MEET OUR MENTORS

The team behind the Working Lunch, proudly supported by the IGEA.

Ally McLean

Project Lead - Robot House

Ally is the Project Lead of Sydney indie studio Robot House. Having worked for internationally renowned studios the likes of Plastic Wax and CD Projekt Red, Ally has a passion for production and a keen interest in reshaping company culture within the indie games space.

Ally was one of Australia's first professional cosplayers - taking the fandom-driven hobby and pioneering the way Australian publishers and developers connected and worked within the cosplay community, Ally worked with Microsoft, Blizzard, Hi-Rez Studios and more to execute community and promotional activations.

Ally was recently a finalist for MCV Pacific's "Trailblazer" award, as well as being included in the 30 Under 30 and Gamechangers lists. Ally is a core mentor and the director of program.

 

Raelene Knowles

Communications & Member Services Manager - IGEA

Raelene started her marketing career at Hasbro toys back in the late 1990’s, working on board games initially followed by action figures, which was a great experience and a lot of fun.  She then had the opportunity to start working in the interactive division and made the jump to Hasbro Interactive.  As was typical of the time, many companies changed ownership and Raelene found herself at Infogrames /Ozisoft in Australia and worked in senior marketing roles and business development for both the publishing and distribution sections of the business.  In 2009 Raelene made the transition from working within the industry, to working for the industry and joined IGEA (Interactive Games and Entertainment Association).  Her role as Communications and Member Services Manager makes her responsible for providing value and service to the membership via research, insights, data and communications. 

 

 

Sam Yorke

Public Policy and Government Relations, Google

Sam works in Public Policy and Government Affairs at Google Australia, with a focus on privacy, safety and security.  She is an accredited mediator, technology lawyer and policy advisor with almost twenty years experience working within the digital media and technology sectors both in Europe and Australia. Prior to joining Google, Sam established the regulatory function at the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Australia and worked as General Counsel and Asia Pacific Legal Director for Yahoo!’s Australian business.   Sam also spent ten years working in London as a corporate attorney for Microsoft where she supported the MSN business through a period of exponential growth and contributed to the launch of the Xbox consoles across Europe. Sam has acted as a media spokesperson and is a regular public speaker on trends and challenges affecting the digital industry.

 

Kim Allom

Producer - Defiant Development, Co-founder - Blushbox Collective

Kim Allom is a video game producer for Brisbane based studio, Defiant Development. When not at Defiant she is mentoring young girls through Tech Girls are Superheroes and running Blushbox Collective with Katie Gall. Kim is the recipient of the Queensland Young Achiever of the Year 2017 award for Online Achievement and is regularly featured for her game production work, including MCV Pacific’s most influential women in games. Her favourite games are Bioshock, Overwatch, Inside and Hearthstone.

 

 

Kelsey Gamble

ANZ Community Manager (Online) - Bethesda Softworks

Kelsey is currently the ANZ Community Manager (Online) for Bethesda Softworks. She has specialised in community management and social media content marketing for the better part of a decade, with her experience spanning across multiple industries. Her history includes EB Games, Zomato (Urbanspoon), Catch of the Day, Origin Energy, and more – during her time as a freelance content marketing consultant she worked with a range of clients from the Victorian Government; to local restaurants; to shopping centres. Kelsey is a core mentor.

 

 

Janet Gaëta

Executive Producer, ABC

Janet Carr is presently an Executive Producer in TV Entertainment and has almost three decades of TV Production under her belt across many ABC programming areas including News/Caff, Drama, Radio Current Affairs and Children's TV. Janet spent the previous decade creating and producing ABC TV's Good Game and all its spin off programs and activities. She is currently focusing on a range of Music related multi-platform content for the ABC and also working on a major new (non ABC) technology event for Australia. In 2016, Janet was awarded the MCV Pacific “Pillar of the Industry” award for her contributions to the Australian Video Games industry.  Janet is a guest mentor in the program.

 

Alison Gibb

Senior Development Director - Electronic Arts

Alison Gibb is a Senior Development Director at Electronic Arts. She brings over a decade of project leadership experience shipping AAA console and mobile games, including FIFA and Real Racing 3. She began her games career leading a QA team at EA's Vancouver Studio, shifting paths into development in 2007. She returned home to Australia to take on a role at EA Firemonkeys’ Melbourne Studio in 2012 and has been a finalist in MCV Pacific's Women in Games awards.

 

 

 

Natasha Brack

 Senior Communications Manager, Microsoft

Natasha is a senior communications specialist whose career started in small boutique agencies before moving to roles in-house in entertainment and technology. With experience working on campaigns across Asia-Pacific in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South East Asia, Natasha has developed award winning strategies in various categories including video-games, surf and lifestyle and most recently, technology. Natasha is a guest mentor.

 

 

Katie Gall

Co-Founder, Creative Director - Lumi Consulting

Katie is the co-founder and Creative Director of Lumi Consulting, a video games marketing consultancy based in Melbourne Australia. Katie manages the business development and creative strategy for a wide range of clients. Katie is also the co-founder of Blushbox Games, a collective for developers interested in inclusion of the themes of love and romance in videogames.

Katie has spoken at conferences on games marketing all around the world and is a recipient of the Women in Games Fellowship and MCV’s 30 under 30. Her key areas include, entrepreneurship, business, marketing and creative direction. She is a guest mentor in the program.

 

 

Rae Johnston

Rae Johnston - Journalist, Gizmodo

Rae Johnston is a technology and video game Journalist/TV and Radio Presenter currently working at Gizmodo, SBS, NITV and ABC Radio National

For the better part of a decade, Rae has appeared on every major television and radio network in the country to discuss the scientifically proven benefits of video games.

Rae is a proud Wiradjuri woman, mother to a teenage Overwatch fanatic, and core mentor in the Working Lunch program.

 

 

Karina Chong

IP, Media and Gaming Lawyer - Addisons Lawyers

Karina is a lawyer in the IP, Media and Gaming Team at Addisons Lawyers, where she works closely with companies in the gambling and gaming sector on all matters relating to their business. Karina loves all things video games and is passionate about her work with major local and international gaming brand developers and publishers, innovative social games developers and up and coming market disrupters in the online and live esports industry.  This involves advising on legal compliance and regulatory issues, consumer law issues such as advertising and privacy law, as well as intellectual property, commercial and corporate issues.  Prior to working at Addisons, Karina interned at Football Federation Australia where her interest in the organisation of sports developed. Combining this with her interest in the video gaming industry, Karina is on a personal mission is to convince the doubters that esports is a true sport.  Karina is a core mentor.

 

 

 

Lucy O'Brien

Editor - IGN

Lucy O’Brien is currently Games and Entertainment Editor at IGN, where she has worked at the company's Sydney office since 2012. Lucy began her career in games media in 2007 across various publications, and she has dipped her toes into video game scriptwriting (Lucy created dialogue/characters for 2010’s Blood Drive by Activision) and video game PR. Lucy was awarded Best Video Game Journalist at the IT Journalism Awards for 2016, and was Highly Commended the two years prior.

Lucy is  core mentor.

 

 

 

 

Stephanie "Hex" Bendixsen

Presenter and Producer - Channel 7's ScreenPlay

Stephanie Bendixsen is an Australian video game critic and television presenter – presenting and producing for Seven Network’s video game culture and esports show, screenPLAY. She began her career in games media hosting and reviewing games for ABCTV's Good Game - and has since gone on to become a regular speaker at events surrounding video games and women in the online space. She has also written a series of books for children, Pixel Raiders published by Scholastic Australia.

Stephanie has always been heavily immersed in all aspects of geek culture. She enjoys science fiction, fantasy, tech, food, hiking, collecting swords and figurines and travelling as often as possible. She is also a dedicated servant to her two feline overlords, Gandalf and Merlin.

 

 

Colleen Yuen

Business Manager - Sth East Asia & Greater China, EA

Colleen is an experienced strategic Commercial Sales Director, having worked on global AAA brand launches the likes of Star Wars Battlefront, Call of Duty, FIFA, Battlefield, The Sims, EA Sports, Need for Speed, DragonAge, Medal of Honor, Tony Hawk, Doom 3, Rome, Sonic and Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games. 

Colleen is accomplished in high level client management and can provide insight into the business behind the blockbusters. Colleen is a core mentor in the program.

 

Clara Reeves

President - Hipster Whale

Company President at Hipster Whale, Reeves has over a decade of experience in production and business development roles at companies such as Atari, Krome Studios and Film Victoria. She loves design of all kinds and once upon a time used to know how to code computers. Clara is a guest mentor in the program.

 

Vee Pendergrast

CEO - Stirfire Studios

Vee co-founded Stirfire Studios in 2010 while working in tech business development.  Vee has been instrumental in raising over $900,000 in seed capital allowing the business to make AGDA-finalist placing game Symphony of the Machine and attempt to IPO, initially in 2017 and opening another offer in 2018.  Vee has accumulated 16 years of business development experience and now spends most of her time working in financing and managing her studio.

 

Brid Gasparotto

Finance Director, Ubisoft

Brid has been a games industry stalwart for the past 16 years, since moving to Sydney from her native Ireland. From her time at Infogrames/Ozisoft and Red Ant to her current role as Finance Director at Ubisoft she has brought her 32 years of finance experience to bear with each company experiencing massive growth in a short period of time. In a cutting edge industry where change and evolution seem to happen at an exponential rate she has embraced this environment to contribute to unprecedented levels of success. Combining HR responsibilities with her Finance leadership she has led major IT projects, implemented new global strategies on a local level and constantly strived to maximize growth and profit. All of this has been achieved with a focus on those around her, contributing to a culture of high performance and empowering people to be the very best they can be.

 

 

Kamina Vincent

Producer, Mountains

Kamina is the Producer at Mountains, a craft games company founded by Ken Wong, the Lead Designer of Monument Valley. She previously worked at Tin Man Games as a Producer, Lead QA, Community Manager, and has worked on over twenty credited releases. Kamina has assisted in the organisation of GCAP since 2013, a role she continues.
Kamina is also a regular speaker at the Get Into Games Expo – an event run for high school students looking to enter the games industry, attracting around 300 students each year. During this event, Kamina also organises a corresponding Women in Games panel aimed at encouraging young women to embrace STEM related subjects.
Kamina is also proactive in the game development community, with a strong focus on the future ecosystem of the sector. She is involved in several groups seeking to improve diversity in the industry, mentors and guides students entering games development, is a regular speaker at events and volunteer. Kamina was awarded Creative Inspiration by MCV Pacific WiG Awards 2016.