Meet the VIC Mentors
Mirella Arapian

Mirella Arapian

Mirella Arapian

Founder and Creative Director at MEK STUDIO

Mirella Arapian (she/her) is an Armenian-Australian creative director and mentor based in Naarm (Melbourne). She’s the founder and creative director at MEK STUDIO®, a purpose-led design studio building brands of the future with social and environmental impact, and founder of Womentor, a global mentorship program for women in design committed to improving gender equality in the design industry.

With over 20 years’ experience both nationally and internationally, Mirella has worked with the world’s leading change makers including WWF, PETA, Sea Shepherd, RMIT University, Environmental Film Festival, Revival Projects and World Animal Protection. She specialises in impact-led branding, strategic design and creative innovation to help ambitious companies, brands and leaders communicate their vision for a better future.

Mirella is an activist and volunteers for various organisations across animal liberation, social justice and human rights. As a woman in design leadership, descendant of genocide survivors and child of immigrants, she’s an advocate for equality, diversity and inclusion, and uses her business as a platform for activism and positive change.


Career & Background

What inspired you to do what you are doing now?

Knowing there is so much injustice in the world and having the skills, experience, expertise and resources to effect change. What I do is bigger than myself and keeps me going when I feel unmotivated or uninspired.

Your favourite food for thought


  • Meditations – Marcus Aurelius
  • We Are All Armenian – Voices from the Diaspora
  • The Magic Faraway Tree – Enid Blyton

Podcasts / Thought Leaders

  • Huberman Lab
  • Bite Big
  • On Being

What drives and inspires you

What are your core values?

  • Authenticity
  • Gratitude
  • Integrity
  • Justice
  • Kindness
  • Leadership
  • Making a difference

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

Myself — who I was 10 years ago, who I am today and who I’ll be in 10 years. I started from nothing, with nothing, and looking back I’m incredibly proud of how far I’ve come and what I’ve achieved. I believe in myself and back myself.

You as a Mentor

Why have you decided to become a mentor?

When I was starting out I didn’t have any mentors, role models or anyone to look up to or go to for advice. I want to give others what I didn’t have when I needed it, which was part of what led me to create Womentor, a mentorship program for women in design. I love mentoring and it’s extremely important to me to nurture emerging designers and empower them with the support and confidence to realise their full potential and make their dreams a reality.

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

  • Asking powerful questions
  • Collaborative
  • Direct
  • Knowledgeable
  • Nurturing
  • Passionate
  • Supportive

Ready to apply?

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