Anne Flanagan

2021 Newton-John Alumni Medal

Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies) 2001 
Vice President of PR, Communications & CSR, Getty Images

Inspired to change the visual narrative within the advertising industry, Anne Flanagan has confronted the cultural bias and narrow beauty ideals perpetuated through advertising for decades. Through championing Getty Images’ reinvention of stock photography, she has helped revolutionise the advertising landscape and set a new standard for what authentic, diverse and inclusive representation looks like, worldwide.

A veteran of the creative industry, Anne has challenged deeply ingrained stereotypes, enabled authentic representation for historically excluded communities and advocated for diversity and inclusion both in front of, and behind the lens.

“I really feel a responsibility to make a change for the next generation,” said Anne. “Tackling bias in media and advertising is no small feat. But fostering more diverse and inclusive visual content is a large piece of that puzzle and I guess that’s what I’m really passionate about.”

In rising to this challenge Anne pioneered the ground-breaking ‘Project #ShowUs’, a collaboration between Getty Images, Dove and Girlgaze, devoted to shattering beauty stereotypes by showing female-identifying and non-binary individuals as they are, not as others believe they should be.

“Project #ShowUs’ has curated the world’s largest stock photo library created by women, inclusive of all female-identifying and non-binary individuals,” said Anne.

“This project has added over 15,000 new photographs from 200 female and non-binary identifying photographers from over 40 countries to the Getty Photo Library. And it really aims to create a more culturally representative vision of female beauty, confidence, and success. It aims to completely revolutionise the visual narrative for women in advertising, which has always predominantly been seen from a white male gaze.”

Video: 2021 Alumni Excellence Awards

Anne’s work has also focused on increasing diversity behind the lens. She has been responsible for remodelling the Getty Images Grants program to focus on increasing visual representation, shifting perceptions and bringing attention to social and cultural issues, all while supporting underrepresented content creators. She also created the Getty Images Inclusion Scholarships, to help tackle wider industry issues of diversity and inclusion, and the #ShowUs Grant to support female-identifying and non-binary commercial photographers and videographers. All of which aim to support diverse creatives from around the world who are using their talents to create inclusive visual stories depicting authentic representations of women.

“We work with over 250,000 content creators across the globe to create authentic, inclusive visual content. And that includes helping to create that stock image, or that stock video, that breaks a stereotype; for example, authentically portraying people with disabilities in everyday life.

“I think the diversity of the community at the University of Newcastle helped to shape me into the professional I am today. It gave me an ability to approach campaigns and projects with an outsider-looking-in view. I'm always thinking about how a message or a project is going to resonate in multiple regions, or what language will resonate across the globe. And I really think that viewpoint of diversity came from growing up in Newcastle.

“As an Aussie who's lived away from home for multiple years in multiple different places, it's always tough being away.  It also means that any opportunity or experience that brings me a little closer to home is all the more special, and I think being a global representative of the University of Newcastle, a place where I grew up and my family still resides, does just that.”

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5 - Gender Equality10 - Reduced inequalities

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