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ANZAA began with the question “Advertising has changed. Have we?” This was the topic of a special interest session at the ANZMAC conference in December 2006. Charles Patti, formerly from QUT and currently at the University of Denver, had the idea for the association. He introduced the session with the history of advertising education in Australia and New Zealand, followed by David Waller, from UTS, who spoke to the current situation in advertising education. This lead to the issues and the way forward, which was addressed by Gayle Kerr, from QUT.

The session raised a number of critical issues such as funding, program choices, staffing, administration overload, accreditation of courses, research and the need for a shared approach to advertising education. It echoed the Thoughts on the Future of Advertising Education of the University of Texas (1995).

  1. How can advertising education become a stronger shared venture amongst universities in Australia and New Zealand and between universities and industry innovators?
  2. How will advertising education respond to the growing need to operate on a global stage?
  3. How will advertising education deal with the growing crisis in finding and keeping capable, innovative people to fill the role of advertising teacher and researcher?
  4. How can advertising faculty enhance respect for the discipline by conducting research and obtaining research grants at a level consistent with the most admired academic areas?
  5. How will advertising education brand itself, its mission and the programmatic strengths needed to be successful as an influential collective?

The answer seemed to be to form an academic association. From this special interest session, an email group was formed. A questionnaire was sent out to the group in early 2007 to see what Australian and New Zealand academics wanted to get out of an academic association. Expressions of interest were also sought for committee positions. The founding committee were David Waller, from UTS; Sonia Dickinson, from Curtin; Kathy Mortimer, from Auckland University of Technology; and Gayle Kerr, from QUT. The committee elected Gayle as the founding President.