Meet the Team
Marius M. MonkeyChairman of the Board
Originally from the jungle, Marius M. Monkey started his career in banana imports and exports before branching out into the media.
His first publishing foray involved trying to get one million of his cousins working on typewriters to reproduce the complete works of Shakespeare and was not successful due to a lack of typewriters.
Following this he realised the future of publishing was in creating quality content for niche industries and he founded Monkey Media.
Chris BlandManaging Director
Chris started Monkey Media in 2012 by accident when he was supposed to be taking a holiday. Prior to that he had launched six successful magazines, as well as couple of unsuccessful ones, and lived through the most tumultuous decade in the history of publishing by learning to adapt.
He has helped hundreds of business-to-business companies improve their marketing and reach further into niche markets, and won’t rest until he has helped hundreds more.
Chris has previously served on the board of Publishers Australia and has long campaigned for more publishers to adopt the industry’s voluntary standard of circulation audits.
In his spare-time, Chris tries to explain the evolving publishing industry to his school-aged children.
Kirsty HuttonOperations Manager
Kirsty joined Monkey Media as a journalist, but her desire to streamline systems, promote content marketing and generally get involved in all aspects of the business made her a great fit to be our Operations Manager.
She has a law degree, as well as a very rare Bachelor of Media Studies double majoring in journalism and TV production. (The university degree doesn’t exist anymore but she tells us the qualification still counts.)
Despite her love of spreadsheets and systems, Kirsty still writes regularly to retain her title of “Content Queen”. On the weekend you can usually find her propped up at a cafe with her laptop attempting to create the next big thing. She has published a number of children’s books and contributes to a variety of websites.
Kirsty’s also a big fan of fitness, working a couple of mornings a week as a PT and hitting the gym for her own workouts before most people wake up.
Laura HarveyManaging Editor
Laura started editing niche trade magazines more than ten years ago, with a focus on infrastructure, construction and utilities.
She left the industry for a while and spent a few years writing about the travel industry, but returned because she missed the glamour of writing about sewer pipes.
Laura excels at writing to a purpose and creating the right content for the right audience and the right context.
Sam PennyDigital Marketing Manager
Sam is our resident digital marketing guru. During his MSc program Sam focused on data mining and machine learning to extract marketing solutions from sets of ‘big data’. He’s also a dab hand at rebooting the office wi-fi.
Having recently moved to Melbourne from the UK, Sam is enjoying the warmer climate, though he must admit it still feels odd wearing shorts in December.
Jessica DickersSenior Associate Editor
Jessica’s journalistic experience includes writing for titles like Broadsheet, Time Out Melbourne and The Weekly Review, as well as playing a role in the creation of Switch Magazine.
Originally from Geelong, Jess is the quiet achiever of the team but is known for cutting loose on the dance floor when she gets the opportunity.
Charlotte PordageAssociate Editor
Charlotte set the bar pretty high for her career when she met and interviewed J.K Rowling for The Telegraph when she was still in primary school.
Since then, Charlotte has been trying to relive her glory days by editing a community newspaper, serving as Digital Communications Coordinator at the Human Rights Arts and Film Festival, and contributing to Plus Ones, an online publication reviewing food, arts and events.
Having lived and worked on a desert island off Cambodia, which was used to film Survivor, Charlotte developed the cut-throat skills she needed to enter the world of utilities and is now Editor of Utility Magazine.
When she isn’t immersed in the world of utilities, Charlotte rides her horse, Rudolph, and competes in dressage and showjumping competitions.
Lauren CellaAssociate Editor
Lauren brings a fresh approach to content. Despite having written for publications like Australian Geographic and The Border Watch, and featured in Girlfriend Magazine she has found that no amount of fashion how-to guides can compare to her true passion, writing editorial about pumps.
Lauren has also worked as both an English teacher in Korea and a cherry picker in South Australia. And while she is sadly a cat person the rest of the team try not to hold that against her.
Elisa (known as Lee) has a background in events and experience writing content for film and TV
blogs, plus works on her own writing projects in her free time.
Lee is the poet of the Monkey Media team, with some of her works published in a literary journal. She even applied for the job with a poem as her cover letter.
In her free time, Lee is either binge watching TV, contemplating which Friends character she is (clearly Ross) or planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.
Alejandro MolanoSenior Designer
Alejandro (yes, …like that song) is the friendly guy wearing that funky t-shirt that gets called every time someone needs a website or wants to know what the latest Instagram filter is.
He has been crafting beautiful, functional and clever designs for print and digital for over 10 years.
Originally from Colombia, and having come to Melbourne via Brisbane and Cairns, Alejandro’s creative flair has helped to spice up many marketing campaigns.
Tanya Wagner-SmithOffice Manager
When the rest of the team is going bananas, Tanya is the one who holds it all together.
With a background in marketing for major ASX-listed companies, Tanya adds another level of experience to the team, but she hides a dark secret…
Her hair is naturally curly, like crazy curly (think Hawaiian frizz) but thanks to today’s amazing hair appliances, she is able to fool everyone into thinking it’s straight. She is also a much nicer person with straight hair. Watch her sprint if the rain catches her off guard…
Elissa DuckEvent Manager
Coming to us from the big city lights of Sale, Elissa is a country girl who balances looking after her two kids under three with working from home.
Elissa started working in event management more than ten years ago, having managed all types of events from international trade shows to a wedding in a Scottish castle. Elissa found that while the wedding industry had the glitz and glamour, a good industry trade show solved her constant need for water bottles and pens.
When she isn’t busy working hard to create some of the best events in the industry, Elissa and the family love to get around Australia on camping holidays.
Rima MunafoBusiness Development Manager
Rima is a part-time Business Development Manager and full-time mum of two. Years of experience as an account manager for a top agency means she brings the marketing know-how to the team. She is also resident DJ on the office Spotify, bringing the classic ‘Ibiza Chill Out 3’ and other playlists to her head-bopping colleagues.
In her spare time Rima enjoys shopping, globetrotting, and spending time with her kids.
Lauren “LJ” ButlerJournalist
Lauren, known to us as LJ, began her pursuit of a career in journalism after interviewing a journalist for a year 12 assignment and getting top marks. Her first work experience was writing and reading the news for a local radio station and from there began writing for trade publications in Melbourne.
LJ writes a food blog in her spare time – which we think is just an excuse to eat a lot of great food. She also boasts an uncanny ability to win competitions that involve zero skill and has won everything from gift vouchers to iPads, phones and holidays. She’s certainly won us over.
Daniel JohnsonJournalist and Content Specialist
Born and raised in San Francisco Bay Area, Daniel graduated college with an economics degree in 2013. After deciding economics probably wasn’t for him, he backpacked around Southeast Asia for six months during which time he started a travel blog.
Daniel made his way to Australia and had his heart captured by Melbourne where he was lured to Monkey Media with the promise of fast-paced writing and trivia nights. Having caught the writing bug, Daniel released a self-published lifestyle design book in 2017 and in his spare time enjoys listening to Led Zeppelin, attending music festivals and giving juggling lessons.
Jac started out as an IT Consultant but soon found she had too much personality for such a career and turned to her more creative side, starting her own graphic design business.
When she’s not wrangling her three kids under seven, she now puts both her design and web skills to use for our clients.
Alkesh GuptaWeb Developer
Alkesh has run his own international web development business for more than 10 years, and has worked with Monkey Media since 2012 before becoming a permanent member of the team.
His unparalleled skills with WordPress and ability to find a solution to every problem has led to him being known as the Shah Rukh Khan of WordPress.
When he isn’t creating the world’s best websites he spends his time with his children aged 5 and 2 or watching the latest Bollywood movies.