Rising Star Award for Young Alumni: Christie Ding

An individual who is 30 years of age or under and has demonstrated an outstanding level of professional achievement and community involvement since graduating from the University of Melbourne and/or has been recognised by colleagues and peers for their outstanding leadership and impact as a global citizen.

Christie Ding

Christie (Yating) Ding

Bachelor of Arts, 2012

Christie Ding, originally from China, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Media and Communications in 2012. After several years working in Melbourne’s media industry, she saw a gap in the market. With her experience and understanding of both Chinese and Australian cultures, she decided to establish her own multicultural brand experience agency, Brand Catalyser, which focuses on building connections between Australian businesses and Chinese markets.

Brand Catalyser was established in 2017 with just four staff. It now employs 15 people, has over 50 clients and in 2019 opened its Adelaide office. As Brand Catalyser grows, Christie also provides internship opportunities to Faculty of Arts students (most of them international students) through the Arts Internship Program, offering both personal guidance and hands-on practical experience in the industry. Some of these interns have gone on to transition to being part-time or full-time employees.

Brand Catalyser has been recognised by the Victorian Government as a service provider within the Asian Gateway Voucher program, which helps Victorian businesses to build their Asia capabilities and grow their market development capabilities.

In her own words

After working in the advertising and marketing field for many years, I have realised that as advertisers we actually have more power than we thought to influence and change the community. Hence, the work we do is extremely important and needs to be designed carefully to ensure we are making a positive impact on the community. With Australia being so close to Asia, it makes good business sense to offer Australian companies an end-to-end marketing service that is comprised of culturally-tailored communications that hit – rather than miss – the mark.

Brand Catalyser is my greatest achievement with over 15 employees and a portfolio of more than 50 clients including Go Healthy, Natio, Alibaba, Vic's Meat, Mirvac and Cherry Hill Orchards. I’m extremely proud of my team, who are making Brand Catalyser a better agency, and giving me the confidence to embrace any upcoming challenges. They are passionate about what they are doing, and always bring in new ideas and new concepts to achieve better results for our clients.

I feel honoured and grateful for such recognition of the work I have done so far. It inspires me to continue doing what I am doing, it gives me confirmation that if you are doing something wholeheartedly and are open to new things, you will be rewarded one day.

I would like to give my most sincere thanks to my business partner Hazel Hu, who has been my best friend, mentor and business partner who has helped build the team of Brand Catalyser from day one. I also want to thank my team, who has been doing an amazing job on a daily basis. And last, I want to thank my clients, who have been really supportive and open-minded in working with my team to overcome all challenges.

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