Meet the NSW Mentors
Samantha (Sam) Heckendorf

Samantha (Sam) Heckendorf

Samantha (Sam) Heckendorf

Head of Brand at Tourism Australia

In short, ex agency person who landed my dream job selling Australia to the world.

By day, I’m an experienced integrated marketer with a proven track record of delivering end-to-end effective, award winning brand communications for some of Australia's most iconic brands. My experience spans multiple sectors including Travel, Telco, FMCG, Alcoholic Beverages & Financial Services for clients such as Tourism Western Australia, Qantas, Expedia, MLA, Commbank and Telstra.

By night, I’m a mum to twin 5year old boys.

Career & Background

What inspired you to do what you are doing now?

Big, creatively ambitious work is what drives me. So when I had the opportunity to combine this with my love of travel I jumped at the opportunity.

Could you tell us a bit about your professional background?

I started my career in client services agency side working for some of Australia’s best agencies, including BMF and The Monkeys. I worked across many iconic brands such as Telstra, MLA, Qantas and Qantas. In 2020 I made the move client side, leading Domestic Campaigns at Tourism Australia during COVID – more role was focused on the recovery of our Tourism industry during and post the double crisis. I then moved into the Head of Brand role, where I led the development of Come and Say G’day.

Where am I headed? I’m staying here for now – focusing on building my credentials as a brand marketer but also looking to ensure I’m a great mum to my boys. I feel I still have so much left to achieve in both of these roles.

Your favourite food for thought


Don’t read, talk to people.

Podcasts / Thought Leaders

  • Smartless (sorry but I love Will Arnett)
  • Black Tshirts
  • James Hurmann

What drives and inspires you

What are your core values?

  • Achievement
  • Family
  • Teamwork

You as a Mentor

Why have you decided to become a mentor?

I have a strong belief that your network is so critical to your career. I started building my network early and regularly keep in contact with people who have been of great influence throughout my career.

Your network can support you in so many ways – not just opening doors but broadening perspective and providing opportunities

What are the top 5 skills or qualities you bring to mentoring?

  • Collaborative
  • Connected
  • Empathic
  • Nurturing
  • Passionate

Ready to apply?

The best time is right now. Take a chance – you never know where an Assisterhood mentor can take you.