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Senior Leaders Lunch with Tom Dery AO

You are invited to the HCA Senior Leaders Lunch

(returning to its original upscale format)

with guest speaker

Tom Dery AO, Chairman, Australia for M&C Saatchi

and Fellow of the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative

From Global Commerce to Harvard Fellow:

Lessons from one man’s leadership in advertising, aviation and nonprofits and his insights into an extraordinary Harvard experience

If Tom Dery’s career had not been exceptional enough already, in 2015 he was the first Australian to undertake the year-long Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard.

The Advanced Leadership Initiative is a new third stage in higher education designed to prepare experienced leaders to take on new challenges in the social sector where they potentially can make an even greater impact than they did in their careers.

 The ALI was formed by Faculty from Harvard's professional schools of Business, Education, Government, Law, Medicine and Public Health to build interdisciplinary leadership skills and to capitalise on opportunities to deploy accomplished leaders at later life stages to change society.

Tom is well known as the former global Chairman of  the iconic, influential advertising agency M&C Saatchi, among other leadership roles.


Date: Thursday 23 November 2017
Time: 12:15pm for 12:30pm - 2.00pm
Venue: The Union, Universities and Schools Club, 25 Bent Street, Sydney.
Price: $95pp (includes seated two-course lunch with wines)
Dress: Jacket & Tie or equivalent



Tom Dery is currently Chairman, Australia for M&C Saatchi – an advertising/marketing agency. Tom held the position of Worldwide Chairman (a network of 27 agencies) 2009 to 2016.

Intermingled with this entrepreneurial and advisory experience, tom has worked in Senior positions in two major airlines in the Asia pacific region (Qantas and Ansett transport industries). Tom complimented these activities with Board representation with tourism, entertainment & agrifoods publicly listed companies.

After completing an MBA at Stanford University Tom, with two others, set up a very successful creative agency The Campaign Palace. When Tom sold his interest in this business he was appointed Visiting Fellow in Marketing at Monash University. Ansett Transport Industries had been acquired by TNT and News Limited – Tom was invited to be the most senior commercial executive of the group. Strategic responsibilities included the repositioning of Ansett Airlines in the early 80’s, deregulation in the early 90’s, East West Airlines, Ansett New Zealand, Diners Club and Traveland.

Tom then established a new agency (Whybin Dery & Partners) which was later sold to DDB (Omnicom Group) and was subsequently appointed Managing Director of their Melbourne business.

On the formation of M&C Saatchi in 1995, Tom was the Founding Partner in Asia-Pacific for the Group and subsequently went on to establish offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Auckland, Wellington, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, New Delhi, Mumbai and Los Angeles. M&C Saatchi Australia, which was a start up, includes creative services, strategic digital services, digital production facilities, brand development offerings, sponsorship advisory and PR services.

Tom has been responsible for providing marketing and communication advice to the US, Australian, New Zealand and Abu Dhabi Governments – particularly with regard to country positioning and tourism/trade development. Significant client relationships extend to ANZ Bank, Commonwealth Bank, Qantas Airways, Etihad Airways, Woolworths, Google and SingTel (Optus) and IAG Insurances.

Tom has contributed to ‘not for profit’ organisations for nearly 40 years in the Arts, Cancer and Education sectors. Most noteworthy were the Chairmanship of Sydney Dance Company (2002 – 2007) and is currently Chairman of the Australian Cancer Research Foundation (since 1996) which has raised and granted nearly AU$120 million to top Australian cancer scientists.

In June 2015 Tom was awarded an Order of Australia by the Australian government: “For distinguished service to the not-for-profit sector, particularly to cancer research, through the development of corporate governance structures and major fundraising initiatives, to the performing arts, and to business.”

68 years old, married with 5 children
Born in Hungary (parents migrated to Australia in 1951)
Bachelor of Commerce (Economics with Merit), University of NSW 1966 - 72
Master in Business Administration, Stanford University 1973 - 75
Fellow, Harvard University (Advanced Leadership Initiative) 2015
Former Chairman, Helloworld (formerly JTG) 2008 - 2014
Former Board Member, Sydney Attractions Group Limited 2001 - 2008
Former Board Member, Clemments & Marshall Limited Pty Ltd (agri-foods) 1993 - 1995
Not for Profit:
Chairman, Australian Cancer Research Foundation 1994 - present
Chairman, Queenwood School for Girls 2010 – present
Chairman AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience 2017 - present
Former Board Member, The University of New South Wales
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences Advisory Council 2013 - 2016
Former Chairman, Sydney Dance Company 1996 - 2008
Former Board Member, Asialink 2001 - 2005
Former Board Member, Playbox/Malthouse Theatre Company 1990 - 1995
Former President, Sydney Real (Court) Tennis Club 1995 - 1998