Who we are

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Mel Flanagan

Producer - Writer - Researcher - Content Strategist - Service Designer - Maker - Mentor - Resource Wrangler

Mel started out in entertainment marketing and the music industry before immersing herself in the world of musical theatre with Cameron Mackintosh Sydney, working on; Cats, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, Five Guys Named Mo, and Miss Saigon

In London she freelanced in the advertising, TV series and feature film production for the BBC and Film Four, and as an agent representing film technicians at ICM. 

On return to Sydney at Fox Icon and Working Title Films she worked across story development and production on the films; Oscar & Lucinda, Two Hands, Strange Fits Of Passion, Ned Kelly, Gettin’ Square, The Square, The Three Stooges, New Zealand film NO.2. During the eight years she worked with Producer Tim White, she managed a slate of over 20 films and assessed over 6000 projects.  

In 2005, Mel decided she’d spent enough time with imaginary people in fictional circumstances. So, she shifted her focus to real world problems and factual media, enhancing her skills to develop cross-media stories, share resources and engage and connect audiences using digital technology. 

Since then she has: managed a small boutique arts hotel where she designed and developed a community focussed web site, established sponsorships with arts organisations, and created and curated an artist/writers residency supporting 23 projects; made independent theatre; produced a mobile TV show and online content; assisted arts and travel enterprises with online and marketing strategies; built teams for VFX, animation and interactive digital media companies; absorbed herself in the environmental sustainability sector; and salvaged lots of almost wasted resources.

A few years back she got in touch with her inner geek. She's spent her time making useful knowledge sharing software tools and researching ways to make and fund cross media projects and interactive stories.

She is currently working on designing and developing open government platforms, open data and storytelling initiatives, helping organisations engage with their stakeholders and audiences, and using her participatory and collaborative approach to making and story skills for social good.


Simon Wright

Simon Wright

Service Designer - Content Designer - Data Visualisation - User Experience Designer

Si is the quintessential design geek. He is a curious designer/developer who likes to solve interesting problems. He loves story, interaction design, data visualisation and all things digital. He lives the web. 

Originally hailing from Perth WA, Si started out as a multimedia designer at Eclipse Group, back when CD-ROMs were a thing. He joined Cube7 as design lead and creative director working with start up web based businesses and creative arts sector of the WA Government and spent 6 years running the business with three other partners.

Around 2006 he headed to London via a road trip through Europe and landed at a ticketing marketplace Get Me In where he turned his focus to UX.

Si moved to Sydney in 2007, joining news.com.au as senior designer. Shortly after, he became art director, managing and leading the design and front end development teams at news.com.au and the 'network verticals' of entertainment, business, travel, money and technology. These verticals were syndicated across all News Limited masthead websites: Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, Courier Mail, AdelaideNow, PerthNow, and The Australian. He worked closely with journalists and editors on experimenting with new ways to tell stories beyond text and photo, using data visualisations, interactive tools and experiences. 

In 2012 he co-founded TheWorkben.ch, a coworking space in Ultimo and took another sabbatical to travel across Europe, North America and Thailand. Since returning to Sydney Si has worked with a number of teams across UX and UI design.

He is most happy working with passionate teams on projects with purpose, getting his hands dirty with pixels and working in the space between designers, developers and stakeholders. 

When he is not travelling, hanging out at cafés or on a rock face, Si is master of visualisations, service design and all things useful at the Nook.


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SASHA ABRAM

Researcher - Service Designer - Writer - Maker - Educator

Sasha applies a human-centred approach to designing. She has spent the past 5 years working in service and user experience design companies and digital agencies. 

She is currently completing a Master of Design (Research), in Design for Social Innovation at the University of Technology Sydney. Her thesis is looking at the potential for service design in remote indigenous communities. Sasha navigates between industry and academia and is a passionate educator, teaching in the undergraduate design program at UTS as: Lab Leader for the Kythira Global Studio (2015, 2016) and in Design Thinking, Design Futures and Researching Design History. She completed a Master of Design in Sustainability, Strategy and Enterprise, at UTS, in 2013.

Prior to this, she spent over a decade working with some of Australia’s premiere fashion companies in design, visual merchandising, retail management and brand engagement. Sasha also loves to travel; particularly immersing herself in new cultures and traditions, illustrated by a year spent studying French at The Sorbonne in Paris, and working in the social responsibility department at ABC Carpet and Home, in New York City.

She has a passion for social innovation, service reform, community engagement, participatory design, and developing sustainable outcomes.


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rachael stewart

Creative Strategist - Digital Producer - Community Engagement Specialist - Clothes Swapper

Rachael is a socialpreneur and digital hybrid, combining strategy and creativity. She loves to help people to bring their stories or business to life; engaging audiences through technology.  

Her love affair with digital and creating beautiful functional web things, began at an open source agency with Swiss design principles on-IDLE, and at brand agency The Team. In 2005, she moved into online publishing at AOL UK in London, managing the homepage content for 2m daily viewers and began a Masters in Enterprise and Management for the Creative Arts, at University of the Arts and London Business School (LBS). New Creative Ventures at LBS focused on incubating financially viable creative businesses.

Rachael then co-founded hybird, and started “creating experiences like theatre”, putting on events including clothing swaps which became a global movement. Rachael then began helping companies develop strategy and build their brand with a strong focus on how to market themselves online.

Since arriving in Australia in 2009, Rachael has worked on projects for digital agencies (Digital Eskimo), festivals (Peats Ridge, Surry Hills, Changemakers), and NSW Government (Planning and the Greater Sydney Commission) as a creative strategist, digital producer, community engagement specialist and campaigner (Save the Heart of Huskisson, Free Peter Greste). In 2014 Rachael worked with Nook on the Communications strategy for the NSW Trade and Investment, Resources and Energy web service Common Ground. She is now back at the Nook working on content, communication and engagement strategies.


Our favourite collaborators

Marisa Guber

Content & Stakeholder Coordinator - Sustainability & Social Impact Specialist - Event Producer - Yoga Teacher

Marisa is a social and environmental sustainability professional with over 10 years' experience in developing, managing and delivering projects and initiatives. Marisa is a passionate “intrapreneur”, who has worked to enable positive change in a variety of industries ranging from business, education and research, not for profit and social enterprise. 

While pursuing an Masters in Socially Responsible Business and Sustainable Communities, Marisa first researched the practical dynamics of socially responsible business within the context of a developing country in Peru. She then returned to New York to work for ABC Home, a visionary and iconic home furnishing company, which aimed to be a platform for positive change. Over 4.5 years at ABC, Marisa implemented the company’s vision throughout the business. In this time, she became an informed resource on sustainable living and responsible product sourcing, and acted as a brand ambassador while connecting through New York’s bustling sustainability networks.

Marisa moved to Sydney in 2011. She joined our Nook mob in 2012 and has also worked with Food Connect Sydney, where she co-ordinated marketing and stakeholder engagement and for the Centre for Social Impact (CSI). At CSI, Marisa was responsible for delivering a portfolio of events, ranging from small workshops to multi-day conferences in content areas of social finance, impact investing and cross-sectoral collaboration. 

In 2015 she returned to the US and now resides in Portland, where she can be found making new connections cross-pollinating ideas at impact networking events, teaching and practicing yoga, and sauntering along the coastal paths in all corners of the world.


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Dr Manu Black

Environmental Scientist - Policy Analyst - Strategist - Researcher - Teacher

Manu has a Bachelor of Environmental Sciences and a PhD from the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New South Wales. After completing his PhD in 2006 he headed to Europe for post-doctoral research at Oxford University and the University of London, which included investigating climate and environmental change in eastern Africa and the Galapagos Islands.

After returning home in 2008, Manu continued research as well as working with the NSW Government in environmental education and community consultation. He completed his Master of Public Policy with Merit from University of Sydney and worked as an Environmental and Social Policy Consultant. Manu’s clients have included the Australian Council of Social Services, the Australian Museum, the Australian and New Zealand School of Government Institute for Governance, the China Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, and Sydney Water. 

Manu has been part of our mob since 2013. He has a passion for social and environmental impact stories and brings his highly developed knowledge and skills in research and strategic thinking, policy analysis, sustainability, stakeholder management, environmental education and community consultation when we need him.


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Loosie Craig

Writer - Director - Producer - Researcher - Traveller

Loosie often operates as a one-woman-band, she can produce, direct, research, interview, shoot and edit. She is a collaborative storyteller and relishes the chance to help others realise their vision and tell their stories. 

Loosie has worked on everything from music videos, corporates, ads, television series and feature films, and web series. 

Her passion for documentary has spanned the length of career and she has continually shot and developed her own long-form projects. Her short documentary Mavis won many accolades and was the closing film of the Australian Shorts Selection in Hollywood for G’day LA. Her feature length documentary 3mates7seas was released in September 2013. 

Loosie is committed to the documentary form and community. She is on the OZDOX organising committee and she established EDNA :: the emerging doco-makers network of Australia in 2007.

Having completed her most significant projects to date (x 2 kids), she has re-entered the workforce with a focus on documentary and online content.