Billy Blue College of Design
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Academic Discipline Teams

Billy Blue College of Design
Branded Fashion Design

Mieke Leppens|Head of Branded Fashion Design


Dr Mieke Leppens has 25 years’ experience in the international design arena having worked mainly in the fields of fashion design, fashion marketing and design education. Her professional design career spans across all levels of the industry from haute couture in Paris to design original in Belgium and fast fashion and brand fashion labels in Australia. Mieke has extensive design teaching expertise right across the board - in private colleges, universities, design studios, with theory and research subjects, and in writing and implementing new design programs. She was awarded a PhD at the University of Technology, Sydney.

Mieke actively participates in the furthering of the Australian fashion design industry by writing, winning and implementing Federal Government grants allocated to Australian fashion companies for creative improvements of their businesses culture. She was the external consultant in the development of the Bachelor of Design (Branded Fashion) course at Billy Blue College of Design.


  • PhD: Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building, University of Technology

Jaki Walker|Program Coordinator - branded fashion, Brisbane

Jaki Walker joined Billy Blue in 2013. Previously she worked for 25 years' within the Couture and Fashion Industry both in Europe and Australia. Jaki has worked alongside high-end designers 'Collette Dinnigan' in Australia and 'Catherine Walker' in UK. In addition for Global Commercial Brands, 'Ben Sherman', 'Billabong' and 'Element'.

Throughout her career Jaki has gained a broad and varied range of design and technical skills and has an in-depth and full understanding of the processes involved in the Fashion Lifecycle and Industry. As a Designer, Design Manager, Production Manager, Product Developer and Pattern Maker for Women’s and Menswear, the experiences and knowledge she gained she now shares with her students here at Billy Blue. In addition Jaki also worked as Academic Tutor in Fashion at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and as Fashion Technical Demonstrator at Brighton University (UK).

As Program Manager, Jaki is passionate that our students are engaged with industry through internships and life experiences.


  • BA Honours, Fashion & Textiles, Liverpool Polytechnic, UK.
Communication Design


A qualified architect, Emma has spent almost 10 years post-graduation in large, award winning architectural & design firms including Francis-Jones Morehen & Thorpe on public, educational, interior and master planning projects. Most recently she lead the design team with fjmt in Sydney for a cultural and community centre upgrade, currently under construction in the Blue Mountains. Defining experiences in her design career include travelling and working in developing countries. Innovation, re-use of materials and overwhelming community spirit within informal settlements embedded her strong commitment to environmentally and socially responsible design.


  • Bachelor of Architecture
  • Bachelor of Science (Architecture)

Jane Connory|Program Manager - Communication Design, Melbourne

Jane has 17 years’ experience in the design and advertising industry along with extensive experience in the design education sector. She has worked as an art director for prestigious design and advertising agencies both locally and internationally including Young & Rubicam Mattingly, the Herald and Weekly Times and Bartlett & Merton in the UK. She has a wealth of experience in a variety of senior design roles including branding and identity creation, editorial illustration, and the design and production of advertising for Television, print and radio.

Jane has been teaching at Billy Blue since 2012, dedicating her extensive knowledge, energy and design experience to the role of Program Manager at our Melbourne campus, where she develops, delivers and coordinates subjects across all aspects of the degree program. Before joining Billy Blue, Jane taught on the Diploma, Advanced Diploma and Graduate Certificate design courses at Holmesglen Institute of TAFE, while maintaining her freelance illustration practice.

Jane is a member of the Australian Graphic Design Association, Illustrator’s Australia, the Design Institute of Australia and the Melbourne Advertising and Design Club and is currently enrolled in the Masters of Communication Design at RMIT.


  • Bachelor of Arts, Graphic Design / Illustration, Monash University, Caulfield
  • Graduate Diploma of Graphic Design, Holmesglen Institute of TAFE, Chadstone
  • Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment, International Security Training Academy, Melbourne

Alison Kerr|Program Manager - Communication Design, Brisbane

Alison has 14 years’ experience in the visual communication industry and design education fields. She has a wealth of experience in a variety of senior design roles specialising in experience design, design thinking and research, both locally and internationally including the Australasian CRC for Interaction Design, Harper Mackay Architects in the UK and the Brisbane Festival. Alison has led the creative design, direction and production of annual reports, marketing events & conferences, sponsorship campaigns and web site development across both print and digital media. She is also an Australian Graphic Design Association member, and an accomplished theatrical director and performer.

Alison has been teaching at Billy Blue since 2011, dedicating her vast body of knowledge, energy and experience to the role of Program Manager at our Brisbane campus, where she develops, delivers and coordinates subjects across all aspects of the degree program.


  • Graduate Certificate, Public Relations, Queensland University of Technology
  • Bachelor of Creative Arts, Theatre, University of Southern Queensland
  • Certificate IV in Design, Shillington College

Mark O’Dwyer|Program Manager - Communication Design, Sydney

Mark has over 20 years’ experience in the visual communication design industry and education fields. He has worked as creative director for renowned design and branding agencies both locally and internationally including Enterprise IG, Armstrong Miller & McLaren and The Ball Group. Mark has directed brand strategy and identity projects that encompass many spheres from corporate to retail across both print and digital media. Mark has been teaching at Billy Blue since 2007, specialising in the delivery and coordination of third year design thinking and design and business subjects.

Mark coordinates and manages the day to day running of the communication design stream in Sydney, as well as developing curriculum material in conjunction with the Head of Academic Studies. Outside of his management, teaching and pastoral support roles Mark is a member of the Design Management Institute and has received multiple Australian National Print Awards in the annual report category since 2004. He has presented at The Australian Council of University Art and Design Schools (ACUADS) conference, in a co-authored paper entitled ‘End of the Beginning’. Mark is passionate about the power that design thinking has to transform out-moded business models and is constantly expanding the role design entrepreneurship plays within the community at Billy Blue.


  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Design in Visual Communications, Limerick School of Art and Design, IRL
  • Diploma of Arts in Design in Visual Communications, Limerick School of Art and Design, IRL
  • Foundations in Learning and Teaching (FILT), Macquarie University


Nathan has 15 years’ experience in the visual communication design industry and education sector. He has worked as a creative director and art director for prominent design, packaging and branding agencies including XOU, Pearshop and Jack Watts Currie. Nathan has led the creative direction of corporate communications teams, developed visual identities, environmental graphics, packaging and advertising campaigns across both print and digital media.

Nathan has been teaching at Billy Blue since 2008, specialising in the development, delivery and coordination of all typography and branding subjects throughout the degree program. He jointly coordinates and manages the first year of the communication design stream in Sydney, as well as developing curriculum material in conjunction with the academic team and mentoring colleagues new to teaching. Outside of his management, teaching and pastoral support roles, Nathan has received multiple Australian Publishers Association Awards in the book design category since 2008. His team was also a finalist in the Australian Graphic Design Association Biennial Design Awards, Identity category in 2004 and was awarded a distinction in the packaging FMCG category the same year.

Nathan is committed to improving our students’ educational experience and professional skills via his passionate teaching of typography that he infuses with technology, logic and a love of the design process.


  • Advanced Diploma, Design and Advertising, Billy Blue College of Design
  • Certificate IV, Adult Training and Assessment, Hostec
  • Certificate IV, Training and Assessment, MIA

Ingrid Carlstrom|Lecturer – Communication Design, Sydney

Ingrid has over 30 years’ experience in the visual communication design industry and education sector. She has worked as a creative director and art director for prestigious design, animation, television and publishing studios including Hanna Barbera and The Ghan Railway. Ingrid has lead the creative direction of publication teams, developed visual identities, television graphics, fashion styling and advertising campaigns within print and digital media.

Ingrid has been teaching at Billy Blue since 2009, focussing on the development, delivery and coordination of first year subjects and workshops within the degree program.

Ingrid jointly coordinates and manages the first year of the communication design stream in Sydney, as well as developing curriculum material in conjunction with the academic team and coordinating the student mentoring scheme. In addition to her extensive teaching and pastoral support roles, Ingrid is a member of the Australian Graphic Design Association and continues her professional book and publication design practice, constantly sharing her knowledge and technical production skills with the students at Billy Blue.

Ingrid is passionate about providing excellent pastoral support for first year students through the delivery of the student mentoring scheme that supports the integration of new students into life at Billy Blue and building students’ confidence as they transition into young, professional designers.


  • BA Fine Arts, University NSW, COFA, UNSW
  • Diploma of Commercial Art, Randwick TAFE

Dave Agius|Lecturer – Communication Design, Sydney

David Agius has been practicing and teaching digital design for over 15 years. Prior to joining Billy Blue, David led the digital and interactive team at Holy Cow! Design and Advertising, working on award winning projects for a variety of clients in corporate and retail. While at Billy Blue, David has lectured in interactive design and development, mentored in final year capstone project classes and executed digital solutions for annual college exhibitions. He has also recently taken a leading role in curriculum development for the new Interaction Design degree. David is currently engaged in exploring interactive projection based interfaces, applied in residential and commercial environments.


  • Bachelor of Communication Design & Multimedia (Queensland University of Technology)
Digital Media Design

Jens Schroeder|Head of Academic Studies, Digital Media Design

Dr. Jens Schroeder is passionate about everything digital and video games in particular. He first explored this field in his German Masters thesis, which covered the history of digital games in East Germany. His doctoral thesis deals with the differences in perception of mass media and games in Germany and Australia and how these differences relate to modes of distinction. The thesis is the first social history of gaming for both countries. Both his Masters thesis and his PhD were released as books.

Jens presented papers at a number of conferences, spoke at German and Australian universities, and managed an award-winning creative media institute. He worked in a Berlin-based games studio, acts as an assessor for the NSW Government's Interactive Media Fund and judges entries for the AIMIA Awards.

A firm believer in the transformative power of digital games, he also is part of a start-up that explores game-based learning solutions for teaching English to students in developing economies in Asia, South America and Eastern Europe.

Andy Marsh|Program Manager – Digital Media Design, Sydney

Andy was principal partner for the digital media start up, LiquidImage, based on campus at GCD, Ireland’s largest private College. This provided Andy with the unique opportunity of building a creative business and sharing his experience with undergraduate students in the Journalism and Media faculty at the College.

Throughout his ten-year tenure at GCD, Andy was involved in the inception and delivery of courses in a variety of creative disciplines including; NLE Editing and Post Production, Live Action Production, News Reporting, Layout for Print Media, Project Management and Web Design.

Andy has over 15 years' experience in the production of Digital Media assets for a variety of clients on a wide gamut of topics. Presently Andy is Directing and Producing a four-part TV series on Electric Motorcycle Racing.


  • Master of Science, Digital Media (GCD)
  • Bachelor of Arts, Business Studies (GCD)
  • Diploma in Media Production (GCD)
Interior Design
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Scott Skipworth|National Program Manager, Interior Design

Scott Skipworth is passionate about the transforming capabilities of spatial design, having been involved in many projects that improved the lives of people at home, at school, at work, and at play within local and international communities.

Scott likens Billy Blue’s “applied design” pedagogic orientation of connecting students with industry in a cross-disciplinary setting to the Bauhaus approach of his alma mater Illinois Institute of Technology (started by Bauhaus’ Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Moholy Nagy). Following graduation from IIT, Scott worked with Gwathmey Siegel in New York City for ten years. Clients included Guggenheim Museum, Sony, Pepsico, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, W Hotel and private residential clients. As an Associate at Ike Kligerman Barkley in New York City, Scott led residential projects for celebrity clients in Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, New York and Michigan. In Sydney, Scott led an innovative house project in Palm Beach with fjmt Studio. Scott has his own studio, SPS Architecture, having designed interior projects in Darling Point, Elizabeth Bay, Rose Bay and Bellevue Hill.

Scott is particularly interested in ways remotely located interiors and digital/virtual environments are merged through technology to constitute a unified spatial experience challenging the biological limits of human embodiment, the physical boundaries of interiors and the definition of place. He has coordinated Billy Blue College of Design subjects in which students investigate augmenting environments with links to remote physical locations and 3D website prototypes.


  • Master of Architecture: Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago
  • Bachelor of Arts, Art History: Hope College, Michigan

Daniel Staebe|Program Manager – Interior Design, Sydney

Daniel has over 20 years’ experience in the Architecture and Interior Design industry, and has been involved in the ongoing development of course curriculum for both the Commercial and Residential Interior Design degrees at Billy Blue. He has worked for prominent architectural and interior design practices both locally and internationally, including Denton Corker Marshall (DCM), Conybeare Morrison + Partners, Grose Bradley Architects, Dossman Architekten, Mary Brandon By-Design (MBBD), and as a Director of Allen Jack+Cottier (AJ+C), an interdisciplinary design practice based in Sydney which contains architects, heritage architects, urban planners, interior designers and graphic designers.

Over this time Daniel has worked on numerous residential and commercial projects across Australia, including multi unit residential apartment developments, luxury houses, office towers, public buildings, retail, corporate, exhibition, sport and hospitality environments, student housing and educational facilities. He has been a guest critic at numerous student design presentations at the University of Sydney (USYD) and University of New South Wales (UNSW) and a mentor to many student interns and graduates during his time at AJ+C. Daniel is also a keen advocate of ecologically sustainable design and living (GBCA Greenstar Accredited Professional from 2007 to 2012).


  • Master of Cross Disciplinary Art & Design (currently enrolled): COFA UNSW
  • Bachelor of Architecture (BArch): University of Sydney, 1990
  • Bachelor of Science (Architecture): University of Sydney, 1986
  • Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA ): Greenstar Accredited Professional , 2007 – 2012
  • Member: AIA Large Practice Forum, 2006 – 2012