Simon Pemberton


Simon's combined experience in the successful creation, development and implementation of brand identities and cultures and his experience as the Head of School at four leading design schools brings together a unique blend of creative and management skills within a successful educational environment.

Simon’s design education experience includes having been the Chair of the UTS Course Curriculum Committee (Vis Com Degree program), a Board Member of ArtsTraining NSW representing AGDA and the graphic design industry representative on the re-accreditation panel for Innovation & Business Skills Australia (IBSA).

Simon has also been on the NSW TAFE Course Advisory Panel for a number of years and a senior lecturer (part time) at UTS, Sydney College of the Arts and Enmore TAFE. He is currently a member of the Communication Design Course Advisory Committee at Deakin University.

He has had a number of articles published in a wide range of design magazines. Simon was a founding member of the Australian Type Director’s Club and its president for four years. He is responsible for a range of international speaker tours and national conferences.

Simon was elected as the Australian Graphic Design Association’s [AGDA] National President in October 2004 - a position he held until March 2007. He was President of AGDA NSW for five years.

Simon recently published “On The Shoulders Of Giants” - a book and video documentary featuring interviews with 13 of Australia’s leading designers.

Marissa Mills


Creative. Problem-solver. Connector. Educator. Enthusiast.  Architect in a past life, designer and educator in the present and hopefully a creative problem-solver long into the future.

Marissa is a designer driven by human relationships, curiosity and the desire to solve problems. With an outgoing personality, Marissa thrives on the connections that are created with individuals on a deeper level and believes that the best aspect of a designer’s role has always been the ability we have to create solutions that are meaningful as well as functional.

Running her own freelance business for eight years has taught Marissa how to be self motivated and has allowed her to be involved in every aspect of a project – from owning the project vision and being accountable for quality through to project delivery and execution. In every instance, Marissa believes that relationships are at the core of a successful project as they drive expectations and outcomes, and have a lasting effect long after the project is complete.

As part of the Grenadi and Tractor teams, Marissa has worked in collaboration with extraordinary people to create programs that bridge the gap between design students and the design industry. She is driven by the search for innovative approaches to design education and ways to engage with prospective and current students, to help them learn and develop while discovering, challenging and realising their own potential.

Previous and current roles include visual designer, experience designer, web designer, front end developer, account manager, strategic thinker, small business owner, course coordinator, event manager, teacher and mentor.

our industry friends

if academy would not be possible without the support, encouragement and involvement of our esteemed design industry peers. We are thankful to them for their time and enthusiasm!