PeoplePress Release

Initiative strengthens employee support with Carolyn Maloney as Director for People & Culture

Carolyn Maloney & Elyse Foley

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Media agency Initiative has appointed Carolyn Maloney in the role of Director for People and Culture. Her immediate remit is to create industry-leading people policies, engage, grow and retain the best talent across the agency, plus partner with National Head of Employee Experience Elyse Foley to develop and implement a new game-changing Employee Experience Program across the agency.

Melissa Fein, CEO of Initiative Australia shared the importance of this role as a catalyst to ensure the agency’s ongoing success cannot be underestimated. She said, “Having outstanding people and an enviable culture is what makes Initiative stand out from the pack and ultimately leads to best-in-class client work. Attracting the right people starts as early as our interview and onboarding processes so future talent need to be as excited about joining Initiative as we are about inviting them to join our team. It’s all about providing notable employee experiences.”

Melissa continued, “It is imperative we have the right people on our people and Culture team, and in Carolyn, I am confident we have found the best person to lead our people proposition; not only does she bring a wealth of knowledge and industry experience to our leadership team; she has a genuine desire to help people; advance their careers and make their workplace the best it can possibly be. I am delighted she has accepted the role and welcome her to the team, particularly in her role to develop our EEP with Elyse.”


Working in close collaboration with Initiative’s national leadership team, Carolyn’s initial focus will encompass the development of large-scale people projects such as Initiative’s Employee Experience Program, transformation and change management, as well as HR operational processes and advice plus diversity, equality, and inclusion strategy, and implementation.

Melissa continued, “In this fast-changing and constantly evolving industry talent attraction and retention are major challenges so providing a workplace in which people can grow and thrive is no longer something nice to have, it’s a business imperative.”

Previously People & Culture Director at Atomic 212, Carolyn Maloney has held senior people roles at OMD & PHD among others, always with a key focus on leading a people, performance and change agenda, and designing and establishing best practice people policies.

Carolyn said, “I’ve admired the leadership of Mel, Sam, and Chris, and the culture of the Ini team for some time now, so I’m very excited to be helping to take the agency to the next level when it comes to the attraction and engagement of our people. I’ve always gone by the mantra ‘Happy and engaged employees lead to happy clients and successful outcomes for both’ and I will uphold this sentiment at Initiative, working towards putting people first in everything we do and say.”

Carolyn’s first big task will be the design and launch of Initiative’s groundbreaking Employee Experience program, an all-encompassing initiative designed to break conventions and drive change offering new and existing team members a truly unique employee experience.

To achieve this, Maloney will work alongside National Head of Employee Experience Elyse Foley, who adds EEP responsibilities to her current Group Business Director commitments.

Melissa said, “Elyse is an outstanding practitioner and the extension of her role is testament to her leadership qualities and building collaborative and productive teams. As a partnership, Carolyn and Elyse are already seamless; creating a unique approach to Initiative’s employee experience. I am excited about what is to come.”

Elyse shared, “With over a decade experience leading high-performing teams, I’ve always been passionate about developing future talent and building great culture. The chance to expand my remit to create a truly market-leading Employee Experience program is incredibly exciting and Carolyn and I are looking forward to sharing details of Initiative’s best-in-class EEP in due course.”

Reporting directly to CEO Melissa Fein, Carolyn has already started in her new role and, supported by Elyse, will launch Initiative’s Employee Experience Program in Q4.

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