It’s no secret that the Thrive family loves a good party, so turning eighteen was the perfect excuse to put aside the pitching, set down the strategy decks and bring together colleagues, clients, media friends and family for a night like no other. Eighteen years, five offices, fifty-plus staff and the moniker of being the largest independent PR agency in Australasia? It was time to celebrate.
Long-time members of the Thrive family, Channel 7’s Giaan Rooney and Channel 9’s Tim Davies, put aside their friendly network rivalry to share MC duties for the evening. Having been friends with Thrive’s Founder and Managing Director Leilani Abels since the early days, the duo shared both funny memories and touching anecdotes that charted Thrive’s rise from a one-woman shop to the international powerhouse it is today.
Giaan interviewed our GM Kelly Stambanis who, as the agency’s #2 employee, has helped to lead Thrive during its ascent over the last eighteen years. Kelly talked about those early Melbourne days when they didn’t have proper desks, let alone full teams. She explained how they didn’t let those minor details stop them from punching above their weight, and winning big clients which set Thrive on its path for success.
Leilani then took to the stage and the crowd erupted in cheers as she recounted how the agency has expanded over the last eighteen years, all while remaining proudly female-led and family-run. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house as she thanked clients, colleagues, media friends, the past and present family of Thrivers, and her parents, son and partner.
Tears soon gave way to dancemoves as Leilani wrapped up her speech by revealing a special surprise - The Voice Australia winner, Sam Perry. Already well on the way to becoming a megastar, the talented loop artist set the dancefloor alight as guests boogied the night away.
The Grounds of Alexandria, home to our Sydney office, provided the perfect location for the evening with a stunning selection of specialty food and drinks that kept our guests fed and hydrated all night. The Dazzle Dolls, fresh from the Ibiza party circuit, gave some extra glam as they painted glitter art on guests. John Morris, husband of Thrive’s Sydney Group Account Director Kat, flawlessly curated the evening’s tunes as our awesome event DJ.
Eighteen years in business is a special achievement and a wonderful reason to stop, reflect and celebrate. We’d like to thank all of our event partners and our network of clients, colleagues and media - both those who attended and those who have been part of the journey. You’re the people who we could not do this without, and the ones who have made this milestone one to remember.