technology like AI and web3.


John McNerney, Managing Director of Yahoo AUSEA, said: “The record number of applications we’ve received for this year’s Yahoo Academy is testament to the esteem this program is held in. We’re really excited to have Rosie and Faris leading this year’s program. We chose them because they are proven experts at helping people break out of their everyday habits and think more strategically.”

“What is really exciting is that while we’ll be training these rising stars, the program is designed so they can share the skills learnt with their wider organizations to help them evolve as well. It’s a truly innovative program which we are certain will have a transformative impact on the industry as a whole into the future.”

The day’s agenda will include captivating keynote presentations, thought-provoking discussions, interactive workshops, invaluable networking opportunities, and a live pitch-off event with the winners awarded with an exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime seven-day trip to a global conference in Sydney in October. Additionally, all attendees will receive Delegate passes to Advertising Week APAC on 1 and 2 August.

Yahoo Academy’s Class of 2023:

  • Alankrita Misra, Half Dome
  • Alex Soetrisno, EssenceMediacom
  • Arabella Robinson, American Express
  • Ashleigh Stead, Rufus Powered by Initiative
  • Bonita Wong, WooliesX
  • Cameron Stewart, UM
  • Claire Bryan, Carat Adelaide
  • Ella Ashworth, Publicis Groupe – Zenith Media Brisbane
  • Elyse Taylor, Half Dome
  • Georgette Gikas, Resolution Digital
  • Harleen Sodhi, dentsu
  • Hooi San Ong, PHD Singapore
  • Jessica Wagner, OMD
  • Jorge Barbosa, EssenceMediacom
  • Josh Coles, UM
  • Kar Shing Fong, dentsu Singapore
  • Kelsie Jeffers, Starcom
  • Kerryn Josman, Wavemaker
  • Kris Kuhn, PHD
  • Liam Pierce, Initiative
  • Lily Trainor, PHD
  • Lucy McKenna,  PHD
  • Mary Pantahos, Matterkind
  • Max Baum, Matterkind
  • Michael Kwong, Spark Foundry
  • Natassja Corban, Essencemediacom
  • Nikita Waring, Spark Foundry
  • Orla Delaney, APEX, Publicis
  • Peter Hamilton, Kaimera
  • Riccardo Morelli, BCM Group
  • Sam Cook, PHD
  • Sam Orton, UM
  • Shivam Patel, Spark Foundry
  • Simon Molloy, OMD
  • Sophie Gallagher, Slingshot Media
  • Stephanie Hallal, Wavemaker
  • Summer Treseder, Initiative Australia
  • Swastika Gupta, Mindshare Australia
  • Tom Hamilton, EssenceMediacom
  • Tom Trefry, The Brand Agency

Chloe Neo, Chief Executive Officer at Omnicom Media Group Singapore, said, “We are excited for Hooi San’s opportunity to network with other young rising stars and be equipped with the skills to shape our industry for the better. To be chosen among many outstanding applicants is a well-deserved recognition and a testament to her invested growth and quality of work. Kudos to Yahoo for their pioneering efforts in fostering the development of industry talent through its Yahoo Academy program.”


Adam Krass, Chief Digital, Data and Technology Officer at UM Australia, added, “Yahoo Academy has for a number of years been the proven programme to help identify and grow the best young talent in the industry. We are thrilled to have our nominees chosen to take part and are excited for them to expand on their new ideas and innovation at UM as they learn from this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Trevor He, Client Manager, Media Group at dentsu Singapore, said, “Media landscapes are constantly evolving, sometimes way too quickly for advertisers and media practitioners to fully grasp and keep up. APAC is no exception, and initiatives like the Yahoo Academy would equip one with not just the knowledge, but also the mindset and dexterity to navigate the dynamic media landscape. It is also a golden opportunity for cross-collaboration, to be able to network and collaborate with other industry talents on challenging yet enriching pitch-offs. I am really pleased and excited for Kar Shing to be selected for Yahoo Academy’s class of 2023, and for him to impart what he has learnt to the wider dentsu team after the course.”


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