WHO WE ARE

We are on a journey to create the Great Australian Agency, for our times.

Welcome to Bastion Collective

Founded in 2009, Bastion Collective is the largest independent communications agency in Australia with a growing presence in the USA, alongside our agency partnerships around the world with representation in Dubai, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

We exist to be the Bastion of Australian Ingenuity – creating simple, original and resourceful solutions to our clients’ complex problems.

We deliver this for our clients by providing the entire breadth of communications services, delivered by absolute experts in their field combined with owner-operator service.

Why We Exist

Australia is a country built on ideas. We’ve grown up a nation of dreamers and storytellers who have produced some of humanity’s greatest ideas. Maybe it’s this land of droughts and flooding rains that sparks something in us. Being a long way from anywhere in an unforgiving climate gives us a certain resourcefulness that is required to achieve great things. We call it Australian Ingenuity. But we’ve lost something. We’ve lost our sense of identity as Australians. We’ve stopped creating. We’ve stopped pushing each other forward and we’ve lost Australian Ingenuity as a result.

The future of this country will once again be built on the quality of our ideas. The restless search for a better way in everything we do. The celebration of our diversity. The courage to have a crack and always do what’s right.

At Bastion Collective, this is why we exist. To be the Bastion of Australian Ingenuity. To create, grow, protect and measure ideas. To reimagine the spirit of Australia and who we are as a nation. This is why we are on a mission to create the Great Australian Agency, for our times.

Why We Exists
Our Story

Our Story

Founded in 2009, by Fergus and Jack Watts, the two brothers started out with bucket-loads of energy and a serious drive that is hard to match.

Jack and Fergus Watts are not your typical mad men. They have been on an incredible journey with the support of thousands of people. They have built Bastion Collective into a 250 person agency group in 10 years through a true commitment to creating more opportunities for their clients and their staff.

The boys are fond of the early years, as any entrepreneurs are. The real joy however comes from striving to have Bastion make a dent on the communications industry. A driving passion to deliver ideas that are insight backed and an execution team that is second to none. A passion to continually evolve and create a group that delivers a modern full service solution for the modern client. A focus on creating a place that is great to be and great to be part of. That is what this business is all about.

Why We’re Different

Modern communication has become a challenging and complex task. No longer can we segment consumers based on age and income, nor can we reach the majority of Australian’s through traditional advertising alone.

We believe that the future of communications is the ability for any brand or organisation to articulate one unifying idea, influenced by data and insights, executed consistently, yet bespoke across every applicable channel.

To effectively deliver this, we believe brands and organisations need the support of an agency partner built for the modern world. This is why we have built Bastion Collective.

Our clients can access the breadth of communications disciplines, delivered by the absolute experts in their field combined with owner operator service. Every one of our 250+ staff work together to provide simple, original and resourceful solutions to our clients’ complex communications problems.

Why We're Different
How Our Clients Work With Us

How Our Clients Work With Us

Bastion Collective is the hybrid between the large multinational agencies and the small independents. We’re comprised of 10 mid-sized agencies that work together to form the largest independent agency in Australia.

Each one of our businesses is run by an industry leading owner-operator. Because lets face it, you are more invested in delivering exceptional outcomes for your clients if you have skin in the game. This means our clients get to deal with the people who run the place. This makes us nimble and responsive in a rapidly changing communications landscape.

Our clients can choose to work with us in one of our disciplines, or, when the time is right, access our range of communications services to deliver truly integrated campaigns.

Importantly, our agencies are complementary, not competitive. This means we genuinely work together to deliver an outcome that is best for the client, not the bottom line.

Our
Values

Run Sustainable Businesses

Deliver World Class Work ThatGets Better Every Time

Make EachOther’sLives Better

At Bastion we have three core values that underpin everything we do.

Values that look out for our people and our clients; values that protect the bottom line; values that deliver work that’s more than worth the effort.

Three values that ensure whether you’re one of our staff or one of our clients, your Bastion experience is a valuable one: one that more than meets your needs and expectations.

Making Each Other’s
Lives Better

Our People

Fergus Watts
Fergus WattsChairman
Thanks to his knack for understanding business quickly and creating growth opportunities, Fergus Watts has assisted some of Australia’s most dynamic companies in charting the future of their marketing and communications. First and foremost, Fergus believes that a company is nothing without quality people growing within it. He has even fostered his own education program, the Bastion Degree, to help turn visionary young workers into well rounded self-starters.
Jack Watts
Jack WattsGlobal CEO
Over the past 10 years, Jack and his team have grown Bastion Collective into the largest independent marketing and communications group in Australia. Day-to-day, he works with Bastion’s wide range of clients to ensure that anyone who walks through the doors leaves satisfied. As CEO, Jack prefers to anticipate Bastion’s next big opportunity rather than relish in its success – he is always looking ahead to see what can be achieved in the near future.
Dax Cornelius
Dax CorneliusCEO - USA
Solving organisational challenges as an officer/F-16 fighter pilot to serving another decade in C-Level sales and marketing roles, Dax embraces people empowerment and process. Responsible for U.S. growth, Dax believes Bastion’s solution to a fragmented marketing industry is to provide detailed service expected of the smaller owner-operated agencies while also delivering an integrated offering across a number core disciplines by aggregating expert agencies under one roof.
Alex Carr
Alex CarrManaging Partner - Bastion Banjo
Alex most recently ran BWM Dentsu where he helped drive the creative reputation and subsequent growth of the agency. In his tenure, BWM Dentsu won a number of new clients including Qantas and American Express plus a number of prestigious creative and effectiveness awards including Grand Prix at Cannes and a rare Black Pencil at D&AD. Prior to that he was the managing director at Havas Worldwide.
Andrew Varasdi
Andrew VarasdiExecutive Chairman - Bastion Banjo
Andrew has over 30 year’s agency experience and is a founding partner of Banjo. His career started at John Singleton Advertising. Starting as an entry level graduate position, Andrew worked his way up, in 2004 being appointed Managing Director of Singleton Ogilvy and Mather. Andrew has extensive experience as a senior strategic suit and MD and has worked with many leading and global brands. He founded BANJO in 2008, describing it as ‘the best thing I ever did’.
Ben Lyttle
Ben LyttlePartner - Bastion Banjo
Ben has over 22 years of experience in the industry, following receiving a First Class Honours in Bachelor of Business. He is a multi-disciplinary strategist and researcher with client, media and creative experience. With over a decade in the advertising industry as Planning Director at Singleton Ogilvy & Mather, Carat Media and The Campaign Palace, Ben has worked with clients in almost every industry.
Clare Gleghorn
Clare GleghornCEO - Bastion Reputation Management
Clare has more than a decade of experience working in government, public affairs and corporate communications roles in Australia and overseas. Clare was previously the Director of Corporate for the Melbourne office of Edelman and started her communications career with the Victorian Government. She has also worked in the UK with Shell and the UK Government.
Richard Chapman
Richard ChapmanCEO - Bastion Effect and Bastion China
A creative communications practitioner with industry experience amassed over 20 years, Richard is a multi-channel expert who believes in the power of storytelling. He co-founded PR and experiential agency Spark Impact, going on to join one of the top global media and communications agency networks where he spent a decade creating memorable experiences that connected brands with consumers.
Dianne Gardiner
Dianne GardinerCEO - Bastion Insights
Dianne is a passionate researcher and business woman who nurtures a talented team to strive for answers – no matter what the brief. A detective at heart, Dianne pieces clues together to uncover who, what and why, before shining a light on the path forward. Whether it is through listening, observing or questioning, Dianne’s curiosity and desire to improve the status quo drives everything she does. With over 20 years’ experience researching all manner of brands, products, and communications, Dianne continues to help shape the world of research.
Katie Ferro
Katie FerroGeneral Manager - Stable Research
Katie Ferro joined us as General Manager in October 2019, overseeing our operations and client management. Prior to this Katie came to us with a strong history in data research, having spent the last 8 years at IRI in senior management roles and had built up a broad knowledge base across various industries and roles. We are delighted to have Katie’s level of expertise and enthusiasm to help drive our business into a new phase of growth and development.
Pip Hooper
Pip HooperSales Director - Stable Research
Pip has over 20 years experience in marketing in the corporate environment. She has worked in a broad range of industries including photographic, financial services, sports marketing, real estate and consulting. One of her favourite roles was Sales and Marketing Manager for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Organising Committee. Pip is Graduate of the Institute of Company Directors and is on the NSW AMSRS Committee.
Matthew McCann
Matthew McCannCEO - Bastion EBA and Bastion Films
Originally starting off in the mail room at McCann Erickson as a youngster, Matt went on to be one of the youngest B&T 30-Under-30 winners. Before joining Bastion Collective, Matt had a four year stint as Global Chief Operating Officer at a brand consulting agency. And before that he held the role of General Manager – Media and Sponsorship at Telstra from 2012 to 2015 managing a massive portfolio across 325 markets nationally.
Jim Watts
Jim WattsFinance and Shareholder Liaison
A seasoned and experienced CEO, chairman and board director, Jim has been involved with Bastion Collective since its inception. A safe pair of hands, Jim has taken on various roles over the journey. In his current non-executive role, he is challenging internal processes to drive operational efficiencies across the Collective. He is also the conduit for communication between shareholders and the BC board. Jim’s passion has always been about the people. Recruit well and build a culture that empowers the individual to maximise potential, and the business results will follow.
Paul Ryan
Paul RyanCFO - Bastion Collective
Paul has over 23 years experience in the Marcomms industry. Half of that time working as Finance Director for a Multinational and since 2007 as CFO to independent Agencies providing Creative, PR, Design, Digital, Experiential and TV Production Services.
Edwina Webb
Edwina WebbGeneral Manager, People & Culture
With a career spanning over 20 years, Edwina has worked in media and advertising for businesses such as George Patts, Mojo, ACP, and Conde Naste. Having worked corporate and agency side, Edwina knows the importance of a great work culture. Since joining Bastion, her focus has been building Bastion Collective’s Staff Engagement and Learning and Development program to position the business as one of the world’s most progressive and innovative employers.

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