MFA celebrates the 15th anniversary of NGEN


NGEN launched on 28 February 2008 with a mission to foster and develop the future leaders of the industry

The Media Federation of Australia (MFA) is celebrating the 15-year anniversary of NGEN.

NGen is the longest-running training and development program for media professionals with less than five years of experience, empowering them to build successful careers through learning, building peer networks, and providing tools and support.

NGEN launched on 28 February 2008 with a mission to foster and develop the future leaders of the industry, following a proposal by then-MFA Board director Henry Tajer.
Unanimously backed by the board, the program was the beginning of a unique approach of agencies coming together for industry-wide training and career development. In recognition of the importance of building a peer network with media partners, NGEN was expanded in 2009 to welcome media owners as members.

MFA - Henry Tajer

Henry Tajer

Over the  past 15 years, NGEN has helped build the career of 7 in 10 people working in the media industry today, with approximately 15,000 individuals benefitting from the program.

Among the many notable NGEN alumni are Seven West Media national sales director and ThinkTV Australia board member Natalie Harvey; This is Flow founder and CEO and MFA board member Jimmy Hyett; Initiative managing director Sam Geer; Procter & Gamble senior sales account manager William Berber; and Initiative global strategy director Jacqueline Osborn.
With 2,800 current active NGENers, NGEN recorded significant growth in 2022, with new members and higher engagement from existing members boosting the NGEN population by 25%.

NGEN’s achievements over the 15 years include:

More than $255,000 raised for charity through the NGEN Charity Cup and NGEN Award (part of MFA Awards)
A combined 101,021 hours of training
More than 650 workshops and training sessions
Seven West Media national sales director Natalie Harvey was among NGEN’s first cohort of 520 individuals in 2008 and the first-ever NGEN Chair. She said: “NGEN is a crucial part of our growing and retaining the amazing talent within this vibrant industry.
“Being part of the start of NGEN was so valuable for me to build out my network, to learn from diverse and varying voices, and to keep fuelling my love for this incredible industry. I learnt skills in those first couple of years of NGEN that I still rely on and use today,” she added.

Natalie Harvey

Natalie Harvey

A program of activities will roll out throughout the year in celebration of the 15-year anniversary, with current and past NGEN members sharing their industry journeys and NGEN’s role in their development.
In addition, NGEN has completed a strategic review of the learning and development of the current cohort – in consultation with MFA members, training experts and NGENers – to ensure the program continues to successfully build careers for the next 15 years. Areas of focus in 2023 will include:
Ramping up the use of career-building tools and support for NGENers and their managers.
Additional mentoring and manager training in new hybrid way of working.
Upskilling new industry recruits on media basics.
Reconnecting and building peer networks
Building T -shaped competencies.

MFA - Melanie Aslanidis

Melanie Aslanidis

Melanie Aslanidis, head of NGEN, said: “NGEN’s uniqueness is the platform we provide for NGENers to step outside their personal bubble to build successful careers by learning new knowledge and skills, and building their peer networks.
“Fifteen years is a long time in media and we are incredibly proud to have played such a significant role in providing the backbone of training and career development for our industry’s future leaders, arming them with the tools they need to thrive in our industry.
“Coming off the back of NGEN’s biggest year yet in 2022, we are excited and inspired to keep delivering for our community,” Aslanidis added.

MFA - Carolyn Maloney

Carolyn Maloney

Carolyn Maloney, director of people & culture at Initiative, added: “I clearly remember the brainstorm session as part of our regular People Committee meetings back in 2008, when we were conceptualising what we could call a program for the next generation of media practitioners. NGEN was born!
“It’s been my absolute pleasure to have worked with the MFA over that period and a delight to see how far NGEN has come in 15 years, becoming the best industry L&D program. If you want to build your career or develop your people, the best way to do it is through NGEN.”
Henry Tajer
, CEO of The Influence Group, said: “Congratulations to the MFA and NGEN for 15 years of genuine support and inspiration to the real heroes of the media industry. So many amazing young media executives have benefited from the program, from all sides of the industry.
“NGEN was and is still one of the most important initiatives ever launched by the MFA. Happy 15th birthday, NGEN. The best it yet to come!”
This year, NGEN is delivering 54 workshops (a mix of in-person and webinars), covering a broad range of areas and skills, including negotiating, presenting, critical thinking, change management, effective communication, leadership, mentoring sessions and more.
The NGEN Charity Cup and Halloween social events will once again take place in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
See also:
MFA NGEN Charity Cup raises record-breaking $38,328 for The Pinnacle Foundation
See also: MFA NGENers go all out for Halloween events in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne

Top image: Henry Tajer, Melanie Aslanidis, Carolyn Maloney and Natalie Harvey

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