Our Core Team


Ammon Beyerle
PhD, The University of Melbourne, in progress; M.Arch, B.PD, D.ML, The University of Melbourne

Ammon, of Here Studio, is a passionate and driven researcher, writer and teacher, with a background in architecture. He lives in Ballarat. In 2009 he developed Urban Village Melbourne, a multidisciplinary social enterprise interested in arts, design, research, community development and sustainability in public space. Working for five years between France, Germany, Japan and Australia he brings experience in the management of public architectural and structural design projects to here studio. He is currently undertaking a PhD regarding participatory architectural practice in local urban ecologies.

Michelle Emma James
ARBV 17681, M.SSc, RMIT University, in progress; B.Arch & B.PD, The University of Melbourne

Michelle, of Here Studio, is a young architect who believes design should be accessible, affordable, hands-on and most of all, for people. She brings valuable experience in design, stakeholder consultation and project management. Michelle is a tutor at the University of Melbourne in Digital Design and Fabrication and is (slowly but surely) completing her Masters of Social Science at RMIT University. She co-curates Pecha Kucha Melbourne, a quarterly design event, and is the founder of WELOVEPT, a multidisciplinary group advocating for equitable and accessible public transport through the arts. Recently moving to inner-city Ballarat, Michelle is passionate about getting involved in the local community and jogging around Lake Wendouree on weekends.


Caitlin Conley

M.Arch, The University of Melbourne; B.Arch, Deakin University (Geelong)

Cait grew up around architects, builders and graphic designers; she developed an appreciation for home, place and design from an early age. She is most passionate about incorporating nostalgia, belonging, and historical and personal narrative into her interpretation and appreciation of spaces. Caitlin commutes to Ballarat to be part of the Core Team at Civic Hall Site.

Phillipa Hall

P.G.Dip, M.Arch, B.Sc (Hons.)  Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University

Phillipa is a UK qualified architect with experience of integrating new construction into listed and historic structures. Her work at varied practices in the UK furthered her knowledge, working on projects of different scales in the residential and public sectors. She enjoys design which responds to, and enhances, the existing situation, while considering the long term future of the building - socially, physically and environmentally.

Nicole Mechkaroff
B.Arch (Hons), Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
Nicole is a graduate architect, researcher and design theory tutor with experience in residential, educational, health and commercial architecture. She is driven by strategic planning, construction practices and, policy development that are concerned with good design and the development of healthy communities. Her practical experience in workshop facilitation and community and stakeholder consultation have been critical in shaping her design approach for identifying human needs relating to accessibility, adaptability and comfort.

Technical Consultants

John Bahoric, Structural Engineer

Mike Rainbow, Environmentally Sustainable Designer

Paul Dowling of Wilde Woollard, Cost Planner

Specialist Consultants

Mairin Briody

B.A.(Film Theory & History), University of New South Wales

Mairin, of The Art of Events, is a maker, painter, gardener and bicyclist. She has worked across Marketing, Events, Promotions, Theatre, Film, Fine-Art and Advertising. After a career as a Producer/Creative Services Manager for Advertising within Australia and the UK, Mairin switched to Fine Art Galleries – eventually landing in Exhibition and Theatre Set Design. Mairin now combines her skills as the Director of her event design business, where she can focus on designing experiences and creating spaces for human interaction. Mairin's work is about strengthening community; finding opportunity for authentic engagement in public, business and private social events. 

Ailsa Brackley du Bois

PhD Federation University Australia, in progress; M.A. (Journalism) University of Technology Sydney; B.A.Hons1 (Political Sociology) Flinders University; Cert. Tourism, Adelaide TAFE

Ailsa, of The Editorial Suite, is a creative type with a professional focus on culture, heritage, arts and design. Following a 15 year career as a Senior Publisher in Higher Education, working across Australia and New Zealand, with big brand global companies, she is now cherishing working locally as a marketing communications manager and marketing lecturer and course coordinator. Ailsa has worked variously across radio, television, magazines, newspapers, books and digital media for over 21 years and prior to that worked in venue, event and tourism industries for 8 years.  Having lived and worked in Adelaide, Tokyo, Darwin, Sydney and Melbourne, Ailsa chose Ballarat as her family's home over a decade ago, and is here for the long term. She is currently undertaking her PhD on cultural transformation, urban character and heritage regeneration, with a focus on Victorian Goldtowns.

Intern with The Editorial Suite: Liana Skewes is an undergraduate history and literature student at Deakin University. Currently at the end of her studies, Liana is undertaking a History Internship as a capstone of her history major, under the supervision of Ailsa Brackley du Bois. Liana has professional experience in marketing and communications, having worked in the marketing team at Federation University and also in the social media sphere as a blogger.

Resident Artists

Linda Franklin

B.F.A. (Sculpture) University of Auckland, NZ;  Grad Dip (Art Therapy), Melbourne Institute of Experiential and Creative Arts Therapy;  Cert, Small Business Management, Kangan Institute, Melbourne.

Linda, of South Street Art Studio, is a multi-faceted artist who initially trained and exhibited in contemporary Sculptural Installation. The past 25 years has seen her art celebrated in private collections in VIC, NSW, NZ, Hong Kong, India and Italy, plus her book illustrations and graphics have been published internationally. She has also trained and become accomplished in the traditional religious iconography, plus worked with heritage paint techniques for buildings.

As an experienced Art Therapist and Art Educator, Linda is well versed in community development; she custom designs art programs with therapeutic underpinnings for Community Service Providers, then facilitates with their clients of all ages, abilities and demographics. Currently Linda is employed as the Artist and Art Therapist with Victoria’s oldest childhood institute, Berry Street, where she works with some of Ballarat’s most disadvantaged at-risk youth.

Pauline O’Shannessy-Dowling

BA (Hons) LaTrobe University; Dip. Visual Arts, Federation University Australia

Pauline, aka POD, of POD Design, is a Visual Artist who dreams of a world full of colour & harmony. She endeavours to add to this vision through her colourful & whimsical drawings, paintings & 3D installations. POD works with children, teenagers & adults, creating & delivering workshops that celebrate individual creativity. She believes that everyone has creative ability & that there is no such thing as “not being able to draw”. POD is very active in the Ballarat Arts Community, both professionally & voluntarily - she divides her professional time between her much-loved studio work, facilitating various creative projects & designing creative workshops. Her voluntary work is with the Art Gallery of Ballarat Association & local Community Radio Station 99.9 Voice FM. She is also a participant in the Leadership Ballarat Western Region (LBWR) Leaders Forum 2015.








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