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Think HQ’s newly created role to ensure indigenous people’s representation in creative campaigns

Australia – Purpose-driven integrated communications agency Think HQ has appointed Professor Shane Hearn, former pro-vice-chancellor at the University of Adelaide, to be part of its leadership team and assume the newly created role of head of first nations engagement and communication.

The appointment aims to support and encourage greater participation by Indigenous people in the industry, and ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are included in all agency communications and activities.

Hearn brings with him extensive experience across higher education and health, where his leadership has delivered powerful positive outcomes for First Nations people. His insights into Aboriginal culture and engagement have shaped campaigns, academic programs, and the way organizations engage with Australia and its people. 

Hearn has previously worked as the director of Indigenous-owned firm CultureLink Consultancy, where he developed the NSW Health Aboriginal Strategic Framework for the prevention and management of chronic disease in Aboriginal Communities, and as the practice leader at specialist Indigenous communications company Cox Inall Ridgeway, where he designed and led the rollout of the Federal Department of Health’s Live Longer campaign.

In his new role, Hearn will be responsible for leading and building Think HQ’s First Nations Engagement and Communication function. He will also be providing insight to First Nations audiences and connect them to the agency’s work to ensure experiences are centered and the Indigenous audience is included in campaigns.

Commenting on his appointment, Hearn said that he is delighted to join the Think HQ team that is truly providing the Australian community with a platform for meaningful engagement across so many areas. 

“The agency is doing powerful work in the equity and inclusive communications space and the clear alignment in our shared values will allow us to expand our work to a First Nation’s audience. During Reconciliation Week, I’m reflecting on the need to drive action, not just rhetoric. Think HQ is living up to that ideal, and I’m confident we will achieve a lot together,” said Hearn.

Meanwhile, Think HQ’s Founder and Managing Director Jen Sharpe shared that Hearn’s appointment would ensure First Nations Australians are represented in everything the agency does, internally and externally.

“We are so excited to welcome Shane to the Think HQ team. His credentials in the space of First Nations engagement are second to none and he has made tangible, positive improvements in people’s lives. He will play a vital, active role in our work, ensuring we’re true including First Nations people in every campaign we produce. We’re so lucky to have him join us,” said Sharpe.

In March this year, Think HQ, together with Australia’s government agency WorkSafe Victoria, launched the ‘Culturally and Linguistically Diverse’ (CALD) campaign, with the aim to deliver safety messages to workers and employers for the celebration of Cultural Diversity Week.