Meet the team.

Share ideas. Break all the rules.

The Big World Team has come together to dream and conquer the boundless opportunity posed by the affordable housing crisis.

  • We’re always looking for like-minded people - those who want to join with others and share ideas, build empires and break all the rules.

  • We roll like a jazz band; everyone making music with their sweet instrument, playing things they dig most, and leaning in for harmonies or solos when the opportunity arises.

  • When good people come together for the right reasons, there is no limit to what can be achieved.

Alexander Symes – Founder & Architect

Alex is a NSW registered, practicing Architect who combines a scientific approach to sustainability, a pragmatic response to budget and function, and a poetic approach to how an environment is experienced. With over 14 years experience working for Arup, g+v Architecture and Gunter Schwartz design, Alex has a diverse design and technical skill set – from the design of furniture to the world’s most sustainable skyscrapers.

Joanne Jakovich – Strategy

Dr Joanne Jakovich is an expert in collaborative innovation and its application to urban planning, development and stakeholder consultation. Joanne works with government and corporate organisations on a diverse range of topics including corporate entrepreneurship, design thinking, business model innovation, citizen engagement in planning, collective impact, peer-to-peer urbanism, open innovation, crowd-sourcing, creative and lateral thinking. She is the editor of four books on innovation and urbanism, first author of international research journal and conference publications, and presents regularly to public and professional audiences.

Branko Jaric – Future Living

Since achieving a Masters in Architecture in 2011, Branko has learnt a great deal while in positions within governance, education, architecture and construction. These experiences have equipped Branko with an acute understanding of user experience, which informs his approach to each design problem, scaleable from city building to ergonomics.

Lislie Nissen – Fabrication Advisor

Karlisle Nissen has over 45 years designing and manufacturing custom solutions for the automotive and caravan industries. Karlisle began his career as an apprentice panel beater at 14 years of age and soon developed a passion for helping people by making custom modifications to vehicles for the disabled. Karlisle continues to use his skills to solve needs, and what he doesn’t know about custom caravans is not worth knowing.

Ella Colley – Media

Ella is a non-fiction media creator, producer and researcher with a particular interest in interactive projects with social goals. She recently completed an MA International Affairs and Media at The New School in New York City. With a background in education and sustainability non-profits, Ella wants to use her media skills to elevate issues that matter. She’s at her best working in small teams, solving complex problems. She has worked, lived and studied in Brazil and Mexico, and speaks decent Portuguese and Spanish. Ella was born and raised in Sydney, and has a BA International Studies from RMIT.

Rhys Knight – Content

Rhys is passionate about ideas, and believes creating an emotional connection through a clearly articulated idea forms the basis of worthy content. He’s also a true believer; only working with organisations he feels will have a positive long-term impact on society and the world as a whole. A writer first and foremost, Rhys has authored 3 books and published numerous articles, blogs and online pieces.

Zara Choy – Creative Engagement

Zara is passionate about innovation, and creativity for change. With a diverse background spanning IT, commerce and market research, and current experience in the social innovation and impact space she brings strategic, holistic thinking to increase success at both business and campaign/project levels. She values how creativity can be harnessed to move audiences, and to influence impact and outcomes, and works with individuals and organisations across sectors — from small social enterprise and grassroots changemakers, to larger campaigns and projects with governments, corporate and not for profits — to achieve organisational goals, drive communications and community engagement initiatives.

Micky Du – Brand

Micky Du is an award winning creative director with 25 years experience across Asia, Australia and South Africa. Du Brothers Design became one of South Africa’s top five design studios, winning multiple awards and working with clients ranging from large blue chips to smaller national and international brands. In 2000, DBD won the Sydney Olympic Airport account, bringing Micky to Sydney. Micky’s unique combination of his South African up-bringing, his Asian background, and having a Western design sensibility, has afforded him the opportunity to work as a creative director in the Asian offices of multinational agencies such as The Brand Union, Ogilvy, Wunderman and Vetica. As a side project Micky works on his handmade leather accessory business – Du Goods.

Andrew Shanks – Film

Andrew Shanks is an emerging film maker. He is known for his work on Joy Stick Heroes (2010), Love, CV(2013) and Doomsdays (2015).

Kimberley Knight – Social

Kimberley is an inbound marketing fanatic and a believer in experimentation over assumption. She started her first business, a fashion label in 24 hours and used online advertising, social media and online distribution to make it profitable within a few short weeks. Constantly aware of changes and innovations, she’s a lifetime student, as well as a recognised expert in social marketing.

Ben Romalis – Composer

An Authentic Affector who conquers all areas of experimental passion linking art and commerce. Ben Romalis is a composer at heart and collaborates with extraordinarily gifted artists for film and television. Ben’s vast experience including working as the chief Performance Analysist of NSW cricket(since 2002) converges on various vocations truly striving to move the hearts and minds of whom Ben comes across, whether it is work or life.

Kevin Bathman – Arts & Creative Engagement

Kevin Bathman is a social entrepreneur, designer, communications specialist, event curator, storyteller, writer and social change advocate. With over 15 years in mainstream advertising, marketing and graphic design industry, he has worked for big brands and in the past 5 years, had shifted his focus to use creativity to address environmental, cultural and social justice issues. He believes that the arts is an untapped avenue for catalysing change. He is a passionate diversity advocate and is interested in engaging with culturally and linguistically diverse communities. He co-founded Carnival of the Bold, a movement of arts for social change and is Arts Editor for Right Now, a not-for-profit media organisation focused on human right issues in Australia.

Carli Leimbach – Creative Strategy

Carli had an adventurous childhood travelling with her intrepid documentary filmmaking parents on expeditions to discover the far corners of the world. These early travels left her with a strong appreciation for the Pacific, working collaboratively with people across different disciplines and cultures, taking creative risks and a love of learning. She has worked as a lead experience designer, facilitator and creative producer and strategic consultant for the past decade in South Africa, Europe, North America and Australia. Her degrees are in Sociology, Arts & Design and Business with additional courses in Design Thinking and Facilitation. She works with corporates, agencies, co-operatives, entrepreneurs as well as NGO’s and brings extensive experience in the field of collaboration, tackling complex problems, design-led innovation and inspirational leadership.

Maria Eaton – Communications

Maria is our powerhouse behind all of our communications. She has a background in research, administration and social media. She knows just about every management and social app you can imagine and keeps us all on track.

Vishal Joshi – Event Partnerships

Vishal C Joshi is an event director, creative entrepreneur and marketing & communications specialist, who uses the art of storytelling to engage, empower and inspire communities. He is passionate about urban innovation, sustainability, social impact and is a conversation, collaboration and change advocate. Talk to him about your story and explore an ecosystem of possibilities.

Seth Lawrence – Community & Ideas Catalyst

From working with large brand in experiential marketing to helping bring one of Sydney’s most collaborative and diverse coworking spaces Hub Sydney to life as their community manager, to now working with Tech startup space, Tank Stream Labs. Seth is passionate about spreading and catalysing ideas and movements that helps to create a more connected, creative and compassionate world for all.

Poopay Laderas – Admininstrative Assistant

Poopay is a virtual Administrative Assistant who works from a bamboo cabana with her four dogs. She has provided administrative and marketing support to small business owners from diverse fields – from personal development coaches to burlesque artists to data scientists.

Josh Barnes – Collaboration & Construction

Josh has been passionate about responsive architecture since a young age, growing up in heat of Northern Australia. He will put his hand to anything that involves people and purpose. Josh is currently fascinated by the changing ecology of our cities through the growth of co-living/working communities and the growth of sharing economies; he’s known for his work with Airbnb. Josh has trained and worked as a teacher, researcher, environmental scientist and permacultural designer.

Tracey Hau – Architectural Media

Trained as an architect, Tracey Hau is currently an urban designer at SJB. She is also a sessional lecturer at the School of Architecture at UTS in the fields of design, architectural history and theory.

Frances Arcinas – Social Media

Frances has worked in the corporate world handling sales and marketing for 18 years and in corporate training for seven years. She more recently works in the world of Blogging and Social Media Management.

Michelle Williams – Communications, Community Engagement and Management, Strategy

Michelle is a strategist, relationship manager (partnerships/ stakeholders), community organiser, program / project manager, event producer, marketer and communicator with a strong technology background.

Michelle has been at the intersection of innovation and technology for 15 years working on projects with startups, government, big businesses and universities.

Jasna Dilevska – Land Use & Community Building Strategy

Jasna Dilevska is an architect, property developer, urban planning strategist, sustainable architecture academic and researcher.

Her research interests and teaching cross several areas: Application of contemporary design practices for environmental and energy efficient high quality living/work environments; Strategic urban planning, land use and sustainable cities; Urban transport and energy/carbon use. She is the co-author of the study ‘The Carbon Cost of Work – Impacts of Office Building and Commuting Energy in Sydney Workplaces’.

In her career as an architect and a property developer, Jasna had more than 15 years practice in creating high quality living/work developments in Australia, UK and Europe. Her experience in working with local authorities, government agencies, property developers and business stakeholders enables her to  successfully connect vision and creativity with the passion  for effective outcome and commercial delivery.

When it comes to housing, it’s time to think big, and the answer isn’t small.

It’s all about the collective.