Inspiring Leaders to Catch at The Design Conference



By Lauren Aitken. Edited by Leah Morris.


At Mavens, we're proud to support events or organisations that prioritise representation of women leaders. It’s why we were excited for The Design Conference (TDC), an explosive Brisbane-based creative event that has secured an array of inspiring speakers. Better still, TDC offers remote streaming, so anybody can access the world-class thought leadership being presented over the three-day experience.


We’ve handpicked seven of our favourite speakers to give you an indication of what to expect. Check them out, and don’t miss the exclusive Mavens reader discount code at the end of this article.



Zoe Crocker, Senior Motion Designer, Never Sit Still


Zoe Croker is a Senior Motion Designer at Never Sit Still, an esteemed Motion Design Studio. Zoe is an Illustrator and Motion Designer with a passion for illustration and animation. After graduating with a Bachelor in Design and Visual Communication, she went on to win a student AGDA distinction for her Bloomsbury book trailer animation. While taking on her second degree in Creative Intelligence and Innovation, she was offered her current position at Never Sit Still.


Zoe has been heavily involved in the creative community and has featured on Adobe APAC live, spoken at Node 2022 and AGDA events and was a finalist for the AGDA Emerging Designer of the year award in 2019. Her impressive expertise led her to later be invited back to judge the Motion and Emerging Designer Categories in 2020. She has both taught and lectured at UTS where she obtained her degree. Zoe will be speaking alongside Mike Tosetto, Director and Founder of Never Sit Still.



Ros Horner, Executive Design Director, AKQA


A talented Experience Designer at AKQA, Ros has a passion for digital and background in branding, fashion, advertising, design, editorial and creative leadership. She’s a lecturer and conference speaker on the subjects of creativity, design and technology. She writes articles on design, creativity, websites and other topics such as sustaining creativity and whether goal setting is useful.


With a design career that’s taken her all over the globe, she has had the opportunity to work with culture changing brands such as Adidas and global agencies such as SapientNitro and Wunderman.


She is also the Founder of The Goals Project, a free global collaboration project for Pre-K classrooms all over the world surrounding sustainable development goals.



Dewani Shebubakar, Strategic Design Director at Today


Bringing a broad range of product, service and strategy experience from her time in creative digital agencies, Today's Dewani Shebubakar has helped to deliver solutions to a wide range of clients across a variety of industries including ACU, Deakin University, Kmart, David Jones, Nissan and HESTA.


Dewani is an observant and detailed researcher, a differentiated, critical thinker and a tinkerer of problems who enjoys enabling joy and beauty in the work. She does this by diving deep into the details to uncover impactful insights, as well as zooming out to shape the bigger picture with an eye on the future. Her empathy and approachability means she is able to connect with diverse groups of people to achieve the best possible outcomes.



Amanda Szylo-Duncan, Executive Strategy Director at Interbrand


Amanda has a knack for understanding people. An eye for spotting patterns. A team-first approach, driven by a belief that feeling safe enables people to be at their best. She started her career at Moon and, for more than a decade, has applied her expertise at leading Australian branding agencies.


She joined Interbrand in 2018 and now leads the Strategy Team with empathy, bravery, and a focus on cross-collaboration – believing the best projects are possible when Strategy, Design and Writing come together.


Amanda has worked on campaigns, brand strategies, complex brand architecture challenges, and internal engagement programs with such iconic local brands as Coles, Oroton, Sydney Fish Market, the MCG and Westfield.



Jane Duru, Verbal Design Director at RG/A


Jane straddles the worlds of creative and strategy bringing complex ideas to life through compelling storytelling. With a less than traditional career path towards branding, Jane studied Science at Cambridge University before launching into magazine publishing, content marketing and travel journalism giving her a unique approach to writing for brands.


Jane is an active member of the design community through mentoring and public speaking engagements and has been recognised and awarded through D&AD, AGDA and Best Awards. She previously worked for brand consultancy Re (Part of the M&C Saatchi Group) for five years before taking on her role at R/GA in 2021.



Amy Sutton, Founder and Managing Director of Anthologie


Anthologie is a strategic and digital consultancy firm working with clients in both here in Australia and globally. With 20 years of experience in agencies in Hong Kong and the UK, Amy returned to Perth to take over what was originally her family's design business to relaunch it in 2016 not one week before she had her first child.


Anthologie is committed to solving some of the world’s greatest challenges and partner with organisations and on projects aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. They apply thoughtful strategy, creativity, technology and design to shape brands, ideas, products and platforms that rise to social, environmental and economic challenges. Anthologie is also beyond Carbon Neutral and a Certified B Corp.



Jo Roca, Creative Director at For The People


Jo wholeheartedly believes in the power of design and branding, the shift it has had with technology and its ability to influence any business. She believes design is about impact, not hype. Through her role at For The People, Jo tackles complex challenges ranging from product launch, development, creative strategy, ideation, experience design and branding. She delivers workshops and lectures, and mentors in both Australia and Columbia.


Recent projects of hers include The Sydney Opera House, the brand identities for the West Coast of Tasmania, as well as product design and development for TDC’s Streamtime.



The Design Conference will take place at Brisbane Powerhouse from June – 9, 2022. To secure your ticket or digital streaming pass, visit thedesignconference.com.au and use code MAVENS15 to enjoy 15% off.


Artwork: @madebykaran