Meet the
2021 assisters

From a huge 2020 on to an even bigger 2021!

Meet our 2021 Assisters. A host of Marketing, Strategy, Advertising, Media, Creative, Design, Tech, and Production powerhouses. You’ll see some familiar faces as well as a few extraordinary new recruits. Each of our mentors has forged their own unique path to career success, and each understand the power and value a strong mentor can provide – both professionally and personally.

Without further ado, we’re excited to share this year’s lineup with you. No matter what your career interest, there’s a talented and experienced Assister here for you.

simone waugh

simone waugh

Managing Director, PublicisWW

Simone is the leading brand strategist in Queensland and the Managing Director of Publicis Worldwide in Brisbane. Her breakthrough thinking is achieved by having extensive experience working for large corporates, government, small business and agencies. Simone’s category experience has breadth and depth across financial services, health, tourism, government agencies, education, not-for-profits and FMCG. Her strategic approach is to put consumers at the centre of all thinking, coupled with creativity to engage, connect and cause desired attitude and behaviour change to happen.

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vicki lee

vicki lee

Head of Broadcast & Content, PublicisWW

Vicki Lee is a BADC hall-of-famer for a reason: she’s one of Queensland’s most experienced producers, having spent years in agencies, production companies and post-production in Australia and the UK. Basically, what Vicki doesn’t know about production isn’t worth knowing.

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alexandra sundqvist

alexandra sundqvist

Executive Digital Director, PublicisWW

Alex makes the impossible look easy. She’s passionate about guiding clients through digital transformation and ensures that digital is at the core of their business. She’s done this for big-name clients from Europe to the Asia-Pacific.

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tia queen

tia queen

Co-founder and Creative Director, Gangplank

Tia Queen (@tiarajadequeen) is a brand innovator and strategic thinker. Tia co-founded Gangplank (@studiogangplank) where she works closely with company leaders to invigorate their brand, from the creation of large-scale identity systems to boutique packaging. With a passion to give back to the industry, Tia is also a design educator (@shillington_) and served as Chair on the Australian Graphic Design Association council (@agdagram @agdaqld).

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karen (zippy) hayward

karen (zippy) hayward

Senior Producer, Prodigious Productions

Karen is one of the most highly respected producers working in Australia today. Her experience and creativity have taken her around Queensland, Australia and the world on TVCs that number in the hundreds. Exhausting for most but Karen aka Zippy’s boundless energy and focused commitment to every job is what keeps people coming back for more… that and her scrumptious cupcakes. She has had the pleasure of working with many clients throughout her career including … Suncorp, XXXX, University of Queensland, Seaworld, Kelloggs USA, Dreamworld, EMI Music Australia, Queensland Department of Health, QSuper, Big W, BCF, Energex, Tourism and Events Queensland … and more!

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christine gannon

christine gannon

Managing Partner, Clemenger BBDO

Christine started her career as an agency receptionist (while studying) and then joined a recruitment ad agency for a few years before landing at her first creative agency, Red Suit Advertising. Since then, she has worked for several agencies and various clients, including UQ, TEQ, RACQ and more! For the past year, she has been learning the leadership ropes, running the Clemenger Brisbane offices with her Creative Director partners.

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nicole hartley

nicole hartley

MBA Director and Senior Lecturer/Researcher, UQ

Nicole Hartley is a service and digital media researcher and senior lecturer in the UQ Business School at the University of Queensland. She is also the Associate Director of the UQ Business School MBA program. Her extensive research and teaching expertise areas include services technology, virtualised services, marketing strategy, customer-brand relationships, new media, communication, consumer-making behaviour, and consumer psychology.

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georgia ball

georgia ball

General Manager, VIVO Group

Georgia is General Manager at Vivo, a local digital agency that builds custom digital products for clients like National Storage, Diabetes Australia, UQ, QUT, Poolwerx, Jetts Gyms and Spicers Retreats. She started her career in digital at a London based tech incubator and since then she's worked both agency side and within startups designing and implementing growth strategies. Georgia was also the first Brisbane Chapter Director for Interactive Minds.

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jessamy ross

jessamy ross

Senior Copywriter & Creative Strategist, Khemistry

Jessamy is a senior copywriter at Khemistry. Over the past 8 years, she's earned her creative stripes working on campaigns big and small for a range of Australia's most interesting clients (and others she's made interesting along the way). As a past Award School winner (2014) big, bold ideas get her out of bed in the morning. But, as a Masters-degree-qualified nerd, she also thrives on finding her way out of a strategic quagmire. Her writing has been published in The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and Wellbeing Magazine.

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priscilla jeha

priscilla jeha

Founder at The Together Society

Priscilla has over 20 years experience in the industry with a large chunk of that spent in London leading integrated, multi-disciplined, global teams. She is the creator of ‘Maestro’, a growth driven, Project Management methodology, to be launched by mid 2021 as a global, online course. She believes in building exceptional client partner relationships with a focus on trust and authentic collaboration; and fostering innovation in a dynamic culture (a huge fan of those with ‘can-do’, growth mindsets!).

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caroline starecky

caroline starecky

Head of Strategy & Innovation, Khemistry

As Head of Innovation & Strategy at Khemistry, Caroline has cultivated brands and developed impactful strategies in North America and Australia for over two decades. Caroline spearheaded numerous behaviour change campaigns and programs in the healthcare industry, education, lottery, anti-smoking and women’s leadership initiatives and holds a Master’s degree in International Marketing and a Business Coaching certification from the Neuroleadership Institute in Sydney.

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kelly brightwell

kelly brightwell

Brand Manager, GIO

Kelly has been a marketer for nearly 15yrs for brands including Suncorp, Virgin, Lorna Jane and the Ekka. She has worked across a range of roles including partnerships, brand strategy, direct marketing, product design, loyalty, campaigns and brand management. Right now she manages Marketing Operations and Excellence at Suncorp. Regardless of the role, her passion for marketing is founded in the ability to combine creativity and insight to influence consumer behaviour.

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erin core

erin core

Head of Research and Strategy at Veracity

Erin Core is the Head of Research and Strategy at Veracity, a business that she launched in 2021 aimed at disrupting the traditional model by making research and strategy simpler and easier to manage, share and understand. Erin has over 16 years of experience in advertising campaigns, insights, research, creative strategy, messaging, customer journey mapping, workshop facilitation, brand positioning, and brand platform development. Her recent roles have included Head of Marketing at Queensland Ballet, Strategy Director at Clemenger BBDO, and strategist at Y&R (now VMLY&R). If you become her mentee, you’ll learn that Erin is very particular about insights, will definitely run you through her ‘life strategy workshop’, and she won’t be able to help talking about CrossFit.

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megan elliot

megan elliot

Group Business Director at Zenith

Megan is an experienced Director Of Communications with a demonstrated history of working in the media and advertising industry. She’s an expert when it comes to Media Planning, Team Leadership, Client Services, Strategic Planning, and Presentations. Megan is a strong business development professional with a Masters focused in Marketing Communications from University of Canberra.

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kylee ratz

kylee ratz

Group General Manager, Cutting Edge

Kylee Ratz' career spans more than 27 years and includes an impressive 13 years as Cutting Edge's Group General Manager in which she leads a team of over 100 people. Kylee thrives on rapport building and delivering high-quality products that not only meet but exceed client expectations. Her passion for the industry, aptitude for client service and high-quality output has cultivated a highly-regarded reputation and she looks forward to sharing her knowledge with the Assisterhood for another year!

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gin poppelwell

gin poppelwell

Senior Art Director, Khemistry

Gin is an art director armed with a swag of local and international awards. She has been recognised at AWARD, Spikes Asia, Adfest, AdNews, BADC and as an International Young Gun. But Gin’s creative doesn’t just win awards, it gets results - generating lasting behaviour change in the real world. Currently in its sixth year, her Ugly Xmas Rashie has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Cancer Council Australia. Having worked abroad with clients such as Unicef, Escada, Etihad, Pernod Ricard, Transport for London and NSPCC she’s happy and excited to be back home, contributing to Brisbane’s thriving creative industry.

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keisha leon

keisha leon

Director at Leon Design

Keisha is an Aboriginal Graphic Artist and Director and owner of Leon Design - a creative consultancy specialising in conceptual design to bring ideas to life. As a proud Waanyi & Kalkadoon woman, she is passionate about supporting Indigenous initiatives and projects through creative storytelling.

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ash ivory

ash ivory

Head of Product at Outfit.io

Ash is the Head of Product at Outfit.io, most days you'll find her asking the hard questions in an easy way, splitting hairs over good user experience (don’t worry, she studied graphic design), dodging gender norms (she’s openly queer), helping her product team to solve the right problems (she’s passionate about building a great product), upskilling the office in brewing coffee (coffee, err, that's all). Oh, and riding her motorcycle (it's basically meditation).

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ashton tuckerman

ashton tuckerman

Chief Marketing Officer at Gathar

Ashton has a passion for growing brands through the creative storytelling. Before joining Queensland-grown startup Gathar as their first CMO, Ashton worked both in-house and agency-side for global game changers (Flight Centre), industry disrupters (Youfoodz), and award-winning agencies (Red Havas), and has been known to side-gig as a travel writer and restaurant reviewer. More than anything, Ashton loves helping people find their ‘why’, making the work week feel less like a bunch of Mondays strung together.

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camilla marshall

camilla marshall

Head of Marketing at Endeavour Foundation

As the Head of Marketing for Endeavour Foundation, Camilla is well versed in high pressure and data-driven marketing environments. In fact, that’s where she thrives. Her ability to deliver effective campaigns and create stronger brands is underpinned by extensive experience in senior marketing and communications roles within B2B and B2C global organisations across industries including aviation, tourism, insurance, assistance, and government.

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kylie mcleod

kylie mcleod

Marketing Campaigns Manager at TAFE Queensland

Kylie is a highly experienced International Marketing Manager with a demonstrated history of working in destination marketing and higher education. Digital Strategy, Event Management, Account Management, Marketing Strategy, and Content Marketing are second nature to her. Kylie studied and works in the international marketing environment to help satisfy her love of travel.

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jude johannesen

jude johannesen

Executive Director, Client Partners at Publicis Worldwide

Jude is an experienced leader in client service, strategic development and the management of advertising accounts for global, national and local brands, government projects, corporates and FMCG. She focuses on collaborative enterprise, bringing cross-functional teams together who are committed to integrating strong strategic thinking with creative ideas that deliver business results.

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