24 March 2019 - 9h24
Born in Monaco 36 years ago, Hadrien Bourély has lived in Australia since 2005. He was appointed Honorary Consul of Monaco in Sydney in September 2016, bringing an end to a vacancy that had existed for several years. Hadrien Bourély passed through Monaco in January, and happily responded to our invitation to discuss his dual career in advertising and diplomacy.
Did you grow up in Monaco?
I went to school at the Révoires, at the Collège Charles III, and then at the Lycée Albert Ier, but after the first year, I went to boarding school at La Seyne-sur-Mer, where I love the military side and all the sports! After I got my Bac S, I did a Prép HEC in Nice, and then went to the ISC (the Institut Supérieur du Commerce) in Paris. I loved my Parisian experience, but I had wanted to find out more about Australian culture for a long time…
What was the reason for this?
My maternal grandmother was born in Melbourne (into a Belgian family) and I felt very close to her. She arrived in Monaco when she was about 20. Culturally, my grandmother was Australian. Sport was very important to her, and it was no coincidence that she married Yvan Médecin, the sports journalist at Radio Monte-Carlo. The decathlon champion Gaston Médecin, who gave his name to the sports centre at the Stade Louis II, is also a member of my family. When I arrived in Sydney for the first time, my impression was that everyone was like my grandmother! There was a certain spirit of freedom, the feeling that everything was possible. It was the summer, I was fifteen, and I did a wide range of jobs. I took the decision to go on to study at the ISC because the college organized exchanges with Australia. During the third year of my course, I was able to do a semester at Charles Sturt University in New South Wales.
What attracted you to the advertising profession?
My father built the family pharmaceutical distribution business in Fontvieille, and later became President of the Monaco Employers’ Federation. It was he who transmitted an affinity business to me. My mother is an interpreter, and has worked in particular for the French Open tennis tournament at Roland-Garros. For me, advertising was the way of “mixing” business and creativity. When I was young, I had the opportunity to do an internship at M&C Saatchi, which was an enormous agency in Australia. I knew at that moment that I wanted to work in client service. After a number of different experiences, I decided to go freelance. There is almost no unemployment in Australia, and I had the luxury of being able to choose. In particular, I worked for Samsung on the launch of the Galaxy S III smartphone in 2012. We used David Beckham for the ad. We sponsored the Olympic Games in London, and then had the idea of “wrapping” the “Queen Victoria Building” department store in Sydney with advertising. It had an enormous impact on the public. The following year, I had the privilege of working with the Commonwealth Bank with the slogan “CAN”…
How did you become consul?
I was contacted by Catherine Fautrier (Editor’s note: the Ambassador of Monaco in Australia and China), who suggested that I interview for the position of Honorary Consul in Sydney. My professional experience (which included Leo Burnett Sydney and Saatchi & Saatchi) helped with my application. It is a pleasure to work with Catherine Fautrier, and I consider her to be my mentor! When I took office, my idea was to focus on what I thought were the pillars of the consulate: tourism, culture, business, Foundations (the Prince’s and the Princess’s) and sport.
You took part in a sporting event some time ago…
Yes I did. Six months ago with Alex Luther. He is an Australian who has taken up the challenge to beat the long-distance water skiing world record. His grandfather beat the record in this sport in 1970, and stopped off in Monaco. In the wake of his older relative, Alex Luther succeeded in his exploit and was greeted at the Yacht Club of Monaco by Prince Albert II. It was a chance to organize a sporting and media event, and to feature in the Australian national news. Alex Luther is currently working on a series of documentaries for Netflix which will include an episode in Monaco!
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