Meet our 2022 Assisters in Victoria. A host of Marketing, Management, Strategy, Advertising, Creative and Production powerhouses. 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.
Elise is an owner and Executive Producer at Truce Films, working across commercial and film production. Elise produced the Palme d’Or winning short film All These Creatures, and multi-award winning short The Handyman, which had its World Premiere at Cairo (CIFF) in 2020.
She is currently in production on Australia’s first animated series for the blockchain, Hail Draconis, pre-production on Screen Australia funded web-series Monologue, and development on a slate of feature film and television projects. Over her 10 year career she has produced over 50 commercials in Australia and the US and has no plans to slow down anytime soon.
Naomi Mulholland is an independent producer, with a long track record of line producing Australian drama. She has just produced the Screen Australia funded web series Sonia & Cherry and is currently in pre-production as co-producer for the feature film Run Rabbit Run.
Other recent credits include the Apple TV series Shantaram, the Netflix drama Clickbait, Ten’s Playing for Keeps, Nine’s Bad Mothers, acclaimed prison drama, Wentworth, Seven Network’s Winners & Losers, ABC’s The Doctor Blake Mysteries, Lowdown and Twentysomething, BAFTA nominated UK-Australian co-production, Mrs Biggs, and Ten's AFI award-winning police drama, Rush.
Naomi has also produced the ABC3 young adult sketch comedy, You’re Skitting Me, and worked on the following feature films: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Red Hill, The Wedding Party, Rush Hour 3 and Ghost Rider, as well as locally made HBO production, The Pacific.
Paige is the General Manager of Special Group Melbourne. In her role at Special, Paige has helped grow the agency's Melbourne offering from a team of 2 to nearly 40 people and has successfully added a number of blue-chip clients and Brands to the roster including ANZ, Bonds, CUB / Asahi, and a few more!
During her career, Paige has gained a range of experience working with clients across a range of industries including NAB, Visit Victoria, AHM, Mattel, Defence Force Recruiting at global creative agencies including Clemenger BBDO and Y&R.
Jess believes in the power of creativity to drive business growth and is passionate about building iconic brands. Her experience comes from spending the last 21 years working at some of Australia’s largest agencies including GPY&R, Clemenger BBDO, Saatchi & Saatchi, CHE Proximity and DDB; but more recently has made the move to client-side where she heads up the Brand Delivery team at NAB.
Starting off as a receptionist for a small indie ad agency, she caught the bug early and worked her way up the ranks whilst studying part-time. Over her career, she has worked across various categories including Financial Services, Retail, Utilities, Auto, Education, and Govt, and was also a lecturer for the Advertising Council of Australia teaching Account Management.
She loves the combination of strategic thinking and creativity that marketing offers, and enjoys building happy thriving teams.
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Maria Voronina is a commercially savvy business strategist with a strong background in marketing and brand communications.
Her experience to date is broad and stretches across strategy, innovation, brand & experience management, and consumer insights with a strong background in business, economics & research. Her passion lies in crafting effective purpose-led strategies and telling the stories that inspire others to think differently.
Maria is currently heading the corporate strategy development, long-term strategic planning process, and corporate affairs & communications functions at Chobani Australia.
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Nancy Bugeja is Director of HM, a purpose-driven creative agency who empower bold organisations and brands through beautifully crafted strategic design.
Communications designer, brand strategist, leader of people, and mother of three, Nancy uses strong instinct, bravery, and imagination to constantly strive for excellence in everything she does.
Nancy is sought-after for her human-centered, customer-centric approach to design. She credits her intuition as being her secret superpower allowing her to constantly create impactful ideas and connect with people on an emotional level.
Putting her clients at the heart of every decision and action, Nancy has established a reputation for her masterful elevation of brands; bespoke work across campaigns, activations, and memorable brand identity work.
Prue has spent her 25+ year career in creative leadership positions across the advertising, design, and digital industries. Her current role sees her heading up the Melbourne studio of global design firm Fjord, part of Accenture Interactive, the world’s largest digital agency.
Prue is a national director on the board of AGDA (the Australian Graphic Design Association), is a sometime co-host of Australia’s most popular design podcast, AusDesign Radio, and as a champion of creative women everywhere, conceived a conversational platform for women (and men) of the global industry, launching last International Women’s Day at nniwd.nevernotcreative.org.
A sought-after juror for local and global creative award programs, she’s also a passionate public speaker about the impact of new technologies in the design space and how they’ll shape the way we interact with governments, systems, services, products, and each other in the future.
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Michila is the National Sales and Partnerships Director at Broadsheet Media, Australia’s leading cultural guide. She has spent 20 years building her career across global media corporations and smaller independent publishers and across the Australian and UK markets.
Michila’s advertising experience spans magazines, newspapers, street press, radio, digital and now leads the national sales team in the content partnership space at Broadsheet.
A career highlight for Michila has been the experience she’s gained from working for incredible and inspiring female leaders, that has directly impacted how she leads today.
“My greatest reward as a leader is having a front-row seat at watching the growth and development of your team. I will never get tired of seeing ambition and hard work payoff”
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Belinda is an experienced leader, and established founder-led talent business iPopulate, which has been behind some of the market’s biggest talent moves across the last decade.
With over 15 years of experience, Belinda has the ear of the market and is a visible and vocal presence in our industry. Belinda has a demonstrated history of building meaningful strategic relationships across a range of agencies and is a passionate leader of people, ideas, and commercial imperatives.
Always going beyond the brief, she is a trusted partner to agency leaders, who value her expertise, industry advice and insight. It's said that often Belinda identifies what a business needs before they even know what they need – this proactive approach comes from many years of immersion in the industry, a tacit understanding of the issues that leaders face, and building trusted, honest relationships with every client.
Katie Firth is currently the Managing Partner at DDB Group Melbourne and prior to that was the National Managing Director for whiteGREY and a WPP AUNZ Melbourne Market Lead. Katie has also worked at TBWA, CHE Proximity, Cummins&Partners, and Publicis Mojo, on creative work recognised at award shows including Cannes Lions, Effies, WARD, and D&AD.
She brings more than 20 years of experience across clients & brands including ANZ, Medibank, Jeep, Nissan, Mars Petcare, AGL, and multiple state tourism bodies.
With over 17 years in creative agencies and more recently making the move client-side, Britt is an experienced advertising and marketing professional, leading brand strategy and development of iconic, global brands. Britt is passionate about achieving results through insight-driven strategies that are engaging and effective whilst simultaneously leading happy, enthusiastic teams to achieve outstanding results.
Britt's motto is teamwork makes the dream work. Relationship development both internally and externally is at the heart of everything I do. In my work life and my personal life, this approach to life has led to many successful and lasting collaborations and relationships.
Sharni Ames is the Head of Solutions at Hatched Media, where media is treated as a craft and the people are put first. Sharni has over 20 years media experience in her back pocket and has worked on some of the biggest brands in the Australian market. Ford, Kmart, and nab to name a few. Sharni is also an accredited Lightyear Leadership Coach, who specialises in developing “Values & Vision” for her clients. Sharni Ames Coaching will be launching mid-year so stay tuned.
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Virginia Scully is passionate about people & culture. Having worked in the media and creative industry for over 25years she is adamant to catapult the industry into the 21st century & beyond, Scully’s focus has always been about helping others realise their potential. She recognizes the need to support each other emotionally and professionally, and has always fostered a people first approach. Assisterhood connects her to her purpose in empowering women through self-awareness coaching, future leadership skills, care factor and support. Virginia’s two primary aged children are her greatest teachers in life.