Rock star recognition in Asia Pacific

October 31, 2022

What do you get when you hold a themed celebration of people and values, an event that unites the creators and innovators who spend their days designing how people come together for memorable experiences?

Pictures tell a thousand words, but we’ll set the scene below.

Populous’ singular focus has always been to draw people together around the things they love. This is what we live and breathe in our designs, and we seek this out for our people too.

In Populous’ Asia Pacific (APAC) region, the annual APAC Awards event is an opportunity to celebrate our people and our diversity in an inclusive, fun, and authentic way, all while recognising the significant contributions made by APAC team members.

In 2022, the stage was set for a ‘Rock Star’ event, with more than 200 people from multiple time zones dressing in theme and coming together for a hybrid online and in-person awards ceremony.

In the lead up to the event, people in APAC offices nominated their regional colleagues for any of the nine award categories, which recognise efforts such as innovation, excellence, integrity, enjoyment, commitment to personal development, teamwork and more. In total, 567 nominations were received, and one-quarter of those nominations were between offices, highlighting the regional collaboration that underpins how we work and connect.

  • Photo credit: Salman Naqvi
  • Photo credit: Tina Kan

Following an intensive judging process involving many voices, 72 people were shortlisted and, on the night, everyone celebrated the achievements of our 2022 winners: Joshua Robson (Sydney) – Ripple Effect; Joy Lim (Singapore) – New Horizons; Andrea Piotrowski (Melbourne) – Team Player; Lize Gerneke (Brisbane) – The Innovator; Tommy Tanedy (Denpasar) – Mission Impossible; Mako Ihara (Japan) – Brand Ambassador; Renae Buttsworth (Brisbane) – Super Rookie; Japfiio Kayina (New Delhi) – Quiet Achiever; Amir Farokhian, Keith Hudson, Daniel Thompson, Ben James, Todor Vladev (Brisbane) and Naushad Ali (New Delhi) – Dream Team.

Alongside the award presentations, team members from around the region recorded more than 140 videos, contributing to an APAC Rock Band music video that featured nearly the entire regional team to cultural videos that provided virtual windows into each office’s unique culture, people, and talents.

Populous’ APAC Head of Human Resources, Mark O’Sullivan explains how the benefits of APAC Awards extend beyond the event itself, including through the nominations and filming of content beforehand, as well as the follow-up conversations that occur after the event is over.

“These opportunities to connect, collaborate and show off creativity and culture significantly strengthen our inter-office relationships and deepen everyone’s understanding and appreciation of our region’s diversity.

"We have over 35 nationalities represented amongst out team in APAC and our post-event data showed the event helped 87% of respondents feel they belong as part of our region and as part of Populous."

Mark O'Sullivan, APAC Head of Human Resources

We also found that 94% felt the event celebrated our people in an inclusive and authentic way. This year’s data captured specific insights, like these, that are crucial to continually improving how we work at Populous,” Mark said.

Associate and Architect in our New Delhi office, Anmol Singh, loves celebrating with colleagues and seeing the positive impacts ripple across the region each year.

“Aside from the event itself, one of the most anticipated parts of the APAC Awards is post-event, where every single nominee receives an email that anonymously shares why their peers nominated them. This provides a significant morale boost and reinforces that we all play an important role as part of the Asia Pacific and broader global team,” Anmol shared.

While the legacy of 2022’s rock star treatment lingers on, we realise it’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock n roll. We don’t want to miss a thing so we’re already looking at ways the 2023 APAC Awards event can bring out the best, the best, the best, the best of you (APAC). Stay tuned!


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