Our story

Assemble is dedicated to housing and shaping the culture of living closer together. Our values and ideas find a voice in our publication, Assemble Papers – an online and biannual print journal across art, design, architecture, urbanism, the environment and financial matters.

We pooled our skills in 2010, spurred to action by the increasing absence of well-designed housing in our much-loved city, Melbourne. We believe small footprint living is not a compromise – through good design, a vertical life is an enriching, engaging and socially responsible one.

Through our partnership with local development firm Make Ventures, we now have an expanded team and skill-set, making Assemble an end-to-end property development and management company with a close, long-term relationship with each community we help build.

The launch of the Assemble Model marks a new chapter for Assemble as we go deeper into building the culture of living closer together in Melbourne and beyond.


We’re a tight-knit multi-disciplinary team with combined experience spanning property, construction, finance, architecture, community management, publishing, communications, art and public programming.
Abbie Freestone
Head of Community

Abbie is the Head of Community at Assemble and has a background in urbanism and architectural communications. She is committed to uncovering new ways of thinking about cities. A pole vaulter in a former life, she’s forever chasing views from high places and after living in California and Oregon has a love for mountains (and mimosas).
Kris Daff
Managing Director

Kris is the Managing Director of Assemble and is also Managing Director of Make Ventures, a property development and investment company. Originally trained as an engineer, Kris is an experienced property professional and, on the weekends, he can be found cycling around the bay – or swimming in it with his family.
Matt Ablethorpe
Development Director

Matt is the Development Director of Assemble and Co-director of Make Ventures, a property development and investment company. He is an experienced real estate executive, and more importantly – a gifted birthday cake baker for his two daughters. Matt’s experience includes asset, development and funds management across a range of sectors.
Joachim (Quino) Holland
Design Director

Quino is Design Director of Assemble and Co-director of Fieldwork, an architecture practice. Quino is a keen gardener and cyclist who is most happy in the great outdoors or contemplating brutalist architecture (what a nerd! - ed.). Isambard Kingdom Brunel is an enduring hero.
Ben Keck
Strategy Director

Ben is the Strategy Director of Assemble and Co-director of Fieldwork, an architecture practice. His background is in finance, property and law. Spending time living in Berlin while at university originally sparked Ben’s interest in small footprint living. He is a keen soccer player and an advocate of the siesta.
Caitlin Shannon
Communications Coordinator

Caitlin is an experienced visual storyteller, with a background in communications and a passion for art direction. Happiest with a camera in hand, Caitlin enjoys filming as a fly-on-the-wall and at every opportunity; can be found buzzing around Melbourne’s old theatres, geeking-out on films.
Elissa Loh-Brown
Development Manager

A practicing architect for over 10 years, Elissa’s passion for the built environment emerged from her design background, her interest in community engagement and innovative design solutions. With a love for the outdoors, in her spare time Elissa can be found hiking through some of Victoria’s beautiful forest reserves.
Alex Kennedy
Investment Manager

A Chartered Accountant with over 10 years’ experience in the property industry, Alex’s expertise lie in site acquisition, development feasibility, disposal and investment management. In his spare time, Alex likes to go to the park with his wife and pugalier pup – Yoda.
Robyn Lukstin
Development Manager

Robyn’s experience lies in statutory and strategic planning, working on a wide range of projects during her career across both the public and private sectors. She has the proven ability to provide practical, actionable responses to complex questions. When she’s not fine-tuning her Spanish language skills – Robyn shares her hidden talent as a disc jockey with her friends.
Emma Telfer
Community & Cultural Advisor

Emma is the Executive Director of Open House Melbourne, and like the organisation, she champions the City of Melbourne through its built environment. With a background in design communications, publishing and public programming –Emma is advising on Assemble's cultural and community offering.
Sam Crone
Senior Development Manager

Sam is the Senior Development Manager of Make and Assemble, drawing upon 15 years of experience in the delivery of exemplar high density development projects throughout Melbourne. Sam covers the full development cycle from project inception to completion. He is kept busy by his three young children as well as partaking in all manner of sports.
Jennifer Brettell
Senior Marketing Manager

Jenn has over 15 years’ marketing experience in the property industry across multiple sectors. Her passion lies in user experience, product development and data-driven marketing. In her spare time, Jenn loves being outdoors and exploring Melbourne with her two toddlers.
Tim Schaefer
Project Manager

As Project Manager at Assemble, Tim oversees the delivery of projects from tender through construction to handover. He is an experienced construction professional with a career spanning 12 years delivering high-end homes, multi-residential developments, commercial and retail spaces. In his spare time, Tim loves water and snow skiing and playing golf.
Sally Male
Marketing Manager

With an honours degree in multimedia design and a background in property branding, Sally brings a complementary set of skills to the marketing team. Weekend activities include knitting, photography, films and spending time with her family.
James Mirtschin
Development Analyst

As a Development Analyst, James draws from his experience in real estate advisory and valuation to effectively evaluate all project opportunities, new and existing. Recently returning from 3 years of living and working in New York City, James enjoys escaping to the beach or to his family’s farm in south-west Victoria.
Alannah Manuk

Alannah is a qualified planner with experience in strategic and statutory planning. Her expertise includes assessing complex planning permits, facilitating community workshops and providing research assistance. In her spare time, Alannah can be found exploring the sites of Melbourne as she recently moved from Perth, Western Australia.
Jana Perkovic
Editor - Assemble Papers

Jana Perković is the Editor of Assemble Papers. She has worked in Brussels, Berlin and Melbourne as urban policy-maker and researcher, and has a keen interest in art that investigates spatial matters. Her passions include hiking, Chinese restaurant music, and the normcore aesthetic. Jana subscribes to the credo that everything is doable, but not everything is worth doing.
Cat McGauran
Assistant Editor - Assemble Papers

Cat is an experienced communicator with a demonstrated history of working in the broadcast media industry, as well as print and podcasting. Cat’s work and travel adventures have taken her from the jungles of Borneo to the alps of Europe. In her spare time, Cat can be found playing the fiddle.